pumpkin bars with apple cider-cream cheese frosting
bars by paula deen, frosting by vanillasugarblog.com
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup +/- confectioners sugar, sifted
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp (nice & soft)
1 ts ground cinnamon
A dash or three of pure apple cider (apple juice really won’t work here for that full flavor of apple, stick with the cider)
Orange sprinkles, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 X 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting:
In a medium bowl add in the soft cream cheese with the sifted confectioners sugar, cinnamon, and a couple dashes of the apple cider (in batches--don’t add in all the cider at once; it’s better to add in small doses than larger ones).
Get out the handheld mixer and beat until well mixed, no lumps are present. You can add as much or as little apple cider depending on how thick you like your glaze. I like to place mine frosting in the fridge for a while to harden up before frosting/piping onto the cake. For a decorative cake like mine, you can use a piping bag to frost or a knife. But make sure the cake is cooled before frosting.
Dust with orange sprinkles if desired.