These pumpkin bars are cakey in texture and have a lovely, light cream cheese frosting.

Sometimes keeping a food blog gives me an existential crisis. There are those recipes that defy neat categorization, that cast off any name given them. Flip to page 198 of my Grandma’s church cookbook, for instance, and you’ll find a recipe for “Pumpkin Brownies.” Is a brownie without chocolate a brownie at all? And if these fluffy, moist, frosted rectangles detailed on page 208 are “bars,” what the hell is “cake?” And aren’t recipe names often just a marketing ploy, designed to deceive the prospective cook into thinking they’re about to make The Greatest Whatever known to humankind?

When it comes to food at least, I figure: a rose by any other name, right? So here you have it: a recipe for pumpkin brownies, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cake, squares of pumpkiny deliciousness. Whatever you call them, they are so good.

And maybe I should lay off the coffee.


5.0 from 3 reviews
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 6 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 Tbsp vegan cream cheese
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ Tbsp vegan milk
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease an 8x8" pan.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together pumpkin, oil and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Add dry mixture to wet and mix until just moistened.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Cool completely.
  8. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat butter and cream cheese.
  9. Add vanilla, milk, and powdered sugar, and beat until smooth.
  10. Spread frosting over cooled bars, slice, and serve.