Few things are so classically fall as Pumpkin – and with the spices included, your whole house will smell like a dream by the time you’re done baking!
Pumpkin squares are a favorite fall recipe in our house. It is one of the easiest ways to make your house smell like fall while having an awesome treat! The smell takes over your house, and you will want to make them again and again!
My kids make these simple pumpkin bars a few times a year, and I can’t complain as they are so good! I hope you will feel that way about them, too!
I can’t go through this month without at least making one thing that has pumpkin in it. This simple pumpkin squares recipe will become a classic pumpkin recipe in your home. It will be one that you make each year because it is so good but also very easy to make!
There are often lots of questions about what pumpkin is right or how you combine this thick pumpkin into a bread or cake batter consistency recipe. Here are the answers to the most asked questions I get so you can have all the information to start!
Is pumpkin puree the same as canned pumpkin?
The short answer is yes, canned pumpkin and pumpkin puree are the same. These terms are often used interchangeably in recipes. You may also see the term solid-pack pumpkin at times.
There are some differences that you will notice if you make things with canned pumpkin rather than fresh pumpkin puree.
Fresh pumpkin puree is lighter in color. It is often times thinner, too. Because you can adjust the amount of water in the pumpkin puree, you can make it how you would like to make it. To make it similar to canned pumpkin consistency, add less water so the puree is thick.
If you get store-bought pumpkin puree, you want to be sure it is thick. Baby food consistency is common in that type of puree.
How long do pumpkin bars last in the fridge?
Well, let’s just say they have never lasted long enough for me to put that into practice. LOL. They should last one week. They will get dry in the fridge if they are not stored properly, so be sure you do that.
For best results, you want to store the pumpkin bars in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. This will keep the moisture in them, and they will stay like they were just made!
How to add pumpkin to baked goods?
Pumpkin Puree or canned pumpkin acts as a sweetener, a creamy moisturizer, and a fat substitute in everything you bake.
You can substitute pumpkin puree for other ingredients in baking recipes to add moisture, flavor, and nutrition to what you are cooking. Here are some creative ways to substitute pumpkin in baking recipes. But don’t tell the kids! 😉
1. Oil and Butter: Pumpkin puree can be used to replace some or all of the oil or butter in a recipe. Use a 1:1 ratio. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, then use 1 cup of pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin.
2. Eggs: Pumpkin puree can be used to replace eggs in a recipe as a binding agent. Use a 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree for one egg called for in the recipe.
3. Milk or yogurt: Pumpkin puree can be used to replace some or all of the milk or yogurt in a recipe. Use a 1:1 ratio. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of milk, use 1 cup of pumpkin puree.
4. Sugar: Pumpkin puree can be used to replace some of the sugar in a recipe as it gives a natural sweetness. Use 1/2 cup pumpkin puree for every cup of sugar called for in the recipe.
It’s important to keep in mind that pumpkin puree will change the flavor and color of the final product, so it may not be a suitable substitution for all recipes. Also, the texture of the final product might be different from the original recipe. It’s always best to start by substituting a small amount of pumpkin puree and then adjust to taste.
Does homemade pumpkin puree taste better than canned?
As in all things, taste differs from person to person. I think no matter what it is, fresh is always a better taste, consistency, and color.
People are so used to certain colors that have been in grocery stores for years that they don’t always realize that the colors are not the real colors but the spices or artificial colors that are added to make them more attractive.
Cook’s Illustrated (America’s Test Kitchen’s magazine) did a comparison of baked goods with canned vs. fresh puree. Their comparison found that when used in pumpkin bread, tasters found the fresh puree a bit more vegetal and less sweet.
“In pumpkin pie, tasters preferred the fresh to canned. Though its more subdued orange hue made some hesitate, they observed that the fresh pumpkin contributed a pleasant squash flavor, compared with the pie made with canned, which tasted predominantly of the spices added to the pie.”
This tells us that you can use fresh pumpkins anytime in a recipe for canned pumpkins. Just be sure to test it out and see what you prefer, as the sweetness may be off with the fresh puree.
No matter what you use, you can make a super yummy recipe that your family will enjoy!
Simple Pumpkin Squares Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted softened butter
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
I love that the cinnamon and spices come together to accent the pumpkin. That, mixed with the chocolate, adds so much fall scent to the air, along with the warmth of super yummy freshly baked Pumpkin bars.
How to make simple pumpkin bars
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set it aside.
2. In a medium bowl, cream the sugar and butter together.
3. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, then add in the pumpkin
4. Mix in the dry ingredients until the mixture is creamy but thick. Fold in the chocolate chips – the milk and dark play very nicely with the pumpkin!
5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the sides start to pull away from the sides.
6. Cool completely in the pan.
7. Refrigerate overnight in the pan.
8. Cut the bars in the pan and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
This pumpkin squares recipe makes a delicious pumpkin and chocolate treat. The simple pumpkin bars are so moist and melt in your mouth! You will be obsessed and want to make these today and make them over and over!
Check out more frugal recipes
Simple Pumpkin Bars Printable Recipe
Simple Pumpkin Squares Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Sticks unsalted butter softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven 350-degrees; Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set it aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, then add in the pumpkin
- Mix in the dry ingredients until the mixture is creamy, but thick. Fold in the chocolate chips – the milk and dark play very nicely with the pumpkin!
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the sides start to pull away from the sides.
- Cool completely in the pan.
- Refrigerate overnight in the pan.
- Cut the bars in the pan and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container.