It’s Fall in October, so naturally I needed to share my Pumpkin Cake Squares with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting recipe! Just trust me on this one, friends. These pumpkin cake squares 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: Pecan Shortbread Bars [Chocolate & Maple Syrup].
This post includes affiliate links. When I find a product that I love and use daily, I like to share it with my readers. Sometimes I use affiliate links so I can earn commission for my recommendations (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support! 🖤
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 cake squares/bars wafting through my house while I decorate for Fall!
Be sure to follow Heavenly Spiced on Instagram for all things recipes, cooking, travel, and life. 🖤
How to Make Pumpkin Cake Squares with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients & Instructions for Pumpkin Cake Squares
Simple ingredients make up these moist and delicious pumpkin cake squares:
- 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 cake squares from the pan) then dump the pumpkin cake squares batter into your prepared cake pan (👈🏽 my absolute favorite one for cake squares/brownies/bars is linked). Bake the pumpkin cake squares 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 cake squares should spring back when lightly pressed. Check for doneness with a toothpick!
Leave the pumpkin cake squares in the cake pan for about ten minutes before removing them by grabbing the sides of the parchment paper. Place the cake squares on a cooling rack and cool completely.
Ingredients & Instructions for Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
The oranges I bought for the frosting on these pumpkin cake squares (they were organic cara cara oranges from Fred Meyer) were the freshest, sweetest, juiciest oranges ever. I recommend trying that kind out!
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 cake squares, 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 Cake Squares with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting are cooled and ready to be frosted!
I like to frost the pumpkin cake squares 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! 🍊
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. Please leave a review/comment/question below, reach out via emai, and/or stay connected with me on social media, which I have linked below. Take care! – Jenna 🖤
MORE SWEETS YOU’LL LOVE:
Pumpkin Cake Squares 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 cake squares. So yummy, and perfect for any potluck, party, or just for a special treat at home!
PUMPKIN CAKE SQUARES 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 CAKE SQUARES 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 cake squares. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The pumpkin cake squares 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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