I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for almost five years and have yet to feature a recipe for Pumpkin Bars. Well, as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve finally created one that I’m excited to share. I actually made these last week, but thought I’d wait until September to blog about them. After all, September is the start of Pumpkin-Flavored-Everything-Season.
As you can imagine, there are a million pumpkin bar recipes out there. After looking at several of the “best” recipes, I came up with my own. It’s based in part on one of the classic recipes from Better Homes and Gardens.
After owning a B&B for five years and cooking up lots of pumpkin-related items for breakfast, I’ve learned something about baking with pumpkin. Here’s the secret – it’s all about the spices. No matter how much pumpkin puree you include in your recipe, that really fabulous pumpkin flavor comes from the spices.
Whenever, I’m baking something with pumpkin, I always include cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice. I’ve found that this combination gives the best flavor. If you want to ensure a really good fall flavor, makes sure to add in all those spices. Okay?
These particular pumpkin bars have pecans on top of the frosting. Feel free to leave them off or use walnuts, candy corn, or whatever makes you happy. I know some folks are picky about nuts in / on things, so that part is up to you. Even a dusting of cinnamon on top would be nice for a little added garnish.
I’m so pleased with the way these turned out. A friend of mine gave them a 10 out of 10. Give them a try and let me know what you think.
I’m pretty sure this is the best way to kick off Pumpkin-Flavored-Everything-Season!
Here's what you will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped for garnish (optional)
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Then grease and flour a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
In a stand mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer), beat the butter for about one minute. Then beat in the sugar until light and fluffy (about two more minutes). Add eggs, pumpkin, sour cream, milk and vanilla; beat until combined. (It's OK if your batter looks curdled or separated.) Add in your flour mixture and beat until just combined.
Spread the mixture evenly into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
For the frosting, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Continue beating until the frosting is smooth.