Last week Instagram was flooded with pictures of pumpkin cake bars and that made me want to bake one right away. So what is a pumpkin cake bar? It is nothing but a pumpkin cake cut into bite sized bars, instead of giant cake slices. The original recipe is from “The Baking Sheet”, a baking newsletter from King Arthur Flour and i made a few changes. This cake tastes like a cross between pumpkin and fruit cake. Since i like anything pumpkin and i am partial to dried fruits and nuts in cakes, this is definitely a winner in our home. This cake is moist and delicious and the frosting adds a festive touch. It is not overly sweet and pairs well with tea and coffee.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons powdered cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon powdered nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup uncrystallized candied ginger, roughly chopped (optional)
Ingredients for Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup toasted almond pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line a 13 X 9 inch cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Place flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together until well incorporated.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together sugars and oil. Beat in the eggs, one by one.
4. Add pumpkin puree to the above and continue to beat for 2 minutes.
5. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet and add toasted almonds, raisins and ginger.
6. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Let it cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool completely.
8. To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together. Stir in the maple syrup and confectioners sugar, mix well. Add more maple syrup if necessary, the frosting should be in a spreadable consistency.
9. Frost the cake and sprinkle toasted almond pieces on top.
10. Cut into bars and serve.