You are what you eat, so we are PUMPKINS! And this recipe deserves all the credit because it makes yummiest healthy pumpkin squares ever. They’re only sweetened by maple syrup (until you add the frosting) so super light. To keep things even less sugary, swap the frosting for plain cream cheese. Either way, they do not disappoint!
As always, let me know if you give any of my recipes a try @raeannkelly or in the comments. It always makes my day!
*UPDATE: Please note that these are not your usual pumpkin bars or pumpkin bread recipe as they include flaxseed and are meant to be more of a snack than a treat. As is, my kids all love this recipe and gobble them up within a couple hours. If you like the healthy aspect but would like them a little more soft and sweet, swap the flour for pancake mix (like krusteaz or similar). Likewise, for gluten free squares you can swap for a gluten free baking flour.
THE YUMMIEST PUMPKIN SQUARES EVER (WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING)
FOR THE PUMPKIN BARS
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1-1/4 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of all spice and cinnamon)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (a little more than half of a 15 oz can, for those that also measure with their hearts, lol)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 splash vanilla extract
FOR THE FROSTING
- 1/4 cup (or 1/2 a stick) butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 splash vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- chocolate chips or sprinkles to top!
MAKE THE PUMPKIN BARS
- Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease (even if using parchment paper) an 8×8 baking dish. In a small bowl, stir flaxseed and warm water together and set aside for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients: flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, stir together wet ingredients: flaxseed mixture, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- Pour wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Batter will be thick! Spread into prepared dish and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside and let cool completely before frosting!
MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- While the pumpkin squares bake or cool, whip up the cream cheese frosting! In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract and beat until creamy.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar until completely combined and frosting is creamy and smooth. Use to frost your cooled pumpkin squares and top with sprinkles or chocolate chips.
Sources: mini sheet pans, 8×8 pan, parchment paper, latte bowl, black measuring cups, chalkboard diy (follow directions but instead of adding cork board, paint with chalkboard paint of choice), Poppy’s pjs from here
What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?