If you are looking for a seasonal recipe that couldn’t be easier to make, then these pumpkin raisin bars/cake are the ones for you! They are full of spicy fall flavours!
Pumpkin works very well in baking with sweet ingredients. Combined with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves your house will be filled with the tempting aromas of fall! As well, with the addition of pumpkin, the bars turn out super moist and are very light textured. The cream cheese frosting compliments the bars as it does with a carrot cake.
If you need to whip up a quick dessert for family or company then keep this old-fashioned recipe in mind. It can be made ahead and frozen, but I would recommend adding the icing on the day you plan to serve it.
My sister sent this recipe to me years ago with the added note that every time she made it for a gathering it always disappeared quickly and many had requested the recipe. The original recipe seems to be from a Pillsbury cookbook. Anyway, it’s a tried and true bar or cake recipe with most of the ingredients readily available. Swap the raisins for dried cranberries if you prefer.
The cream cheese icing takes these bars to the next level and adds an indulgent richness!
- 2 cups all purposed flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ½ cups chopped nuts
- ½ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup butter softened
- 1 4-ounce pkg. cream cheese softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350.F. Grease a 15"x10"x1" baking pan for bars, or a 13"x9"x2" cake pan.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except nuts and raisins; beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in nuts and raisins.
- Pour into a greased pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, if making bars, or 40 to 50 minutes if making the cake, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine all frosting ingredients; beat until smooth. Frost cooled bars. Store in refrigerator.