[Coaxing Creativity Tip] Here’s to pumpkin eaters

I don’t know about you, but all this talk about pumpkins has gotten me very hungry for my favorite kind of pumpkin treat…no, not pie. I love pumpkin bars. You know, the kind with thick cream cheese frosting. So, I went to my battered recipe file, pulled out the Here’s what’s cookin’ index card with my crisp 1973 secretarial handwriting, and looked over the list of ingredients to share the idea with you here.

When I look at my recipe box, it’s like a visit with family and friends. I cherish the pieces of paper with Grandma Emma’s handwritten instructions to make sure the bacon is crisp on her German potato salad. Or, to drain the doughnuts well before you sprinkle them with powdered sugar. I am grateful that I was able to learn so much about baking from her. She was so creative in the way she was always eager to try a new cake or bar recipe and then tweak it a little to make it her own. 

Pumpkin bars:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ICING:
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cream (half ‘n half)


  • In a bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well (as if you were making a cake). Pour into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
  • For icing, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Add enough cream to achieve spreading consistency. Spread over bars. Store in the refrigerator. 


About Mary E. Knippel

Mary E Knippel, Writer Unleashed and the founder of Your Writing Mentor supports women to take pen in hand to unleash their story worth writing...to leverage their impact through their stories...reclaim their voices...to polish their words so that they sparkle and shine from the start...and go from making dinner to making a difference. Contact her at mary (at) yourwritingmentor.com.