One of my favourite fall recipes is the delicious pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. It’s simply irresistible, and once you’ve had it, you would not just want it in the fall but in every season.
I recently added Banana Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting to the blog list, and you guys loved it. I decided to bring the Pumpkin Bars recipe as well. It’s soft, moist, and the tangy cream cheese frosting gives a nice pop to the dessert.
The dessert is made with homemade pumpkin puree, wherein the pumpkin is baked along with cinnamon and cloves. This gives it a pleasant flavour and aroma, making it a perfect fall/winter dessert.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe?
- Unique Dessert: Pumpkin is highly underrated, but I love using it for desserts. And surprisingly, there are some classic desserts like pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. The sweet taste of pumpkin gives a unique flavour to the dessert. When paired with cream cheese frosting, these bars make for a perfect comfort dessert.
- Homemade Pumpkin Puree: This recipe is made using homemade pumpkin puree that too where pumpkin is baked with cinnamon and cloves. Many times, people use canned pumpkin puree, or even if it is homemade, it’s generally simple without seasoning. Baking the pumpkin with cinnamon and cloves gives it a better taste and aroma.
- Comfort Dessert: After banana bread, I find these pumpkin bars as my solace for comfort food. They are packed with warm and subtle flavours, which makes them enjoyable any time, any day.
Important Ingredients Used In The Recipe
- Baked Pumpkin Puree: use good quality pumpkin as it is the main ingredient that provides the dessert with its very essence and look. The baked pumpkin puree gives a charred yet sweet flavour. It also helps to keep the bars moist.
- Flour: For the best tasting experience, make this dessert using all-purpose flour only. The flour provides the proper structure and stability.
- Rising Agents: Both baking powder and baking soda are used in the recipe. They provide the appropriate rise and softness these bars need.
- Eggs: Eggs provide not only rise to the dessert but also keep them moist and soft. It helps blend all ingredients together, making a smooth batter.
- Cream Cheese: Use cream cheese from a good brand like Philadelphia or dairy craft. Look for the right texture of cream cheese; it shouldn’t be loose or watery.
- Various Spices: Spices like cinnamon, cloves, and Nutmeg are used to flavour the pumpkin bars. These spices complement the pumpkin as well as the cream cheese frosting, taking the dessert to another level.
How To Make Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting
Preparation: Collect all ingredients for making the bars and cream cheese frosting. Preheat the oven to 180C (OTG mode: upper rod + lower rod + fan). Grease and line a 7-inch square aluminium tin with butter paper and oil.
Method for Baked Pumpkin
Chop Pumpkin: Peel and chop the yellow pumpkin into small pieces. Roughly dice them.
Prepare: Transfer the pumpkin to a lined tray along with cinnamon sticks and cloves. Cover the tray with aluminium foil.
Bake: put the tray for baking at 180C (OTG mode: upper rod + lower rod + fan) for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pumpkin becomes soft.
Cool and Blend: Let the tray cool down first. Remove the foil and transfer only the soft pumpkin to a blender along with water. Blend this until you get a smooth paste/puree.
Method For Pumpkin Bars
Creaming: Cream butter and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy. Use an electric beater for better results.
Add Eggs and Vanilla Extract: Add eggs and vanilla extract to the creamed butter-sugar mixture. Mix this well until the eggs are fully incorporated.
Sift Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, Nutmeg powder and salt. Give this a stir.
Make Batter: Now take pumpkin puree and dry ingredients mixture and add it to the creamed butter-egg mixture in 3-4 batches. Add puree first, followed by dry ingredients, and combine until you get a smooth, lump-free batter.
Bake: Transfer the batter to the lined square tin and bake it at 180C (OTG mode: Lower rod only) for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted at the centre.
Method For Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat Butter: Take unsalted softened butter in a mixing bowl and beat it until it gets fluffy and aerated.
Add Icing Sugar: Sieve icing sugar and add it to the butter in batches. Beat until the entire sugar is combined.
