Tuesday, April 9, 2013

BEST PUMPKIN BARS EVER !!! (Plus)

I've made pumpkin desserts for many more years than I care to count: pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, etc., etc., but today's recipe for super moist pumpkin bars is BY FAR THE BEST pumpkin recipe I've EVER tried !!!

They are light as air; they taste like pumpkin pie and they are SUPER, SUPER moist; they are totally addicting!! Since this recipe makes a large 10" x 15" pan, they would be excellent for a potluck, bake sale or weekend crowd. However if you are like us, and a 10" x 15" is just too much, check out the mini-version of this recipe at the bottom of this post.


4 large eggs
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15 ounce can of pumpkin puree(see note)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt

This is super easy to make, just put the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin and spices in a large bow and mix with electric mixer until it gets nice and light (just takes about 30 seconds, but it is an important step).

Next add everything else, and mix until it is well combine, but don't over mix. I do this step with a  hand whisk.

Spread it into a lightly greased 10"x15" jellyroll pan and bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until it springs back when lightly pressed. Cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING
8 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup butter (room temperature)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Cream the cheese and butter together, add the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread evenly on cooled bars. If frosting seems too thick, add milk (1 tablespoon at a time) until you get the consistency you like.

Here's the Mini-recipe:

A 10"x15" pan is just way to big for us empty-nesters, so here is a reduced size that fits perfectly in an 8"x4" loaf pan. I remove it from the loaf pan, frost it and then slice it (I get about eight 4" x 2" pumpkin bars out of this recipe).


1 egg
1/3 + 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2  teaspoon baking powder
1/4  teaspoon baking soda

Follow same directions as above except use an 8"x4" loaf pan. I lined the bottom with parchment so I could just lift the bars out of the pan after cooking (for easy slicing). Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (my electric oven takes 30 minutes). Let cool completely then slice into bars.

FROSTING
I used half of the above frosting recipe because we like a lot of frosting. 

NOTE: Make sure you use plain old pumpkin puree, not the kind of canned pumpkin that already has spices in it. If you want to use the kind with the spices already in it, just reduce the spices in the recipe.