Pumpkin Ginger Bars

Big news here, or at least, big news for me… I joined a new gym!  After 6+ years of belonging to the same gym, my hubby and I checked out a new one and decided to join.  My old gym was afforable and had numerous locations throughout the DC Metro Area, so whenever I moved, I was able to still work out at one of their gyms.  However, since we just bought our house, the gym that is closest to us is not as great as the other locations that I’ve been to.  It’s in a really traffic-intense part of town and it doesn’t offer a lot of fitness classes and the ones that they do offer, are not at convenient times.  Needless to say, we found a new gym and this one is amazing!  They have a pool, basketball court, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, tons of machines, and most importantly for me, a huge selection of fitness classes offered each and every day.  I was so excited after joining this new gym that I went back home and made these delicious Pumpkin Ginger Bars with cream cheese frosting.  Enjoy!

Do you prefer working out on your own at the gym or taking fitness classes?  What are your favorite classes?



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ½  cups packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 eggs


  • 1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • Pumpkin pie spice for sprinkling


  1.  Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat applesauce, brown sugar, milk, vanilla, pumpkin, and eggs until combined.  Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Spread in pan.
  3. Bake 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. In small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on low-speed until blended.  Beat in vanilla.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and 1 to 2 tablespoons milk until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
  5. Frost cooled bars and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.  Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set.
Adapted from Betty Crocker


Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

11 responses to “Pumpkin Ginger Bars

  1. Yay! Enjoy the new gym. (and some pumpkin ginger bars. obviously)

  2. Kara, I enjoyed the transition from the excitement of joining a new gym to baking up those incredibly delicious looking Pumpkin Ginger Bars. My, they look so moist and the pumpkin, crystalliized ginger and cinnamon must play beautifully against the cream cheese frosting. Keep up the good work – and the workouts!

  3. Mmmm…I love pumpkin bars but have never tried them with crystallized ginger. I bet they are delicious! 🙂

  4. Pumpkin and ginger is such a lovely combination! I have to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love crystalised ginger and am now desperate to try it with pumpkin! Better get joining a gym too….. or maybe not. Think I’ll just stick to walking the dog every morning!!

  6. I find it so exciting to go to a new gym, and motivating! I think I’ll schedule some extra workouts to have a few giant slices of these bars:-)

  7. Love these pumpkin bars and love that you made them after your first visit to your new gym!! Lovely ingredients and fantastic frosting. I prefer walking the dog than going to the gym – which sadly could explain a lot!
    Mary x

  8. Mmmm this looks so moist and delicious! Love it! As for the gym, I used to be all about working out on my own at the gym, but I went through a phase and did only classes too to change it up. Now though, to save money, I quit the gym and just do the workouts that are on demand… I am a huge yoga fan now! 🙂

  9. These pumpkin bars look sooo moist… Wow to like, the 10th power…! Good luck in the new gym!

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