As summer turns to fall I love enjoying all the seasonal foods that come with the changing seasons – warm soups, apple crisp and most of all, pumpkin bars. I once had a lengthy debate with a friend about this recipe – if bars or cake was the right name for this pumpkin dessert – and we agreed that the name didn’t really matter because it’s delicious!
This dessert is a moist, dense cake, and is relatively thin because it’s baked in a large jelly roll pan, spiced with cinnamon and flavored with pumpkin puree. The cream cheese frosting is coated on thick – smoothy and creamy, with a little tang from the cream cheese. If you don’t want to make the frosting from scratch two cans of pre-made cream cheese frosting do very nicely – but be sure to use two cans (not one) to ensure you can get nice, thick coverage on these bars.
Once the bars are prepared, find some friends to share them with since the recipe makes at least 30 bars of generous size – I found out the hard way that if these hang around my home too long I’ll eat them all myself!
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 15 oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cans of pre-made cream cheese frosting (16oz each)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a large jelly roll pan with PAM spray.
- Using an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin on medium speed, mixing until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl stir together the dry ingredients (rice flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda). Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until well combined.
- Spread the batter into the greased pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the bars begin to pull away from the edges. Remove from the oven before they begin to darken and brown.
- Let cool completely, then frost.
- If you prefer to make these non-gluten free, substitute 2 cups of unbleached flour for the rice flour and cornstarch, and exclude the xanthan gum.