This small batch recipe is very similar to pumpkin bars but we’ve added a few twists. Flaky sea salt sprinkled over the frosting takes these to a whole new place. Addicting.
Let’s just call these crack bars shall we?
I like pumpkin….I really do. But the pumpkin mania that hits our nation on the last week of August. I can’t stand it. It’s a fever, a pandemic, it’s practically the Ebola of the food world.
Bam, “there Sally goes….she just got hit with the pumpkin fever.”
Then it happened…..I almost faltered. We went to a work party last weekend and these delicious little pumpkin bars were sitting there unassumingly. A quick peek revealed specks of vanilla beans running through the frosting. But biting into it revealed a whole new level of happiness in my mouth…..salted cream cheese frosting.
Salt guys. Where has it been all my life? In particularly crunchy salty flaked salt like Maldon sea salt. How have I forgotten about how good this stuff is?
I am somewhat ashamed (not really) to admit I ate 4 or 5 of them over the course of the evening. I think I blamed it on “recipe testing”. All because I love you. And then Lyndsey gave me the recipe so I didn’t even need to do that but it’s okay….I’m happy to take one for the team.
Of course I wanted to make these for you….and my mouth, as quickly as humanely possible. But yesterday I realized the boys had just gone down for nap time and we just so happened to not be stocked up on pumpkin (shocking I know).
But there was one lonely sweet potato.
Seeing as how most commercial pumpkin filling is actually not pure pumpkin I figured I could probably eek by with this solution. And in one sweeping motion I also sidestepped sharing a pumpkin recipe with you 😉
It turns out though that sweet potatoes mixed with baking soda can do a funny thing….they can turn green! I’m not sure if it was a freak accident or not but be sure to puree up your sweet potato and not leave it chunkier like mine was. Or just embrace the delightful flecks of green throughout your cake and call it a health food.
Sweet Potato Bars with Salted Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 sweet potato baked peeled and mashed
- 1/2 cup oil I used olive
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1/2-1 vanilla bean seeds scraped
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon milk
- dash of salt
- Maldon sea salt
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat eggs and sugar together until lightened.
3. Add sweet potato, oil and vanilla stir until combined.
4. Add remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined (don't overwork).
5. Split the batter evenly into 2 greased loaf pans.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
7. Using a mixer whip cream cheese, butter, vanilla bean, and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Add honey to taste. Add milk.
8. Frost bars and top with a sprinkle of salt.