Spiced Pumpkin Ginger Squares with Toasted Pepitas Topper

Cream cheese frosting complements this not-too-sweet, oil-free cake, and a sprinkle of toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) makes the perfect crunchy topping.

 

By / Photography By Coco Morante | August 22, 2018

Ingredients

For the cake:
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, or the yield from a 1-inch (½-ounce) chunk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup pepitas, toasted and cooled to room temperature

Preparation

Pumpkin is the most fall-appropriate ingredient of them all, and these squares are great for dessert or as an afternoon snack with a mug of coffee or tea. Cream cheese frosting complements the not-too-sweet, oil-free cake, and a sprinkle of toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) makes the perfect crunchy topping.

Good for You Fall Ingredients: Pumpkin, Ginger, Pepita Nuts

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 9-inch square Pyrex or ceramic baking dish.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, sour cream and sugar. It’s OK if dark flecks of coconut sugar remain. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, pie spice, baking powder and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk just until evenly incorporated. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Tilt the pan back and forth a little bit to make sure it is in an even layer.

Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the squares are baking, make the frosting: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. With a sturdy whisk, vigorously whisk together the ingredients until fully combined. Sift in half of the powdered sugar and whisk it in slowly, taking care not to get it everywhere. When the sugar is incorporated, sift in the remaining half and whisk it in as well. If there are lumps of sugar in the frosting, you can use an immersion blender to process it until smooth. Transfer the frosting to a lidded container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Let the squares cool to room temperature (at least 2 hours, up to overnight), then spread with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle the pepitas on top. Slice and serve.

Ingredients

For the cake:
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, or the yield from a 1-inch (½-ounce) chunk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For the frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup pepitas, toasted and cooled to room temperature