This morning’s recipe is for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars. Originally from Sunset Magazine,
What I like about these is they are not overly rich. The pumpkin brownie part of the recipe has only 6 tablespoons of butter. And even with only 6 tablespoons of butter, the bars are still moist. However, they’ stiff enough so that you can stack them. The richer cream cheese swirl balances things out.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars Variations
My version of the recipe has a little more salt than the original plus the addition of vanilla. If you have some, a bit of orange peel added to the pumpkin might be good as well. Also, if you need to halve this recipe, a 9 inch pan square pan works perfectly.
NOTE: If you do not use the pan size indicated (15×10 or half batch in a 9×9), you will probably need to adjust bake time. For instance, if you use a 13×9 inch pan instead of a 15×10 inch pan, you’ll have thicker bars which will probably need more time in the oven.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
- 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt omit if using salted butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 288 grams
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin 240 grams
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 220 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar 48 grams
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15×10 inch pan with non-stick foil or just spray with cooking spray.
- Pumpkin Batter: Beat the melted butter, salt (if using) and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, pumpkin, and water until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a separate bowl; stir into batter.
- Spread all but a few tablespoons batter evenly in prepared pan. Reserve the few tablespoons of batter
- Swirl: In a second bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg and beat just until it’s mixed in. Drop tablespoons of cheese mixture over pumpkin batter, then drag a knife through to make marbles. Drop reserved tablespoons of pumpkin batter over top. The reason for this is, there’s a lot of white batter, so putting a few tablespoons of pumpkin batter on top gives more of a contrast.
- Bake on center rack until pumpkin batter springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then chill for an hour or more. Cut into 24 bars.
I just made this, following the directions exactly & it is very yummy… It is just that it’s like a cake instead of like a brownie. Any advice on how to make it more dense like brownies?
I made these this year instead of the pumpkin roll. They are really good, a nice change and I think the kids will enjoy them as well as the adults. Look forward to one with a dollop of cream tomorrow.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
the blissful baker
i made these this past weekend. they are fabulous!! everyone loved them. thanks for sharing 🙂
I just made these and they were awesome! Loved the cheesecakey flavor and texture. Here’s my version:
I made these last week for guests…they were amazing! I’m making them again today for a party. (The only thing I altered is the amount of water. Since I boil my own pumpkin, there is typically a little more water in it than canned.)
These look great. Funny, just before I saw your recipe, I bought 3 cans of pumpkin, so I’m in the mood already. Now I can’t decide whether to make these or my pumpkin drops with cream cheese frosting. Such hard decisions…..
I made these exactly as the recipe called for and they were delicious! Everyone loved them. Thanks for a great recipe.
I tried out this recipe for the football dinner. Usually I do not try to make a new recipe, but I was determined to find a pumpkin recipe.
It should cook for an extra 5 minutes. I added food coloring to make a orange hue for the frosting.
My son loved it and he is a picky eater. I wasn’t too sure because I had nothing to compare it too. I will have my husband try it. I do like it but I need to add some more spice. Any suggestions?
I need & want the fruit pizza recipe, can’s seem to find it on this website, can you e-mail it to me.?????
thanks, vivian hill
has anyone made these with agave? they look great but I wonder what the proportions would be substituting agave? i make pumpkin muffins with agave and they are fabulous…
I would just make regular pumpkin bars.
my dad loves pumkin. the only problem is he cant stand cream chesse. is there any way to modify this? something to put in place of the cream chesse?
Thanks so much Anna! I’m running home to try these now! The perfect treat for mid-terms! Okay, and the season too…but really, mid-term stress baking is about to get even tastier!
I think 15x10x1 is fine. In fact, I think most 15 inch pans are about an inch deep. You shouldn’t have any problems. The pumpkin batter spreads on really thin.
Holy Hannah these look amazing!!! One question – the pan I have is 15.5x10x1″ is that going to be deep enough or should I just halve the recipe into a 9×13? I really, really, want to make these, especially since the hubby saw the picture and started drooling!
Wow, those look great, and the perfect thing to take to a halloween party.
Wow. All I can say is wow–especially with the swirl of pumpkin on top…a stroke of genius!
I will have to experiment with a really small portion….maybe adding some greek yogurt to the ricotta would make it smoother.
Have you thought about making a pumpkin pie with a meringue crust? I have been making a lot of pavlovas lately, and I’ve become a little obsessed with the idea of making mini pumpkin pies in a meringue crust. I can’t find anything online except lemon meringue pies upside down with the crust being the meringue. I’m wondering how you would bake them to get the meringue to cook without getting soggy from the filling. Any thoughts?
These look so good! I LOVE pumpkin and have been getting in the mood to bake now that it’s finally cooling off a little here in CA. I even have a can of pumpkin in my pantry. 🙂
Sara, you’d have to experiment. My worry is that the texture would be too grainy.
Do you think this would work with ricotta in place of the cream cheese? I love pumpkin but not cream cheese (or cheesecake for that matter, weird right?)
Ohh they sound delicious and perfect for autumn
HM….I’ll have to try these! Without the cream cheese. Ha!
Those look much better than the pumpkin swirl brownies I made the other day. I’ll be posting it tomorrow on The Brownie Project.
I think I’ll try these instead.
These look amazing! Pumpkin is popping up all over the blogging world!
The pumpkin bars look lovely… really nice recipe. it’s bookmarked
Awesome! I can’t wait to make these.
These look delicious. You can’t go worng with a Sunset recipe!
So autumny Anna! We’re still having a bit of late summer here but I could easily eat these brownies! They have such a lovely color!
They look wonderful! I’v done that many times. Know exactly what you want then spend hours going through recipes to find the right one. LOL
I just picked up canned pumpkin from Trader Joe’s yesterday – can’t wait to try these!
I’ve been surfing around for a good pumpkin cheesecake combination. I’ll definitely give these a try. THANKS!
OK I love these. Must try.
I have some cream cheese to use up, so I’ll halve this recipe. looks yummy!
YUM! I love all things pumpkin and these look SUPER. It seems nearly every recipe calls for one cup of pumpkin puree, but there is no can that is just that amount. Someone could make a killing by inventing a one cup sized can to sell pumpkin in.
There’s no canned pumpkin in Poland, but you’d better believe that as soon as I get my hands on a pumpkin and cook and puree it I’ll be storing it in one cup increments in the freezer!
Looks yummy. I’m going to try it with either splenda or agave nectar – I’m haing problems with sugar lately. Glad you’re feeling better.
I want these. Now! Yum!