Make It a Meal Monday: Marie’s Pumpkin Magic Bars

Ever notice how many family tradition is the basis for your holidays? From what you eat to where you celebrate, it starts to define your holiday routine. A few years ago, we started kicking Thanksgiving off by participating in the Gobble Wobble 5k followed by a phone call to my Grandmom to wish her a Happy Turkey Day. This year is our first holiday without her and it feels like something is missing.

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Bar Recipe

Good thing I have her turkey platter to place all my desserts especially today’s recipe.

Side note: If you’re wondering what I’m making– these bars, mini pumpkin pies, and pumpkin spice ice cream.

First a little background about why I chose Magic Square Bars—my Grandmom made these for every holiday and no one could ever make them as well as her. Maybe it was Grandmom magic but her were wonderful. Two years ago, Grandmom stopped cooking holiday meals and the lack of magic squares created a huge void for everyone.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I found a recipe for Pumpkin Magic Squares and knew it was meant to be. If I made the original recipe, it would never compare to Grandmom’s but if I put my own twist on it while paying homage to her staple dessert, all would be right in the world. She’s be proud of me for continuing on the tradition while making it my own.

Now without much ado–

Marie’s Pumpkin Magic Squares (based on Baker’s Royale recipe)

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Squares Recipe


  • 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 8 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
  • ¾ cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 11 ounces shredded golden apples (about two regular size apples)
  • 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup salted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Line a 9×13 pan with tin foil, leaving about an inch overhang.

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Squares Recipe

2. Combine your melted butter with graham cracker crumbs and mix.

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Squares Recipe3. Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of the lined pan.

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Squares Recipe

4. Sigh when you realize this will be a multiple bowl recipe.

5. Mix spices, sweetened condensed milk, and pumpkin.

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Squares Recipe

6. Pour over the graham cracker mixture.

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Squares Recipe

7. Bust out the food processor to chop your almonds.

8. Clean it out to shred your apples (please core first).

Side note: If you don’t have a food processor either add it to your Christmas Wishlist or use a cheese grater.

9. Sprinkle shredded apples over the pumpkin mixture. Then sprinkle chocolate chips. Followed by the nuts, topped with the coconut.

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Squares Recipe10. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. After 30 minutes, cover with tin foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Squares Recipe

11. Remove and let cool to room temperature.

12. Once at room temperature, place in the refrigerator to chill. Chill for a few hours before cutting.

13. Enjoy!

Marie's Pumpkin Magic Squares Recipe


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