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Paul's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
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5 from 2 votes

Paul's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 bars
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Karen


For the cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 & 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil I used light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted (1 stick)
  • 1 (15-oz) 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


  • 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. 
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together eggs.
  • Add sugar, oil, melted butter, and pumpkin. Beat well for about 2 minutes until fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom.
  • Add the flour but don't stir.
  • 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.
  • Use the beater to mix in the flour. 
  • Beat well, scraping sides and bottom.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and smooth top.
  • 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. 
  • Cool cake completely.
  • Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting, see this post for all the details. I used 4 cups of powdered sugar, but you can use less if you want a tangier frosting.  
  • When the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting all over the top, smoothing to the edge. 
  • Sprinkle the top with Red Hots. (which are sometimes called Imperials, fyi)


This recipe is from my mother-in-law Kris, who got it from her mother (Nana), who I'm guessing adapted it from Better Homes and Garden's.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 221IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg