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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

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Soft and moist homemade pumpkin bars, with just a few basic ingredients and no oil whatsoever! You won't be able to stop at just one, trust me! Find out how to make them here:  http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/09/23/pumpkin-cream-cheese-bars/

Leaves paint the ground.

Vivid orange, red, and yellow swirl through the sky, stirred by a cool Fall breeze.

Monet’s paintbrush.

(Hope you liked my little poem!)

Fall is by far my favorite time of year. Everything about it just seems so cozy: oversized sweaters, steamy mugs of hot cider, scarecrows and falling leaves. It’s the comfort food of seasons. Not to mention the actual comfort foods of Fall: roasted veggies, juicy apples, and—of course—pumpkin!

pumpkin bars

Topped with my favorite Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting.

If you could sum up “Fall” in a bar, this would be it. My first attempt at these bars was based on a (non-vegan) recipe I found online from Better Homes and Gardens. Sadly, that attempt turned out bland and dry. So for my second attempt, I went with my own intuition, adding ingredients I thought sounded good together and hoping for the best.

Soft and moist pumpkin bars from @choccoveredkt, with just a few basic ingredients and no oil whatsoever! You won't be able to stop at just one, trust me! Find out how to make them here:  http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/09/23/pumpkin-cream-cheese-bars/

Oh they were delicious! These bars have a soft texture and the perfect balance of sweet to spice.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

(These can be gluten-free!)

  • 1/2 cup spelt or white flour, oat flour, or Bob’s gf)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ener-g powder OR 1 tbsp ground flax (If necessary, you can omit completely)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar or agave (For a sugar-free version, you can use xylitol)
  • pinch uncut stevia OR 2 more tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned or cooked and pureed pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp oil (Some readers say subbing applesauce is fine, but I haven’t tried)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients, then add in wet. Spread into an oiled 7×5 pan (or double the recipe for an 8×8) and cook for 14-15 minutes. Note: You can sub agave for the sugar; they’ll just be fluffier and a bit more dense. Let the pan cool for at least ten minutes before cutting or frosting the squares. Also, the flavors seem to intensify and these taste even sweeter the next day.

View Pumpkin Bars Nutrition Facts

pumpme_thumb

You can frost with the aforementioned Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting. Or you can opt to leave them plain. They are deliciously-sweet even when completely unfrosted! (Alternative topping ideas include: apple butter, peanut butter, coconut butter, etc.)

Do you like reading or writing poetry?

I actually do, which is surprising because I hated reading poetry when I was younger. I’d get so confused! But I’ve always loved writing freestyle poetry, where there are no rules—you get to throw in exactly the words you want, in exactly the order you want. Come to think of it, that’s how I create recipes, too!

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. This looks so goooood!!!!! I’m going to mash my own pumpkin to make this! 😀 (no canned ones here 🙁 )
    Hmm… I’ve never really been interested in poetry but its okay i guess 😀

  2. these look amazing! perfect for the first day of fall 🙂

  3. Hannah says:

    Hey, for the nutritional info you list it “per square” but don’t specify how many squares you get out of them. Would you mind listing that?
    By the way, they look amazing!

    1. Mandee says:

      Ok so I thought I’d be super cool and bake on a Friday night… Except right before I started I realized I was out of almond milk and agave, but I soldiered on. I used 2% milk instead of almond and a regular egg. Honey went in instead of the agave… And then I went to use applesauce instead of oil and found fruit flies in my jar of applesauce! I almost yakked!!! So gross! How they snuck in there, I will never know. So right now there’s a mish mosh of your recipe baking in a muffin pan in my oven. And they look so cute! I just peeked! I hope the taste is as good as yours was!

      1. Eek!
        LOL I hope they turned out ok!! 🙂

        1. Mandee says:

          They were really good! Moist and light. I may even add a little more pumpkin next time and some chocolate chips (I stuffed some in the middle of one after it came out of the oven – A+). These didn’t even need frosting! And as my little italian Nonna said “this taste-a good bc you no use a lot of sugar.” thanks cck 😉

    2. Mandee says:

      Ok somehow my comment went right here as a reply instead of at the bottom. Sorry about that Hannah!

