A King Arthur Flour Original: Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese FrostingSep 23, 2019 12:19PM ● By Sue Baldani
Photo Provided By King Arthur Flour
These cake-type bars are moist and delicious, similar to carrot cake but with a fall flavor. The rich cream cheese frosting will also remind you of carrot cake — which isn't a bad thing! Do toast the walnuts before using them; toasting brings out their nutty essence.
Bake: 20 to 25 mins
Total: 1 hr 40 mins
Yield: 4 dozen 2" squares, or 3 dozen 2" x 3" bars
- 1 cup (198g) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (213g) brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup (99g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (227g) pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
- 2 cups (241g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
- 1/2 cup (57g) toasted chopped walnuts
- 1 cup (170g) golden raisins, or 1/2 cup (85g) golden raisins and 1/2 cup (85g) ginger mini-chips
- 8 ounces (227g) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 57g) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons (39g) maple syrup
- 2 1/2 cups (283g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (113g) toasted walnut pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a large rimmed half-sheet pan, about 18" x 13"; or line the pan with greased parchment. Note: to make these bars in a 9" x 13" pan, see "tips," below.
- Beat the oil and the sugars together until well blended.
- Beat in the eggs, then the pumpkin purée.
- Stir the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spice into the wet ingredients, then stir in the flour, beating gently to combine.
- Stir in the nuts and raisins/ginger.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it onto a rack to finish cooling; or leave it right in the pan, if you've lined the pan with parchment.
- To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together.
- Beat in the maple syrup, then mix in the confectioners' sugar and salt. Adjust the consistency of the frosting with additional maple syrup or confectioners' sugar, if necessary; it should be nicely spreadable.
- Frost the bars and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts. Once the frosting has set somewhat, cut into squares or rectangles.
Serve & Enjoy
Tips from our Bakers
- Want to make this recipe in a 9" x 13" pan? Change the amounts of ingredients as follows: 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 3 large eggs, 2/3 cup pumpkin purée, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 3/8 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/3 cups (160g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts, 2/3 cup golden raisins/ginger mini chips. Bake as directed in the original recipe. For the frosting, reduce ingredients as follows: 4 ounces cream cheese, 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup diced toasted walnuts.
- Want to make this gluten-free? For great results, substitute King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the all-purpose flour in this recipe, no further ingredient changes necessary. Be sure to bake thoroughly; gluten-free baked goods often need a bit more time in the oven.
- To toast nuts, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, just until you can start to smell them; let cool before using.