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Pumpkin Bars or Cupcakes with Cinnamon Mascarpone / Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Pumpkin Bars or Cupcakes with Cinnamon Mascarpone / Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

 Buongiorno miei amata amici!

Using pumpkins in Italian Cooking tends to be from the Emilia-Romagna area of Italy, just north of Tuscany. As the Harvest season approaches, warm spices, apples, and/or pumpkin makes this season come alive with the scents of autumn! Remember frolicking through the pumpkin patch as a child? This embodies that very spirit.

I have been presenting these Pumpkin Bars to family and friends since I was a teenager. The flavor increases through refrigeration with each speck of spice blending beautifully with the flavorful pumpkin. This is a recipe adapted for easier baking in an American kitchen.

If you are using these for the party food, Star Wars Rebels Sabine's Starbird Bars, just bake as bars and then get the template via The Star Wars Mom page and add orange sugar instead of candy pumpkins on top.

Pumpkin Bars or Cupcakes with Cinnamon Mascarpone / Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Pumpkin Bars or Cupcakes with Cinnamon Mascarpone / Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

 Pumpkin Bars or Cupcakes with Cinnamon Mascarpone / Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can of Pumpkin Puree (15-16 oz) 
  • 1 Tablespoon or more of Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 1 tsp each cinnamon, cloves, and ginger)
  • 1 Package of Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • ¼ cup of  melted butter
  • 2 eggs
 Frosting Ingredients:  
  • 1/4 cup of salted butter at room temperature 
  • 1/2 package of Mascarpone or Cream Cheese, 8 oz, at room temperature 
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract 
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon 
  • 2-3 cups of Confectioner’s Sugar or Powdered Sugar 
  • Heavy Whipping Cream or Milk to bring to correct consistency

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper or grease and flour 15X10 Jelly Roll Pan for bars or place cupcake papers in muffin tins for cupcakes.  

Put all the Cupcake/Bar ingredients in a mixer and beat until smooth. It will be thick. Pour batter into pan or scoop it into the cupcake tins. If making bars, use a rubber spatula to spread it to the corners and even it out some. *Tip: When spreading never just quit your motion and pull-up the spatula or else the batter may pull-up the grease and flour from the bottom of the pan. Instead, as you are spreading slowly rotate the spatula from horizontal to vertical as you come up with it.
  
The times for baking vary and seem to depend in part on how much liquid is in the pumpkin. I check it after 15-20 minutes. It will turn golden and should feel firm with a touch of spring in the center when finished. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  
To make the frosting, first cream the butter and mascarpone or cream cheese together. Add the vanilla and cinnamon next. Finally start beating in the confectioner’s sugar on low speed. Once all the sugar blends, add 1 Tablespoon or more of heavy cream or milk to get it to the consistency needed. Set the blender on a higher speed until frosting is a bit fluffy. 2 cups of Confectioner’s sugar works well for spreading, 3 cups for squeezing out of a decorating tube. I usually add a pumpkin candy or candy corn on top of each bar or cupcake for d├ęcor! Eat as is or refrigerate before serving.
Pumpkin Puree on Foodista
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