Pumpkin Nut Bars – Just in Time for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I’m already craving pumpkin desserts. In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated during the first week of October while my family in the states will celebrate it in November. With two Thanksgiving approaching, I am in Thanksgiving (and pumpkin) bliss.

I have a stack of pumpkin recipes from family and friends which I usually try to make each year. I somehow never get through all of the recipes. There’s one in particular that I’ve never made and it’s been sitting around for many, many years. The recipe has a pumpkin pie type of base but is then topped with a prepared cake mix, butter and pecans. The result is an easy pumpkin nut bar recipe.

A couple weeks ago, I broke down and bought a pre-holiday can of pumpkin (i.e. at a much higher price than it will soon be selling for) in order to try out this recipe. I made it late at night using a butter substitute to cut out calories. I was tired and cranky when it came from the oven, so I didn’t photograph it.

I refrigerated the dessert overnight and cracked into it with my fork the next day. The pumpkin had set up and the topping firm, but sweet. I ate a few bites, then a few more. I loved the taste but still wasn’t impressed with the look of the topping. I wanted it to look more streusel-like when in reality it became more homogeneous looking. Once again, I opted not to photograph it.

By the second day, I had nibbled quite a few bites. I found myself unable to stop eating the dessert and decided that I must share it with everyone, regardless of how hacked up it was at this point.

Pumpkin Nut Bars Recipe Using Cake Mix

In showing the photo, I must also admit that I ate most of it right from the pan. I’m sure you’ve noticed the fork marks in the baking dish and that the dessert isn’t cut into bars as it should be. Consider it a case of recipe testing, it’s meant to be enjoyed by the creator and not by guests.

Regardless of my issues with the topping, I will make it again. It’s easy. It’s delicious. And most importantly, it’s really good for breakfast ;-)

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  1. Lol, I love that you are eating it right from the pan, it must be good. I heard there is a shortage of canned pumpkin filling right now & people are having a really tough time finding it.

  2. I just open a can of pumpkin also to make muffins. Could not wait. It’s the time of the year that I want to eat all of the great pumpkin desserts. Those bars look so yummy.

  3. I love pumpkin. I totally understand what you mean about not wanting to photograph a recipe and then realizing I ate most of the dish right out of the pan. Even though the topping didn’t turn out the way you wanted, it’s still a cute photo.

  4. I’m still getting used to the idea of pumpkin desserts, but I was converted by some pumpkin pie I had when I was in San Francisco- and it was from Costco, no less… (Sue me, my host family bought it, how could I refuse?!) Now I’m itching to try my hand at them! By the way, the topping looks lovely to me, but I gotta give you a spanking for eating half of the dish :P Bad Allen! :)

  5. OK, it was that second picture that almost upended me. YUM! And we just got a small pie pumpkin from our CSA this week. I was going to grill it as a side vegetable, but maybe it has a more illustrious future in store.

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