Fall is the perfect season to start baking with the holiday spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves…all these ingredients create a warm holiday scent in your home. Pumpkins are also a symbol of fall so I love to incorporate pumpkin puree in my recipes. I found this recipe in Cuisine Holiday Cookies magazine and it is simple, quick and delicious. These pumpkin bars are the perfect dessert for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are fall recipe classic and definitely a “Must Make” mmm…mmm.
Allow time for cooling. For best results make a day ahead and refrigerate. The frosting will stiffen and the cake will still be moist!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup of oil (canola, vegetable, or corn)
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 4 oz. white chocolate (melted)
- 12 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries diced
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter a 10 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ baking sheet (use a 9″ x 13″ pan for thicker bars). Whisk all the wet ingredients (sugars, oil, pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla) in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves, nutmeg). Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Spread the batter over the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until took pick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer pan to cooling rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese with a mixer on high speed until smooth. Melt the white chocolate on low power in microwave for 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate to the mixture and gradually add the powdered sugar on low speed until smooth and fluffy. Spread the frosting over the cooled bars. Cut into square bars and sprinkle the garnish on each piece. Refrigerate for an hour to allow the frosting to stiffen and serve.