I’ve never called this dessert Gooey Bars. My sister Linda gave me the vanilla recipe back in the 80s and it was called Neiman Marcus Bars. I assumed it was sold or served at the famous department store. We didn’t have that store here Up North so it was a guess. My sister Linda gave me the recipe but has forgotten its history. No matter; we made it part of our holiday traditions.
We’ve made the original recipe for the holidays every year since the 80s. Sometimes two or three batches! We’ve never tired of it, partly because we only make and serve it on holidays.
This past year I finally tried a flavored version. There are many out there but pumpkin looked like a good bet. But I’m not calling it the gooey thing. That’s so overdone. They are Pumpkin Neumann Marcus Bars in our castle. Shame in you, Paula Dean!
There isn’t much pumpkin in the bars. Most of the new flavor comes from addition of the pumpkin pie spice. I posted my version of a DIY pumpkin pie spice recently, if like me you don’t buy it premixed.
To make the bottom layer of the bars I emptied a box of yellow cake mix into a large mixing bowl. I added pumpkin pie spice and mixed well. I added the stick of butter I had at room temp and two eggs. I mixed well and spread it into a 9×13-in pan.
I slowly added the powdered sugar and mixed just until it was all incorporated.
A pumpkin dessert bar with a layer of cake topped by a gooey cheesecake layer!
- 1 yellow cake mix
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 stick salted butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg
- 1 package cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
- 4 1/3 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9×13-in baking pan with parchment paper.
To make the crust, mix together the cake mix and pumpkin pie spice.
Add softened butter and 2 eggs, mixing well.
Spread the mixture into a 9z13-in baking pan.
To make the filling, beat together the egg, cream cheese, butter, and pumpkin purée.
Slowly add in the powdered sugar, mixing well.
Spread the filling onto the crust as a second layer.
Bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick comes out barely gooey.
Cool for 20 minutes on a rack.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top, cut into 24 pieces and serve.
Store covered in the refrigerator. They do freeze well if made ahead of time.
Adapted feom Adventures Of Time