Pumpkin Bars with Old-Fashioned Caramel Frosting

Once upon a time, I made a caramel frosting using a recipe from 1980.

This is a true story, by the way. I only tell true stories.

After I poured the frosting all over my face freshly baked pumpkin bars, I went in for the first taste test. That’s not counting the taste test(s) that happened while the butter and sugar were melting in the saucepan.

Frosting + pumpkin bar  -> mouth.

Be still my beating heart.

Pumpkin bar topped with this old-fashioned caramel frosting.

I’m not trying to ignore the goodness of the pumpkin bars, but there is nothing quite like melted butter and brown sugar frosting that is somehow both creamy and glazey at the same time. It was made to go with pumpkiny cinnamony goodness. W-o-w.

Maybe pumpkin bars aren’t your thing. Which makes me wonder, who the heck are you?  That’s a sad story.

Maybe you’re in love with cream cheese frosting. Get.over.it.

This old-fashioned caramel frosting?  I won’t take no for an answer.

You need to make it, like, yesterday.

Pumpkin bar topped with this old-fashioned caramel frosting on a plate with a fork.


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These pumpkin bars are moist and so addicting when topped with this old-fashioned caramel frosting. Always a crowd-pleaser!

  1. Mix together bar ingredients (brown sugar through melted butter), adding melted butter last. Pour into a 10 1/2 by 16 inch pan. Bake at 350 until the cake springs back when lightly touched, about 40 minutes.
  2. For the frosting, boil the butter and brown sugar for two minutes. Add the milk. Bring it to a boil again and add powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth and pour over cooled cake immediately. Frosting will set very fast, so just pour it over the cake evenly to avoid having to spread with a spatula.


I halved the recipe and made it in a smaller pan – still works beautifully! But it was gone way too fast.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pumpkin bars, caramel glaze, pumpkin dessert

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Sorry for posting back-to-back sweet baked recipes.

But not really.

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