Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting

What a good use for a can of pumpkin!

These bars are soft and moist, with just a thin layer of cream cheese frosting that keeps them from veering into too-sweet territory. The recipe calls for pecans, but I substituted walnuts because that’s what I had on hand, and they worked just fine.

Pumpkin Bars

adapted from BHG.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup cooking oil
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Cream cheese frosting

Beat together 3 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl beat together eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil. Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined. Stir in nuts.

The recipe says to spread the batter in an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. My pan was looking a little worse for the wear, so I lined it with parchment paper. This made it really easy to remove when it needed to cool.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. When it’s cool, flip it back into the pan. This gives you a nice flat surface to frost.

Frost with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting and cut into 24 squares.