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Easy Vegan Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


Description

These pumpkin bars are the perfect ode to fall. Full of pumpkin spice, a touch of maple syrup, and topped with a vegan cream cheese frosting, these secretly vegan pumpkin bars are fluffy, soft, moist, and a delight to enjoy!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 100 grams unsweetened dairy free milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 250 grams all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 375 grams pumpkin puree
  • 150 grams coconut sugar
  • 50 grams vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 115 grams vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 115 grams vegan butter, room temperature
  • 500 grams powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

  1. Please read through all instructions before beginning.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, and grease the edges. Measure out all ingredients for the pumpkin bars specifically. Mix together the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar, then set aside to curdle for 5-10 minutes. This will be referred to as vegan buttermilk. 
  3. Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, melted vegan butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add in the dry ingredients, along with the vegan buttermilk, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until there are just no more dry clumps (be careful not to over-mix the batter). 
  4. Bake the pumpkin bars: Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and place the pumpkin bars pan into the oven to bake for 27-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the bars to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before making the cream cheese frosting.
  5. Make the vegan cream cheese frosting: Once the pumpkin bars are completely cool, you can begin to make the vegan cream cheese frosting. Start by creaming together the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter in a large bowl, using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add in the powdered sugar in 1 cup increments, mixing as you go. Once the powdered sugar is fully incorporated, mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. You can use a tablespoon of dairy free milk if necessary to help incorporate the powdered sugar.
  6. Frost the pumpkin bars: Spoon the frosting onto the tops of the pumpkin bars. Spread it evenly until it reaches the edges of the bars. Slice and serve. If needed, you can allow the pumpkin bars to set in the fridge for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
  7. Storage: Store any leftover slices in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Notes

Gluten free flour: I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour here for the best results. 

Vegan buttermilk: the creamier the milk, the better. I recommend Forager Project Oat Milk or Cashew Milk if you’re using store bought. Those are my personal preferences.

Vegan Cream Cheese: the brand of vegan cream cheese you purchase is super important. Not all brands are made equal and act differently in different recipes. For frosting, I prefer to use Violife. I’ve had the most success with that brand in terms of taste and stability of frosting.