I just realized something…How have I not posted a dessert recipe yet?? ¬†I love a good dessert, so I think it’s time to share a fantastic dessert recipe thats fudgy, has the perfect amount of sweetness and so satisfying: cream cheese pumpkin bars ūüôā

Every year around this time, my mom makes these phenomenal¬†pumpkin bars instead of pumpkin pie. ¬†I love pumpkin pie, but these bars that my mom makes are even better than pie. ¬†Unfortunately, they’re filled with sugar, butter, packaged cake mix, and more. ¬†Now around the holidays, I definitely think it’s okay to eat some butter and sugar, but I wanted to recreate my mom’s recipe into a bar that’s a little healthier but still just as delicious. ¬†I think I did it!

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Look at that cream cheese layer!

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These bars use mostly oatmeal for the flour component, so whole grains are getting squeezed in while still keeping the texture fudgy. ¬†There’s lots of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice for antioxidants and help with blood sugar regulation (from the cinnamon), and neufch√Ętel cheese instead of cream cheese to cut back on the fat a little. ¬†Make these! ¬†You will not be disappointed!!

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Ingredients

Pumpkin Layer

1 egg

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree

2 T coconut oil

1 T vanilla extract

1 cup of oat flour (blend up oats in a blender to make flour)

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 T baking soda

1 t cinnamon

1 t pumpkin pie spice

1/4 t salt

Cream Cheese Layer

1 block (8 oz) of neufch√Ętel cheese or low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 T milk (dairy or dairy alternative)

1 T flour

1 t. cinnamon

1/3 cup sugar

 

Directions

1) Blend together egg , brown sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, and vanilla.

2) Mix in oat flour, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt into pumpkin mixture.  Stir until well combined.

3) Spoon pumpkin mixture into a greased 8×8 pan.

4) In a separate bowl, mix together all the components of the cream cheese layer until smooth.  Pour over pumpkin layer in pan.  Using a knife, swirl to layers together to create a swirl pattern.  Be careful, swirling too much will combine the two layers!

5) Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 32 minutes. ¬†Check periodically to make sure it doesn’t over cook. ¬†I think these are best just slightly undercooked so they are nice and fudgy! If you like a more firm bar, bake for a little longer. ¬†Enjoy!!