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Thanksgiving Recipes: Pumpkin Bars

Updated on October 23, 2011

pumpkin cheesecake bars

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been pouring over my old Thanksgiving recipes. I’ve also been experimenting with a few new ones, especially for Thanksgiving desserts. I really like using pumpkin recipes this time of year, including those for pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin desserts. A couple of days ago, I made a dessert with pumpkin that was really good, so I decided to share it with you. This would make a nice Thanksgiving dessert, but the bars could also function as snacks. You can cut them into any size and shape you like, so you might want to use larger squares for dessert and small rectangle bars for snacks. These are actually pumpkin cheesecake bars. You’ll need to keep any leftovers in the refrigerator so that the pumpkin and the cream cheese won’t spoil.

Pumpkin is great in Thanksgiving dessert recipes and for Halloween desserts. In this pumpkin bar recipe, you can use either canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin that’s been cooked and mashed. If you choose to use fresh pumpkin, you’ll two cups of the cooked and mashed pumpkin. Be sure to use sweetened condensed milk – NOT evaporated milk. Also, make sure you’re using canned pumpkin – NOT canned pumpkin pie filling.

These pumpkin bars are delicious!
These pumpkin bars are delicious!

pumpkin bar recipe

What you’ll need:

9 x 13 baking dish or pan

1 box (18.25 ounces) cake mix, spice flavored

2 ½ tablespoons butter, melted

3 large eggs

1 can pumpkin (15 ounces) OR two cups cooked, mashed pumpkin

1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce size)

8-ounce block cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

Chopped or broken pecans

Directions: Combine cake mix, butter, and one beaten egg until crumbly. I do this with my fingers. Turn the mixture into the baking dish and spread it to the edges by pressing with your palm and fingertips.

Combine the two remaining eggs, pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and cream cheese and beat until just fluffy. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over spice cake mixture. Sprinkle nuts on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Center should be firm when pan or dish is shaken gently. Allow pumpkin bars to cool for about 30 minutes. At this point, I like to put my pumpkin cheesecake bars in the fridge to get really firm. This makes cutting them into squares or rectangles easier and neater.

To make these pumpkin bars even better, serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top, sprinkled with a little cinnamon sugar.

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    • profile image

      davyfetons 4 years ago

      hi there dennis sorry mate i`v took so long this is the site and details ,ring them if you need them urgently , mention davy-fetons

      put you on

    • profile image

      martellawintek 4 years ago

      you ok dennis i got it from a friend so this is there link

      and some info ,ring them for advice ,just say martella newins told you to ring him

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      RT, that would be great. Thanks!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Oh this looks wonderful! Maybe I could find products to substitute for the cow milk products--soy cream cheese might work, and coconut oil for the butter, but what for the condensed milk? If I find a substitute I'll try to let you know. Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      PBwine, thanks for letting us know how you liked the pumpkin bars! I was a little concerned with the crust, but mine turned out great. It "stuck together" nicely. I'm really glad you guys enjoyed the dish!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Welcome, Robin! Glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      SanneL, you are most welcome. Thanks for reading!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      random, we southerners will put pecans on pumpkin bars...and most everything else! lol

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      John, we like lemon bars, too, but I think I like pumpkin bars better in the fall - and lemon bars in the summer.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Many thanks, Clover!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      jfay, I have no idea what that might have been, but it sounds interesting!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Howdy, Bpop! You planning a big turkey feast? Bet you have some great Thanksgiving recipes!

    • PeanutButterWine profile image

      PeanutButterWine 5 years ago from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

      Ok I made them today finally habee and WOW were they EVER good! I messed up with the amount of condensed sweetened milk and used some regular then it seemed to watery so I put in another brick of cream cheese (oops) and the cake crust just wouldnt get crumbly for me so I added a handful or two of Grahmn Cracker Crumbs and it crumbled up nicely... the whole thing is delicious and I can't stop eating it (two and a half peices today yikes), but I am glad I used egg whites and low fat cream cheese because now I can have it for breakfast guilt free (haha). My teenager has proclaimed it the best thing I have EVER made and tried to sneak off with the large pan of cake (but I caught him). All in all, a Huge success, thank you so much for this incredible recipe! I am going to share it with all my Facebook Friends and have added it to my permanent favorite recipes binder = deelicious!

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 5 years ago from San Francisco

      These sound so yummy! I love all pumpkin desserts. We will have to try these! Thanks, Habee!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      Sounds and looks soooo delish!

      This will be a perfect treat in my home, but not only for Thanksgiving but all through the year!

      Thanks for sharing a yummy recipe,

      Sannel

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      PB wine, let me know how you like the pumpkin bars!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Many thanks, jenu!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Lily, from my experience, these pumpkin bars are foolproof!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Wow, these look awesome! I've never made pumpkin bars with nuts on top.

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 5 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      I'll let you in on a deep,deep secret. My favorite dessert for the holidays is lemon bars! My wife makes the best lemon bars in the whole world! But I have printed out this recipe and will beg my wife to make them! Thanks for the hub, super, great, wonderful! I am a culinary boob:)

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi habee, this looks fab, what a great alternative to pumpkin pie. Bookmarked and voted up!

    • jfay2011 profile image

      jfay2011 5 years ago

      That sounds good. My mom used to have a recipe called pumpkin something. It was a dessert that stayed in the freezer.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious and the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. Thanks.

    • PeanutButterWine profile image

      PeanutButterWine 5 years ago from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

      Omg love this going to make them today! Great hub..love the yummy picture too!

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      Like a lot of your eclectic and original recipes this one sounds delish, and not to difficult for those who claim they can't bake. Love it, love it. I tend to grow tired of all the different ways to make pumpkin pie, this will be a nice change of pace.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 5 years ago from East Coast

      Oooo, Holle - I've been trying to figure out what to make to bring to our annual neighborhood Halloween "block party" and this may just be it! I'm not much of a baker, but these seem pretty easy to make!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Great, Leah! Please let me know how they like the pumpkin bars!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Lizzy, he doesn't like cheesecake??? Oh my, he needs help! lol

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      Oo- thanks for this one! I go to a mothers of preschoolers group and would LOVE to take this to our November meeting. The other moms would thank me! This is a great fall treat for parties and serving a lot of people - thanks for the recipe!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Sounds yummy! I'll have to try it and pass it out to the kids & grandkids...none for hubby...he can't stand pumpkin OR cheesecake! :-(

      Voted up..and once again wishing for a 'delicious' button. ;-)