These pumpkin bars are as delicious with whole wheat flour as they are when made with all purpose flour! There are not too many recipes that I can say that for, but this one is really true. Of course, it could have something to do with the fact that the pumpkin spice cake is just a vessel to get cream cheese frosting to my mouth!
When I put this recipe together, I substituted extra pumpkin in place of the oil that most recipes called for. They turned out wonderful, but because of the whole wheat flour, the bars will tend to dry out quicker. You can use 1 cup of regular vegetable oil in place of one can of pumpkin if you don’t plan on eating the entire pan of bars in 2 days. (not that my son and I did that…hahaha)
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bars
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 – 15 ounce cans of pumpkin puree (or 3.5 cups)
- (you can sub 1 cup of vegetable oil for 1 can of pumpkin)
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup pepitas (or small pumpkin seeds) roasted
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together until well combines. In large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and sugars. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet. Mix just until combined. Pour batter into greased 18×13 pan. (or half sheet pan) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile, in small mixing bowl, combine frosting ingredients and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium/high and beat just until smooth. Don’t mix for too long or your cream cheese will “break” and your frosting won’t be thick. Spread frosting evenly over cooled pumpkin bars. Sprinkle with pepitas. Enjoy!