Maple Frosted Walnut Bars + Play Dates


For the Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

For the Filling:

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  • 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Maple Frosting:

  • 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, as needed to reach desired consistency


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Start by making the crust: In a large bowl, use a pastry blender or fork to cut the butter into the flour. Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine filling ingredients.
  4. When the crust comes out of the oven, pour filling over the warm crust and spread evenly. Return dish to oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  6. For the Maple Frosting: In a medium bowl, beat sugars, butter, and salt with an electric mixer until combined. While beating, slowly add the maple syrup. Mix in the vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy. If necessary, add milk one tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
  7. Spread frosting over cooled filling. Cut into squares and serve.