Cookin' With Blue KC

Carve out time to bake some heavenly pumpkin bars.

October 2021


Did you know that National Dessert Day is on October 14th? These pumpkin bars topped with creamy, maple-bourbon icing are one sweet way to celebrate!

MAKES 16 – 24 bars



  • 4 whole eggs 
  • ½ cup brown sugar 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 2-2 ¼ cups flour 
  • 16 ounces canned pumpkin puree 
  • 1 cup canola oil 
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tiny pinch ground nutmeg 
  • 1 tiny pinch ground cloves 
  • 1 tiny pinch ground allspice 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 


  • 1 cup softened butter 
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract  
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted 
  • ½ -1 tablespoon real maple syrup 
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional 


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Mix with a whisk or electric mixer until fluffy and airy. 
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until combined. If the batter is too wet, add a tiny amount of flour. 
  5. Spread the cake batter evenly into an ungreased pan. 
  6. Bake for 20-35 minutes. When done, remove from oven. 
  7. To make the frosting, whip the butter and cream cheese until creamy. 
  8. Stir in the maple syrup, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. 
  9. Once the cake has cooled completely, apply frosting. 
  10. Cover cake and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight until the frosting is firm. 
  11. Cut into bars and garnish.  


  • Candied pecans, 1-2 cups 
  • Maple syrup, drizzle 
  • Powdered sugar, dusting 


To make this recipe gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour mix that is measured for cup-to-cup equal substitutions. The bourbon adds depth to the icing, but if you’re not a fan of the flavor, just omit it. 

Bon appétit!

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