Hey guys, I know I gave you a recipe for an awesome dark chocolate cake with pumpkin buttercream that would be perfect for Halloween in my last post, but I almost forgot to tell you guys about these! If you don’t feel like making a big cake, whip these spicy pumpkin bars up instead. Or make them the day after Halloween. They’ll taste just as good 😉
The truth is, I planned on posting about these bars earlier, but I keep forgetting what day of the week it is. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’m suffering from pregnancy dementia, but my brain certainly has been a bit fuzzy!
By the way, our little baby is getting HUGE! I feel like I’m all bump right now: I can barely tie my own shoe laces, and I really miss being able to sleep on my stomach, as sleeping on my back has become impossible because of the weight of the baby and I need about half a dozen pillows to lie comfortably on my side. And yet, despite my huge bump, I can’t believe it’s almost November
Anyway, if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, or if you’ve looked over the recipe index, you might have noticed that I’ve posted about these pumpkin bars before, back in 2013. But like I did with many of the buttercream recipes I posted in 2013, I also took the time to update and improve this recipe for pumpkies.
Pumpkies? Yes, pumpkies!
You see, these spicy, cakey bars also happen to be very moist and almost fudgy, so when I first developed the recipe years and years ago, I decided to call them pumpkies. You know, like brownies, but with pumpkin. For SEO purposes I will call them spicy pumpkin bars here on the blog (boring!), but pumpkies just sounds so much cuter, doesn’t it?
Oh, and if you don’t like walnuts (or have some terrible tree nut allergy), feel free to leave them out. Or use dark chocolate chips instead! I personally love the combination of moist, spicy pumpkin cake and walnuts, but you can throw in whatever nuts or chips you like, of course.
Just make sure you make enough! I actually froze two batches of these for when our baby is born. You know, to have something to snack on when I’m up during the night. I’m also freezing actual meals, so the Rocking Rebel and I won’t have to cook the first few weeks, but I’m particularly looking forward to midnight pumpkies
They’re just too good! Spicy, pumpkiny and moist, with a nice crunch from the toasted walnuts. Just look at how fudgy these are…
- 75g (or 2.5 ounces) small walnut pieces
- 2 large eggs
- 150g (or ¾ cup) granulated sugar
- 40g (or 3 tablespoons, packed) light brown sugar
- 120ml (or ½ cup) sunflower oil
- 360g (or 1½ cups) homemade or store-bought pumpkin puree
- 125g (or 1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅜ teaspoon ground cloves
- big pinch of table salt
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting) and butter a 26x16-cm/10x6-inch (or similar) brownie pan and line the long side with baking parchment.
- Scatter the walnut pieces onto a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In the meantime, make the batter. In a medium-sized bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together eggs and sugar until thick and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the oil in a thin stream, mixing continuously. Once all the oil has been added, mix for another minute to emulsify. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
- In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt, then add this mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir until just combined, then mix with the mixer for another 10 seconds until the batter looks smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cooled walnut pieces.
- Pour the batter into the prepared brownie pan and bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan. Cut into bars and enjoy!