  4. Caitlin says:

    These look SO yummy! Looks like a perfect project for this afternoon.

  5. Mmmm you and I definitely have the same idea of comfort food! Veggies and fruit! And chocolate, of course. These look delicious, and since I love everything pumpkin perhaps i’ll whip some up tonight!

  6. Ashley says:

    I love reading and writing poetry! When I was in college, I was the poetry editor for our literature journal– it was so great, reading other people’s pieces, and planning the events where some of them would come and read their stuff out loud. Like you, I love the way you can use whatever words, however, and it is beautiful!
    Fall is my favorite season too! Where I grew up I never got to really experience it, but here in Reno (NV) I get to watch the trees change, the air get cooler, and drinking apple cider is perfectly acceptable on freezing nights! I have so many sweaters now, haha.

  7. Yasmeen says:

    These look yummy! I may have to try a plain version and a chocolate version! :0)

    P.S. Thanks so much for turning me onto the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, it’s soooooooooo much better than the Fry’s I’ve been using.

    I made chocolate pancakes for breakfast with it and they were much better than with the Fry’s.

    1. Isn’t it awesome?! I love it in strawberry-chocolate smoothies especially :).

  8. Those look so moist and delicious! ….Going with your gut/tastebuds to create something works! Glad you took your own spin on their recipe to create something delicious for all of us!

  9. oh my goodness – those look so delicious! I love all things fall and these fit right in! And I used to love writing poetry, it was very therapeutic! I took a class in high school once and got selected to be in a poetry symposium, haha but honestly I just felt silly up there, they required us to wear all black!

  10. These look so gorg! I actually have all the ingredients in the pantry .. hmm. I MAY be making these tonight?? haha!

    I love writing freestyle poetry! I try to read it, but I get distracted too easily. Kind of funny how I can dish it, but can’t take it?

  11. Elise says:

    These sound sooo good! I finally opened my can of pumpkin today and made your pumpkin spice latte 🙂 It was my first time making coffee too haha :). I hope to make these soon 😛

    I’m wondering though, is it worth it to buy ener-g egg replacer? Does it work well?

    1. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

      Even if you aren’t vegan, it is so much more economical (and easier to store) than real eggs because you don’t have to keep it fresh and you get like a million servings per container. And all you have to do is throw in a teaspoon in place of an egg in baked good recipes.

      Haha sorry I sound like an infomercial for the stuff!

      1. Elise says:

        No worries! I think I’ll go pick some up 🙂

        Also, if I use coconut oil, does it need to be melted? I just made a batch but I kind of lazily just stirred in the coconut oil and it solidified into chunks…

        1. Yeah, I’d melt it first. LOL unless you live in Texas… there’s no need to melt it here! It’s already melted!

        2. Anonymous says:

          you can make coconut oil? thats awesome! ive been looking everywhere for it! please tell me how!!!

  12. I am a English Lit major so I think it’s my job right now to read, write and love all types of poetry! Great recipe 🙂 Happy 1st day of Fall!

  13. Meredith says:

    I’m totally going to make these! I wonder if they’d work with the blondie-type recipe (i.e. using chickpeas instead of flour). I’ll let you know if I try that 🙂

  14. Eric Jaffa says:

    When was the picture of you holding a pumpkin taken?

  15. My they sound amazing- I really HAVE to make these. Maybe on Sunday 🙂 And I like some poetry, but I find it hard to write, and some of it hard to understand.

  16. alyssa booko says:

    it was my minor in college. but i don’t write or read it often but i should cause there is nothin like a great poem.

  17. Audrey says:

    I love that you bake with stevia. 🙂

    Oh, and yes, I love writing and reading poetry.

  18. Amber K says:

    They look delicious! I try to adapt magazine recipes all the time and it usually works better if I do my own thing. I like Fall, but I DON’T like being constantly cold. And having to wear leggings under my jeans. But other than that… 😉

    1. Ugh agreed! I need to remind myself of that… magazine recipes hardly ever work out well for me!

  19. Melissa says:

    Oh yum yum yum!

    When I was a teacher, poetry was my favorite unit to teach! I love creative writing, and poetry gives you limitless possibilities. So fun!