Pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting are an ideal way to use pumpkins from your home garden. They also provide beta-carotene, vitamin A and potassium, all of which pumpkins have in abundance. If necessary, you can use canned pureed pumpkin. Most grocery stores consider this a seasonal product, however, so it may be difficult to locate except in the fall. This recipe yields approximately 24 pumpkin bars.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Beat the eggs in a separate mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar, vegetable oil and pureed pumpkin to the eggs. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix well with a fork or whisk. Do not use an electric mixer.
Pour the batter into a lightly greased baking pan. Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before adding the frosting.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl. Cream together using an electric mixer on medium speed.
Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture. Beat with the mixer until the frosting has a smooth, spreadable consistency.
Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled pumpkin cake, and then cut into 24 equally sized bars, about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long. Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired.