Moist, cake-like pumpkin bars that are gluten-free and vegan! Packed with fall spices to make a delicious afternoon snack or dessert.
Far before fall hit and the weather called for it, I bought a few cans of pumpkin (and thank god for that because my stores have been out for weeks now!) and decided to play around with some new pumpkin recipes.
Gluten-free pumpkin muffins and pumpkin cookie dough were both results of that as well as these gluten-free pumpkin bars I’m sharing today.
I think these are actually my favorite of all the pumpkin recipes and that’s not because of any super original creation (I’ve made these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars for quite a few years now), but rather the fact that they just came out so perfect!
Yeah that’s me tooting my own horn over here.
But, if you love a nice thick and chewy, yet still moist and a bit cake-like kinda bar, you’re gonna fall in love with these pumpkin pie bars.
Besides being gluten-free, they’re also vegan and dairy-free too so pretty much anyone can enjoy them.
Now that these exist along with my healthier zucchini bars, I think I’ve got the end of summer/beginning of fall dessert thing covered.
HOW TO MAKE GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN PIE BARS
Gotta love a simple recipe and these bars are definitely that!
You’ll need these ingredients:
- almond flour
- oat flour
- arrowroot flour
- coconut sugar
- baking soda
- pumpkin pie spice
- pumpkin puree
- coconut oil
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Add the wet ingredients and stir until completely combined. The batter will be thick, no worries!
Spread the batter out into a parchment lined baking dish (about 8×8 size). I like to use an offset spatula to help when I’m dealing with thick batters like this.
Bake the pumpkin bars for 30 minutes.
Let them cool completely in the dish then remove from the dish lifting them out using the parchment paper and cut into squares.
SUBSTITUTIONS TO THE RECIPE
Arrowroot flour – you can use tapioca starch in its place if desired.
Pumpkin pie spice – if you don’t keep this spice blend on hand, use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
Coconut oil – if you want to make this an oil free recipe, use unsweetened applesauce in place of the coconut oil. You may also use other oils such as avocado instead of coconut.
Pumpkin puree – an odd ingredient to swap out when you’re making pumpkin bars! Just kidding, if you find yourself without any canned pumpkin, feel free to mash your own! Or, use sweet potato or butternut squash in its place. Oh, and make sure you’re using pumpkin puree/canned pumpkin not canned pumpkin pie filling!
Oat flour – sorghum flour is a good gluten-free flour substitute for oat flour. Remember though, if you don’t have oat flour on hand you can easily make your own by grinding oats in a food processor or blender!
I purposely don’t suggest a flour substitution for the almond flour in this recipe. Nut flours such as the almond flour used here are harder to substitute 1:1 with other flours.
The fat in the almond flour is also responsible in large part for the texture and moistness of the bars so I don’t suggest swapping it out.
Note – I use almond flour here not almond meal. Almond flour is usually blanched and both finer and lighter in color than almond meal which still has the skins on.
CAN I PUT ADD-INS IN THESE GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN PUMPKIN BARS?
Yes, yes, yes! Add-ins are life!
I’m a hardcore add-in and toppings fiend so I totally get wanting to add some goodies into these pumpkin bars!
My suggestions for add-ins are:
- chocolate chips/chunks (or just make these vegan pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips)
- chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
- dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries)
- fresh fruit (or, check out this pumpkin cranberry bar recipe)
- sunflower seeds
You can also play with the spices used and give these pumpkin bars a little extra kick with some cardamom and allspice.
While all of these options are delicious additions, don’t fear you’ll be missing out on any flavor if you just make the pumpkin bars plain. They’re full of fall flavor from the pumpkin pie spice and perfectly sweet on their own!
If you’re looking for a healthy dessert bar that tastes just like all those decadent recipes out there, this is it.
These pumpkin bars may be gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free and healthier for you, but they taste just as delicious as the rest.
They’re thick, chewy (though not as chewy as delicious pumpkin butter mochi) and moist, packed with pumpkin pie spiced flavor and begging to be made this fall.
You can even enjoy them for breakfast if you’d like. They’d go great with a bowl of yogurt or crumbled on top of a smoothie bowl.
Of course, chocolate baked oats (which are cut like bars) is another perfectly good breakfast option too.
Want to add icing to these pumpkin bars?
Or, the dairy-free and vegan icing from these paleo carrot cookies instead!
Looking for more gluten-free fall treats like these pumpkin bars?
Sweet potato bran muffins are one of my favorites. A healthy muffin that’s great for breakfast and snacking!
Sweet potato oat bars packed with fall flavor they’re very similar to these gluten-free pumpkin bars using oat and coconut flour.
These apple butter rugelach with cacao nibs are a delicious way to enjoy traditional rugelach in a gluten-free recipe!
And vanilla butternut squash biscuits bring a slightly sweet twist to a savory biscuit. Delicious alongside breakfast or even as a snack!
And here’s a great gluten-free pumpkin pie recipe if you’re into the classics. I love its graham cracker crust!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars
- Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare an 8×8 or similar sized baking dish with parchment paper.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add the pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla to the dry ingredients.
- Mix well then transfer to the parchment lined baking dish. Spread the batter evenly in the dish (it will be a thicker batter) and smooth the top.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven, let cool completely before lifting out of the baking dish using the parchment paper and slicing into squares.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.