Thanksgiving Recipes: Pumpkin Bars
pumpkin cheesecake bars
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been pouring over my old Thanksgiving recipes. I’ve also been experimenting with a few new ones, especially for Thanksgiving desserts. I really like using pumpkin recipes this time of year, including those for pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin desserts. A couple of days ago, I made a dessert with pumpkin that was really good, so I decided to share it with you. This would make a nice Thanksgiving dessert, but the bars could also function as snacks. You can cut them into any size and shape you like, so you might want to use larger squares for dessert and small rectangle bars for snacks. These are actually pumpkin cheesecake bars. You’ll need to keep any leftovers in the refrigerator so that the pumpkin and the cream cheese won’t spoil.
Pumpkin is great in Thanksgiving dessert recipes and for Halloween desserts. In this pumpkin bar recipe, you can use either canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin that’s been cooked and mashed. If you choose to use fresh pumpkin, you’ll two cups of the cooked and mashed pumpkin. Be sure to use sweetened condensed milk – NOT evaporated milk. Also, make sure you’re using canned pumpkin – NOT canned pumpkin pie filling.
pumpkin bar recipe
What you’ll need:
9 x 13 baking dish or pan
1 box (18.25 ounces) cake mix, spice flavored
2 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 can pumpkin (15 ounces) OR two cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounce size)
8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
Chopped or broken pecans
Directions: Combine cake mix, butter, and one beaten egg until crumbly. I do this with my fingers. Turn the mixture into the baking dish and spread it to the edges by pressing with your palm and fingertips.
Combine the two remaining eggs, pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and cream cheese and beat until just fluffy. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over spice cake mixture. Sprinkle nuts on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Center should be firm when pan or dish is shaken gently. Allow pumpkin bars to cool for about 30 minutes. At this point, I like to put my pumpkin cheesecake bars in the fridge to get really firm. This makes cutting them into squares or rectangles easier and neater.
To make these pumpkin bars even better, serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top, sprinkled with a little cinnamon sugar.