pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting
A few weeks ago for a choir potluck, my friend Emily made these rockin’ pumpkin bars. I took a few home, but of course they promptly disappeared. So a week later, I decided to make a batch of my own!
I thought about making a more creative frosting, but some classics are meant to be untouched. So behold — a simple recipe for classic pumpkin bars (or cake!), topped with some decadent cream cheese frosting. They are super-simple, and if you’d like, you can even substitute in white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. I tried it and mine were still wonderfully moist.
Definitely a great recipe for a pumpkin craving…and always a crowd pleaser!
- 4 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat flour)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, storebought or homemade
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- toasted walnuts or pecans (whole or chopped)
- additional sifted powdered sugar
To Make Pumpkin Bars:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin on medium speed until light and fluffy.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix. Spread the batter into the prepared 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
To Make Cream Cheese Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars. Top with nuts or additional sifted powdered sugar if desired.
Feel free to also mix in 2/3 cup of your favorite chopped nuts into the batter as well!
Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, originally from Paula Dean.