Make Pumpkin Bars With Foster Grandchildren


The Best Treat for September or Fall

September has always been my favorite month of the year and “Pumpkin Bars” one of the best treats. Here is a favorite recipe I received from a coworker over 40 years ago and one that is fun to prepare with the help of children or grandchildren.


1 No. 303 can pumpkin (16 oz) 1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar 2 tsp baking powder
1 cup oil ¼ tsp salt
4 eggs 2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour 1 cup nuts, if desired.

Stir together pumpkin, eggs, sugar and oil. Sift in flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Pour into a large sided lightly greased cookie sheet (15 x 10 x 2 inch). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes.


3 oz cream cheese
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
¾ Tbsp butter
1 ¾ cup powdered sugar

Cream together cream cheese, milk, vanilla and butter. Stir in powdered sugar and beat with mixer until smooth. Frost cooled bars and refrigerate until chilled.


This Recipe is Perfect for Kids

Grandkids can help measure and stir together the ingredients for the bars. This portion of the recipe doesn’t require a mixer and can be stirred by hand. Most kids love to stir and stir with a big spoon.

Ideas for Conversation and Bonding

  • The stirring of the mixture can remind us of the kids blending into our family and adding the spice symbolizes the “spice” they add to our lives.
  • Think about telling the kids the positive ways that they add to the family.
  • Let the kiddos observe how many ingredients mix together to become ONE mixture just like a family can be made up people from various places and be made into one great family.

While the bars bake there is time to prepare the frosting. Be sure to let the bars cool well before frosting them. There might even be time to share a favorite story or poem like one of my favorites by Helen Hunt Jackson.


The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.
The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.
The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook.
From dewy lanes at morning
the grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.
By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.
But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.
‘T is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.

“September” originally printed in Poems (Roberts Brothers, 1892).
This poem is in the public domain.


Written by
Maxine is the mother of two grown children and grandma to seven grandchildren. Four of her grandchildren have been adopted out of the foster care system. Maxine currently lives in Quincy, Illinois with her husband Don.

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