I should have added “To Die For” to the title of this blog post, because seriously these pumpkin bars are that good. They are moist and soft with a maple cream cheese frosting that puts them over the top. I think I like these even a little more than my pumpkin cream cheese muffins.
These pumpkin bars are exactly what I envision when I close my eyes and think of Fall. Add to that picture a cozy blanket and a cup of chai tea and this girl’s in paradise. I am so ready to say goodbye to the 90 degree temps, hopefully sometime this month. I’ll be doing a whole lot more fall baking when it does.
This maple cream cheese frosting is AMAZING!
I’m kind of excited about sharing this with you, because these are the first pictures taken with my new camera. I still have a lot of settings, bells and whistles to figure out, but am very happy with these initial shots. What do you think?
My Mom, Laura, suggested we add some sugared pecans to the tops of the pumpkin bars and it was totally the right call. I love that bit of crunch that they add. This recipe is perfect for a big crowd. When baked in a large jelly roll size pan, you can easily get 24 large bars. It’s a rather rich dessert, so you could get away with cutting smaller pieces and doubling that number.
I was feeling a bit under the weather last week, and must say that making these pumpkin bars with maple cream cheese frosting has certainly brightened my mood. How could they not?
The frosting has just a hint of the maple flavor. I was afraid to put too much maple syrup into the frosting, lest ruin the consistency. If you’re looking for a stronger maple flavor, I recommend adding a little maple extract in addition to the maple syrup. Not too much though.
Pumpkin Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 can pumpkin (15 oz.)
2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp dried ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together together oil, eggs, sugar and pumpkin.
Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
Pour mixture into a greased 12 x 17 jelly roll pan.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add maple syrup, vanilla, and powdered sugar; continue beating until well combined and smooth.
Spread frosting evenly over pumpkin bars, and cut into squares.
Optionally, top with candied pecans.
Candied Pecans: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 12 inch skillet. Add 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, stir and cook over medium heat until it begins to bubble and sugar is dissolved. Add pecans, toss and stir for about two minutes. Spread pecans on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a single layer, bake at 350 for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
Inspired by a recipe found at Farm Flavor.