I’ve been looking for the recipe for these Pumpkin Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing for a long time. I just love the combination of the moist pumpkin bar with the tangy lemon icing. I’ve seen it with raisins and sometimes nuts, but prefer it this way.
This recipe came from the Penzey’s catalog that used to come in the mail about once a month. In addition to all of the wonderful spices and seasonings for sale, they always had really good recipes from everyday people around the country.
Unfortunately the catalog doesn’t come anymore, but luckily I’ve saved a bunch of good recipes from it!
I’ve adapted this recipe a bit (more lemon, please!) until it’s what I think is just perfect.
If you’re looking for an excellent dessert or snack for the holidays, try these Pumpkin Bars with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing. They’re great for the season, although we enjoy them all year long.
I always seem to have a leftover can of pumpkin from the holidays in the cabinet and now I have a go-to recipe to use it in. Delicious little bars.
- 2 C sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 C pumpkin puree
- 2 C flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 oz cream cheese, softened
- 6 tbsp butter, , softened
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp lemon extract
- 3 C powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 - 3 tbsp cream or milk
- 3/4 C butter, melted (this butter goes in the bars, not the icing)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until creamy. Add the pumpkin and 3/4 C melted butter and mix well.
- In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl and blend well.
- Pour into a greased 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan (or a 9x13" pan for a more cake-like bar). Bake for 30 minutes (bake longer if using a 9x13" pan). Let it cool completely before icing.
- To make the icing, beat together the cream cheese, 6 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, lemon extract and vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat, adding milk or cream to achieve your desired consistency (it will be rather thick). Spread over the cake. Zest some more lemon rind over the top to make it pretty.
- Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Tips and Stuff:
I use Neufchatel cream cheese (1/3 less fat) and it comes out great. I also mix about half a teaspoon of lemon zest into the icing because I like that lemon flavor....a lot.
For the pans I divided the batter between a 13x9" pan and an 8x8" pan because I wanted thinner bars and don't have a jelly roll pan. 30 minutes baking was perfect. I used parchment paper in the 8x8" pan and it was easy to lift out of the pan and cut into bars.
My recipe card won't let me move the 3/4 cup of butter up to the bars part - sorry!
I could eat that icing all day long.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 106mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 2g
Nutrition Values are Approximate