Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

September 22, 2011

We might as well christen this pumpkin week over in the Espresso and Cream kitchen. In addition to eating it non-stop in Healthy Pumpkin Butter form, I’ve also been baking with canned pumpkin.

Joey grew up with a mom who frequently had a pan of bars in some shape and form sitting around the house for hungry boys to eat. And every now and again, I like to recreate this in our home, too. Last month it was Banana Sheet Cake and this month’s version is Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Of course, anything with cream cheese frosting is a hit in my book, but these bars are especially tasty and moist thanks to the canned pumpkin. As the days went by, the bars actually started to taste better, similar to the banana bread phenomenon. I would say that if you’re thinking of making them to bring somewhere, a day or two ahead of time would yield fantastic results.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted slightly from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

Cake Batter
*4 eggs
*1 2/3 cups sugar
*1 cup vegetable oil
*1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1 cup whole wheat flour
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon baking soda

*8 ounce cream cheese, softened
*1/2 cup butter, softened
*2 cups sifted powdered sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*Preheat oven to 350Ā°F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
*In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin puree. Beat on medium heat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
*In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients for the cake batter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat until just combined. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.
*Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Beat until smooth. Spread atop the bars and cut into squares.

Happy Baking!


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  • Sounds delicious!

  • these look perfectly moist and pumpkiny – my favorite! and I agree, anything with cream cheese frosting is basically the best thing ever.

  • We’re so making these. The pantry’s been stocked with pumpkin and we are so ready for fall baking – these look sublime!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Fall baking is just so much fun! Sad to see summer produce go but pumpkin is helping ease the pain. šŸ™‚

  • These look amazing. I love the combo of pumpkin and cream cheese in baked goods. This looks incredibly moist. Yum!

    • MadisonMayberry

      Pumpkin and cream cheese is the best combo. Although pumpkin and peanut butter comes in a close second in my book!

  • I LOVE pumpkin baked goods and anything sweet cream cheese is amazing If you could go ahead and send me a few, that would be fabulous. Based on what you said, the few days they would spend in transit would just add to the deliciousness.

    • MadisonMayberry

      I like the way you think, Megan! I think we should have a giant blogger baked goods swap. We could all send one another something, sorta like those chain letters people used to send? šŸ™‚

  • Putting this on my pumpkin list! šŸ™‚

    • MadisonMayberry

      Let me know how it turns out if you end up making them. šŸ™‚

  • This is calling my name! I’m so addicted to pumpkin everything right now.

    • MadisonMayberry

      You and me both!

  • esther@thatswhatshesaid

    oh YUM. These look insanely delicious! Thank you for positng Madison. I can’t wait to try these out with a hot cup of coffee šŸ™‚

  • Nattymcglynn

    Love pumpkin and love cream cheese frosting. Delish!

  • Bettina

    Made them last night – delicious! Thanks for the recipe

  • Ambermkuiper

    These were DELICIOUS! Jake and I enjoyed them last night and plan to continue to all week long! šŸ™‚

  • Looks mouth watering good! Yowza!

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