Posted by: littlebitofparadise | November 16, 2012

Friday Favorites: Thanksgiving Dessert

I love when a recipe becomes as much a part of family get-togethers as family itself…a special concoction handed down through generations that’s expected at a specific holiday or feast day; one that’s talked about and looked forward to and enjoyed each and every year. It speaks to the power food has to draw us closer together, to create memories, and strengthen common bonds.

In my mother’s family, the item that’s always present at every Thanksgiving table is on the dessert sidebar. It’s a recipe for pumpkin bars, and my 30-ish cousins and I think of them as our Mormor’s (Sweedish for Grandmother) pumpkin bar recipe. I have no idea who originally came up with this recipe. You can find dozens of very similar ones on Pinterest or Food Network. But this one is so moist, so pumpkin-y and Fall-ish, and creamy with the frosting. It couldn’t be more balanced and perfect in every way.

In our family, it’s this specific recipe that we all grow up with, look forward to, and treasure about Thanksgiving. If some of the cousins can’t be together for Thanksgiving, this is the recipe we talk about via phone, text or email on Thanksgiving. “Did you make pumpkin bars at your house?” “Duh! Of COURSE we made pumpkin bars!” 

I feel like I’m sharing a dear old familiar friend with you today by posting this recipe. I hope you enjoy. But most of all, I hope you find as much joy and happiness in your own Thanksgiving table as the aunts and uncles and cousins and grandchildren will around ours next week, topping off the feast with a wide variety of desserts, to be sure. But everyone will have a pumpkin bar. Guaranteed.

Happy Friday y’all!

*** Mormor’s Pumpkin Bars *** 

1 cup oil

2 cups pumpkin puree

3 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 c. sugar

2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

Blend ingredients in large bowl with electric mixer. Pour into a greased and floured 10 x 15 jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 mins. Cool, then frost.


8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 tsp. vanilla

1 stick melted butter

2 1/2 cups powerdered sugar.

Cream with an electric mixer, spread, and ENJOY!



  1. Lauren would be proud of this post. However, you forgot that you have to sprinkle a bit of cinnamon over the top. 🙂 They are NOT pumpkin bars without the cinnamon. 😉 Can’t wait to see you next week!

    • Can’t wait to see you either cuz! And eat pumpkin bars together!! 🙂 xoxo

  2. I made these tonight for our family dinner tomorrow! (I snuck a bite and) they’re really tasty- Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  3. […] first is my grandmother’s famous Pumpkin Bars (recipe here). They are insanely delicious. I’m making a double batch of them today and we’re […]

  4. […] My Grandmother’s famous pumpkin bars recipe is the base, with 12 chocolate gluten free cupcakes on top to form the “tree”. […]

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