I must admit that I always have a can of pumpkin in my pantry either for my favorite Pumpkin Muffins or maybe something like this!
These are so delicious that Francois and I ate them all in about two days. So yes, good enough for two, but er.. maybe a bit better for 4-6 people haha.
To keep in mind for this recipe:
- You can use an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch square pan.
- The pumpkin batter is very thick (yum!) and the cream cheese swirl is not (double yum!).
- After swirling in the cream cheese mixture, don’t worry about how perfectly smooth the top is, everything will sort itself out in the oven 🙂
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bars
This is a combo recipe inspired by Martha Stewart and Sally's Baking Addiction.
For the Pumpkin Batter
- 1 cup (228 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100 g) light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (230 g) pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups (250 g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (80 g) chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Swirl
- 4 oz (112 g) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tbsp (15 g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To make the Pumpkin Batter
Preheat your oven to 350F/175C and grease a 9×9 or 8×8 inch baking pan with spray (you can use parchment too).
Beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Then mix in the egg and vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl, then add the pumpkin puree. It might look a little curdled.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt). Then mix into the batter in two additions.
Stir in half the chocolate chips, reserving the rest to sprinkle on top later.
Spread into the pan using the back of a spoon. Reserve a couple of big spoonfuls to plop on top of the cream cheese swirl later.
To make the Cream Cheese Swirl:
Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Then mix in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
Plop big spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture over the pumpkin batter. Then put the couple of reserved spoonfuls of pumpkin batter on top of this randomly (this will help the cream cheese swirl incorporate more throughout the bars). Use a knife and swirl the two batters together roughly. It doesn't have to be perfect, nor does the top need to be perfectly smooth/flat.
Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over top.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan to room temperature, then move to the fridge to chill completely before serving.