Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

When I was in college, my mom made pumpkin bars for me several times each semester, along with enough extras to take back for my friends.  It was definitely very comforting for me during those years and always reminds me of fall and the holidays.    This is my healthier adaptation of those same, amazing bars.


Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients

For the pumpkin bars:

1 1/2 cups pumpkin

2/3 cup honey

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup oil

3 eggs

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups whole wheat, oat, or any other kind of flour

2-3 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cloves

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

For the cream cheese icing:

1 stick butter, softened

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 Tbsp. maple syrup

1-2 Tbsp. milk

Preparation

For the pumpkin bars, combine the wet ingredients, then add in the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Spread the batter evenly into an oiled sheet pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.  For the icing, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the maple syrup and milk; beat until smooth again.  Spread the icing onto the cooled pumpkin bars.

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