Years ago, I bought a jar of Pumpkin Pecan Butter from Williams-Sonoma, and made the cake bar recipe that came on the back of the jar for Thanksgiving.  When I stumbled on this butter again last month, I was pleasantly *shocked* to read it was vegan!  I love this pumpkin butter, so it was in that moment the idea was sparked to vegan-ize the original cake bar recipe so I could bring this back to family’s dinner table!

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The only ingredients are: Pumpkin, sugar, lemon juice, pecans, and spices.

This dessert seems to be the love child of a cinnamon crumb cake + sheet cookie. The bottom layer is lightly crisp on the edges, yet has a tender inside.  Then your teeth sink into the creamy, spiced pumpkin layer, until you’re finally hit with a little extra sweetness from the crumb topping.  It was the perfect small dessert to have at Thanksgiving, but would also taste delicious served with a warm cup of coffee on a cold winter day or for a Sunday brunch.

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And did I mention- this is super easy to make?  I don’t know about you, but with everything else that needs to be cooked for holiday dinners, I can’t always spend the time on a fancy dessert.  That’s why these Pumpkin Butter Bars are a must at your next gathering!

Step one is to combine the ingredients for the first layer of the bars until the ingredients are incorporated, but thick, like the texture of cookie dough.  (I recommend adding the milk 1T at a time so the mixture doesn’t get too wet.)

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Then you’ll want to whisk together the ingredients for the middle layer, and simply pour it over the cookie cake bottom. When you get to the third layer, use a pastry blender (or 2 knives) to cut in the soft coconut oil to the dry ingredients.  Keep blending until you get a crumb like texture to sprinkle on top.

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Then simply bake until golden and crisp, serving with a dollop of refreshing coconut whipped cream.

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Don’t wait another minute- grab this Pecan Pumpkin Butter from Williams Sonoma NOW while it’s on sale post-Thanksgiving, or else it will gone until next year! (If you’re like me, you’ll want to hoard a few jars so you can make these bars on any whim that crosses your mind 😉 ) Here’s what you need:

For the cookie cake:
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
7T coconut oil, melted
1T white vinegar
1T pure vanilla extract
2-4T non-dairy milk, added 1 T at a time

Middle Layer:
1- 13 ounce jar Muirhead Pumpkin Pecan Butter
2T flax + 6T warm water
3T non-dairy milk

Top Layer:
Remaining cake from above
¼ cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, room temperature or slightly warmer
1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Stir together the flax and water for the middle layer and set aside.
  2. Combine the dry cake mix ingredients and set 1 1/2 cups aside. Stir in the wet ingredients to the remaining cake mix, adding just enough milk to bring the mix together, then press in to the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Whisk together the pumpkin butter, flax egg, and milk, then pour over the cake layer.
  4. Combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups of dry cake mix with the sugar, coconut oil, and cinnamon. Crumble over the pumpkin pecan butter. Bake 35-40 minutes until golden.  Serve topped with coconut whipped cream, or alongside a warm cup of coffee.

*I have only tested this using all white sugar (since I was making this for a special occasion) but in my experience with vegan baking, it’s likely half the amount could be subbed with either coconut sugar (low glycemic sweetener) or granulated stevia (all natural, zero calorie sweetener).