Raise you hand if you’ve ever made pumpkin bars. Is your hand raised? Mine isn’t! Before today I had never made them and I don’t even have a memory of ever eating one. But my sister in law, Erica, gave my Mom and I her recipe for pumpkin bars and I’m 100% addicted. The original recipe (which I believe comes courtesy of Erica’s awesome Mama, hi Patty!) has 1/3 cup more granulated sugar. I tend to cut down on sugar in recipes like this just for personal preference on taste- not for health reasons, ha… give me all the treats. I also added vanilla to my pumpkin bar batter and omitted the baking soda that the original recipe calls for.
Erica’s recipe calls for cream cheese frosting but I switched this up a bit and made up my own amaretto creme fraiche frosting that is TO DIE for. Omg it’s so good. It’s like amaretto cheesecake batter on top? Hard to describe but it’s so rich and flavorful and delectable. You bite into it expecting regular frosting and then you are like wait what the heck is this amazingness! The perfect bite for a holiday dessert table or platter for a big crowd.
I was able to make 80 squares out of these pumpkin bars cut into roughly 1.5” squares.
The whole recipe start to finish only took about an hour of time- 5 minutes mixing the batter, 25 minutes baking, 20 minutes cooling while making the frosting, then 10 minutes piping the frosting dollops.
Bonus: the frosting recipe makes enough for two recipe so split it and freeze half or refrigerate it for another day. It will keep very well!
Pumpkin Bars with Amaretto Creme Fraiche Frosting
- 4 eggs
- 1 16 oz can pumpkin purée
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
(Cream above ingredients together until fluffy)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
Add above ingredients to wet ingredients and mix again until well combined.
Lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray and pour batter into large shallow baking pan with sides. Bake bars at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool completely.
If you don’t have half sheet pans (affiliate link) in your kitchen arsenal yet, they are a great baking staple!
While bars are baking make the frosting!
Amaretto Creme Freche Frosting
- 1 stick of salted butter, room temp
- 1 8oz container Creme Fraiche
- 2 lb box or bag of powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup of good amaretto
Cream the frosting ingredients together until smooth. Then fill up a piping bag with a large round tip in the base.
Slice bars into squares right in the pan then top with a dollop of frosting on each square.
Love these? Try my soft, kid-friendly gingerbread cookies next. I can never make enough!