Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Bars2 2014 003

It’s probably hard to imagine that I love pumpkin – because I think this might just be the first recipe I’ve ever posted using it!  I ran across these pumpkin bars while going through a stash of old family recipes, and I was going on and on about how soft, moist, and delicious they were when I was a kid and how my mom used to make them – until my kids gave me a crazy look.

So I decided to bake them for a dinner party this past weekend and take a trip down memory lane – I did however, take the liberty of substituting my favorite cream cheese frosting.

And while my kids thought these were good, my husband loved them.  These are super moist, soft, and full of cinnamon flavor – make them this fall!

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Adapted from an old family recipe

1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spray an 11 x 17 inch pan with nonstick spray and line with a sheet of parchment.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon until combined.  Whisk in the melted butter.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

Whisk in the baking soda and baking powder.  Add in the flour and stir until combined.  Add in the chopped pecans, if using.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely in the pan, then frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 heaping cups of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until creamy.  Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.  Spread on the cooled cake and refrigerate.

*The secret to getting clean cuts on your bars is to cut them after they’ve been refrigerated and to clean the knife in between cuts!


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