These are so incredibly easy to make. I took them into work and got so many compliments I was almost embarrassed as it's just a throw together recipe.Make them, and feel the love :)
4 eggs (bring to room temperature)
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15oz can) pumpkin puree
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (see note below)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
When I made this yesterday I didn't have any pumpkin pie spice. I used 1/2 teaspoon all spice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ginger instead.True pumpkin pie spice also has ground cloves in it but I didn't have any to hand. It tasted great, so relax and use what you have.
Make the pumpkin bars
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan by wiping it with the wrapper from the stick of butter.
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin on medium speed until light and fluffy.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice (or substitute), salt and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Don't mix it to death!
Pour the batter into your greased pan and spread it evenly around. Bake for 25-30 minutes....until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. This will take longer than you think.
To make the frosting:
Using your (cleaned) stand mixer with the paddle attachment combine the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth. slowly add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla extract and mix again.
Spread the icing on the cooled pumpkin bars.
Other things you could do to the recipe.
Sprinkle the frosting with powdered sugar or toasted chopped nuts would make it extra sweet (if you like it that way)
I also wondered about adding cinnamon, nutmeg and eggnog to the frosting. I haven't tried it yet, but I would guesstimate about 3 tablespoons eggnog, 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg would be yummy.
You could also add about 2/3 cup of chopped nuts into the pumpkin batter before baking.