You’re about to embark on a culinary adventure, creating the most delicious Spiced Pumpkin Bars you’ve ever tasted. You’ll be guided step-by-step, ensuring your success.
Along the way, you’ll discover tips for perfecting your bars and find great pairing suggestions.
By the end, you’ll be an expert in both the art of baking these treats and in their nutritional value.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the magic of spices!
The Magic of Spices in Pumpkin Bars
You’ll discover that it’s the blend of spices that really brings out the magic in your pumpkin bars.
You might be thinking that it’s all about the pumpkin, but it’s really the spices that steal the show.
Imagine biting into a bar and tasting the boldness of cinnamon, the warmth of nutmeg, and a hint of exotic cloves.
You’re not only enjoying a delicious treat, but also a sensory journey.
It’s the perfect balance of flavors that creates a symphony in your mouth.
So, don’t skimp on the spices, they’re your secret weapon.
And remember, you’re not just baking, you’re crafting an experience.
Step-by-step Recipe for Perfect Spiced Pumpkin Bars
While you’re crafting an unforgettable culinary delight, let’s dive into the step-by-step recipe for perfect spiced pumpkin bars.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, spices, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until it’s creamy.
You’ll then add eggs, canned pumpkin, and vanilla extract.
Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
Now, spread the batter in a greased baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes.
You’ll know it’s ready when a toothpick comes out clean.
Let it cool before frosting.
For the frosting, blend cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar until smooth.
Spread it over the cooled bars.
Finally, sprinkle some cinnamon on top.
And voilà, you’ve made your spiced pumpkin bars!
Tips for Making the Best Spiced Pumpkin Bars
In making the best spiced pumpkin bars, you’ll need not only quality ingredients but also a careful attention to the baking process. Always use fresh pumpkin puree. Canned might be convenient, but nothing beats the taste of fresh. Your spices shouldn’t be old either. Freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg have a stronger flavor. Don’t rush the mixing; you’re aiming for a smooth batter.
Baking time is crucial. Overbake, and you’ll end up with dry bars. Underbake, and they’ll be too moist. So, keep an eye on your oven.
Lastly, let the bars cool completely before cutting. It might be tempting to dig in right away, but waiting ensures they hold their shape. Follow these tips, and you’re sure to bake the perfect spiced pumpkin bars.
Pairing Suggestions for Spiced Pumpkin Bars
Consider pairing your spiced pumpkin bars with a hot mug of apple cider or chai tea. But don’t forget, a dollop of whipped cream on top can also enhance their flavor.
These bars are versatile. You can enjoy them as a breakfast treat with a cup of coffee or as an after-dinner dessert paired with a glass of dessert wine.
Want to turn them into a gourmet dessert? Drizzle some caramel sauce on top. The slightly salty, sweet caramel enhances the spice in the bars, making them an irresistible treat.
Enjoy experimenting with your pairings!
A Look at the Nutritional Value of Spiced Pumpkin Bars
You’re probably wondering about the nutritional value of those delicious spiced pumpkin bars you’ve been enjoying. Well, let’s break it down. Each bar, typically, packs in a good amount of fiber, thanks to the pumpkin. You’re also getting a decent amount of Vitamin A, essential for healthy eyesight. Plus, the spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, have their own host of health benefits.
But you’re not just eating it for the health benefits, right? It’s about balance. Sure, there’s sugar and fat, but remember it’s okay to indulge now and then. Enjoy your spiced pumpkin bars, but like everything, do it in moderation. After all, good food should do more than just nourish the body, it should satisfy the soul too!
Spiced Pumpkin Bars
- 2 cups 250g all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice*
- 1 cup 240ml vegetable oil*
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup 200g packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup 65g granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons 30ml pure maple syrup
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree*
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces 226g full-fat brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup 4 Tbsp; 56g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 cups 360g confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice*
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- optional: sprinkles for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 10×15-inch baking pan. Or line the pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily lift the bars (as a whole) out.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the oil, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a mixer or whisk until completely combined. Batter will be thick.
- Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 28-35 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The bars are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top or edges of the bars browning too quickly, loosely tent with aluminum foil.
- Remove the bars from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack. Cool bars completely. (After about 45 minutes of cooling, you can place the bars in the refrigerator to speed things up!)
- Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add an extra 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar. Spread the frosting on the cooled bars. To help “set” the frosting, refrigerate for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. This makes cutting easier and less messy.
- Enjoy with or without a fork, but definitely grab a napkin!
- Cover leftover bars tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you skipped the frosting, cover and store plain pumpkin bars at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare recipe through step 4. Cover cooled bars tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. You can cut the bars and freeze in a large freezer container, too. Bring to room temperature, make the frosting, frost, and serve. Frosted bars also freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or serve cold.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 10×15-inch Baking Pan | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk | Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Cooling Rack | Icing Spatula
- Lining Pan: You can line the baking pan with parchment paper to easily lift out the bars as a whole. Or you can simply grease the pan. Once completely cool, you can (very carefully!!) slide a couple thin spatulas under the bars and lift out to put on a cutting board to slice. Or just slice them in the pan.
- Spices: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 3/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger and ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon each: ground cloves and ground allspice. Do not leave out the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon that is also called for in this recipe. In the frosting, use a tiny pinch of each, plus a tiny pinch of cinnamon too.
- Oil: Instead of 1 cup of oil, try 1/2 cup (90g) unsweetened applesauce and 1/2 (120ml) cup oil. The bars are just as moist. Vegetable oil is best, but melted coconut oil works too.
- Pumpkin: I strongly recommend using canned pumpkin puree over homemade in this recipe, though 2 cups of homemade would be fine in a pinch. I found the flavor better with canned. I prefer Libby’s brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Canned Pumpkin Instead of Fresh Pumpkin in the Recipe?
Absolutely, you can substitute canned pumpkin for fresh in recipes. It’s a time-saver and provides the same tasty pumpkin flavor. Just be sure it’s pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling which has added spices.
How Do I Store the Leftover Spiced Pumpkin Bars and How Long Do They Stay Fresh?
You can store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll stay fresh for about a week. If you’re not in a hurry to finish them, they’ll last up to three months in the freezer.
Is There a Gluten-Free or Vegan Version of the Spiced Pumpkin Bars Recipe?
Sure, you can make a gluten-free or vegan version of this recipe. Substituting the flour with a gluten-free variant and using plant-based ingredients instead of dairy will get you the desired result.
Can I Substitute the Spices Used in the Recipe With Other Spices?
Sure, you can swap out spices in any recipe to suit your taste. Just remember, the flavor profile might change. It’s all about experimenting and finding what works best for your palate.
Are There Any Ways to Reduce the Sugar Content in the Spiced Pumpkin Bars Without Compromising the Taste?
Sure, you can reduce sugar in your recipe without losing flavor. Substitute half the sugar with applesauce or mashed bananas. They’ll add sweetness and keep your dish moist without adding unnecessary calories.
So, you’ve discovered the magic of spiced pumpkin bars! Now you know the steps to create perfection, tricks to make them even better, and what to pair them with.
They’re not just a treat, they’re packed with nutritional value too. Go ahead, whip up a batch and let these spiced pumpkin bars become your new favorite fall treat.
You won’t regret it!