Pumpkin walnut chocolate chip cake bars

Did the suspense kill you? I bet it did.

I’m pretty sure when I signed up for the Philadelphia half marathon subconsciously it was solely because of the extra food that comes along with training. For me, that food comes in the form of dessert. 10 mile run? That’s good for at least  3 cookies. It’s not like I look forward to eating more salad while training. Love my veggies, but not that much.

So, imagine the horror when I realized I was all out of these and these on Monday with 8 miles on the training plan. There’s only one reasonable solution in this kind of situation.

Open another can of pumpkin.

use 2

Are you sick of pumpkin? I hope not because this was one of the big cans. I’ve got a Tupperware full of pumpkin puree still and there’s only so many mornings of pumpkin oats I can handle.

But, I can promise some reprieve after this since I bought an acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash this week. Things might get “squashy” for a bit.

use 3

These are somewhere between the consistency of the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and your traditional butter laden cookie bar. A happy, delicious tasting compromise.

use 4

They’ve got pumpkin, applesauce and oats in them. They’re practically a health food.

Which means you can have two without thinking twice.

use 1

Or one, heated up with vanilla ice cream, more chocolate chips and whip cream.

I may or may not have had first hand experience with that combo. I did run 8 miles after all. Winking smile


Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate

Chip Cake Bars

Yield: 9 bars

  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8 inch baking pan (or similar size). Beat sugar and butter in mixer until smooth. Add in egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add pumpkin & applesauce and beat until combined. Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly add into the mixer at a low speed. Mix until combined. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan and smooth to evenly distribute. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.


What’s your favorite type of squash?

What motivates you the most while training?

share it on →
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Stumbleupon


  1. 1

    Yummy! Those look fantastic. And no… I am NOT sick of pumpkin!

  2. 2

    You told me about these, and they look amazing and yummy!!!

    I will never get sick of pumpkin, ever!

    Happy Thursday!

  3. 3

    These look SO good…I make some from a Martha Stewart recipe, but these look much healthier!! I’m going to have to try them!

  4. 4

    Like I said, I’m the only blogger that doesn’t like pumpkin!

  5. 6

    GAH! I WANT THOSE!! Seriously – pumpkin and chocolate may rival peanut butter and chocolate in my book!

  6. 7

    These look amazing!

  7. 8

    Please don’t stop making pumpkin goodies!!!! That is all. :)

  8. 9

    These cookie/bar/cake thingies look AH-MAZING!! I do love my sweets, but I don’t bake them…but I just might start, like today!

    I’m new to your sight and immediately saw that you have a Weimaraner and I just had to subscribe! Mine is 10 years old and STILL hasn’t calmed down ;), well, maybe a little.

    • 10
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      I love hearing about others with weims. Ours is 4 and just recently started to calm down. I use that term loosely, ha! They’re awesome dogs :)

  9. 11

    Those look outrageous! I love a bar for it’s denseness and moistness and this looks like it has both. Must make these!

  10. 12

    I like baked acorn squash.

    What motivates me? beer, pizza, cookies.

  11. 13

    I want these!

    I’m not a huge fan of squash, but my SIL makes incredible squash curry soup at Thanksgiving.

    Food DEFINITELY motivates me :)

  12. 14

    My favorite type of squash is Spaghetti Squash! I’m obsessed! and those bars look amazing! I definitely want to give them a try!

  13. 15

    I am just getting started on pumpkin so keep em comin! :)

  14. 16

    I am totally not sick of pumpkin. In fact, I’m just getting warmed up. These are just going to add fuel to the fire, so thank you for that =). I can’t wait to try them out!

  15. 17

    Not gonna lie, I often find myself drooling over what delicious snack or treat I am going to eat after my run while still running. ;-)

  16. 18

    Looks great! Very tasty!

  17. 19

    I tried this recipe….I used whole wheat flour and the all purpose flour…and these turned out horrible. No taste…and definitely not for someone with a sweet tooth.

    • 20
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      Sorry you didn’t like it. They came out pumpkin-y and sweet enough for me. Regular whole wheat flour, instead of pastry flour will give a more earthy flavor as it’s not ground as fine.

  18. 21

    Hi Gina,
    I think I’m going to have dreams about these pumpkin bars! They look so good, as do all of your foods! It is still pretty warm here so I think I need to start making some fall foods to make up for the lack of cooler weather! :)

    • 22
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      I busted out the pumpkin when it was still in the 80′s here, no shame ;)
      Hope you’re doing well down there!

  19. 23

    Wow, those photos make them look absolutely delicous!

  20. 24

    holy drool fest. I have a couple of cans of pumpkin stuff that I never put to good use. If I ship them to you, will you ship me these back? Thanks!

  21. 25

    Emm…Yummy, looks delicious, but I think I’ll manage to eat some kind of food like that, I’m care about my weight body…lol


  22. 26

    wow i like this i will try this recipe yummy…

  23. 27

    I made these tonight. They are too darn good. I omitted the vanilla so they would stay more pumpkinny. Thanks for the recipe.

    • 28
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      So glad you liked them! Just made a cranberry pumpkin bar today loosely based off these that turned out great :)


  1. [...] the pumpkin chocolate chip bars from earlier in the week, I had quite a substantial amount of pumpkin leftover so, pancakes it [...]

  2. [...] here’s my adaptation of Running to the Kitchen’s Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars. For the record, every last one went. Jason reported them to be moist. Always a [...]

  3. [...] Chocolate Chip Cake Barsrunningtothekitchen.com What's your favorite holiday treat? Need gluten-free recipes? Check out our other holiday [...]

Speak Your Mind