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Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

These cake-type bars are moist and delicious, similar to carrot cake but with a fall flavor. The rich cream cheese frosting will also remind you of carrot cake — which isn't a bad thing! Do toast the walnuts before using them; toasting brings out their nutty essence.

Baking gluten-free? For great results, substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe; no other changes needed.

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At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
4 dozen 2" squares, or 3 dozen 2" x 3" bars
Nutrition information

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Cake

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins, or 1/2 cup golden raisins and 1/2 cup ginger mini-chips

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup toasted walnut pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a large rimmed half-sheet pan, about 18" x 13"; or line the pan with greased parchment. Note: to make these bars in a 9" x 13" pan, see "tips," below left.
  2. Beat the oil and the sugars together until well blended.
  3. Beat in the eggs, then the pumpkin purée.
  4. Stir the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spice into the wet ingredients, then stir in the flour, beating gently to combine.
  5. Stir in the nuts and raisins/ginger.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it onto a rack to finish cooling; or leave it right in the pan, if you've lined the pan with parchment.
  8. To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together.
  9. Beat in the maple syrup, then mix in the confectioners' sugar and salt. Adjust the consistency of the frosting with additional maple syrup or confectioners' sugar, if necessary; it should be nicely spreadable.
  10. Frost the bars and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts. Once the frosting has set somewhat, cut into squares or rectangles.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 46g
  • Servings Per Batch 48
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 170
  • Calories from Fat 80
  • Total Fat 10g
  • Saturated Fat 2g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 25mg
  • Sodium 90mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 21g
  • Dietary Fiber 1g
  • Sugars 16g
  • Protein 2g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.