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Vandal Spirit Pumpkin Bars

By Robin Cobb and Lauren Smith

This easy to prepare dish is a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving table! The silky smooth pumpkin that rests on a crunchy chocolate and graham cracker crust is sure to delight all Vandal fans. Guests will love the gold pumpkin filling and the chocolate crust black accent color. You will take comfort in knowing that all these ingredients are likely to be found in your pantry. Spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your fellow Vandal friends and family.

  • Oven: 350˚F 
  • Bake: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 
  • Portion: 2x2 inch bars


  • 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese softened
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x9 inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/3 cup sugar. Stir in the 1/3 cup melted butter. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and the 1-3/4 cups sugar. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Beat in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt until combined. Remove 1 cup of the mixture.
  3. In a microwaveable bowl, combine 1 cup chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons of butter. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and then microwave for another 20 seconds. Whisk chocolate mixture into the 1 cup pumpkin mixture. Pour over crust, spreading evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Carefully pour the remaining pumpkin mixture over baked chocolate layer, spreading evenly. Bake 45 minutes more or until filling is puffed and center is set
  5. Optional: Drizzle chocolate over-top.

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