Here’s an easy fall dessert that you must make, especially if you’ve never paired pumpkin with praline before. The combination is absolutely heavenly! Essentially pumpkin spice cake, the pumpkin layer is a no-mixer, bowl and whisk affair that comes together in mere minutes. The praline frosting comes together quickly on the stove top, and is one of those tempting things that is nearly possible to avoid dipping a spoon in for just a small taste.
You’ll want to toast your pecans first (easily done on a sheet pan for a few minutes in the oven) to bring out the rich and nutty aroma. These bars are so incredible that I made them twice in as many days, and the ultimate pumpkin connoisseur (my grandpa) gave them his stamp of approval. If you aren’t headed to the kitchen yet, you should be!
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
- 3 Tbsp plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp low-fat milk, at room temperature
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper. Whisk together melted butter, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, pumpkin, yogurt, and milk in a large bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; add to pumpkin mixture and fold in just until combined.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pan; smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake for 19 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached and cake springs back to the touch. Remove from oven to cool completely in pan on a wire rack. When cake is cool, carefully lift parchment to remove cake from pan and place on a cutting board; trim any uneven edges.
- For the praline frosting, combine butter, brown sugar, and heavy cream in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil; boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Stir in pecans and milk until mixture is creamy and spreadable. Use an offset spatula to spread warm frosting over pumpkin cake. Let topping set, then cut into bars with a sharp knife.
- Calories: 210