Gluten Free Menu Swap: Meal Plan Monday and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bar Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Special Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bar Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Me preparing spring rolls on a Winter BBQ Picnic in the Park with Friends
Cantonese-Style Tofu Stir Fry with Simple Clear Sauce- Recipe in Development
Ra and Neko Kitty Brothers Snuggling this Week

This week the Gluten-Free menu swap is hosted by GF Goodness with an theme of SOUP. I also always enjoy posting my menus with Org Junkie. Don’t forget that Cheryl is temporarily housing the Gluten Free Menu Swap at her blog GF Goodness.

Monday: Korean
Rice Salad Bibbinba with soybean sprouts, spinach, kimchi, chili tofu topping
Cooling Yogurt Raita

Wednesday: Chinese
Fried stuffed Renkon (lotus Root)
Bok Choy Stir Fry with tofu recipe

Friday: Mediterranean
Grilled Fennel
Pressure Cooker Bean Soup
GF Bread Rolls

Baked Good of the Week:
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This week I posted my Vegetarian Mushroom and Green Bean Risotto Recipe
my Gluten-Free Daring Baker French Yule Log with apple cardamom creme brulee and tons of chocolate decadence!

And now… for the Dessert of the week!
This week I had a great green bean salad recipe to share with you, but I didn’t have time (or appropriate lighting at the right time) to take good photos of the dish, so I decided to post an old favorite recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars as a special surprise. As a college student, I adapted this recipe to be gluten-free from the Better Home and Garden cookbook- the cookbook that essentially taught me how to cook. Between that cookbook and a rack of spices, somehow I learned how to cook and bake, although I never did get a successful cinnamon roll by adapting their recipe. This pumpkin bar recipe was always popular with my friends thanks in part to the super yummy frosting. DH gave me a copy of BHAG for Christmas just so I could revisit this old favorite- what a husband! Turns out the recipe is as popular as ever, although now I use a healthier flour blend when I make it (and considerably less butter in the frosting). Don’t worry, from next week I’ll try to go back to our weekly salad and dressing recipe! I have some really tasty ideas… And the green bean salad recipe for holiday gatherings WILL be posted very, very soon.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bar Recipe with Dairy free variation
2 cups Gluten-Free Baking Mix (Such as Rebecca Reilly’s. Made in bulk, proportions are: 2 cups brown rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch. Now please buy her wonderful cookbook.)
1 1/2 cup sugar (flavored with a vanilla stick stored in it if possible)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (freshly ground preferred)
1 tsp. xanthan gum (optional, I didn’t use but will reduce crumbliness)
4 eggs, beaten
1 15-oz. can pumpkin (I used organic)
1 cup canola oil (or olive oil)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either use one 15*10*1 baking pan OR two 8*8 cake pans. Line with parchment or wax paper cut to fit the bottom. Spray with nonstick gluten-free cooking spray if you like.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then mix in the beaten eggs, pumpkin, and oil. Don’t overbeat but make sure it is all combined. Pour into your pan or pans. Don’t worry if the batter doesn’t seem to make a very tall cake- it will rise!

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. They should be solid in the middle, not jiggly like creme brulee. Cool in the pan on a rack or on the stove for at least an hour and then eventually you can carefully remove it onto a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

DH gobbled this up like you wouldn’t believe. Despite his obsession with cream cheese frosting, he liked the cake/bar part too.
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
2 package Cream Cheese OR equivalent Tofutti Cream Cheese
4 tbsp. butter OR Earth Balance
3 or 4 tsp. GF vanilla
Powdered Sugar to taste (start with a cup and go from there)
Soften cream cheese in microwave on low (level 3) about a minute- but don’t soften so much it melts! Do same with butter (briefly). Combine softened cream cheese and butter in large mixer and whip until combined, adding vanilla. Add some powdered sugar and combine. Scrape down sides and taste. Add more powdered sugar, scraping sides and tasting until you are satisfied. You can use immediately or put in refrigerator, where it will thicken slightly.

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20 Responses to “Gluten Free Menu Swap: Meal Plan Monday and Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bar Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. I would be very interested in how you make your fried stuffed lotus root… My husband loves it but I never know what to do with it…

  2. Fabulous menu! Have a lovely week!


  3. Hi Renee, I haven’t decided how to make it yet, but I’ll probably make some tofu filling and then batter/flour the lotus root before pan frying it.

