Pumpkin Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
PURELY LUSCIOUS AND INCREDIBLY ADDICTING PUMPKIN CAKE
I profess: Every year around this time, (beginning of Fall) I have a recurring feasting obsession — “everything pumpkin.” I’m quite sure I’m not alone in this. I went to Starbucks the other day, and of course was ordering a grande PSL with soy milk, sans whip cream and a heavenly slice of their pumpkin bread. Yep, I went home feeling overloaded with the “everything pumpkin.” But I’m sure the next time I go there, I’ll order the same stuff again.
Last night, (at pretty much midnight) — sitting by myself wrapped in my green colored throw all cozy with a laptop on my lap, . . . I turned into a pumpkin. This craving of having a slice of pumpkin cake hit me . . . hard. Except this time I’m home. And the fact that it’s midnight doesn’t help! No Starbucks is open, . . . & I’m craving for a dose of ‘Pumpkin-Palooza’! I needed to have myself a fix. I searched & searched carefully for a pumpkin cake recipe . . .
I put my laptop away, abandoned my throw, and scrambled to my pantry. Looking for a can of pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice, and walnuts. Boom – I found them! I smiled big, knowing that the rest of the ingredients are my pantry and fridge staples. I’m relieved.
This morning I was truly on a mission. “I’m going to bake this morning!” I yelled to Eric who was already in our home office getting ready to work. Yes, I was literally on a mission! No one could stop me at that point. Not even my design project with a deadline 🙂 These pumpkin bars are my priority number one today. King Arthur’s Flour’s Pumpkin Cake Bars is the one recipe I use. And honestly, I’m so happy to share this with you.
These cake-like bars are great! They’re luscious! And what I mean by that is — they’re delicious, they’re moist, they’re sultry, they’re satisfying and they’re plenty sweet! Believe me, by baking this bars you can have almost instant gratification 🙂 Your house smells incredibly yummy, delivered by the mix of gorgeous spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice – blended with the greatness of flour and sugar, then later topped with the tanginess of cream cheese that’s enriched by the maple syrup and sealed by the satisfying toasted walnuts. Lots & lots of flavor, layered quietly. Walking around, all my senses are awakened in a super comforting way. My mouth waters . . .
This is Autumn in a dish. And this is one of the many reasons I love this season.
Adapted from King Arthur’s Flour
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1/₃ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ⅔ cup pumpkin purée
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅜ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1⅓ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- ⅔ cup currants
- For the frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup diced toasted walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Grease and lightly flour a 9”x13" rimmed baking sheet.
- Mix oil and sugars together until well blended.
- Add eggs, then pumpkin purée in.
- Fold baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spice into the wet ingredients, and then stir in flour, beating gently to combine.
- Add in nuts and currants.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter together.
- Add in maple syrup, then mix in the powdered sugar and salt.
- Frost the bars and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts.