These Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect fall dessert. Because you bake these up in a 9 x 13" pan they are perfect for taking along to a party or potluck at work. The cake is a moist, flavorful pumpkin spice studded with mini ginger chips for a little sweet heat and chopped nuts for crunch. The recipe calls for toasted walnut but I used toasted pecans for their seasonal flavor. The typical cream cheese frosting get a flavorful twist with the addition of real maple syrup.
The recipe itself is versatile, you can follow the full recipe using a half sheet pan and get 4 dozen 2" bars or use the scaled down recipe like I did and get 3 dozen bars. Either way everyone will enjoy this fall favorite. Here is how you can make your own.
You can find the entire recipe here. I will give instructions for the scaled down recipe. Start by lining a 9 x 13" baking pan with parchment paper. I used binder clips to hold the edges of the paper to the pan. Set aside.
Cake: Beat the oil and sugars together until well blended. Beat in the eggs and pumpkin. Stir in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Note: I used a FULL tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice instead of scaling back for the smaller recipe. This gave my cake a terrific spicy flavor. Gently stir in the flour until just combined. Stir in the ginger chips and chopped nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 20-30 minutes or until completely cooled.
Frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together. Beat in the maple syrup then the powdered sugar and salt. Frosting should have a nice spreadable consistency.
Frost the cooled bars and sprinkle with more chopped nut. Let the frosting sit for 15 minutes then remove cake from pan and cut into bars.