Pumpkin cream cheese bars always seem to pop up everywhere during the fall, but how do you make them? Well, picture this: you take pumpkin puree and add the heady, warm flavors of pumpkin pie, which gives you a delicious batter. Then, you spread it out in a pan and swirl in a generous dose of what is essentially cream cheese frosting. Sound like a near-unbeatable treat? That's because it is! Tender, tangy, and moist, these squares straddle the line between bar cookie and snacking cake, and you won't be able to stop at just one.
Ideal for the fall season, these bars are the perfect surprise to be mailed in a care package for a friend or a fitting finish to a casual autumnal dinner. Or, if you're feeling a bit indulgent, they're a great stand-in for your morning muffin. Keep reading for the full recipe, and get baking!
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs, divided
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature