The banana bars recipe goes over so well, I thought I would turn it into a pumpkin bars recipe for Fall. Plus, canned pumpkin is always available. Frozen or brown bananas are easy, but not always as accessible. This turned out very moist even when I tried swapping applesauce for oil. The cream cheese frosting on top is great and it is even better with the pecans on top. The crunchy pecans really balance out the bars and creamy cream cheese frosting while lending another flavor profile to the recipe.
Hope you like them! I’m very proud of them because this is one of the only baking recipes I made from scratch from my other made from scratch recipe (banana bars).
**Update** I finally figured out why the apple teeth worked great, but did not look the way I had planned. You need to cut the on the red skin side, not the white apple inside like I did. THEN it looks like teeth because the red is showing like lips and they will sit nicely on the table with the 90 degree cut on the back.**
yield 16 servings
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil or applesauce
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground allspice, nutmeg and cloves, each
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature (This CAN be omitted and still taste good.)
1 package of cream cheese (8 oz), room temperature
1.5-2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
16-24 pecan halves
1. Combine sugar, pumpkin, oil and eggs in large bowl. Beat together.
2. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
3. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Top will be light golden brown. Cool completely.
4. In large bowl: Beat butter and cream cheese together until creamy. Add vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar a little at a time (1/2 cup increments works well for me.
5. Spread frosting on cooled bars. Evenly place the pecan halves on top of the frosting. Will keep for at least 3-4 days if covered tightly. I store them in the fridge because of the cream cheese.