Tis the season for pumpkin! I bought my first jar of the season this past weekend (actually my husband kindly bought it for me), so I decided to make pumpkin spice bars with cream cheese frosting from a Betty Crocker recipe I found. I decided to make a few substitutions. First, I substituted apple sauce for 1 cup of vegetable oil. 1 cup of oil is a lot; it’s definitely much healthier to use apple sauce if possible. Second, I used half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. This too is healthier and adds a little extra fiber as well. I also used pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clover. Pumpkin pie spice has a combination of all three, so if you don’t have it on hand, feel free to use any and/or all of the other spices.
These bars are just the thing to get you in the mood for fall; they’re especially perfect to share at a sporting event, an office event or a dinner party. Enjoy!
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white, whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350° and spray a 15 x 10 x 1″ pan with cooking spray.
- In large bowl, beat eggs, granulated sugar, oil and pumpkin with wire whisk until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice and stir into egg mix.
- When well combined, spread into baking pan.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 2 hours before frosting.
- In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until smooth.
- Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, on low speed until smooth.
- Spread frosting over bars.
- Cut into 7 rows by 7 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.