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Pumpkin Cake Bars with
Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cake Bars

These are moist and delicious, similar to carrot cake but with a fall flavor.

Toasting the walnuts before using them brings out a nutty essence. Toast nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 350 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, just until you can start to smell them; let cool before using.



  • 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg and cloves
  • 1 cup (7 ounces)vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (9 1/2 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces)toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) golden raisins, or 1/2 cup golden raisins and 1/2 cup ginger mini chips

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons(1 3/8 ounces) maple syrup
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) toasted walnut pieces


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 18 x 13-inch half-sheet pan.
  2. Cake: Put the first five ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Beat the oil and the sugars together until well blended.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add the pumpkin puree.
  6. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and add the toasted walnuts and raisins.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and turn onto a rack to finish cooling.
  9. Frost the cake and cut into bars when cool.
  10. Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat the cream cheese and the butter together.
  11. Add the maple syrup and stir well. Mix in the confectioners' sugar until the frosting is the right consistency; adjust the consistency with more maple syrup or confectioners' sugar.
  12. Frost the cake and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts.
  13. Cut into bars; a pizza wheel works well for this chore.

Yield: 36 (2 x 3-inch) bars

Nutrition information per serving (1 piece, 61 g): 230 cal, 13 g fat, 2 g protein, 10 g complex carbohydrates, 15 g sugar, 1 g dietary fiber, 38 mg cholesterol, 88 mg sodium, 142 mg potassium, 1 mg vitamin C, 1 mg iron, 39 mg calcium, 44 mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 8, September-October 1992 issue.

Recipe and photo credit (used with permission): King Arthur Flour

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