Pumpkin Bars- {Healthier Recipe}

by Suzanne on October 20, 2011

in Sweet Things

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Years ago when I first got married I made these pumpkin bars out of Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1989) addition which was new at the time :). They were so tasty full of spices and super moist with a cream cheese frosting of course. I remember my sister just loving them and saying you need to make those pumpkin bars again. I’ve made them a few times since but it’s been way over due, this time I wanted to make them a little healthier.  Why make them healthier? Because I started working out and trying to keep things under control especially during the holiday surge of delicious foods. Healthy is defined differently by everyone but here is what I feel made these healthy for me, I used whole wheat pastry flour, wheat germ, and I also substituted half the oil for unsweetened applesauce. I changed the type of oil to olive oil (light extra virgin) since it is a healthier oil, but I left the eggs alone. I think you could take out 2 yolks if your concerned about cholesterol and whisk the whites to stiff peaks and fold them in for maximum fluffiness of the cake.  The frosting is not healthy but if you wanted to go healthier there make a glaze with powdered sugar and milk or water, or just sprinkle with powdered sugar.  I tried the pumpkin bars with just powdered sugar and they were very good but I can’t resist them with the frosting and nuts.

Pumpkin Bars- {Healthier Recipe}

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 T. wheat germ
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground all spice
4 eggs
1 16 oz. can of pumpkin
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

Step 1: Put all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer and mix together.
Step 2: Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the bowl and mix together until well combined.
Step 3: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 15 X 10 X 1 inch pan with cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tooth pick comes out clean.

Frosting Recipe

1/2 cup butter or one stick at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese softened or at room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans nuts
1 tsp. milk

Step 1: In large mixing bowl cream together the butter and cream cheese
Step 2: Add the sugar, cinnamon and milk mix together until the frosting is creamy.
Step 3: Spread the frosting on the cooled pumpkin bars and top with nuts. Slice and enjoy.
Serves: 24

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1 Salad in a Jar October 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm

It doesn’t look like your changes hurt these bars one bit. Perfect for the season.

2 Suzanne October 24, 2011 at 12:28 am

not in the slightest which was great for the family since they didn’t know they were a bit healthy.

3 Lisa October 22, 2011 at 5:49 am

These pumpkin bars look absolutely delicious,moist, perfect! Love that you made them lighter via apple sauce and olive oil.I bet coconut oil woud work well too! As always, Suzanne, your talent in the kitchen and with the camera, shines. I’m definitely bookmarking these.

4 Suzanne October 24, 2011 at 12:27 am

thank you dear, your comments are always such a uplift to my day thanks 🙂

5 Kristi Rimkus October 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I just bought two pumpkins at the local farmers market. I love this healthy version. I can feel good about eating it. 🙂

6 Suzanne October 24, 2011 at 12:28 am

Yum I bet homemade pumpkin puree would taste super delish in these little treats.

7 wayside wanderer October 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Oh, does this ever look yummy! You have a lovely blog and I am enjoying browsing!

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