Pumpkin bars are a fall tradition in many households. While pumpkin is actually a great source of vitamins A, K, and E, as well as potassium and magnesium, many pumpkin desserts are made with so much oil and sugar that the nutritional value of the pumpkin is overshadowed. Chef Laura Vitale lightened up these bars by using applesauce in place of oil, swapping out sugar for Splenda, and substituting oat flour for white flour. At fewer than 200 calories per serving, you can feel good about making these deliciously moist, spiced bars an annual tradition for your family.
Makes 16 bars


For the bars:
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups oat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
  • 1/3 cup Splenda Sugar Blend
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
  • 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: oat flour, pumpkin-pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, egg whites, pumpkin, applesauce, both kinds of Splenda, milk and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix everything well to combine. Spread the batter into the prepared jelly-roll pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow it to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then pop it into the fridge for about 15 minutes or until completely cooled.

To prepare the glaze, in a large bowl, with a whisk or handheld electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, vanilla, butter and powdered sugar until fully incorporated and fluffy.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and allow it to set for just a few minutes in the fridge. Cut into 16 bars.

Per serving (1 bar):
Calories: 187
Total Fat: 3 g (1 g saturated)
Cholesterol: 17 mg
Sodium: 266 mg
Protein: 4 g
Fiber: 3 g
Carbs: 34 g

From Recipe Rehab (HarperWave) by the editors at Everyday Health.

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