Pumpkin Bars with Honey Cream Cheese

PumpkinBarEvery year when the weather starts to cool down, I can’t help but get a little bit giddy. Cooler temps mean so many of my favorite things are just around the corner…camping, bonfires, hoodies, hayrides, barn parties and PUMPKIN. Pumpkin in every form imaginable! Carving pumpkins, eating pumpkins, decorating with pumpkins…I am all about it! Last fall when I was a bit more of a newbie to the grain-free cooking, I made Pumpkin Spice Muffins which are still a favorite and are on rotation in my meal plan as long as my canned pumpkin lasts :).  This year I wanted to try my hand at pumpkin bars.  I found this recipe on Detoxinista, but it was missing one major element: cream cheese frosting.  Cream cheese isn’t something that is a regular ingredient on my diet, but I’d be the first to admit that I’m not a purist and that I’m okay with certain foods in moderation.  Usually the issue I have with cream cheese frosting is that it’s made mostly of powdered sugar…and that’s definitely a no.  So, I went back to my Fruit Pizza recipe and used the simple Honey Cream Cheese frosting made only from cream cheese, organic butter and a small amount of honey.  Since the pumpkin bars make just an 8×8 pan, I only needed a half batch of frosting, but I went ahead and made it all and froze half of it – just an excuse to make another batch of pumpkin bars later on! 🙂

Grain/Sugar/Dairy-Free Pumpkin Bars

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8″ x 8″ pan. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring until completely smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the edges are a golden brown and the center doesn’t wiggle when shaken.

While it’s cooling (and you want it to be cooled completely), you can begin on the frosting…

Honey Cream Cheese

(this is the full recipe – half this if you only want enough to cover the 8×8 pan of pumpkin bars)

  • 1 8oz. pkg cream cheese (I used Trader Joe’s Lite Cream Cheese)
  • 1/2 cup butter (organic or kerrygold irish), softened
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave or sweetener of choice. Again, I prefer locally grown honey)

Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled pumpkin bars. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Advertisements