Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting (egg-free / vegan option)

Good morning! I've got an itch to do something creative but am also kind of low on energy and ideas. So the best I could manage was checking off an item on my to-do list: save and share pumpkin bars recipe.
I tinkered around quite a bit to get these right and want to ensure the successful outcome is repeatable. Here's the deal: I often think pumpkin "bars" are mislabeled pumpkin cake - delicate crumb, sort of spongy, airy, etc. All well and good, but sometimes I want a pumpkin bar that's denser, with a crumbly chew I can savor, like a brownie or blondie. Dense baked goods frequently rely on eggs to afford that rich texture without compromising moisture. So all that tinkering was to figure out a blondie-style pumpkin bar, sans eggs. And I think I did it!



It's got butter in it, and I topped it with a cream cheese frosting. I added some vegan options below though, for anyone who might like those.


See below, our contribution to the festivities: all the carbs. Also, notwithstanding indications to the contrary, this post has certainly not been brought to you by Ove' Glove and Apple.


Pumpkin Bars
Yield: 13 X 9" pan (20 v. generously-sized bars)

3 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter (could use vegan butter sticks)
1 15-oz can pumpkin
2 tablespoons molasses

Grease a 9 X 13" pan. (If you want to serve these straight from the pan, just greasing is sufficient. If you want to take them all out and cut them to bring to your neighbor's Thanksgiving dinner, then you might want to line pan with parchment paper for easy removal.) Preheat overn to 350.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cream together sugar and butter in your biggest bowl. Add in pumpkin and molasses and beat until smooth. Add in dry ingredients and stir gently until there are no floury streaks left.

The batter will be pretty thick, closer to cookie dough than cake batter. Spread it into a pan and, if needed, use a wet off-set spatula to spread it evenly into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a knife in the center and seeing if it comes out clean. If it's still coated in batter, bake for 5-min increments until done. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
From All Recipes

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Using an electric mixer, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy and smooth. Add in powdered sugar and cinnamon and mix until you've got a spreadable frosting.

Dairy-free alternatives: use vegan cream cheese and butter and follow recipe above. Or, option two: cream together 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup vegan butter or shortening, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 cup soy milk or other non-dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want.