Monday, September 27, 2010

Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

These were a hit with the whole neighborhood. Or to be honest with my three boys and the neighbor girl mainly. They ate the whole sheet full of them in a matter of oh about a 1/2 hour. I did manage to get five hidden from their view so a few other people were able to try them. They are delicious and full of pumpkin flavor. And the cream cheese frosting took them over the top flavor wise. Trust me you won't be disappointed in these bars. The only problem with them is I am sure they are chocked full of calories and as such not so good for the waist line.

Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from King Arthur Flour

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
1 cup (7 ounces)vegetable oil
1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup (9 1/2 ounces) pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons(1 3/8 ounces) maple syrup
2 cups (12 ounces) confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 18 x 13-inch half-sheet pan.

For the cake: Put the first five ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well incorporated. Set aside. Beat the oil and the sugars together until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and turn onto a rack to finish cooling. Frost the cake and cut into bars when cool.

For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and the butter together. Add the maple syrup and stir well. Mix in the confectioners' sugar until the frosting is the right consistency; adjust the consistency with more maple syrup or confectioners' sugar. Frost the cake. Cut into bars; a pizza wheel works well for this chore. Yield: 36 (2 x 3-inch) bars.

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