Improv Cooking Challenge: Heath Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake

This month I started participating in the Improv Cooking Challenge hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. The challenge is a monthly party where everyone takes the same two assigned ingredients and lets their imaginations run wild.  It doesn't matter what other ingredients we use, whether we make something savory or sweet. This months ingredients are pumpkin and cream cheese. I wanted to try and find something different than a pumpkin roll or pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. I came across this recipe at Sugarmonkey Sweets.  I added crushed heath bars and adapted the recipe to create a gluten free version. All I can say is yum, yum, yum, and yum. The cake is dense and rich, but the blend of spices remind me of fall. Ron absolutly loved the cake (he is and easy judge- he loves anything with sugar).  Join the party and check out my fellow bloggers below! Also, stay tuned for next month: cranberry and eggnog!

Heath Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake
Adapted from Let's Dish & Sugarmonkey Sweets

6 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 can pumpkin  - 15 oz
1/4 cup water
1 cup crushed Heath Toffee Bars

2 cups gluten free baking mix (we use Pamela's)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and spray with non stick cooking spray.
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until incorporated and smooth. Add the eggs, pumpkin and water. Slowly add the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are mixed well. Spread about 2/3 of the mixture into the pan. Sprinkle Heath evenly over batter

Cream Cheese Swirl:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 large egg

Using a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar together. Add the vanilla and egg, mixing until smooth. Scoop out the cream cheese mixture on top of the pumpkin mixture and heath bar. Smooth the cream cheese layer out a little bit before adding the remaining pumpkin mixture on top of the cream cheese layer. Then use a knife or spatula to swirl the mixture together. Bake for 30 minutes or until middle is set. Enjoy!

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