• leighannewooten

Healthy Pumpkin Spice Bars

Updated: Oct 5


Are you ready for a slice of fall bliss?


Well, here ya go! While I'm pretty sure this is the healthiest pumpkin spice bar online that does NOT mean that it sacrifices on delivering a dense, delicious and perfectly sweetened treat.


I scoured the internet looking for inspo, but every recipe was loaded with cup after cup of sugar and oil. And while I am a huge proponent of enjoying an indulgent treat, I also wanted to take on the challenge of lightening this holiday favorite up just a bit and still make it just as delightful as ever.


It has hints of cozy spices and a thin layer of sweet, slightly tangy frosting on top. It can even be made egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free and with no added sugar.


I'd call that: Mission - ACCOMPLISHED!

Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

For cake -

  • 1 ¾ cup white whole wheat (or gluten-free* flour)

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp cloves

  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp baking soda

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil

  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 2.5 Tbsp water) or 1 egg

  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée

  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed

For frosting -

  • 4 oz cream cheese

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 Tbsp softened butter (optional, but def gives a creamier flavor)

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • pinch of salt

Frosting note: The amount of frosting in this recipe results in a pretty thin layer but can be tailored to your preferences. Double the recipe if you want more sweetness or eliminate it all together. I will say that the frosting, even just the slightest bit - MAKES this recipe.


Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat an 8”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray. (Optional: Line the pan with parchment paper before spraying for easier removal and clean-up.)

  • To prepare cake: whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, falx egg, and vanilla. Stir in pumpkin purée and mashed bananas. Gradually add in flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.

  • Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for ~20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Meanwhile, prepare frosting by beating all ingredients in a bowl. Spread on top of cooled cake.


Compliments to @Amyshealthybaking for the recipe inspo!

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