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Healthy Dessert: Pumpkin-Carrot Bars With Cream Cheese

Meet Your New Favorite Pumpkin Dessert

Low in calories while remaining full of flavor, these pumpkin bars make a great dessert — perfect for potlucks (much easier to share with large groups than pies) and relatively guilt-free. The bit of cream cheese frosting adds a deceptive element of decadence, but a single serving only contains 71 calories and 1.7 grams of fat. These bars are high in vitamin A — and trust me, you cannot even taste the shredded carrot. With nutritional stats like that, it's OK to go back for seconds.

Pumpkin-Carrot Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin-Carrot Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  2. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  7. 1/3 cup Earth Balance (or other butter substitute)
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 2 large egg whites
  10. 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin pie filling
  11. 2/3 cup finely shredded carrot
  1. Cream cheese topping:
  2. 4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon skim milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In a larger bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar, brown sugar, and Earth Balance until crumbly. Add the eggs, egg whites, pumpkin pie filling, and carrots. Beat until well blended.
  4. Add the flour mixture and mix until well blended. Spread onto greased pan.
  5. To prepare cream cheese topping, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and milk until thoroughly blended.
  6. Drop teaspoons full of topping over pumpkin batter and swirl and cut mixture into batter with a butter knife.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan completely on wire rack before cutting into squares.
  9. Makes 48 squares.

shartran shartran 2 years

After closer inspection...I would totally change: Pumpkin filling to puree; cut the sugars!!OMG! Cream Cheese to a lower fat variety, incorporate some almond flour or other...

shartran shartran 2 years

does the '71 calories' include the icing too?? I too have noticed the really small portioning of recipes...

quiltpixie quiltpixie 5 years
Looks great but gotta nix the sugars, will use Swerve instead and coconut oil for butter.\u00a0 May try to substitute almond flour or coconut flour for the wheat ... gonna have to experiment with this.\u00a0 thanks for sharing
beetique beetique 6 years
Hey a tip for those of you that can't find pumpkin in a can. Go to a pumpkin farm or the store and buy a small pumpkin. Cut in 1/2 and scoop out the seeds. Then put in a microwave in a glass dish and cook on high for 15 minutes. Voila. Pumpkin.... and you can also use a butternut squash instead.
RunningOnCoffee RunningOnCoffee 6 years
These look great, I want to try making them!
kangarue kangarue 6 years
These are super moist and delicious. I used butter instead of Earth Balance and canned pumpkin rather than pumpkin pie filling.
Texan-Lobster Texan-Lobster 7 years
I made these bars last night for a party, and they were moist and delicious, and not too sweet. I made a few modifications: 1) used a mix of whole wheat and white flours since I was out of WW pastry flour, 2) added ~1/4 tsp salt and used salted butter, 3) used canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling, 4) used a mix of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg instead of pumpkin pie spice, and 5) baked in a 9 x 13 pan (cooking time was closer to 30 mins). Next time I make them I'll probably use a little less baking soda since I could taste it a little bit, and I'll probably double the cream cheese frosting.
littleGrey littleGrey 7 years
Are you adding more spice mix to the can of pumpkin pie filling, or do you mean to use a can of regular pureed pumpkin?
Alexis613 Alexis613 7 years
I want to make these!!
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
These look AMAZING! Retro & Beth - You can find Earth Balance at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, and most likely at any other natural foods store. The good thing about it is that it's not really any more expensive than "normal" margarine.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
When I was at the grocery store over the weekend they had plenty of canned pumpkin. Cranberry suace on the other hand was almost nowhere to be found. It's so weird. I have a can of pumpkin in my pantry so I didn't buy any at the store but hubby and I joked about how much my can of pumpkin would go for on ebay ;-)
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Yeah, the pumpkin shortage thing is weird. I was at the store today and they were totally out of canned pumpkin! Good thing I'm making shoofly pie this year instead of pumpkin.
TammyO TammyO 7 years
I think I'll just use butter instead of Earth Balance. I can't stand margarine anything, I'd rather have the real thing like butter and just use a bit less of it.
chivasinstead chivasinstead 7 years
Gee...a pumpkin recipes in a year when there's a shortage on the canned stuff. Thanks for the tease, Fit.
fashionplate525 fashionplate525 7 years
Ohh I want these NOW!
cdelaney cdelaney 7 years
looks scrumptious!
Kensington7 Kensington7 7 years
These look amazing, I can't wait to make them!
redsilkshoes redsilkshoes 7 years
I'm making these this weekend! Thanks!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Looks good.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 7 years
Would 1 can pumpkin work or would it have to be pumpkin pie filling?
Fitness Fitness 7 years
Hey all, Earth Balance is a type of margarine with no hydrogenated oils. It comes in both a tub or stick form, which is perfect for baking.
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