I found hundreds of recipes with so many variations for pumpkin bars. None of them seemed to be what I was looking for. I wanted a heavy moist bar that was not at all cake like. The recipes I looked at all had egg in them which will make them more cake like.
Years ago my mother made some carrot bars from a recipe given to her from a church lady in 1976. They were wonderful. Moist and heavy. I decided to modify that recipe into what I wanted for my pumpkin bars. I also didn't want a heavy thick frosting for the bars so I made half as much cream cheese frosting.
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Whisk together oil, vanilla and pumpkin.
Whisk in sugar.
Mix in salt, spice and baking soda.
Add flour all at once. Mix well.
Blend in pecans.
Spread mixture into greased 9x13 pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool. Then frost with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces softened cream cheese
4 tablespoons softened margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla.
Mix in powdered sugar until well blended.
Carefully spin the majority of the frosting of the beaters, remove beaters and lick. This is to make sure that the frosting tastes good.
Spread on cooled bars.
Final verdict: These turned out almost like I had hoped. I think I would like more pumpkin and will increase it to 1 cup next time. All in all they were scrumptious!