Friday, October 30, 2015

Sourdough Pumpkin Bars

While this should've been a no-brainer Sourdough Surprises due to the easy theme (anything pumpkin) and an extended deadline (the 30th of the month instead of the 20th), truth be told, I struggled with this one. Maybe it was the fact that there are so many great pumpkin recipes I could have gone with. Pumpkin pancakes, sourdough pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie with sourdough crust, sourdough pumpkin snickerdoodles, pumpkin bagels, sourdough crepes with pumpkin mousse... the extra days just gave me more time to vacillate between them all.

Whatever. When push came to shove and the clock started ticking down those final days, I picked a lane and kicked it into high gear. I always knew it was going to be something sweet. Though there were some false starts along the way. 

The pumpkin bread made with roasted butternut squash came out pretty delicious. I brought it to work, everyone agreed and I might just be blogging that some time soon! The pumpkin doughnuts, not so much. That one's gonna need work. After those adventures, I double-downed on the sweetness and arrived at pumpkin bars with orange cream cheese frosting. Sourdoughafied of course!

sourdough pumpkin bars

1 & 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice*
6 tablespoons oil
1 cup canned pumpkin (or any cooked squash)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 teaspoon fresh orange rind
1 cup sugar
1 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup raisins 

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup cream cheese at room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh orange rind

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 by 13 inch baking pan and set aside. 

Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another large bowl whisk together oil, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, sugar and starter. 

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fold in raisins. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center of bars comes out clean. Cool pan on a wire rack.

While bars are cooling, prepare frosting. Cream together butter and cream cheese. Gradually  add confectioners sugar. Add vanilla and orange rind; beat until creamy.

Top cooled bars with frosting and cut in 18 or 20 servings.

 *I used 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/4 tablespoon each nutmeg and ginger, and a pinch of cloves.

Print Friendly and PDF


  1. You know those are not pumpkins in the pictures, right?

    1. Yes! Actually they're orange acorn squash, how cute are they?! I used canned pumpkin in the recipe. As I mentioned you could also use roasted squash so I thought using them as a prop wasn't so far off the mark.

  2. These look amazing!! I LOVE the orange zest in the cream cheese frosting!! Brilliant!!

  3. Thanks, & thanks for the inspiration! They are so yummy!

  4. I wish I had some pumpkin in the house right now. I'd make these immediately. They look so delicious! Pumpkin donuts next month?

    1. Thanks Kelster! Yes, I love pumpkin donuts so I will be working on perfecting that recipe!

  5. I love pumpkin bars! Maybe you can try the doughnuts again with November's challenge. I had the same problem you did, too many choices! Unfortunately the one I tried flopped and I didn't get to another attempt despite the extended deadline.

    1. Yes, I just might do that! Butter luck this month!