Pumpkin Bars with Boiled Frosting

It’s been quiet here. Not literally, because there are always kids yelling and stomping; but nothing very interesting has happened, so I’ve decided to make my own excitement by planning a mid-August trip to Las Vegas. If you have any Vegas tips, send them my way. I’ve never been and am enjoying the process of making plans. I’m taking my mom, who went once but stayed at a bad hotel, didn’t gamble, and just didn’t have any fun, period. She’s pretty excited about this trip, so I need to plan well.

pumpkin bars

So what does Las Vegas have to do with cookies? Absolutely nothing! Then again, maybe it does. See, I’ve been gambling with recipes – trying strange things with tofu and protein powder…messing around with recipes that haven’t been tested and trying to come up with my own. I’ve blown a lot of money in the kitchen this week and needed to make something tried and true. Enter this recipe. I took it from my American Century Cookbook
cookbook written by the intrepid and brilliant Jean Anderson who says the recipe was developed by White Lily – the company that makes the soft wheat flour.
The only changes I made were to halve the recipe, bake it in a 9 inch square pan and add frosting. If you plan to make this for a big group, double it and bake it in a 15×10 inch pan. These bars are dense, moist, soft and cake-like. Pumpkin bars are the perfect excuse to whip up a batch of the exciting boiled frosting we talked about earlier, but would also be good frosted with a basic cream cheese frosting. Or, you can serve them as is.

Pumpkin Bars with Boiled Frosting

1 cup sifted all purpose flour, spooned and swept carefully
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin (canned)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup toasted walnut pieces

Boiled Frosting:
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
8 tablespoons butter (salted) add pinch of salt if using unsalted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line a 9 inch metal pan with Release foil or spray with cooking spray.

Stir or sift together the pre-sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, stir together pumpkin, eggs, sugar and oil. Beat until well mixed.

Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Stir in toasted walnuts. Spread batter in pan and bake for 25 minutes or until cake springs back and seems done.
Let cool on a rack While cake is cooling, begin preparing the icing.

In a small but heavy saucepan, whisk together flour and milk. Turn heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and becomes gravy-like. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Beat in cooled milk/flour mixture then beat and beat and beat with an electric mixer until the graininess goes away.

Spread over bars. Cut however many you want…..I cut 16 really small pieces, but 12 is more practical.

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  1. says

    My family did Las Vegas exactly the way your mom did, except we splurged on one night each in the Mirage and Monte Carlo (which is being renovated right now, by the way, so I wouldn’t book there). It was pretty ghastly as a whole, so I don’t recommend it. On the positive side, be sure to stake out a good spot to watch the Bellagio fountain show (preferably at night) and stay for a few rounds, since there are several routines they cycle through periodically.

  2. says

    We stayed at the Stratosphere. It was HUGE!! After a few days we checked out and found a Motel 6 that we could park our car in front of the door and not walk a million miles to. Make sure and go to the Ethel M Chocolate Factory if you have a chance. It’s very interesting and you get FREE chocolate 🙂

  3. sandra says

    I’ve never been to Las Vegas either but we are hoping to go in 2008. Some of the things I want to visit when I’m there are the M&Ms store, the fountain at the Bellagio and Bally’s Jubilee has a back stage tour.

  4. says

    My one tip is to eat the buffet at the Bellagio. I normally hate buffets, especially crap food vegas buffets. The bellagio is 5*. I waited on the que for 3hrs on thanksgiving a few yrs ago to eat there. The breakfast is great too and it was 12.99. Its probably gone up since though, but its a great buffet.

  5. says

    Hi Jen! Thanks for stopping by. We’re staying at the Bellagio, so we will definitely catch the fountain show. My mom’s pretty excited about that.

    Brenda, if we can, we’ll fit the chocolate factory in. I totally forgot about that. As for Stratosphere, I’m going to save that place for when I go back with Todd. We both want to try the thrill rides.

    Sandra, for some reason, I thought you’d been. It’s such a popular place to go now. I think they’ve geared it more towards women and since women travel alone (and in groups) now, it’s becoming a more trendy and popular place for women and men.

    Randi, good tip on the buffet! I have all the meals planned out, but will try to hit the buffet at lunch.

    My big issue right now is choosing between a restaurant called Mesa Grill or N9ne at The Palms. There are so many great options….it’s completely overwhelming.

  6. Emilie says

    I think Mesa Grill, because I LOVE Bobby Flay. You guys should have a cookie throwdown.

  7. Marcy says

    I stumbled upon your web-site by accident last night, and ended up looking at your recipes for at least an hour. Quite the collection! You should open up a bakery. I was looking for a moist pumpkin bread to bring to a girl’s luncheon today. Instead I ended up making your Pumpkin Bars. I added a Tablespoon more of the canned pumpkin, and I frosted it with a cream cheese frosting. They were moist, and wonderful. I also made the Banana Bars, which I was told were good too. Thanks for the recipes. I look forward to making more of your picks.
    Marcy in Cincinnati 🙂

  8. Cheryl says

    I had some bananas I needed to use so I substituted the pumpkin and put in 1 cup of smashed banana instead. They are great!

  9. Emily says

    It is pumpkin season, so I made my first pumpkin dessert! These were DELICIOUS!! I did adapt a bit though.

    My changes:
    1/4 c blood orange olive oil
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp all spice
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1 large egg and 1 large egg white

    They are super good and I will definitely be making them again:)

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