Cream Cheese Swirled Pumpkin Praline Bars are soft, pumpkin cake filled with creamy cream cheese filling and topped with buttery, praline crumb topping!
Fall temperatures have descended on the northeast! I am fairly excited about this now, while our afternoons are still in the 70’s… I know this won’t last, but I am certainly going to enjoy it while it’s here.
Now, I will admit I haven’t always been a pumpkin fan. I’m not sure if pumpkins are fruits or vegetables, or whatever science has named them…but as a kid they seemed far too food-pyramidy to sit on my plate at dessert time. Pumpkin Pie? Yeah, no thank you very much.
Of course, in recent years pumpkin has become a whole thing in the universe, with pumpkin pie only being the jumping-off point. And as my duty as a very basic gal and food blogger I have looked pumpkin square in the gourd and come out a changed woman. Let’s pumpkin ALL THE THINGS!
These bars are pretty ridiculous, in the best way possible. They’re a dense, pumpkin cake filled with sweet cream cheese and topped with praline crumble. If that isn’t true love, your heart must be stone.
Use canned pumpkin in this recipe…I never know what to call this, pumpkin puree? Pure Pumpkin?
It’s the canned pumpkin like Libby’s brand, not pumpkin pie filling. Got it?
The batter is super simple.
To assemble the bars spread half the batter in a 9×13 pan, top that with a simple cream cheese filling, and then top with the remainder of the batter.
Then you should DEFINITELY go ahead and make a pecan crumb topping to go on top. I mean, at this point, let’s just go for it!
I use chopped pecans in this one to give it a rich crunch. I know some of you don’t like nuts, but I really feel like they are the right way to go here. Trust me.
The topping is just butter, brown sugar, flour and pecans!
Sprinkle that all over the top of the batter…
And bake it for 30-35 minutes until the center is set up to the touch and the crumb topping starts to get a little golden brown.
When it’s cooled, I give you permission to cut it up…
Just remove it from the pan with the foil.
Are you ready?
This sweet treat deserves a place on your fall menu. It’s versatile enough for bonfires or potluck suppers while still being special enough for a place at your Thanksgiving table.
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 cup flour
- 8- ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup cold butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup flour
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with aluminum foil and coat with non stick spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and brown sugar together for 2 minutes in medium speed. Add in the pumpkin pie spice and mix for 20 more seconds until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the vanilla, eggs, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and continue mixing until smooth.
- Mix in the pumpkin on low speed until combined and then finally add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.
- Spread half of this batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Transfer the remaining batter into a small bowl while you make your filling.
- In the clean bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla continuing to mix on medium speed until combined.
- Spread the filling onto the batter in the pan and top with the remaining batter.
- In the clean bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add in the flour and pecans and mix until crumbly and combined, about 1 minute.
- Sprinkle this mixture on top of the pumpkin batter.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the center is set to the touch.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack completely and cut into bars.
recipe adapted from food.com