Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bars

Last week I posted my first apple recipe of the year, and tonight I'm back with my first pumpkin recipe: Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bars with cinnamon glaze! These Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bars are made healthier by using whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt - this dessert contains no butter or oil.




Like many food bloggers and fall food lovers, I am obsessed with pumpkin. I look forward to coming up with new and creative pumpkin ideas every year. This first recipe is a healthier take on dessert, using Greek yogurt instead of butter or oil. Using Greek yogurt resulted in light and airy pumpkin bars that you can enjoy with a little less guilt.


I'm a big fan of substituting yogurt and applesauce for part or all of the butter or oil in a recipe. These Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bars are similar to a recipe I posted last summer, for Greek Yogurt Banana Bars. There's nothing wrong with adding butter to your life {and I do on a regular basis} but sometimes I'm craving something a bit lighter.


For this recipe, I also added whole wheat flour for extra health benefits. Whole wheat flour includes close to four times the fiber of white flour {source}. I came across one tip from the kitchn on baking with whole wheat flour: let your batter rest for at least 10 minutes before baking. This allows it to "hydrate" since whole wheat flour includes wheat that is courser in texture.


I think it worked! These Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bars turned out delicious and super light. I also added a simple cinnamon glaze frosting, made with a few splashes of milk, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon.


I couldn't resist topping this dessert with Halloween-themed "spookles" :)

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bars
Yields: 24 pumpkin bars

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

Ingredients~
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 {15 ounce} can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2/3 cup dark brown sugar {packed}
1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Glaze~
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk {I used 2%}
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to~
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Mix eggs, sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract.
*In a separate bowl, combine white and whole wheat flours, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
*Slowly add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture. Mix well.
*Add batter to a baking pan. I baked in a 3 quart Pyrex dish {13.25 x 9.25}.**
*Bake for 30-35 minutes.
*Let the bars cool for at least 20 minutes before frosting. To make the Cinnamon Glaze, whisk ingredients together. For thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar and/or milk until you get the desired texture.
*Store bars in the refrigerator or freeze.

**If you want thinner bars, bake your Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bars in a jelly roll or cookie sheet pan. You may need to reduce the cooking time.

{Adapted from Taste of Home's recipe for Pumpkin Bars}

In the mood for more pumpkin recipes? Check out my:

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