Add Cream Cheese: Soften the cream cheese first in a bowl and then add it to the butter-sugar mixture. Fold it in and ensure it has combined thoroughly.
Add Salt And Vanilla Extract: Lastly, add the salt and vanilla extract and give it a final mix.
Method For Assembly
Demould The Cake: Once the pumpkin cake has cooled completely, De-mould it and place it on the chopping board or your work surface.
Pipe Cream Cheese Frosting: Pipe and spread cream cheese frosting on the top of the cake.
Cut it into Bars: Cut the cake into nine equal parts/ squares. These will be your pumpkin bars.
Garnish: Finally, garnish each bar with some cinnamon powder and Chopped walnuts.
Chef’s Tips For The Recipe
Do not over bake
Ensure that you bake for the right duration. Overbaking can make the bars hard and burnt from the edges/bottom.
There are a few possible variations in the recipe. You can add walnuts or chocolate chips to the batter if you would like.
How To Store Pumpkin Bars
Store the assembled vars in the refrigerator in an airtight box. Consume them within three days.
You can store the pumpkin cake without frosting in the freezer for two months.
More Easy Recipes
Check out some other comfort desserts recipes-
Frequently Asked Questions
Pumpkin bars can last up to 5 days when they are not frosted with cream cheese frosting and are kept in the refrigerator.
Yes, you can store the pumpkin puree in an airtight box in the refrigerator for up to a week.
For Pumpkin Cake
- 145g All-Purpose Flour
- 82g Eggs
- 90g Butter
- 115g Castor Sugar
- 198g Baked Pumpkin Puree
- 1/4 Tsp +1/8 Tsp + pinch Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp +1/8 Tsp + pinch Baking Soda
- 1/8 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp + Pinch Cinnamon Powder
- 1/8 Tsp Nutmeg Powder
- 1/2 Tsp + 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
For Baked Pumpkin Puree
- 190g Yellow Pumpkin (peeled and chopped)
- 1 No. Cinnamon Stick
- 1 no. Clove
- 30ml Water
For Cream Cheese Frosting
- 107g Unsalted Butter
- 75g Cream Cheese
- 60g Icing Sugar
- 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- A pinch of Salt
For Baked Pumpkin Puree
- Roughly chop pumpkin into small pieces.
- Take a square tin, and place the chopped pumpkin along with a cinnamon stick and clove. Cover the top of the tin with aluminium foil.
- Bake this at 180C (OTG mode: upper rod + lower rod + fan) for 15 – 20 minutes or until the pumpkin becomes a little soft.
- Let it cool down a little, and then remove the foil from the top.
- Take pumpkin (remove cinnamon stick and clove) and water in a blending jar and grind to form a puree.
For Pumpkin Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180C (OTG mode: upper rod + lower rod + fan). Grease and line a 7-inch square aluminium tin with butter paper and oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till it becomes light and fluffy.
- Mix egg and vanilla extract and add this to the creamed butter and sugar mixture gradually. Mix until well combined.
- Next, sieve dry ingredients, i.e., flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder. Give these ingredients a good stir.
- Now, add pumpkin puree and dry ingredients mixture alternatively in 3-4 batches to the butter-egg mixture. Make sure to add puree first and then dry ingredients. Make a smooth batter.
- Transfer the batter into the lined 7-inch square tin. Bake at 180 C (OTG mode: lower rod only) for 30-40 minutes.
For Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat butter till fluffy. Add in sifted icing sugar in batches and continue beating.
- Soften the cream cheese in a separate bowl. Fold it into the creamed butter and sugar mixture.
- Lastly, fold vanilla extract and salt into it.
- De-mould the cake from the tin once cooled.
- Pipe and spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake
- Now, cut the cake into 9 pieces that are square in shape.
- Garnish these bars with some cinnamon powder and chopped walnuts.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 to 55 minutes