I’m always excited when we go to a family gathering and someone has made pumpkin bars for dessert. They’re so tasty, and the cream cheese icing is the perfect accompaniment.
I once branched out and made an intriguing pumpkin bar recipe from The Naptime Chef that included maple syrup in the icing. And friends, I did not look back. The recipe below is our family-favorite bars, modified slightly, and with the inclusion of maple syrup in the icing. Feel free to leave it out – they’ll still be delicious! – but if you like maple, give it a shot. You won’t be sorry.
What you need:
For the pumpkin bars:
- 2 c. flour
- 2 t. baking powder (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 t. ginger
- 1/4 t. allspice
- 1/4 t. nutmeg
- 1 t. salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. sugar
- 2/3 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. oil, or 1/2 c. oil + 1/2 c. applesauce
- 16 oz. can pumpkin
For the maple cream cheese icing:
- 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 t. vanilla (store-bought or homemade)
- 3 c. confectioner’s sugar
- 3 T. maple syrup
- medium bowl and whisk
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- measuring cups and spoons
- 13″x9″ baking dish
Time: 15 minutes prep +
Freezeable: Un-iced bars are freezeable. After icing, don’t freeze them.
Serves: A crowd, maybe 24.
Multiplying the recipe: Bake each batch in a separate pan.
Pumpkin Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Icing:
To make the bars: Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugars, oil, and pumpkin. Beat until light and fluffy.
Add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer bowl and mix thoroughly. Spread the batter in a 13″x9″ baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
To make the icing: Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and maple syrup. Slowly add the sugar, beating until the mixture is smooth.
Frost the bars. Store frosted bars, covered, in the refrigerator.