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Paul's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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

  • 1 batch cream cheese 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