Featured Recipe: Gooey Pumpkin Shortbread Squares

Pumpkin Shortbread Square on white plate

Pumpkin lovers rejoice! Fall is in the air and pumpkin flavor is everywhere. These Gooey Pumpkin Shortbread Squares are just what you need to satisfy your pumpkin craving — rich, buttery, and incredibly delicious. Serve with fresh whipped cream, if desired, or sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and chopped nuts. Welcome Fall!

Not a pumpkin lover? This recipe is so versatile. You can easily adapt it to suit your family’s tastes. We’ve included a few variations our team came up with. Let us know how would adapt the recipe. We’d love to try your creations.

Ingredients

Cake:

1 (18 ¼ ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
Cooking spray

Filling:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

To make the crust: Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter. Mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a prepared 9×13-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter. Beat until smooth (3-4 minutes). Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until thoroughly combined. Spread pumpkin mixture evenly over cake batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until center is just set. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Cool completely or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days before serving. Cut into squares. Top with fresh whipped cream or your topping of choice.

Variations

Gooey Lemon Shortbread Squares:  Use lemon cake mix instead of yellow cake mix and add 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest into the crust mixture. For the filling, omit pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Reduce the eggs to 2 and add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract. Proceed as directed.

Gooey Pineapple Shortbread Squares:  Instead of the pumpkin, add a 20-ounce can crushed pineapple (drained) to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.  

Gooey Banana Shortbread Squares:  Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed.   

Gooey Peanut Butter Shortbread Squares:  Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed.

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