Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Roll Bars

There's just something about pumpkin and cream cheese that's delicious.  Simultaneously light and indulgent, it's a combo I really like, whether in these muffins or this cake.  So I figured these bars would be an excellent way to get my fix.  These bars are made of a soft, sweetly spiced pumpkin cake with a cream cheese topping, swirled with more pumpkin batter for a simple bar dessert full of pumpkin flavor and creamy filling.We had game night with some friends and a pumpkin roll bar was definitely the delicious dessert we needed to end the night.  They'd be a perfect dessert to put on your Thanksgiving buffet or take with you to your holiday gathering.  I'm pretty sure I'm making these again for our holiday meal, but let's be honest--my menu is usually a moving target.

All the delicious goodness of pumpkin roll without the multiple steps and tricky rolling.  the cake part of these bars is light and spongy while the filling has a cheesecake like consistency, with just a bit of pumpkin batter swirled on top for a pretty finish and to bring it all together.  Alyssa shared this at The Recipe Critic and the only adjustment I made was to use pumpkin pie spice for some of the individual spices, mainly because I had it and could save myself the extra measuring.  These are simple to make, so could easily be a last minute dessert in case your pie fails (yeah, that's happened to me) or you just need more dessert (um, yeah, you always need more).  Or just make them because they're pumpkin and cream cheese and that always wins.

Pumpkin Roll Bars


6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
15 ounces pumpkin puree
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces cream cheese

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until combined and smooth. 

Stir in 2 eggs, pumpkin, water and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Gradually stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until combined.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Smooth about 2/3 of the batter into an even layer in the pan, reserving remaining batter.

In another bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy.  Add remaining sugar, vanilla and egg and beat until smooth.

Spread cream cheese mixture over batter in pan and smooth to an even layer.

Dollop remaining pumpkin batter on top of cream cheese layer and smooth over top.  Then using a thin spatula or knife, swirl top layer of batter into cream cheese layer.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until set and center springs back when lightly touched.

Remove and set on wire rack to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Makes 24 bars.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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