Easy Pumpkin Cake Bars




About: I am a multi-disciplinary designer and freelance artist. I love to paint, cook, bake, bullet journal, and watch Netflix.

This is a great recipe that not only tastes delicious, but can impress a lot of people with minimal effort. Plus, it's a great seasonal dessert that does not take a lot of special ingredients or extra time to make!

Full Ingredient List:
- 1 3/4 cup sugar (1 1/2 cup for the batter & 1/4 cup for the cream cheese mixture)
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
- 3 large eggs (2 for the batter & 1 for the cream cheese mixture)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature

*this will fill up a 9" x 13" pan, so you can probably get 18-20 squares out of it.

Let's get to baking!

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Step 1: Batter Up!

List of ingredients for your batter:
- 1 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 6 tablespoons of butter, melted & cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start with the butter and sugar. Mix these in a bowl until smooth. You could probably use an electric mixer, but if you don't have one on hand - some elbow grease and a whisk will do just fine.

Add the eggs, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and water. Whisk until smooth.

Step 2: Dry Team

List of dry ingredients:

- 1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

You can add nutmeg into this, I'd suggest about 1/2 teaspoon of it. I didn't have any on hand when I made this, so I opted out of that one.

Start with a new bowl. Add the flour first, and whisk until clumps disappear. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and whisk together until homogeneous.

Step 3: Make a Batter!

Add your dry mixture into your batter in small amounts. Fold the dry mixture in. Then mix until no flour is showing. The mixture should be smooth.

Now you have your batter and all it really took was combining these ingredients together. Super easy!

Step 4: Spread Into Pan

In a 9" x 13" oven safe dish, add butter to coat each side and bottom. Sprinkle flour over butter and shake out the excess. This will help the pumpkin cake separate from the pan easily after baking.

I like to use Pyrex dishes - they are easy to clean and very durable.

Pour and spread your mixture evenly into the dish. I like to use a spatula for this to make sure I get all the batter from the bowl. Make sure the height of the batter is consistent as possible throughout the dish.

Step 5: Prepare the Cream Cheese Mixture

Ingredients for cream cheese mixture:

- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg

In a bowl, add cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Add egg and sugar. Whisk all ingredients until a smooth mixture is formed. Again, if you have an electric mixer, you can use it here. If not, a whisk or even a fork will do just fine.

I've read a recipe that used powdered sugar here instead of white sugar, but I've never tried that. I believe that makes more a frosting/icing consistency, which isn't really what we're looking for here. But who knows, I'll have to try it sometime!

Step 6: Drop, Swirl, & Bake

Drop the cream cheese mixture on top of your batter. If you have a spring loaded scoop, now would be a good time to use it. If not, grab a teaspoon and drop some mixture in equal amounts, spaced about an inch apart. I chose to do 6 drops, you can certainly do 8 drops if you decrease the amount of mixture in each scoop.

Now the fun part.
Grab a butterknife or wooden dowel and start swirling your mixture. Make sure you fold the batter up to make sure some of the cream cheese mixture gets under the batter in areas. There's no real science behind this, just have fun with it!

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You are looking for the center of the pumpkin mixture to spring back when touched. Cut into bars once it is cooled.

Now you have tasty pumpkin bars that look like you spent hours on that marbling effect! This dessert travels well, stores well, and tastes absolutely delicious. Great way to enjoy the autumn season - and probably tastes delicious with a pumpkin spice latte!

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Halloween Food Contest 2015

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5 Discussions


4 years ago

I am such a pumpkin addict and this looks so good that I'll probably just shoot the batter directly into a vein. :)