As the autumn season approaches, the desire for cozy and comforting desserts starts to grow, and what better way to satisfy this craving than with mouthwatering pumpkin bars? Pumpkin bars are an irresistible treat that captures the essence of fall with their tender, moist texture and delightful pumpkin spice flavor.
Whether you’re new to baking, or a seasoned pro, this Pumpkin Bars recipe is simple and easy to follow, yet produces impressive results. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of making the perfect pumpkin bars – a delicacy that will warm your taste buds, and your home, throughout the season.
Using readily available ingredients like canned pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, and the quintessential pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, you’ll create an incredible dessert that you’ll be proud to serve to friends and family. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of pumpkin bars and elevate your autumn baking game.
To make delicious pumpkin bars, you’ll need the following ingredients:
|1 1/2 cups
For the cream cheese frosting, you’ll need:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Now that you have your ingredients ready, let’s move on to the preparation steps in the next section.
Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together 1 cup vegetable oil, 4 eggs, 2 cups granulated sugar, and 1, 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree until well combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the pumpkin bars to cool completely in the pan.
While the bars are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting. In a mixing bowl, beat together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 cups sifted powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
Once the pumpkin bars have cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top. If desired, sprinkle with chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts. Cut into bars and serve.
Before starting the baking process, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal of the pumpkin bars.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the following dry ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until the mixture is smooth and well-blended. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
While the pumpkin bars are baking, prepare the cream cheese frosting by combining:
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Whisk the frosting ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Once the pumpkin bars have cooled completely, spread the frosting over the top using a spatula or a piping bag. Finally, cut the pumpkin bars into squares and serve.
There are several ways to modify a classic pumpkin bars recipe to suit different tastes and dietary preferences:
- Gluten-free: Substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour for the regular flour in the recipe. This will provide the same consistency for those avoiding gluten.
- Vegan: Replace the eggs with a vegan egg substitute, such as flax or chia eggs, and use dairy-free cream cheese for the frosting. This will make the recipe suitable for plant-based diets.
- Low sugar: For a lower sugar option, you can reduce the sugar in the recipe by up to half or use a natural sweetener, like stevia or erythritol, in place of granulated sugar.
Besides these dietary modifications, you can also enhance the flavor profile or texture of your pumpkin bars with various other ingredients or toppings:
|Effect on Recipe
|Introduce additional spices, such as cardamom or ginger, to give the pumpkin bars more depth of flavor.
|Add chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds to the batter for extra crunch, or use them as a garnish on the frosting for a decorative and tasty touch.
|Stir in chocolate chips to the batter, or sprinkle on top of the frosting, to add a rich, chocolatey twist to the pumpkin bars.
Storage and Serving Suggestions
Pumpkin bars taste even more delicious when served at room temperature, but they will also keep very well for future consumption. To ensure that you make the most of your pumpkin bars, follow these helpful storage and serving suggestions:
Storing Pumpkin Bars:
- Allow the pumpkin bars to cool completely on a wire rack before storing.
- Keep them in an airtight container or tightly wrap them in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Store the bars at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- If you’d like to store the bars for an extended period, consider freezing them for up to 3 months.
- Let refrigerated bars to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
- For an extra touch of indulgence, serve the pumpkin bars with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- To create a visually appealing dessert platter, mix the pumpkin bars with other seasonal treats like apple turnovers or caramel apples.