Posts Tagged ‘cream cheese frosting


Alayne’s Pumpkin Bars


My friend Alayne brought these over the other night for dinner and I have not been able to stop eating them since. These pumpkin bars are actually very cake-like.  They are so good — moist, spicy and pumpkiny — and the cream cheese frosting is unbelievable, too.  Alayne refuses to take credit for the recipe because she got it from another friend, but since she baked it and brought it over, I’m attaching her name to it.  If made in a sheet cake pan, this recipe is fluffy enough to call cake, with a texture similar to carrot cake.  This would be a perfect recipe for a Thanksgiving crowd.  Thanks, Alayne, for passing along a great recipe!

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 can pumpkin (15 oz.)
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 cups flour

Beat eggs.  Add sugar, oil and pumpkin, and mix.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Pour into jellyroll pan.  Bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz cream cheese softened
6 Tbsp. butter softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. cream (or milk)
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter.  Add rest of ingredients, mix.  Spread on cooled bars.


Ginger Pumpkin Bread with Sugar Glaze

Ginger Pumpkin Bread

It’s that time of year when pumpkin recipes are everywhere. This is a good one – simple ingredients and easy to make.  The bread itself is not overly sweet, but the sugar glaze adds a nice touch of sweetness.  This bread would also be incredible with a cream cheese frosting, and/or with chocolate chips added to the batter.  The recipe comes from  I changed the recipe only slightly by adding 1 teaspoon of vanilla, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg.  I prefer having more spices than just ginger in the bread, and these quantities could even be increased if you like the spiciness to be prominent.  In these quantities, it’s still subtle, and the ginger flavor is not very strong.

The bread turned out well.  The batter was still a little jiggly at 50 minutes, so I cooked it 5 minutes longer and took it out when a toothpick pushed into the middle came out clean.  I think it would have been better to take it out when it still seemed underdone – it was about to get dry after 55 minutes.

Sugar Glaze

The glaze is totally simple.  Powdered sugar with a little water is what the recipe calls for.  I used skim milk instead of water.  Add the liquid gradually in tiny quantities to the powdered sugar and stir it in completely to see what the texture will be like– it’s easy to make the glaze too thin.  It needs to be very thick, but still pourable.  That way it won’t run off the bread or soak in completely.

Here’s the finished product… I had a slice with my coffee this morning.  Such a great breakfast or snack!


Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache & Cream Cheese Frosting

I found this recipe for Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache & Cream Cheese Frosting
in the San Francisco Chronicle when I searched for a dessert to make with bananas and chocolate.  I really had no idea whether this would turn out or be a total disaster, first of all because this is a more complicated recipe than I usually make and also because I was missing three important ingredients: buttermilk, corn syrup, and powdered sugar.

Making a buttermilk substitute is easy to do with milk and vinegar or lemon juice, so that’s what I did.  The cupcakes seemed to come out fine.

In the ganache, I substituted brown sugar for the corn syrup.  It dissolved and the ganache seemed none the worst for wear.

The powdered sugar in the frosting was the most major ingredient missing.  I made the frosting according to the instructions and added ½ cup regular sugar instead of the 2 cups powdered sugar.  I beat the frosting extra to be sure the sugar dissolved.  The frosting wasn’t as stiff as it should have been, but tasted good and was thick enough to stay on the cupcakes.

Filling the cupcakes with ganache was challenging.  I used an icing bag with a small tip, but the cupcakes were so dense that not much chocolate went in.  A better approach would be to cut out a small hole in the tops of the cupcakes, add filling, and then cover the hole with the icing layer.

The cupcakes looked fine but a little boring when I was finished, so I grated some Ghirardelli Espresso Escape Intense Dark Chocolate over the tops of the them.

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