This morning’s recipe is for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars. Originally from Sunset Magazine, the recipe has only 6 tablespoons of butter.
Even with only 6 tablespoons of butter, these bars are still moist and cakey, yet stiff enough so that you can stack them. I like how the pumpkin batter isn’t too rich because the cream cheese topping balances it out.
My modified Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars 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 15x10 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.