Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars

funsweets

Yes, you are in the right place.

I made something “light”.

Not to be confused with “diet”.

Because honestly your definition of diet is probably WAY different than my definition of diet.

I’m not going to get into semantics today…but this recipe starts with an Angel Food Cake Mix.  And for anyone who has ever eaten Angel Food Cake, it’s basically like eating sugar air.

And sugar air is on my list of diet foods.

Sooooo…

 

And I went ahead and used 1/3 less fat cream cheese.  Because really, why not?

 

And beyond making you skinny, these bars are totally delicious.

They start with a cake mix…so they’re simple too.

You guys totally want to marry me right now, don’t you?

 

Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars.

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Start with your cream cheese…if you are opposed to lower fat cream cheese, please, by all means use regular.

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Mix that with a little powdered sugar and a tablespoon of water and it will look kind of like this…

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Then get your other stuff out.

Here’s the thing with a lot of my cake mix recipes…I try and be clear on this, but unless I specify “make according to package directions”, I just want you to use the DRY MIX.

That’s what is happening here.  Just the dry mix, guys.

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Mix all that stuff together (oh yeah and some cinnamon…I forgot to take a picture of that).

Spread it into a 9×13 pan sprayed with nonstick spray…

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Then get your cream cheese mixture ready.  Drizzle that all over the top of the batter and swirly-whirl it around.

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Bake it up and let it cool.

Then eat.

And eat more, because the thing about diet food is you can eat twice as much.

I mean, right?

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars
 
makes 24 squares
Ingredients
  • 1 (8 oz) block ⅓ less fat cream cheese
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 (16 oz) package Angel Food Cake Mix
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray
  3. In your stand mixer combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp water mixing on medium high for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl combine box of dry cake mix, pumpkin, ¾ cup water, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until smooth and combined.
  5. Spread pumpkin mixture into your prepared pan.
  6. Drizzle your cream cheese on top of the pumpkin mixture and swirl it in with a butter knife.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until center is set and toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely and cut into squares.
Notes
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Refrigerate if desired.
recipe adapted from tj's test kitchen

 

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57 Comments on "Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars"

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Karly
Guest
October 23, 2012 2:18 pm

It’s pretty much a rule that you should eat double the amount of diet food.

Also, sugar air can not possibly have calories.

Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes
Guest
October 23, 2012 2:28 pm

Love this, Shelly! So pretty and perfect for fall! And I agree with Karly – double portions apply here.

Averie @ Averie Cooks
Guest
October 23, 2012 2:41 pm

Angel food and pumpkin sounds great together! I havent had angel food in ages…yum, now you have me wanting some! And it’s soooo pretty with the swirls of cream cheese, too :)

Erin @ Texanerin Baking
Guest
October 23, 2012 3:08 pm

Haha. Sugar air. I do love me some sugar air! These are so pretty. I’d never thought of angel food and pumpkin together. Sounds good!

Elizabeth
Guest
October 23, 2012 4:03 pm

I’m so excited about all these pumpkin treats!

Colleen @ What
Guest

Love the short list of ingredients for these! These would definitely be a crowd pleaser, I can tell!!

Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel
Guest
October 23, 2012 4:39 pm

Sugar air. Is there a better kind of air? (No). Love these, Shelly.

Cara
Guest
October 23, 2012 4:49 pm

I’m all about something that is lighter– it means I can eat more of it!

Melissa K. in Nebraska
Guest
October 23, 2012 6:56 pm

Your posts make me laugh/smile/giggle/grin/cackle/chuckle every day. Well every day that you post.

Juliana Walters
Guest
October 23, 2012 7:14 pm

Have you tried these bars with the fully loaded cream cheese? Just wondering. I have this weird aversion to low fat no fat dairy. I’ll eat a Twinkie, no problem. But when I think of a reduced calorie dairy product I think to myself, “How did they do that? What dangerous chemical process did the food scientises use to alter that cheese in order to suck those calories and fat out?” I am such a weirdo! Anyway, these look really good, Thanks!

Luv what you do
Guest
Luv what you do
October 23, 2012 10:30 pm

Angel food cake it is one of my favorites. I can’t believe I never mixed it with pumpkin. Awesome idea!

Joanne
Guest
October 23, 2012 10:52 pm

Sometimes “light” and “lightER” are just totally interchangeable. It happens! These look awesome.

Mollie @Sprinkles of Life
Guest
October 24, 2012 10:52 am

Mmmm, I’m excited to try this one! Love me some angel food cake *and* pumpkin!

jerseygirl
Guest
October 24, 2012 11:48 am

When I saw the title of the recipe I thought, Oh no, don’t go light on us that ruins the whole idea of dessert! I wish people in my house liked pumpkin-anything.

Irene
Guest
Irene
October 24, 2012 12:36 pm

These look delicious! Will definitely try making them this weekend! Thanks !!

JulieD
Guest
October 24, 2012 1:20 pm

Oooh oohh I want these in my life!! Why can’t we be neighbors? I would totally taste test for you! :)

Christina @ Oven Adventures
Guest
October 24, 2012 1:40 pm

pretty and light. i’m totally in for a serving, or 5.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
Guest
October 24, 2012 2:13 pm

You do diets about the way I do them. 1/3 less fat means you just saved tons of fat and calories, so you are good!

