These easy healthy pumpkin bars are made with an oat and almond flour crust, and a pumpkin coconut milk filling. They’re topped with a decadent coconut whipped cream and sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice. Both vegan and gluten-free, these bars are suitable for all! It’s a must have on your Thanksgiving table this year!
It’s the time of year when I’m ready for all things pumpkin! The fall season is upon us!
These are the most delicious and healthy pumpkin bar recipe you’ll ever make! Not only does it taste amazing with a crunchy oat crust and a creamy pumpkin pie filling, but it is suitable for every diet since it is a vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free plant-based dessert.
Do you love pumpkin desserts? Check out these healthy pumpkin recipes.
It’s sure to make every type of eater at your Thanksgiving table happy and satisfied.
This version has absolutely no processed ingredients.
It’s a whole food plant-based version of a classic pumpkin bar. This recipe was inspired by The Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bars.
When it comes to the holidays it can be challenging to put together a meal everyone can eat when the members of your family have different eating preferences, allergies, or are on special diets.
You want to be able to make a delicious spread that everyone will enjoy, and your old trusty recipes just won’t cut it.
That’s where this recipe will come in handy. These pumpkin bars are so easy to make too, and are a simple alternative to pumpkin pie!
There’s no need to cut and roll pastry dough, or try to get the perfect pinched edge on your pie, or worry about the crust burning while having an undercooked pie filling.
Why This Recipe Works
- No processed ingredients
- Refined Sugar Free
- Egg Free
Ingredients and Notes
For the Crust:
Gluten-Free Oats: When making gluten-free recipes with oats it’s important to be sure to purchase oats that are certified gluten-free. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but many brands are cross contaminated. Bob’s Red Mill are my go-to certified gluten-free oats. When combined in the food processor it creates an oat flour. If you are not gluten-free you can use whole wheat flour.
Almond Flour (not almond meal): Almond flour and almond meal are two different ingredients. Almond flour is blanched and works better in this recipe. If you have a nut allergy in your family you can substitute almond flour with coconut flour. An all purpose flour has gluten, and should be avoided if you want these to be gluten free pumpkin bars.
Raw Almond Butter: Raw almond butter works best in this recipe because it doesn’t have as strong a flavor as roasted almond butter, and it’s less processed and doesn’t contain added oil. I use it when baking as a substitute for oil and butter. I buy raw almond butter from Trader Joes. If you have a nut allergy you can substitute coconut oil for the almond butter.
Ground Flax: Adds texture.
Pure Maple Syrup: Natural added sweetness.
For the Filling:
Pumpkin Puree: You can use canned pumpkin puree, or make your own. When purchasing the coconut milk be sure to get the full fat version. Date sugar is a less processed sugar than brown or white sugar. If you don’t have date sugar you can substitute coconut sugar or brown sugar.
Full Fat Coconut Milk: Adds creaminess to the filling. I do not recommend using an alternative such as almond milk as it’s not as thick and creamy.
Maple Syrup: Added for natural sweetness and moisture.
Date Sugar: Added for natural sweetness.
Arrowroot Powder: Acts as a thickener much like corn starch. If you do not have arrowroot powder you can use corn starch instead. It helps thicken the pie filling.
Pumpkin Pie Spice and Salt: A combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice you can make your own with the combination of spices, or simply use cinnamon.
Tools and Equipment
The food processor is my best friend in the kitchen. It makes combining ingredients a breeze. I use it several times a week, and this recipe was no exception.
Making these vegan gluten-free pumpkin pie bars is a 4 step process.
It easily combines the ingredients for the crust and filling. An 8 x 8 inch pan will yield 9 perfectly even squares, and the parchment paper allows you to easily remove the pie from the pan and cut into bars without the crust or filling sticking to the pan.
Step 1: Make the crust. This version of pumpkin pie is made with oats and almond flour making it gluten-free.
Step 2: Make the pumpkin filling. The pumpkin pie filling is dairy-free by substituting the traditional condensed milk with coconut milk and has no need for egg instead using arrowroot powder to help it rise. Instead of refined white sugar this pumpkin pie recipe is sweetened with maple syrup and date sugar.
