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With the official start to Fall just a few days away, our thoughts (and appetites) have turned to comfort food like these cake-y cool weather bars.

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Breakfast at Nine, Tea at Four: Favorite Recipes from Cape May’s Mainstay Inn. My mom gave me the book; she and my dad stayed a the Inn several times, and Scott and I have also stayed there.
Photos of Mainstay Inn and Cottage, Cape May
This photo of Mainstay Inn and Cottage is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a bar pan.

Bar Ingredients: 4 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, one 16-ounce can solid packed pumpkin, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Icing Ingredients: 4 ounces softened cream cheese, 6 tablespoons softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups confectioner’s sugar.

Beat the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin together in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining (dry) ingredients. Pour into prepared bar pan and cook 20 minutes or till top springs back to the touch. Allow to cool.

Using a mixer, combine the icing ingredients until creamy. Top the cooled bars (in pan) with icing – cut and serve.

** Full disclosure —  other batches I’ve made over the years have been much more “bar-like” — Evan and I worked on these together, and we beat the batter till it was almost whipped. I think that explains the much fluffier cake-height bars this time. ***