Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Bar
  • 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 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (48 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
*Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix, makes 1 tablespoon
 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/3 cup water until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
3. In another bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until and combine until well blended. Spread batter 2/3 of the batter (eyeball it) evenly into the prepared pan.
4. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla until smooth.
5. Spread cream cheese mixture over the batter and then dollop the remaining pumpkin batter over the cream cheese filling and spread out.  Once spread take a knife (I used a chopstick) to swirl the batters. 
6. Bake in a 350° oven until center of the pumpkin batter (not cream cheese mixture) springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then cut into 24 bars.
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