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Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars

These Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars are an easy Fall dessert idea that tastes amazing! They’re full of pumpkin flavor and Autumn spices, but light on the calories so you can enjoy them guilt free!

Pumpkin Swirl bars on a green plate

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?

How to Make These Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars

Top view of a pan of pumpkin cream cheese swirl bars

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

A package of Philadelphia 1/3 less fat cream cheese

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

Cream cheese filling mixture in a bowl

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.

Ingredients for pumpkin bars, including angel food cake, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and water

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…

Pumpkin bars batter spread in a 9x13 pan

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

A collage of cream cheese mixture being swirled into pumpkin bars

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?

Pumpkin cream cheese swirl bars on a plate
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Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Squares 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars are an easy Fall dessert idea that tastes amazing! They’re full of pumpkin flavor and Autumn spices, but light on the calories so you can enjoy them guilt free!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (8 oz) block 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 (16 oz) package Angel Food Cake Mix
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Spray a 9×13 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, 3/4 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

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Bar
  • Calories: 172
  • Sugar: 18.4 g
  • Sodium: 258.6 mg
  • Fat: 2.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.2 g
  • Protein: 4.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.3 mg

Keywords: pumpkin desserts, pumpkin blondies, pumpkin bars, pumpkin brownies, pumpkin cake, fall dessert idea, thanksgiving dessert

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57 comments on “Lightened Up Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars”

  1. Made this for a work potluck and got SOOOOOOO many compliments. Everyone was asking for the recipe! It was a hit. My husband was sad there were no leftovers, so guess I’m going to have to make again for him to try. Very tasty, easy to make & a super hit!

  2. My cream cheese mixture didn’t drizzle. It was too think both times I made it. it’s very good if you are on Weight Watchers…to take the place of a heavier dessert. People like it that weren’t looking for a low calorie dessert.

  3. This recipe was awesome for being low in WW points plus. For sure best witching the first day or so.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!!

  6. 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?

    1. It would certainly change the “light” factor…I would love to hear your results, though. I bet it would still work!

  7. LILLIAN NAILON

    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

  8. Brittany Laukhart

    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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