I don't know what people did with pumpkins before they baked them into bars and topped them with delectable frosting, but I'm sure it was a sad era for humankind. Fortunately we have these bars! Super moist, autumnal spices, tangy-sweet, rich frosting. No better way to plump up for winter.
Note: these would also be very good (dare I say better? ) with Cooked Flour Frosting, which is not as rich as cream cheese frosting and doesn't require you to remember to buy cream cheese.
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease the bottom only of a 10 x 13" pan (allows cake to climb up the sides).
15 oz. pumpkin puree (1 can)
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. light brown sugar
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
If you are using whole pumpkin, be sure to puree or strain the cooked pumpkin so that it is smooth before use. I used a pink warty Galeux D'Eysines pumpkin, baked for an hour at 350°.
Beat together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs in a large bowl until frothy and fully combined. Sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together until well combined but do not overmix. Pour into the baking pan and bake for 35 minutes (add 5 minutes if using a 9x11" pan). Allow to cool completely. For extra-moist cake, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.
To make frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the sifted powdered sugar until fully combined. Add the vanilla and beat again until fluffy.
Frost the cooled pumpkin bars and then watch them disappear! Note: you will likely have extra frosting--better make some banana bread to use it up!