Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
As I’m sitting at my desk typing this, the weather is showing itself to finally be Fall! This time of the year holds a special place in my heart; lovely parts of my life’s story had their start in the months of Fall. The Mr. and I began our relationship toward the end of Summer in 2000…but I have fond memories of the time we spent together in those early months of being young and in love. I can picture specific outdoors dates we had and the warm afternoon sun paired with falling crinkly leaves. During the first week in November 2002, we closed on our house and the night our friends helped us move was cold + rainy, but there was so much energy surrounding it! I remember cooking a big pot of chili at my parents’ house with a side of cornbread as thanks for everyone’s hard work in getting us moved in.
Food has such a wonderful way of taking us back to certain points in time, tying certain flavors to events in our lives. Pumpkin anything is invariably linked with the Fall season. We want it in our coffee, in our bread, and (for me) in the shape of a pie—even better if it’s all covered in a layer of fluffy, creamy frosting. Pumpkin bars are no exception. They make me think of outdoor festivals, a trip to the orchard, and church basements with tables of delicious food.
We were recently treated to dinner at the new (gorgeous) house of my cousin and his wife. We enjoyed a delicious Greek-infused dinner, followed by the most amazingly soft + sweet pumpkin bars with just a hint of spice that makes all the Fall foods magical. Dessert was accompanied by a lovingly-made mug of imaginary coffee by my sweet 2nd cousin. She made sure to ask what color (roast) we wanted, as well as whether the coffee should be hot or iced. I see a future barista in the making!
Since this recipe makes a lot, we were gifted some left-overs to take home and I can’t deny that they were gone the very next night! I enjoyed them so much…and know that you will too, friends!
The original recipe was found here.
What You’ll Need:
2 Cups White Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 (15oz) Can Pumpkin
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
¾ Teaspoon Salt
1 (8oz) Package Cream Cheese—Softened
1 Cup Butter—Softened
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Pinch Ground Cinnamon—For Dusting
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Step 2: Spray a large jelly roll pan with cooking spray
Step 3: In stand mixer—beat eggs, then add white sugar, vegetable oil, and pumpkin—mix for 2 minutes
Step 4: Mix flour, baking powder, 2 tsp cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in another bow. Beat flour mixture into egg mixture on low speed.
Step 5: Pour batter into your jelly roll pan
Step 6: Bake for 25 minutes in preheated oven (do the toothpick test and make sure it comes out clean!)
Step 7: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with a hand-mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar a bit at a time and mix until smooth
Step 8: Spread that tasty cream cheese frosting over the top of your cooled bars + sprinkle with pinch of cinnamon
Step 9: Enjoy + share!