Why You Shouldn't Make Pumpkin Bars Using A Cake Recipe

Platter of pumpkin cake bars
Platter of pumpkin cake bars - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Ahh, fall. The season of cozy sweaters, cooler weather, and, of course, pumpkin foods and drinks. While there are tons of great pumpkin recipes out there to concoct this season, one tasty treat you can try to make is pumpkin bars.

Pumpkin bars are a cake-like treat often topped with cream cheese frosting (although you could top it with confectioner's sugar or nothing at all) and packed with pumpkin pie spices and pumpkin puree. Although this treat may resemble a cake, it's not the same dish. Still, many pumpkin bar recipes simply use a cake base, essentially giving you pumpkin cake as opposed to a bar. Instead of using a straight cake base, however, try tweaking the recipe slightly to give you a less fluffy and more moist bar.

Here's how to adjust your recipe to make tasty pumpkin bars that stand as their own, unique dessert and don't resemble pumpkin cake.

Read more: The Best Tips For How To Choose Butter When Baking

How To Set Your Pumpkin Bars Apart From Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin bar on a plate with a fork next to it
Pumpkin bar on a plate with a fork next to it - Anna Shepulova/Shutterstock

If you've got a basic pumpkin cake recipe to work with and to make pumpkin bars, don't panic. You can still set your bars apart from a cake with a few quick adjustments. One easy adjustment to make is to reduce the number of eggs in the recipe. Eggs help make your final bake cakeier, so cutting back on the number used in the batter can help make your pumpkin bars more solid.

Another trick to set your pumpkin bars apart from pumpkin cake is to cut back on the amount of baking powder or baking soda in the recipe. Like eggs, these ingredients serve as leavening agents and help your pumpkin bars fluff up. To make the bars less fluffy, reduce the quantities of these ingredients. You can also play around with swapping oil for butter for a better flavor or adding maple syrup to the recipe for additional moisture and a unique taste.

Besides just tweaking the ingredients in the recipe, you can also play around with your pan size. Using a larger, flat pan like a jelly roll pan leads to a thinner, more spread-out batter. This results in a thinner end product.

Other Tips For Making Great Pumpkin Bars

Bowl of ingredients in mixing bowl
Bowl of ingredients in mixing bowl - Alena_Kos/Shutterstock

Besides just steering clear of a standard cake recipe for your pumpkin bars, there are a couple of other things you can do to make sure your treats come out great. One way to go about this is to make sure you're using pumpkin puree instead of pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree is just pureed pumpkin and doesn't have any of the sugar and spices that go into pie filling. Since you'll add those ingredients into your bar anyway, using pumpkin puree prevents your final product from being overly sweet or having too much pie spice in it. Another way to make sure you get great-tasting pumpkin bars is to use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has a stronger flavor, which can give your pumpkin bars a stronger taste once they come out of the oven.

Apart from focusing on the ingredients in the bars, you can also amp up your pumpkin bars by playing around with the cream cheese frosting that goes on top of them. Instead of just making a standard cream cheese frosting recipe, try adding a bit of pumpkin pie spice (or a blend of nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, the individual ingredients in the spice mix) to the icing. This can help enhance your pumpkin bars' seasonal flavor. With these tips, you're ready to make delicious pumpkin bars that stand out from your average pumpkin cake!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.