cakes, dessert

Pumpkin Cake Bars

Pumpkin Cake Bars
Every person on the planet probably has a family version of Pumpkin Cake Bars. Its origins most likely reach back two or three or more generations…hand-written recipes stained with pumpkin and cream cheese, stuffed into beloved, old recipe boxes.  Often, these golden favorites are just too good to ever throw out, no matter what the current food fads are telling you!

Pumpkin Cake Bars
So, as we close our week devoted to the humble pumpkin, we honor all the grandmas out there, whose old-fashioned recipes will never go out of style. Thanks for teaching us the basics, like homemade turkey gravy, wheat bread and light-as-air pie crusts. In your honor, we present our version of the classic pumpkin cake, with its sublime combo of pumpkin, cinnamon and fluffy cream cheese frosting. We think it’s THE BEE’S KNEES, THE CAT’S MEOW, THE BOMB! 😉

Pumpkin Cake Bars

Pumpkin Cake Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: One jelly roll sheet (15-20 servings)


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 15-oz. jar pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. each nutmeg, cloves, ginger
  • Frosting
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, or to desired consistency
  • 2 tsp. vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease bottom and sides of a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet.
  3. Whip sugar and eggs until pale yellow.
  4. Add melted butter, applesauce and pumpkin and blend well.
  5. Add all dry ingredients and mix just until smooth.
  6. Pour into pan, smooth top and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until toothpick comes out with crumbs attached but not wet.
  7. Cool completely before frosting.
  8. Frosting
  9. Melt butter.
  10. Add all ingredients together in mixing bowl, and whip until light, fluffy and smooth.
  11. Spread on cooled cake.


*This cake stays fresh in the fridge for days. It also freezes very well, even already frosted. It doubles or triples easily, so it's a great choice for a big crowd.

Want more pumpkin recipes? Check out these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting!

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  • Reply Marsha @ Marsha's Baking Addiction October 9, 2015 at 7:50 am

    These bars look so moist and delicious! I’d love a slice or two right now!

  • Reply Smruti | Herbivore Cucina October 9, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I love pumpkins and this is such a perfect recipe. I should add this to my collection!!

  • Reply Christine | Vermilion Roots October 10, 2015 at 12:03 am

    There are so many pumpkin recipes on your blog. I’m gonna hang out here for a while if you don’t mine. 🙂

  • Reply Leticia | Thee Limited Edition October 10, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Anything pumpkin is so perfect for this time of year!! These look delicious!

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