Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing and WalnutsAs you might recall, I am bakin’/cookin’ my way through 10 recipes from Sweet & Simple (and then giving away a copy to one of you ;)) as a part of The Real Farmwives of America & Friends’ In the Kitchen with Gooseberry Patch project.

I heart all things pumpkin, especially as these hot summer days begin to cool a little and hint at the days of fall.

So, it was only natural that when I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Squares by a fellow Hoosier, I had to give it a try.

This baby is the 6th of my 10 recipes… in case you are counting down to the giveaway 😉

You start out with 4 eggs and beat them up… go on, take out your frustrations, no one will tell.

Then 1 can of Pumpkin

Now we lightened this up a bit.

The recipe called for 1 2/3 cup sugar, so I added 1 cup sugar and 2/3 Splenda.

When making substitutions, I find the frankensnack-free zone is typically at substituting half or less… just sayin’

If you don’t like Splenda, just use the full 1 2/3 cup sugar.

Next up the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil.

I love the texture of breads/bars made with applesauce and the fact that it cuts the fat, so I substituted 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce since this was my first time backing these squares.

Next time– and oh there WILL be a next time– I will likely substitute the full cup of oil for a cup of applesauce because it held up very nicely and was very moist– yum!

Then I added in 2 cups of my new favorite flour.

Then 1 1/2 t Cinnamon

2 t Baking Soda

2 t Baking Powder

1/2 t Salt

Now mix that all up in your mixer…

And, pour it into a 10 x15 pan or grab your favorite square bar pans, spray them up and divvy it out.

Truth be told, I loved my Wilton Bar Pan (I got at walmart) so well, I recently purchased a Calphalon Bar Pan to go along with it.

The Wilton pan is deeper and perfect for breads and large portions of brownies and bars. Most 9 x 13 recipes fit nicely in this pan– dividing them into 12 portions

The Calphalon pan is about half as deep and perfect for uber-rich treats that you’d like smaller portions of… or in this case to serve as an additional pan to divide things up…

NOTE: For this recipe, I used half as much batter in my deep pan as usual so that all my squares came out the same size.

Bake at 250 degrees for 50-60 minutes if you are using a 10x 15 pan or 30-40 minutes if you are using bar/muffin pans.

Pop them out to cool and then you have some decisions to make…

Now I prefer to just slice mine up…

And add a little cream cheese…


Now, the recipe calls for a yummy cream cheese icing (see recipe below).

It reminded me a lot of my mom’s Zucchini Bars, so I topped with some walnuts.

Miss Add opted for yellow sprinkles and chocolate chips.

I grabbed up half of these GOODEies and bagged them for the freezer. It is nice to be able to enjoy these treats later in the month and it is a lot better on our waistlines than having tons of sweets out on the counter all week long.

Pumpkin Squares


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Recipe adapted from Gooseberry Patch's Sweet & Simple. For more food and fun, visit
  • 1 15 oz Can Pumpkin
  • 4 Eggs Beaten
  • 1⅔ Cups Sugar (or 1 Cup Sugar and ⅔ Cup Splenda)
  • 1 Cup Oil (or ½ Cup Oil and ½ Cup Applesauce)
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1½ t Cinnamon
  • 2 t Baking Soda
  • 2 t Baking Powder
  • ½ t Salt
  • Optional Icing:
  • 8oz Cream Cheese Softened
  • ½ Cup Margarine Softened
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1½ t Vanilla
  1. Combine all of the bar ingredients and mix with mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour ingredients into a greased 10 x15 pan or two bar/muffin pans.
  3. Bake at 250 degrees for 50-60 minutes for large pan or 30-40 minutes for bar/muffin pans.
  4. Cool.
  5. Optional Icing:
  6. Mix ingredients in an electric mixer until smooth.

About Cris
I am the mama behind GOODEness Gracious and the owner of Cris Goode Solutions. Here at GOODEness Gracious, we like to keep it light and fun as we cook up family meals, share our super mommy secrets and chat it up about the GOODe life:) So come on in and sit a spell.

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  • Jennifer Campbell

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE these!  It is my all time favorite go-to recipe in the fall when I need to take something to a pitch-in, dessert for field meals in the fall, when I need a pick me up – AND my recipe actually came from a Gooseberry Patch book years ago – that page in my book is stained and dirty and I have actually made them so much I have the recipe memorized!

  • Oh yum its that time again!!!

  • Susan

    Ypu are amazing!!!  I get tired reading your blog!!

  • Last year I went a little overboard on the pumpkin dips, so I’ve pretty much gone without any pumpkin since then. But I miss it. Can’t wait to get back to pumpkin yumminess.

  • MJ

    these look great- but i think you guys need to rename this group- i don’t understand how any of this correlates to being a farm wife – it’s all packaged food items, i would think farm wife would mean fresh farm ingredients?

    • Cris Goode

      MJ- To clarify, RFOA and Friends is a group of women who share a background and friendship in the farming community. They are either currently living on the farm, working in the ag community or as in my case grew up on the farm. 

      This particular project (which is now over) with Gooseberry Patch was just one of many projects the RFOA women do in addition to writing on the RFOA site and maintaining their own blogs which vary from food to farm to life in general. As for ingredients used, that is at the discretion of each member and you will likely find a variety of foods, techniques and philosophies among each of the various women and their sites… just like with any other group of women/moms out there. However, on my site and in my home this farm kid personally sees nothing wrong with using packaged items from time to time or buying my meat, dairy and eggs from the grocery store. After all, there are a great deal of farmers working very hard to stock the grocery shelves beyond the farmers’ markets –which I also love.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope this clears up how all these things are connected.

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