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.