What I’m Baking: Pumpkin Bars

South of where we live there is an Amish community.  Periodically I go and visit their shops.  They have a great General Store, Dry Goods place, and of course bakeries. In the last five years or so the thing they have started opening is “bent and dent” stores.  It’s a store for primarily groceries.  All of the things in the store were gotten via over stock or damaged products-meaning there is a dent in the can.  Dented cans don’t bother me.  Occasionally there are things that are past their “sell by” date.  I don’t buy those things but a can with a dent for half the price of town products is okay with me.

On the last time I visited, there was LOTS of cans of pumpkin.  The cans in this case weren’t even dented.  I’m guessing the company made lots hoping to sell them around Thanksgiving time then realized they made too many cans.  The dates were all good on them so I bought several cans.  I make some good pumpkin bread and a good pumpkin roll.  This day although I wanted to make a pumpkin roll I wanted something faster and less messy.  I remember the wonderful pumpkin bars I have bought when I visit the Amish bakery so I grabbed an Amish cookbook and started looking for the recipe….

I found it….But would it be “the” recipe?


I was especially hopeful as it said Anna’s Bakery was the contributor of the recipe….I tried them and ended up with this…..


We tested them and indeed.  It was “the” recipe.  They were really good.  If making them again, I would increase the amount of frosting I make by another half batch.  As is the frosting wasn’t quite as good at covering the bars as I wished it would have been.

As for taste….PERFECT!  This is a really good recipe.

I have several more cans of pumpkin in the cupboard so you can be sure I’ll be making these again.


12 thoughts on “What I’m Baking: Pumpkin Bars”

  1. These bars look really good, thanks for sharing the recipe. I have all the ingredients in the house so I think these will get made for the picnic on the 4th.

  2. This looks delicious! We can’t buy canned pumpkin in Australia (unless we buy the imported Libby’s brand for $8 a can!!), so I end up cooking up pumpkin and freezing it in 2 cup amounts. I’m looking forward to making pumpkin bars!

  3. That is exactly like my recipe that I have used for years. Sometimes I use 2 c. of pumpkin as that is about how much is in a small can of pumpkin. Can’t go wrong with this recipe. My recipe says to bake in a large cookie sheet.

  4. Pumpkin bars are my husband’s all time favorite dessert!!!! I usually make them in the fall for him but they are good any time!!!! I usually add a bit of cinnamon to the cream cheese icing!!!

  5. This looks good!!
    I’m in Australia and never heard of canned pumpkin (not even Lubbys, Jeneta lol) – is it just diced and par or full cooked? If diced, how big are they?
    Thanks! <3

  6. Oh yes – these are delicious. It is impossible to eat only one serving. When I make these, my grownup kids fight over them!

  7. We’ve got a lot of those in my neck of the woods, mostly run by Mennonite families. I’ve found some great deals, and gotten burned a couple of times when I didn’t check the dates. (totally my own fault!) Last time we were there they had packaged cookies that were almost two years past date. Things like condiments you can get for dirt cheap.

    I’ve noticed that the regular stores are leaving dented cans on the shelf, to the point where I have to dig through eight or ten of them to find one that isn’t in bad shape. And some of these are dented to the point that they’re way past my comfort level.

  8. Jo-

    The pan you used looks like a 15×10 size. Correct?
    Do you think you could use more than 1 cup of pumpkin in the bars?
    I think the small can of pumpkin is closer to 2 cups.
    Just wondering…

    1. yes 15 x 10…I haven’t tried adding more pumpkin. You can freeze the pumpkin and thaw when you want to make another batch.

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