Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Tomorrow is the first day of Fall!

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I love everything about Fall- from the colorful leaves, to the perfect running weather. However, my absolute favorite thing about Fall is the fall flavors.

Pumpkin spice. Apple butter. Pecan pie. Caramel Apple.

You really can’t get any better.

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As you all well know, pumpkin recipes are by far my favorite recipes to make. And this weekend, as the first burnt sienna leaves touched the grass, I found myself struck with inspiration: I had to make pumpkin muffins with white chocolate frosting.

Saturday morning, I got to work. Blended the oats, scooped the sugar, cranked open the can of pumpkin. The baking muffins filled my kitchen with an aroma reminiscent of Thanksgiving, crackling fires, and frost-kissed cheeks. I could barely contain myself as I whisked them out of the oven, then waited the painstaking hour for them to cool. Biting into one, I felt my expectations overwhelm me as I imagined the sweet, spicy taste of cinnamon and pumpkin waltzing across my taste buds.

And then reality hit.

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The muffins were gummy, there was no doubt about it. They weren’t dense with a light brown-sugar undertone, they didn’t melt in my mouth. They stuck to my teeth, made my nose wrinkle, and ended up straight in the trashcan.

It was then that I found myself thinking: Maybe it’s too early for pumpkin, after all.

However, you all know I can’t resist my favorite vitamin-A packed fruit (yes, pumpkin is indeed a fruit. In fact, it’s a berry!)… So this afternoon, I set to work again.

First, I scaled back the flour- immediately taking measures to prevent the gummy texture. Next, I added a bit of coconut oil for that melt-in-your-mouth texture perfect for rich pumpkin bars. Finally, I added a 1/2 c of yogurt for moisture- this recipe wouldn’t be gummy, but it certainly wouldn’t be dry either!

And lastly, I ultimately decided to make pumpkin bars. Because they gave me a chance to use my healthy cream cheese icing!

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Just think of this recipe as the first of several Fall-inspired recipes this season! And I promise- I’ll try not to make them all pumpkin! 😉

Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Bars

  • 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c flour of choice
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c stevia
  • 1/2 c vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 c water

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 c whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 c vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbs stevia (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9″x11″ pan with cooking spray to lightly grease. In a large bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, stevia, and coconut oil and stir until combined. Pour into pan, then bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

After bars have cooled, make frosting. Whip cream cheese, Greek yogurt, stevia, and cinnamon together until combined and fluffy- about 2-3 minutes. Slice bars, then frost with frosting. Go over lines/slices again to finish slicing (I recommend slicing the bars before icing them because it will be much less messy). Enjoy!

Nutritional Information (from myfitnesspal.com)

Calories: 111

Fat: 5g

Carbs: 15g

Protein: 3g

(Yields 16 bars)

Nutrition information calculated including frosting. If you choose not to include, the nutrition information for the plain pumpkin bar reads as follows: 91 calories, 4g fat, 14g carbs, 2g protein. Nutrition information for icing alone is: 20 calories, 1g fat, 1g carbs, 1g protein.

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One thought on “Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Pingback: 20 Thanksgiving Treats to Share (or not to share!) | skinnysweettreats

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