Pumpkin gets a bad rap these days. All these negative Nancys saying it’s “basic” & the pumpkin spice craze is just a cash grab. I’m here to tell you, you don’t need this kind of negativity in your life! And neither do I. Even the biggest hater of pumpkin-flavored items (my mom!) loves these Pumpkin Cake Bars. The cake is tender, yet sturdy. Even better, it is full of eggs & a whole can of pumpkin. This means I don’t feel bad when my kids eat an uniced piece for breakfast!
Sheet Cakes for the Win
Now, I love me a beautiful layer cake, but sheet cakes need love too! One of our favorite cakes is a Texas Sheet Cake. One of the reasons I love them is because they are so easy! No-fuss or frills. The flavor of the cake stands on its own!
Honestly, this cake is so flavorful, it doesn’t really need the icing. My son loves the cake sans icing, but my daughter & I usually splurge. So, a half iced cake is a winner for our family.
Cake or Bar?
So, when I think of a bar, I think of a bake that is sturdy. For instance, my Funfetti Cakes bars are thick & can withstand a lot of icing & sprinkles. These Pumpkin Cake Bars really straddle the line. They are soft & moist like a cake. Yet, they are dense enough to hold & carry with your fingertips. Call them what you want, just make & enjoy them!
These bars are a one-bowl wonder. This means clean up is easy. I always make my Pumpkin Cake Bars in a half sheet pan, but likely you could use a 9×13″ pan. You’ll just want to bake it for longer. If you’re Really Into Pumpin Spice, you can always tinker with the spices. Add in some nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice & up the cinnamon.
Please let me know if you make these!
Pumpkin Cake Bars
A rich & flavorful pumpkin cake.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 16 oz can pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Prepare parchment in half sheet pan (18 in by 13 in) & preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs & sugar until light & fluffy.
- Mix in canned pumpkin & vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add all dry ingredients & stir until well incorporated.
- Evenly spread batter in half sheet pan & bake for 25 - 30 minutes.
For the Cream Cheese Icing: Cream the cream cheese, butter & vanilla together until smooth. Be sure to scrape the bowl.
- Add in powdered sugar & beat until smooth.
- Ice the cake once cooled.
Recipe slightly adapted from Nick Bryan’s pumpkin cake bars