Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Favorite Fall Recipe: Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting

 Fall is my favorite season and I love it when the air turns cool and crisp and the leaves flame yellow and red and crunch loudly when you step on them.  I also love fall because it's a great time to bake!  These pumpkin bars are quickly becoming a fall and Thanksgiving tradition as I am not a fan of pumpkin pie for some reason (blasphemy I know) but will gladly eat my weight in pumpkin bars.  Perhaps it's because it's a nice dense cake, more so because of the cream cheese frosting.

I used Paula Deen's recipe and just tweaked it a little (I mean, I love butter too but you have to save it for where it counts)

Ingredients for the pumpkin bars:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (this was my substitute for more oil, I keep little individual serving cups around to use for baking)
  • one 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients for the icing:
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter (bingo!)
  • 1 lb sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin until light and fluffy
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda after sifting 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth
  • Spread the batter in an ungreased nonstick 13 by 10 inch baking pan (I'm paranoid so I always spray with olive oil and I used a glass pan that was a bit smaller so my bars came out taller) 
  • Bake for 30 minutes (this is about right on target) 
  • Let cool completely before frosting. (this is hard to do!  I find putting it in the fridge helps some) 
  • To make the icing: Combine the softened cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth
  • Add the sugar (slowly or it'll create a sugary cloud) and mix at low speed until smooth
  • Stir in the vanilla and mix again
  • Spread on cooled pumpkin bars and enjoy!

Here they are right out of the oven

Topped with a cloud of cream cheese icing

The cake is really moist from the pumpkin and applesauce and I really like the light flavor that the cinnamon brings.  If you like a more spiced cake, you can use more spices (cloves, nutmeg, etc.)

This recipe is part of Prettymommy's brilliant fall recipe exchange!

This week's schedule:
Monday: Jennifer posted an amazing hot chocolate recipe
Tuesday: Yours truly with a pumpkin bar recipe
Wednesday: Danielle at Domestic Dish will be whipping something up
Thursday: Miya at You Plus Me Equals is up next
Friday: Rhonda will finish out the week with Sweet Potato Delights


  1. I could eat cream cheese frosting by the spoonful. Yum!

  2. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    (nuff said:)

  3. I will be giving this recipe to DH! It looks delicious and I love the idea of cream cheese frosting. It hit 93 yesterday though, so we may wait a while to turn on the oven :)

  4. I need to make these, but like Desert Flower, it is HOT outside and I'm postponing fall for a bit. At least until I can turn my AC off.