We’ve made our pumpkin puree, so we are now ready to use it. Right? Right. Let’s start with luscious, cream cheese—swirled pumpkin bars. Bars, but caky. Super delicious caky.
Swirled into the batter before the cake goes in the oven, the cream cheese does the amazing—it makes the bars super tender, almost creamy in texture! We also have two of the fall’s must-have spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, spiking up the flavor for us. And the color of the baked bars is just gorgeous.
This was the first time I made these bars and I sure will bake more of these this pumpkin season. I loved them with my steaming hot cup of freshly brewed tea. Made me feel warm in the cooling fall weather. Alright. Your turn to bake these scrumptious bars now. Let me know what you think. Enjoy! And stay warm.
Look at those pretty swirls!
Mix the wet ingredients with the dry to obtain this kind of batter.
Dot the pumpkin batter with dollops of cream cheese and swirl to create pretty patterns.
The before and after. You almost can’t tell the difference, right? Both gorgeous.
Swirled Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Cake Bars
Adapted from Sunset magazine
Note: I used 1 teaspoon of cinnamon instead of the suggested 1 1/2 teaspoons. The bars turned out having a very gentle hint of cinnamon. If you prefer a more pronounced cinnamon flavor, increase the amount of cinnamon to 1 1/2 teaspoons.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup homemade pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package (8 oz / 225 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC).
Butter and lightly flour a 13-by-9-inch (33-cm-by-23-cm) baking pan.
In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, pumpkin puree, and 1/3 cup water until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. In another bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg. Stir or beat into the butter mixture until well blended. Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan (I used a Pyrex dish).
In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, remaining egg, and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until smooth.
Drop the cream cheese mixture in evenly spaced 1-tablespoon portions over the batter. Pull a knife tip through the filling to swirl slightly into batter. Do not mix or stir vigorously!
Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven until the pumpkin batter (not the cream cheese mixture) springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in then pan, then cut into 24 bars. You can store the bars in an airtight container (I just kept the bars in the Pyrex pan they baked in, with a stretch film over it), for up to 3 days.