It’s Fall in October, so naturally I needed to share my Pumpkin Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting recipe! Just trust me on this one, friends. These pumpkin bars are to die for. They’re also super easy to make and require minimal effort. That’s my kind of dessert!
⚠️ Warning: the orange cream cheese frosting is addictive. It tastes just like a creamsicle (vanilla ice cream coated with orange sherbet). 🍦🍊
You may also like: Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars.
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I absolutely love the warm, cozy scent of pumpkin pie spice, which is normally a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. To me, there’s nothing like sipping on a piping hot pumpkin spice latte on a cold, rainy Fall Day (surprisingly, we have yet to have one of those in Washington this year).
Want to know what’s even better than a pumpkin spice latte? The aroma of pumpkin bars wafting through my house while I decorate for Fall!
Speaking of, I haven’t even decorated yet this year, which I’m usually so eager to do. Truthfully, I’ve been going through something lately (I promise I’ll explain some day). One thing keeping me sane is creating recipes and putting them out into the world for everyone to enjoy! I’m also lucky to have a great circle of people around me to help me through it. Not only my husband, family, and friends, but also blog followers like you. So, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for being here! I hope you love the first of my Fall 2022 baking recipes. 🍂
Be sure to follow Heavenly Spiced on Instagram for all things recipes, cooking, travel, and life. 🖤
You may also be interested in these easy baking recipes for beginners….
How to Make: Easy Pumpkin Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Ingredients & Instructions for Pumpkin Bars
Simple ingredients make up these moist and delicious pumpkin bars:
- Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cinnamon, Baking Soda, Baking Powder
- Brown & White Sugar
- Canned Pumpkin
- Avocado Oil
- Orange Juice
- Vanilla Extract
- Chopped Walnuts
You can use a KitchenAid with the flat beater attachment like I do, or you can just use a wooden spoon or handheld mixer. Simply combine the ingredients, then fold in the chopped walnuts. It doesn’t get any easier than this!
CAN YOU USE AVOCADO OIL INSTEAD OF VEGETABLE OIL?
Avocado oil has many uses, one of those being baking. Healthwise, it’s a good source of vitamins A and E, and helps the body absorb other fat-soluble vitamins.
Avocado oil also has a high smoke point which prevents burning, and although avocado has a slightly more distinct flavor than vegetable oils, the flavor doesn’t come through when baking.
Chosen Foods avocado oil and avocado oil spray are my favorites! Well and Good has an interesting article regarding quality and purity tests performed on certain avocado oil brands. Researchers only found two brands that were pure and still fresh by the expiration date, and Chosen Foods was one of them!
Use avocado oil as a substitute (1:1 ration) for vegetable oil in any baking recipe.
Spray the entire inside of the pan with avocado oil spray. Sprinkle flour to coat the cake pan, shaking off any excess. Line the pan with parchment paper (this helps you easily remove the bars from the pan) then dump the pumpkin bars batter into your prepared cake pan (👈🏽 my absolute favorite one for bars/brownies is linked). Bake the pumpkin bars at three hundred fifty degrees for twenty-five to thirty minutes. Every oven is different, but in my oven, it’s usually perfect after twenty-nine minutes. The finished pumpkin bars should spring back when lightly pressed. Check for doneness with a toothpick!
Leave the pumpkin bars in the cake pan for about ten minutes before removing them by grabbing the sides of the parchment paper. Place the bars on a cooling rack and cool completely.
Ingredients & Instructions for Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting is superior to any other flavor to begin with (in my opinion). Add orange juice and zest to it? It’s perfect! 🍊
And how beautiful is the color of freshly squeezed orange juice? Which reminds me, my friend and neighbor, Lori, was over when I was making this recipe recently. The oranges I bought (they were organic oranges from Fred Meyer) were the freshest, sweetest, juiciest oranges ever. We couldn’t understand what was up with them, and how they were so good, but they were! Therefore, I felt the need to tell you. 😂
For the orange cream cheese frosting you’ll need:
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- Orange Zest
You can use the whisk attachment on your KitchenAid like me, but just like the pumpkin bars, you can also whisk it by hand or use a handheld mixer instead. Soften the cream cheese and butter, then whisk that together until well combined. I then whisk in the remaining ingredients, cover the bowl, and set it in the fridge until the Pumpkin Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are cooled and ready to be frosted!
I like to frost the pumpkin bars then sprinkle them with a mixture of orange zest, chopped walnuts, and a pinch of flaky salt, but that’s completely optional. However, if you’re interested in a pretty presentation, I say go for it!
Now, excuse me while I go inhale one (or a few) of these Pumpkin Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. 😋🎃🍊
As always, I’d love to hear from you all! About your experience with this dish, any alterations you may have made and loved (or didn’t love), or just life and cooking in general. You can reach out via email (email@example.com), and/or stay connected with me on social media, which I have linked below.
MORE RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:
Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie Bars.
Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon.
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Instant Pot and Oven Instructions).
Roasted Tomato Basil and Red Pepper Soup with Cheesy Garlic Bread.
Pasta with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Sauce.
Pumpkin Bars with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting is the easiest, tastiest baking recipe you’ll make this Fall! The frosting resembles the flavor of a creamsicle and is perfectly smothered on the cakey pumpkin pie spiced pumpkin bars. So yummy, and perfect for any potluck, party, or just for a special treat at home!
PUMPKIN BARS BATTER:
- 1 cup solid-packed canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup pure cane sugar
- 2/3 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for lightly dusting the cake pan
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- avocado oil spray, for coating the cake pan
ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 8–ounce cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
FOR TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
- Chopped Walnuts
- Orange Zest
- Flaky Salt
- MAKE PUMPKIN BARS BATTER. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of your KitchenAid, combine the canned pumpkin, sugars, avocado oil, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Merge the sifted dry ingredients with the pumpkin mixture. Once the batter is well combined, fold in the chopped walnuts. You can use a KitchenAid with the flat beater attachment as I do, or you can just use a wooden spoon or handheld mixer.
- PREPARE THE CAKE PAN AND BAKE. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). Spray the entire inside of the 9-inch square cake pan with cooking spray (I use avocado oil spray). Sprinkle the pan with flour and shake it around to coat, shaking off any excess. Line the pan with parchment paper and dump in the batter. Use a rubber spatula to even out the pumpkin bars. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The pumpkin bars should spring back when lightly pressed. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Once done (after about 10 minutes) remove them from the pan by grabbing both ends of the parchment paper and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- PREPARE THE ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. Whip together the softened butter and cream cheese until well combined, about a minute. Add in the orange juice, orange zest, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Mix until well combined and creamy. Cover the bowl and set it in the fridge until you’re ready to frost!
- FROST THE PUMPKIN BARS AND SPRINKLE WITH OPTIONAL TOPPINGS. Once the pumpkin bars are cooled completely, spread the frosting evenly. For an optional topping (great for presentation), grate some orange zest and combine it with a handful of chopped walnuts and a pinch of flaky salt. Sprinkle it evenly around the frosted pumpkin bars. Cut and enjoy! 🖤
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Snacks & Desserts, Vegetarian
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
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