Cindy
Guest
Cindy
October 24, 2012 2:19 pm

I’m so going to make this for my next Hospice Pot Luck. As a widow, it is so nice to be able to not eat alone once a month. This will be perfect. I really appreciate your blog and your humor (kinda sick like mine — LOL) Thanks for doing a great job!

tess
Guest
tess
October 24, 2012 2:22 pm

omg- i printed it- cant wait to make them
thanks

Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings
Guest
October 24, 2012 2:39 pm

Yes please– the fact that they’re lightened up makes them that much better!

Laura
Guest
October 24, 2012 4:12 pm

This recipe is a perfect way to lighten up a fall delight — pumpkin! I thought I pinned this recipe from another baker back in June when I made it, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Thanks for the informative tutorial.

ColleenB.
Guest
ColleenB.
October 24, 2012 4:32 pm

These look wonderful.
For me tho; I gotta use the regular cream cheese.
I do make my own spice recipe other wise the store bought sits in my cupboard for at least a year before it’s used again so by making yourself, it’s easy to make and can very easly mixed up just what you need when the time comes.
Pumpkin Pie Spice:
Substitutions: 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp ground ginger + 1/8 tsp ground allspice + 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg = 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
ColleenB.

Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen
Guest
October 24, 2012 6:02 pm

Sugar air is the perfect description!

Vicki Bensinger
Guest
October 24, 2012 10:31 pm

Wow this looks wonderful and so easy – that’s the best way. I just mentioned in a previous post that I’d never been to your site but I don’t think I’ve been to this one before only your other one. Looks great!

Sonya
Guest
Sonya
October 24, 2012 11:52 pm

You just made me happy with this recipe! YummmO!

heather
Guest
October 25, 2012 7:46 am

Oh man. Such swirly goodness!

Margaret
Guest
Margaret
October 25, 2012 4:00 pm

I made these last night exactly as written and they turned out AWESOME! Thanks for the delicious recipe! :)

kathy
Guest
kathy
October 25, 2012 7:55 pm

What did I do wrong? :( the cream cheese didnt sit on top of the batter, it sunk in. Did I not beat it long enough? I still swirled it but I’m afraid its not gonna come out right now.

Barilla
Guest
October 27, 2012 7:53 pm

Made these today and they are FANTASTIC and one of the most obscenely easy desserts I’ve ever made. Thanks so much!!

Judy
Guest
October 27, 2012 8:32 pm

I just made these and they are delicious! I could not dribble the cream cheese mix on because it got too thick. I dropped it in spoonfuls and blended with a knife. It worked out but next time I am going to make the cream cheese mixture after I have the batter in the pan because it was soft and runny right after I made it, just thickened as it sat waiting for the cake to get mixed. Either way these bars won’t last long in my house!

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Leslie
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Leslie
October 30, 2012 9:14 pm

If only I wasn’t already married…

Jen
Guest
Jen
November 1, 2012 11:04 pm

Made this Saturday night, and the pan was 85% GONE on Sunday. I used full-fat cream cheese, and made my own “pumpkin pie spice” mixture. Loved the texture, very soufflé like. Yummy!

Deb Young
Guest
Deb Young
November 7, 2012 9:38 am

I made these last night! Delicious, and so easy. I used regular cream cheese and only needed to add additional water to get the desired drizzling consistency. I have to share this recipe!

Tracy
Guest
November 8, 2012 12:46 pm

I love the look of these, like they would melt right on my tongue! Beautiful, and of course I can never resist anything pumpkin. 😉

tess
Guest
tess
November 19, 2012 2:10 pm

just wanted to say..i made these this weekend instead of the original pumpkin pie- omg- we loved them.
thanks for the receipe

Wendy La Puma
Guest
February 8, 2013 6:57 pm

I just made these using spice cake mix and they taste so good! The recipe was easy and didn’t take a lot of ingredients which made it even better. Thanks for sharing!

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Alicia
Guest
Alicia
October 13, 2013 9:21 pm

omg… made these today and they are AMAZING! I think people liked these better than the steak that was for dinner. can’t wait to try some other recipes now.

Brittany Laukhart
Guest
November 18, 2013 12:23 pm

You are hilarious and think EXACTLY like I do! I rarely leave comments but had to say thanks for your fun twist to recipe posting! I’m trying to eat less sugar for no real reason except that I think I eat about 100 times the recommended intake so thought I would try “baking” myself.

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LILLIAN NAILON
Guest
October 22, 2014 5:17 pm

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE SWIRL BARS….THESE REALLY LOOK GOOD BUT I AM A WEIGHT WATCHER, CUT INTO 24 PIECES WHAT WOULD BE THE POINTS FOR I PIECE IN ORDER FOR ME TO DO THIS I NEED THE TOTAL FAT,CARBS ,FIBER AND PROTEIN THANK YOU

Alyssa
Guest
November 19, 2014 9:32 pm

I don’t have any angel food cake in the apt.. think it would work with regular old white or yellow cake mix?? Or would it be too heavy?

Melinda pease
Guest
Melinda pease
December 2, 2014 11:49 pm

I Would like to try these do you have a calorie count?

danae
Guest
danae
January 9, 2015 8:26 pm

Do you know the serving size and how many weight watchers points this is?

Susan
Guest
Susan
January 13, 2015 5:46 pm

I put the info in points calculator…Pretty sure that it is a little over 1 pt. if cut into 24 pieces…a little over 2 points if cut into 12…can’t wait to try this!!!

patricia
Guest
patricia
July 27, 2015 10:17 am

i am going to try this recipe but i am going to use a spice cake mix. i hope it doesn’t make a difference. i am a novice cook and not very successful at times but i keep trying! wish me luck!

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