Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tsar's Guard Parade: Ludmila's Pumpkin Caramel Bars

Hi Everyone, Happy Easter for my Christian friends! I'm so excited to be a part of the Tsar's Guard Parade, a blogger event to spread the word about The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye, a debut coming out on May 17th. I have been following The Crown's Game for over a year because it's a total "me book." High fantasy set in Tsarist Russia? Obviously I need it. So I of course joined The Tsar's Guard when I first heard about it. I've been so excited about learning about the book in the course of the last few months and I have been following the character profiles on Evelyn's website. So when I was thinking about what to do for the Tsar's Guard Parade I thought of Ludmila, who owns a bakery shaped like a pumpkin and loved eating caramel right out of the pan. I love to bake so I made a recipe inspired by Ludmila. May I present...

Ludmila's Punpkin Caramel Bars:

 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
aluminum foil

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flour, oats, 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl.

Melt 3/4 cup butter, let it cool, and pour into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until a soft dough forms. It should be just slightly crumbly. If the dough feels wet and heavy, add a little more flour.

Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Press 3/4 of the dough into the dish. Reserve the remaining 1/4 to use for topping. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the top is barely golden brown.

Combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, white sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ginger and cloves and mix until blended completely.

When the crust is done, pour the filling mixture over the crust and continue to bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle the reserved dough over the filling. Bake for another 20 minutes. Let the bars cool.

For the caramel sauce, melt 4 tablespoons butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup cream together in a small saucepan. Set the temperature on medium heat and stir constantly until the caramel is smooth and barely bubbling. Pour over the bars.

Cut and serve!

It's a long process to bake them but it isn't a very hard recipe. They look absolutely delicious. I haven't been able to try them yet though, they're dessert for after dinner tonight. I know my family probably thinks I'm crazy making a pumpkin dessert at Easter but I think once they taste them they will appreciate it. I mean pumpkin is delicious year round. I think Ludmila would agree.

About the Book:

Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

About Evelyn:

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn't writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN'S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive an ARC of THE CROWN’S GAME.  International.

Find the complete Tsar’s Guard Parade Schedule at Evelyn Skye’s website!

Thanks for having me on The Tsar's Guard Parade. I had such fun working on this recipe and I hope if you like pumpkin and baking that you give it a try. And of course I hope you will all join me in reading The Crown's Game when it comes out in May. HAPPY READING!!


  1. A baking inside the book?? And this recipe sounds amazing and NOW I'M HUNGRY AND WANT TO READ THE BOOK!

  2. Oh man these came out looking delectable!! I am such a pumpkin head. That sounded know what I mean. But seriously I am def going to try this receipe and Ludmilla would DEF approve! Great job you little Betty Crocker you!