Pumpkin Poetry

Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Desserts | 2 comments

Pumpkin Poetry

Among my treasured recipes, is a slightly sweet pumpkin square perfumed with homey spices and topped with a cream cheese leaf design.

I clipped the original recipe, contributed by a reader from a Sunset magazine over 2 decades ago.

Originally called Fall Leaf Bars, I tweaked the formula to make it my own by adding and changing a few ingredients.

Solitude - Frederic Leighton


   --Solitude by Frederic Leighton

I was awake exceptionally early one morning last week seeking solitude.  I baked up a batch of these soft and springy treats in slow motion.  For one thing--I used the hand mixer--adding each ingredient with deliberate purpose.  Prayer time.








Snow-white butter








Sweet sugar and farm fresh eggs








Organic pumpkin








Orange juice and vanilla








Flour, leavening, and spices








are creamed, sifted, and rippled together to create the batter.








Spread the batter evenly onto a sheet pan.






















Get out the big gun to make the cream cheese topping.








This is the crafty fun part.  Dollop a spoonful of the topping onto the batter in 24 sections.








I use a skewer to create the leaves.  Don’t be too fussy unless you are a persnickety artist.








Beautiful huh?















Thank you Renee Murdock of Kent, Washington (wherever you are).  Your Fall Leaf Bars are a legacy in my recipe repertoire.

All is well with my soul.

Autumn Pumpkin Squares


  • Batter
  • 6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup unbleached flour
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Topping
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a large mixer, cream sugar with butter until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until smooth. Add pumpkin and orange juice.
  3. Sift together flour, spices, soda, and baking powder with salt. Add to wet ingredients and combine.
  4. Spread batter into a buttered and floured 10- by 15- inch pan.
  5. Combine topping ingredients and mix until smooth. Drop cheese filling in 24 equal portions (about 1 tablespoon each) over surface of the batter. With a knife tip, pull edges of cheese to form a leaf pattern.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until center of cake springs bake slightly when touched. Let cool.
  7. Cut into 24 squares
  8. --Adapted from Sunset Magazine September 1992


  1. 10-28-2013

    Thanks, Peggy!

    I woke up today thinking that I should bring a “treat” to a meeting I’m attending tonight. I was also thinking something pumpkin-y would be good, but not in the mood to bake a pie. Then your post popped up and sounded soooo good! I went to my cupboard and by some miracle, I have every ingredient needed, including the cream cheese!

    So … I thank you … and my fellow Church Life committee members thank you, in advance! 🙂

    • 10-28-2013

      …and there is another cup of pumpkin left in the can for another sweet treat!

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