A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Pumpkin bars: a tasty twist on pumpkin pie

No matter the 60 degree weather outside, fall is in full swing and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Happiness has started to exude from students and teachers alike with a week long fall break looming. Thanksgiving at many households is not complete without pumpkin pie, yet this recipe puts a spin on the classic dessert. These bars are topped with a cream cheese icing and are really great for people not fond of pumpkin pie, but enjoy pumpkin. The recipe does not take much effort and is totally worth it for the 24 large or 48 small pumpkin bars it yields.


4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15 ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use an electric mixer at medium speed to combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until it’s light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until it is well combined and makes a smooth batter. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10 inch baking pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool completely before frosting and cutting.

To make the icing, combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread onto the cooled pumpkin bars and enjoy!