Since September 1st rolled around, I’ve been thinking about pumpkins, and what my first baking move would be this year. There’s just something so comforting about pumpkin baked goods; I think it’s a mixture of the warm spices, coupled with the feeling that you should be wrapped up in a blanket and drinking tea, or tromping through leaves on a sunny, but kind of cold, day.
While contemplating my first move in the kitchen, I kept coming back to my favorite pumpkin cookie recipe. These cake-like cookies practically begged me to transform them into bars so they’d be even fluffier, and allow more space for white chocolate chunks (one of pumpkin’s best friends) to make a home.
If you’re feeling the Fall fever like I am, you should probably grab one (or three) of these bars…immediately. They’re soft, perfectly spiced, and full of the warm-fuzzies an Autumnal freak like me craves..
Pumpkin White Chocolate Cake Bars
Adapted from my favorite pumpkin cookie recipe on AllRecipes.
Makes 24 bars
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces white chocolate, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use a fork or whisk to fluff together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a bowl, set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the white chocolate with the cornstarch. Shake/stir the chocolate pieces to make sure they are fully covered.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter until fluffy, then blend in the sugars. Add the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin, and mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
Fold in the white chocolate pieces, then scoop the batter into a greased 9×13-inch pan, using a spoon to make sure it’s dispersed evenly. The batter will be sticky…this is okay.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Then wait. TRY to wait for them to cool for about 10 minutes. I know, it’s hard, especially because it’s Sunday and your man friend insists on watching football, so there’s really nothing to distract you from the pumpkin bar scent. Stay strong.
After you’ve been good and waited 10 minutes, cut the bars into squares. I made 24, but you can make them bigger or smaller to your liking.
Then, and this is important, eat one immediately. Or at least try a bite of one, because that warm, spiced bar with the melty white chocolate will just hunker down in your soul and make you smile.
The bite will be soft like cake, but ever-so-slightly denser, which will make it seem like a bar…but let’s not forget that this recipe stemmed from a cookie recipe. It’s inconsistent MADNESS.
When I bake, I usually keep a few for us to keep at home, and then bring the rest to work. This time I brought half the pan to work, and kept the other half for me, myself, and the boy (but mostly me). I’m generous, but I wasn’t about to give away the whole pan. No one’s that nice.
These bars are the perfect way to jump-start your pumpkin season. Especially if you follow it up by a pumpkin latte, which you can sip while reading beside a pumpkin-scented candle, and then look forward to a pumpkin ale in the early evening.
Or you know, just pick one pumpkin activity. I mean, I definitely didn’t do all of those things in the same day….within a span of like 5 hours. Definitely not.