Sour Cream Pumpkin Bars

Great Frosting

   I often make pumpkin bars as they usually make a large batch to take to potlucks. This recipe from the MidWest Living Comfort Foods though was for a sour cream pumpkin bar with brown butter frosting. It is quite a bit different from our usual recipe and as anything with brown butter in it is a favorite of Lyle’s I tried these today.
  Oh my, my favorite recipe might now have to change. These are so good and easy to make. Also not as rich and do not taste at all like pumpkin pie. The frosting is so good, that I will make it again for other cakes and bars. I did feel that it could have taken a little more milk than what I added, it seemed soft when I was beating it, but set up quickly. The next time I will add more milk to the powdered sugar mixture.
  If you want a very good bar, that is not over rich or sweet, this is the one for you. I used pecans in the batter, but any nut would do. 
  Be sure when you make the frosting that the butter when melted becomes a golden brown. You will be able to smell the change, a toasty aroma and it will become brown instead of yellow. Takes a few minutes and do not melt it on high heat or it will scorch.
Sour Cream Pumpkin Bars
Prep: 25 minutes       Bake: 25 minutes
½ cup butter softened
1 ⅓ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin (not the whole can)
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all purpose flour and ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup chopped nuts
  Grease a 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan and set aside. Heat oven to 350°F.   In a large mixer bowl beat butter with electric mixer for 30 seconds, add the sugar and baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.. Beat until combined. Add eggs, pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in the flours, just until blended. Stir in the nuts by hand.
  Spread into the greased jellyroll pan and bake for 25 minutes at 350°. Or until wooden  pick near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
  Prepare Brown Butter frosting and spread on cooled bars. Makes 48 bars.
In a small saucepan melt 1/2 cup of butter and continue heating until light brown. Pour in mixer bowl and add 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Beat till smooth, adding milk a teaspoon at a time until you have a spreadable frosting. Keep in mind that it will set up, so gauge how soft you want it to be. You may sprinkle more nuts on frosting if desired.


  1. They are very good and a lot healthier than the ones I usually make. Love the frosting.

  2. I love these when someone has them, but I've never made them. Might have to do that! I'm guessing these can be frozen w/o the frosting? Thanks! I usually only make pie or bread.

  3. Nadine, I think these would freeze great. I would try freezing them frosted myself. I never have enough of them to freeze however.
    The recipe is a good size to take to a party or for a bake sale.


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