    Hi Allie, Thanks! You too.


  4. What a wonderfully inspired menu! I’m not sure what some of the things are, but they all sound delicous! The carrot cake looks phenomenal!


  5. Thanks Sherry! It’s pumpkin bars/cake, actually- carrot cake is next week. ;) But it was yummy!


  6. That looks lovely – hope I am not pre-empting a future post, but I see you also prepared spring rolls onsite: would you have any advice on how to transport these if they were prepared in advance? I can’t work out how to get them to work without them sticking together!
    Thanks as always

  7. gosh, those look amazing, and I always love the kitty pics. Love to hear more about the grilled fennel, too! have a great week.

  8. [...] of Book of Yum joins us with a luscious looking piece of pumpkin bar and a beautiful cat pic to boot.  I’m [...]

  9. YUM!! I am obsessed with pumpkin recipes :) Hooray for another! The cream cheese frosting sounds wondrous!

  10. Thanks! Can’t wait to try, we love pumpkin! For the flour mix it says potato starch twice, I’m assuming one is tapioca?

  11. Hi Maeve,
    Great question! I wrap each spring roll separately in plastic wrap. Works perfectly. It’s also best not to leave the spring rolls too long at room temperature without a wrap because the wrap dries out and starts getting crunchy again.

    Hi Cheryl,
    Thanks! It’s really pretty farmer’s market fennel so I’m looking forward to grilling it. We’ll see how I season it.. as yet to be decided.

    Hi Maureen,
    Thank you! It is pretty yummy. :)

    Hi Karen,
    OOPS! Great catch. You are absolutely right and I corrected it. Slipped by me. Thanks so much!!!

  12. Beautiful menu, the pumpkin bar recipe looks fantastic. If you had to leave out the cinnamon and cloves, would you suggest upping the nutmeg?

  13. Hi Rachel, Thank you! I guess it would depend… If it was a pantry issue, I’d try adding any pumpkin pie or apple pie seasonings. Personally I don’t like cinnamon by itself that much but the flavors really harmonize in this recipe and you don’t taste it like you would in a recipe without the strong pumpkin flavor. If cinnamon and cloves are really out, I’d try a mix of nutmeg, allspice, and possibly powdered ginger or mace. I wouldn’t JUST try to rely on nutmeg as the sole flavoring as it could be overpowering. (Although I do love my nutmeg. In fact, the inspiration recipe didn’t have nutmeg at all and it was one of my additions.)

  14. Sea, thanks so much! I have reactions to cooked cinnamon (I can eat it on things like warm toast or rice, but once it’s “cooked” it makes me sick), and I have a reaction to cloves period. So I tend to skip out on most recipes including them, I never considered using ginger as a substitute. Thanks! I’ll have to give that a shot with some allspice. My husband loves pumpkin anything and I’m looking forward to making this for him.

  15. I love the sound of this recipe… any recommendations for how many grams a cup is..I often have conflicting quantities so your help would be really appreciative!

    Figs and Lavender Blog about food that happens to be gluten free!!!

  16. I love pumpkin with cream cheese frosting….my variation adds some mini chocolate chips! My kids can’t get enough!

  17. Donna Spencer Says:

    This recipe looks really good, I’ll have to try it since I do have some pumpkin on had. Now I know why I like you,
    your kitties are cute! I’m a cat lover too–1 male and 1 female.

  18. Hi Sea,

    What a delicious menu! I LOVE Korean bibbinba (or bi bim bap as I usually see it on menus) and I would love to try to make it at home. Any chance you’ll be posting your recipe sometime in the future?

  19. Hi Scrumptious,
    The reason I spell it Bibbinba is that is the Japanese pronunciation of the dish, and I first encountered it in Japan. I ended up making more of a noodle dish than bibbinba persay, and I will be posting it today. :)

    Hi Donna,
    Thanks! Aren’t they cuties? Both of my kitties are boys.

    Hi Cathy,
    Pumpkin and cream cheese is delicious, isn’t it?

    Hi Kim,
    Here’s a good site that may help answer your question:
    Hope this helps!

    Hi Rachel,
    Gotcha! Hope you enjoy the recipe. :)


  20. Betty Young Says:

    I tried the pumpkin bars. They had great flavor. The texture was a little different. It had little crunches in it. Is this from the rice flour. Did I do something wrong or is this the way they always are.

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