I LOVE pumpkin. It’s such a fun color, has this great earthy sweet taste, and is great for baking. I had some leftover pumpkin from my bundt cake and so decided to make some pumpkin crunch bars.

In Hawaii, Starbucks has a bakery that makes food exclusively for them. One of my favorite items was the pumpkin crunch cake. I remember a crunchy crumbly bottom, a smooth creamy and cheesy pumpkin layer, and a whip cream/cream cheese layer. I decided since I’m not the most experienced baker, first I’d try following a recipe that sounds similar.

I went with a Kraft recipe, and it was very yummy. Next time I’d make half the crust amount and do a whipped cream/cream cheese layer on top. I improvised the recipe a little, and only made half, making it in a loaf pan. Because it was a little thicker in the loaf pan I had to bake it 30 minutes instead of 25.

All in all, I was really happy with the bars (so was Eric). It’s great with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon (not a dumping like in my picture below!) Can you tell I’m loving my new camera?

Pumpkin Crunch Bars

serves 10


3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 stick cold butter
1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1/4 cup chopped Pecans (I crushed mine instead of chopping)
1/2 cup Cream Cheese, softened
1 egg plus 1 egg white

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp ginger


HEAT oven to 350°F. Line loaf pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; grease foil. Mix flour, half the granulated sugar and all the brown sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and nuts.

RESERVE half of oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin and spice with mixer until well blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

BAKE 30 min.; cool 10 min. Use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

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