Step 3: Bake and allow to cool and set overnight (or a minimum of 4 hours). The pumpkin filling will need to cool and set before cutting it into bars. I prefer allowing it to cool completely at room temperature and then putting it in the refrigerator overnight to set. If you make this recipe the day you want to serve it allow at least 4 hours to cool and set.
Step 4: Make the coconut whipped cream topping. Before serving this vegan gluten-free pumpkin pie bars, you must make the coconut whipped cream topping! I say must because it really is what makes this recipe a crowd pleaser!
Instructions: Making the Gluten-Free Crust
Step 1-Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the dry ingredients for the crust in a food processor. Add the maple syrup and and almond butter. Pulse until combined.
Step 2-Pulse until it becomes a crumbly texture.
Step 3-Line an 8 x 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. Press the crust evenly into the pan.
Step 4-Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
Instructions: Making the Pumpkin Filling
Step 1-While the crust is baking, combine the wet ingredients for the pumpkin pie filling in the food processor. Pulse to combine.
Step 2-When the crust comes out of the oven, allow it to cool. Then pour the pumpkin pie filling on top.
Step 3-Spread evenly.
Step 4-Bake at 350 F for 55 minutes. When the pie comes out of the oven it will need to cool completely. It will still be a bit soft and not ready to eat.
After allowing the pie to cool completely at room temperature, cover and transfer to the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 4 hours. If making this pie in advance allow to sit overnight. The more time you give the pie to set the more it will firm up.
When the pie has cooled completely carefully pull the ends of the parchment paper to remove the pie from the pan. Using a sharp knife cut the ends off of each side creating a smooth finish. Measure 2.5 inches across the left side and bottom of the large square. Gently use a knife to make a light crease across and over creating a grid on the top of the large square, then firmly press your knife on the lines to cut 9 even squares.
- Line baking pan with parchment paper to keep the crust from sticking to the pan, and for easy release.
- If using a glass pan instead of a metal pan, reduce the temperature on the oven to 325 F. Glass pans heat higher than metal and can result in a burnt crust if baked at 350 F.
- If crust seems too dry, add an additional tablespoon of almond butter.
How to Serve
No pumpkin pie is complete without whipped cream. I topped these vegan pumpkin pie bars with coconut whipped cream. It’s easy to make!
You’ll need a can of coconut cream, not milk, and organic powdered sugar. That’s it! Whip in a large bowl, for the ultimate creamy topping! It’s so easy to make, and worth the extra time!
If you’d like to make these extra decadent, sprinkle the top with dairy free mini chocolate chips, or chopped walnuts.
How to Store and Keep
Refrigerate: Store these bars in an airtight container or cover in plastic wrap. Keep them refrigerated for up to 4 days.
More healthy Thanksgiving and holiday favorites!
- Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- Pumpkin Bread
- Sugar Free Apple Crisp
- Pumpkin Cake by The Almond Eater
- Keto Pumpkin Bars by Four Score Living
If you’ve tried my Healthy Pumpkin Bars recipe, please rate it and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!
Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Bars
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- ¼ cup raw almond butter
- ¼ cup ground flax seed
- 3 tbsp organic maple syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cups pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup coconut milk full fat in can
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup date sugar
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Combine oats, almond flour, flax, almond butter, maple syrup, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a crumbly texture.
- Line an 8 x 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. Press the crust evenly into the pan. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, combine the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, maple syrup, arrowroot powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in the food processor. Pulse to combine.
- When the crust comes out of the oven, allow it to cool. Then pour the pumpkin pie filling on top. Spread evenly. Lightly tap the pan on the counter to even out the filling and remove any bubbles.
- Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes. When the pie comes out of the oven it will need to cool completely. After allowing the pie to cool completely at room temperature, cover and transfer to the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 4 hours. If making this pie in advance allow to sit overnight. The more time you allow the pie to set the less runny it will be. Overnight works best.
- When the pie has cooled completely carefully pull the ends of the parchment paper to remove the pie from the pan. Using a sharp knife cut the ends off of each side creating a smooth finish. Measure 2.5 inches across the left side and bottom of the large square. Gently use a knife to measure across and over creating a grid on the top of the large square, then firmly press your knife on the lines to cut 9 even squares.