Browned butter cream cheese frosting

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:16 pm

I was in the mood for fall foods, so I made a batch of pumpkin bars.  The bars themselves are fine—a little more cakey than bar-y, but I’ve never actually succeeded in making them truly bar-like.  But that’s okay; they’re still tasty.  The real standout is the frosting.  I read a recipe for browned butter frosting, but I like cream cheese frosting so much on pumpkin bars that I thought I’d try a hybrid.

It’s really great.  The browned butter gives it a really nice caramelly dimension, it’s sweet but not tooth-itchingly sweet, and this recipe makes a generous amount so you can eat it with a spoon save some for another occasion.

Pumpkin bars with browned butter cream cheese frosting

For pumpkin bars:

3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce (I used cinnamon)
15 oz (1 can or a scant 2 cups of home cooked) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Using an electric mixer, mix eggs, sugars, oil, applesauce, and pumpkin until smooth and well-blended.  In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well.  Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture in several batches, mixing by hand after each batch.  Lightly spray with cooking spray an 11″x15″ jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides and pour batter into it.  Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes.  Allow to cool well before frosting.

For frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
2 8-oz packages cream cheese (I used neufchatel to reduce the fat and it was great), softened
2 cups powdered sugar

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Cook, stirring and checking frequently, until it turns a medium brown color and gives off a caramel odor.  Allow to cool for at least half an hour before proceeding.

Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until uniform in color and texture.  Add powdered sugar, half a cup at a time, until completely combined.  Use to frost pumpkin bars, reserving any excess.

2 responses to “Browned butter cream cheese frosting”

  1. Erin says:

    i dont know if you know this already http://www.tastespotting.com/

  2. Aprille says:

    I hadn’t seen that before. Thanks, Erin! It’s cool.

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