Fall is just around the corner… seriously. Two more days. And I know it’s cliche to say but — where has this year gone? While I’m happily relishing the warm days we’ve been having, I also love the autumnal hints that Mother Nature’s been dropping — crisp air, shorter days, a dip in the humidity, and an overcast sky. The leaves have yet to start changing though, which is my favorite part.
Once I felt the shift in weather, I couldn’t wait to make these pumpkin squares. Couldn’t. Wait.
I first had these a couple of years ago, while working at my old job. When I first started working there, it was spring time — yet I kept hearing my co-worker Pam, who sat in the cubicle behind me, getting asked about these pumpkin squares: her mom is notorious for them. Months went by and I kept hearing them mentioned. When fall finally rolled around, she brought in a tray of them and they were DEVOURED. All I can say is… they lived up to their reputation. And I immediately begged her for the recipe.
This recipe makes quite a bit — you can use two large, rectangular pans or a half sheet pan. Don’t worry though. None will go to waste. They’re so scrumptious and always well received — especially this time of year. Make them. Share them. Repeat throughout the season.
Pumpkin Squares With Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe adapted from my friend Pam’s mom (Jeanette)
For the pumpkin squares you will need:
1 and 2/3 c. sugar
1 c. canola oil
One 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 large (I used two 11×17″ pans) or 1 half sheet pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment), mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin until well combined and smooth.
3. Add in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well combined.
4. Bake for 20 t0 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
To make the frosting, you will need:
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
One 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
1. In large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment), cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
2. Scrape down the bowl, then while mixer is on low speed, mix in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.
3. Add in vanilla.
4. Frost cooled pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. Slice into bars.
Bars will keep, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.