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Paul's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yields 24 bars     adjust servings

These classic pumpkin bars are made in a sheet pan and covered in delicious cream cheese frosting. Don't forget the cinnamon Red Hots to go on top!

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 and 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used light olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the frosting

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 11x17 inch pan generously with nonstick spray. Sprinkle a couple teaspoons of flour over the pan, then shake it around the edges and tap the excess into the sink. This keeps your cake from sticking to the pan. 
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together eggs.
  3. Add sugar, oil, melted butter, and pumpkin. Beat well for about 2 minutes until fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom.
  4. Add the flour but don't stir.
  5. Make a small well in the flour and add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Use a small spoon to blend these in with the flour.
  6. Use the beater to mix in the flour. 
  7. Beat well, scraping sides and bottom.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth top.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out dry, meaning there is no batter on it. 
  10. Cool cake completely.
  11. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the softened cream cheese. Then add the softened butter and beat well.
  12. Add the vanilla and the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating in between. Scrape the sides and bottom. 
  13. When the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting all over the top, smoothing to the edge. 
  14. Sprinkle the top with Red Hots. (which are sometimes called Imperials, fyi)

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