Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

Some flavors were just MADE for fall - and some of those fall flavors were just MADE to go together!

I’m a long-time fan of pumpkin- and maple-flavored ANYTHING. But having tasted bourbon for the first time within the last couple of years, I HAD to try adding it to some of my favorite fall flavor combos!
I was NOT disappointed – it adds an amazing depth and kick to the flavors! Would HIGHLY recommend if you want to put a bit of a flavor twist on your Pumpkin Bars this year! 😉

I also used Namaste’s Gluten-free Perfect Flour Blend for the first time, and having made this recipe with regular all-purpose flour before I can honestly say I noticed no difference in the taste or texture! Recipe below!

(Disclosure: As a way to keep my kitchen stocked with butter, sugar, and flour I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn a commission by linking to and affiliated sites.
My posts often contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you!) 


Gluten-free Pumpkin Bars:
5 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups (about one 15oz. can) canned pumpkin
3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free flour – I used Namaste’s Gluten-free Perfect Flour Blend, and noticed no difference in the taste or texture versus regular all-purpose flour! (you can use all-purpose flour if you don’t need the bars to be gluten-free)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon (this brand is my favorite!)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 10x15” jelly roll pan with non-stick or baker’s floured cooking spray.
Mix eggs, sugar, canned pumpkin, melted butter, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Whisk dry ingredients together, and then combine with wet ingredients. Stir until well combined and pour into prepared jelly roll pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow to cool completely before decorating – a wire cooling rack helps this process immensely! Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.

The lag time while you’re waiting for your cakes to cool is a great time to make your frosting and filling!

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:  
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
3-6 Tablespoons whipping cream 
1 T clear vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
(Save and add later!) – several large drops of orange (or red + yellow) and brown gel food color, plus maple flavoring and bourbon (if desired).
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt if needed and beat until well combined.

Maple Bourbon Frosting:
This step is optional, but I wanted a little bit more kick to the frosting on the pumpkin bars, so I took about one third of the frosting from the mixer bowl and stirred in 2 teaspoons of maple flavoring (or ”mapeline”) and 3 Tablespoons of Eagle Rare bourbon – OMG, it was SO good! Maaaybe the best part of the cake right here.  

Additional Supplies/Equipment:
- Small piping bag & tip – this set has been one of my favorites!
- Large piping bag & tip – I use this set of reusable large bags & tips more than almost any of my others!
- 1-2 tablespoons of gold sugar pearl sprinkles
- Handful of gold rod/ ‘Marconi’ dragee sprinkles – here’s a link to SprinklePop’s ‘sample size’ bottle! (Again, optional, but they add a fun texture and pop of shine! I usually only add these to cakes I’m going to serve a day later so they soften a bit sitting on the frosting – or I warn people they’re a bit tough to chew! :/ )

BEST part about ‘traybake’ style recipes – SKIP the stacking and filling and crumb-coating and frosting that comes with a layer cake and get STRAIGHT to the fun part! Decorating!

Separate the remaining white frosting and add some orange gel color to half of it.
Fill your piping bags with frosting – I used two large and three small piping bags/tips, and the links to the sets they came from are above!
(Optional: an offset spatula would’ve worked better for this, but mine was in the dishwasher >< so I used the dull/flat sides of a butter knife to spread a bit of brown gel color on the inside of one piping bag before adding light brown frosting to it – another deeper color for a fraction of the work!)
I started with several large swirls of white and light brown frosting, and then began filling in around them with smaller swirls/squiggles/dots/rosettes until the pumpkin bars were covered.

Decorate the frosting with gold sprinkles to your liking.

Annnd you’re done! Step back and admire your beautiful cake!


 Make this recipe? Let me know  how it went - or find me on Instagram or Facebook and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!  

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