Thanksgiving prep is in full swing. Whiskey cranberry sauce is marinating in the fridge, pie crusts are chilling as they wait for their cherry bourbon filling, and the Scotch is on deck to jump into the whipped cream. And I am thankful to be hosting some gluten-free guests this year to test out a new recipe – gluten free pumpkin squares with (yum!) a cream cheese bourbon vanilla bean frosting.
I would say that the pumpkin squares are obviously my way to justify eating that frosting, but in fact, the pumpkin squares are worth eating also. They have a nice cake-like texture, not too sweet (but definitely a dessert), and I would actually recommend going light on the frosting layer. The frosting is delightful and fine eaten with a spoon, but you don’t want the sweet to overpower the spice of the cake.
These make a nice alternative to pumpkin pie and are yummy enough that this might become a fall staple. If you have a lot you are baking and preparing, these are also great because the instructions are the equivalent of “mix it all in a bowl, stick it in the pan, and put it in the oven.”
I send a shout out to the blog finding joy for the pumpkin square recipe, and to something edible for adding whiskey to its cream cheese frosting recipe.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Squares
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a jelly roll pan. Beat the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in the flour, xanthum gum, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Spread the batter in the pan and smooth. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until light brown. Let cool completely for one hour.
Cream Cheese Bourbon Vanilla Bean Frosting
· 3 oz light cream cheese
· 2 teaspoons bourbon
· Pulp of 1 vanilla bean
· 1/2 cup butter
· 2 cups powdered sugar
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix all the ingredients except the powdered sugar on medium-high speed, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary. With the mixer still on medium high sped, adding the powdered sugar by the tablespoonful, scraping the bowl as necessary until all the sugar is and the mixture has that whipped consistency. Test liberally, but do no immediately eat all of the frosting. Save some for the pumpkin squares!