Pumpkin Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

It seems as though everything in the blogosphere is proclaiming "Hooray for Fall! My life is now complete!" And "Yay apples! And pumpkin spice everything!"

Admittedly I am totally one of those people.

I love cozy sweaters, boots and lattes. I love apple pie and apple cupcakes with cinnamon frosting.

I could live on pumpkin bread, pumpkin oats, pumpkin pie and now these pumpkin bars with maple cream cheese frosting.

When I received Life's Simple Measures as my blog this month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was so smitten because many of Jess' recipes are delicious baked goodies and treats. She has so many creative recipes that I found it very difficult to choose just one! Oh and did I mention that she also has 3 dogs? Because that's sort of a life dream of mine :) I was even more excited because Jess has lots of fallish recipes that I couldn't wait to try since this whole autumn obsession has kicked in.

Each month, The Secret Recipe Club, run by the lovely April, pairs a blogger with another blog. The blogger then chooses one recipe to cook or bake and reveals it as a surprise on a designated day. I like. A special thanks also to Debbi @ Debbi Does Dinner Healthy for playing hostess in Group C!

When I saw Jess' recipe for pumpkin bars, I knew it was meant to be. These bars were seriously so easy to make. I also had all of the ingredients on hand, which made this a no brainer. Fueled by lots and lots of pumpkin, these were incredibly moist bars. Topped with cream cheese frosting infused with maple syrup (or extract...I only had syrup on hand), these bars were sweet and the perfect way to usher in my favorite season.

Pumpkin Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Bars:

1 (29 oz.) can pumpkin puree

3/4 C canola oil

3 large eggs

1 2/3 C sugar

2 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

 

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

3 C powdered sugar

1/2 C unsalted butter, softened

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 tsp maple extract or 3+ Tbsp maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat together the pumpkin, oil, eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. 

Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and mix on low until completely combined. Pour into a greased 9x13" baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Once cooled, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and beat until completely combined and fluffy. Add maple syrup or extract (note: the maple syrup is not a strong flavor here, but it was all I had on hand). Spread frosting over bars, cut and serve.

Eat many.

I did. Don't tell anyone though. The rest of these are going to our building concierge to enjoy :)

Hope you enjoy this recipe and that your Monday is off to a wonderful start!