It took me a long time to develop this quick-and-easy recipe, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. These bars have it all—sugar and spice and a light, creamy-rich pumpkin layer that’s especially nice! —Erin Andrews, Edgewater, Florida
- 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
- 2-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup fat-free milk
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- In a large bowl, combine cake mix and oats; set aside 1/2 cup for topping. Add the butter, honey and water to the remaining cake mixture. Press onto the bottom of a 13x9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray.
- For filling, in a large bowl, beat the pumpkin, cream cheese, milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice and cloves until blended. Add egg and egg white; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, butter and reserved cake mixture; sprinkle over filling.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars in Healthy Cooking December/January 2012, p33
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