It’s here…pumpkin season! There are so many delicious recipes that involve pumpkin, it’s hard to know where to start. If you’re ready for a new favorite pumpkin dessert, you’ll want to try these gluten free pumpkin cream cheese bars! A perfect blend of creamy pumpkin, warm spice, and rich cream cheese, these bars have a texture that’s somewhere between a brownie and a piece of cheesecake. The best thing is, the ingredients are all natural and healthy and although this dessert will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth, you won’t feel guilty about reaching for seconds. They’re full of nutrients from organic pumpkin and cream cheese! This recipe works well with a variety of gluten free flours (or regular, if you’d rather), I used a blend of homemade oat flour, coconut flour and ground flax seed and had great results.
What you’ll need…
You’ll need organic pumpkin, organic cream cheese and butter, rapadura or evaporated cane juice, organic cage free eggs, a bit of pumpkin pie spice, and gluten free flour. If you’re using oat flour, just run some gluten free organic oats through the food processor until you’ve got the texture you’d like. These bars don’t have a crust, the pumpkin mixture forms a soft and creamy bar and the cream cheese is swirled on top. So pretty, and they taste even better than they look!
Start by creaming some butter and sugar. Add the eggs, pumpkin, flour, some baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice and whip until you have a nice batter. Spread this in a baking dish (the batch in the photos is lined with parchment paper, but I made a second batch and found that I didn’t need it after all).
Then, make the cream cheese mixture. Whip some organic cream cheese, add an egg and a little sugar and mix well. Drop the cream cheese mixture on top of the pumpkin, and use a knife to swirl pretty patterns on top.
Pop them in the oven for about half an hour…
…let them cool a bit and then cut them into pretty squares. Delicious! These are so yummy, they just might take the place of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner. Well… maybe they’ll go along with the pumpkin pie. Either way, we’ve found a new favorite pumpkin dessert at our house and I know we’ll be making it often!
- 6 Tablespoons organic, grass fed butter
- 1½ cups organic rapadura or evaporated cane juice
- 3 large organic, cage free eggs
- 1 cup organic canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 1¾ cups organic, gluten free flour (I used 1 cup of homemade oat flour, ½ cup of organic coconut flour, and ¼ cup ground flax seed. Or use your favorite blend)
- 1½ teaspoons organic ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 8 ounce package organic cream cheese (or make your own)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a 10x15 inch baking pan (or line it with parchment paper)
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1¼ cups of the sugar until smooth.
- Add 2 of the eggs, the pumpkin and ⅓ cup of water and beat well.
- If you are using homemade oat flour, pulse about 2 cups of oats in a food processor until powdery, then measure out the amount you're going to use.
- In a different bowl, combine the flour(s) and flax seed and the baking powder and soda. Add the spice and stir well.
- On low speed, combine the dry ingredients with the pumpkin mixture. Increase the speed and beat well. If you're using oat, almond, or coconut flour, it helps to let the batter sit for about 20 minutes (but you can skip this step).
- Spread the pumpkin mixture in the prepared pan.
- Combine the cream cheese, the remaining egg, and ¼ cup of sugar in a bowl. Beat on high speed until creamy and fluffy.
- Drop the cream cheese mixture onto the pumpkin, about a tablespoonful at a time.
- Draw the tip of a knife (a butter knife works well) through the cream cheese, swirling it with the pumpkin mixture.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (I know this seems like a wide range for the baking time, the recipe calls for 30 minutes but mine took closer to 40 before it was done all the way through. Test it in several places just to be sure).
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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Photography by Jennifer Leung Johnson