Pumpkin Pie Bars (WIAW)

Instead of beating around the bush I am going to jump right into my recipe. For today’s WIAW party hosted by our wonderful host Jenn, I am going to be sharing with you a recipe that is completely opposite from what I posted last week.

That’s right. It’s all about the pumpkin baby! (For some strange reason I said that in an Austin Powers voice. Sue me).

Egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and so yummy that you will want to eat the entire batch.

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Really. It’s okay if you don’t want to share. We will understand.

I have to admit that at first I thought this was recipe was going to be an utter failure. It turns out that it just needed awhile to bake to perfection. Good things do take time after all.

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

I also had a hard time in coming up with a name for these things. Pumpkin cookie bars? Pumpkin bread bars? Nah. None of those were quite… right. But then my dad ate one and said, “Do you know what these remind me of? Pumpkin pie!” Bingo.

And so the Pumpkin Pie Bar was born.

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Wheat/Gluten/Grain-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free Option, Paleo/GAPS-Friendly

Makes 9 squares

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium banana, ripe
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour (any other nut or seed flour would work too)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 casserole dish with parchment paper and coconut oil if desired (I added the oil just to ensure that this wouldn’t stick and I suggest that you do the same since there is no added oil in the recipe itself).
  2. In a food processor place the water, banana, pumpkin, honey and vanilla and combine until smooth. Alternatively you could just mix it by hand.
  3. Then in a bowl combine the flaxseed, coconut flour, almond flour, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Next stir in the wet ingredient mixture until fully incorporated. (Don’t worry about overmixing since there is no gluten in here. Just make sure that it’s well combined).
  5. Let the mixture sit for at least five minutes so that the coconut flour and flaxseed have time to thicken up.
  6. Then spread out the batter into the lined/oiled pan.
  7. Bake for around 70 minutes (I would check after an hour and then every few minutes after that). The end result will be very moist, but will have formed a noticeable soft crust on top. Let cool for about 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.
  8. You can slice and serve the bars then, or place them in the fridge overnight to firm up even more. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Pumpkin Pie Bars (Vegan and Grain-Free)

Recipe thoughts: I am not sure how this recipe would turn out if you tried to use eggs in place of the flaxseed mixture. If I ever do try a version like that of course I will let you all know. For the flaxseed you may be able to substitute chia meal but again, I cannot confirm that this will work since I haven’t tested it personally. One additional thought that I hope to be experimenting with soon is to use banana in place of the pumpkin for banana bars. Or maybe replace the almond flour with carob/cocoa powder for a brownie-type recipe. Again, all just thoughts that I thought I’d share in case you’d like to experiment on your own!

Also shared at: Allergy-Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

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Thank you for all of your suggestions on yesterday’s post! In case you missed it, I am looking for magazine subscription suggestions. If you have something that you think I’d like to read, you can leave a comment in that post. Wednesday night I will be making the final decision and will let you know what I choose.

Are you a fan of pumpkin pie?

Have you gotten into the baking spirit yet or are you still holding out for summer?

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73 thoughts on “Pumpkin Pie Bars (WIAW)

  1. What do I think about this recipe – i wish I could jump through the computer screen & shove at least two of those babies in my mouth!! I bet they’d be a great topping for smoothies, oats, and maybe even pancakes? :)

    • Well thanks Davida. I could say the same thing right back at ya though with your incredible creations :) Speaking of which, I have yet to make one of your recipes and I think it’s about high time that I do so!

  2. The first batch is already in the oven! I had no nut flour so it tried buckwheat instead. I reckon it might turn out a little more crumbly but it already smells very delicious!

    • Oh boy. That was fast! Haha. I hope they turn out alright with the buckwheat flour. Let me know! You may have to adjust the baking time a bit or let them sit longer in the fridge to firm up. Sorry, lol, rambling. I’m just always so nervous when someone tries one of my recipes. Report back soon either way :)

      • There was no need to let them firm up longer since I forgot to add the water! Silly me! Nevertheless they turned out delicious. Judging from your picture mine were a little firmer. I think softer would have been a little nicer. I ate them plain and covered some with chocolate for my family. We all loved them and it won’t be the last time for me to bake them! THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS AMAZING RECIPE!!!!! :-D

  3. I’m definitely in the fall baking spirit already! Our weather has really started to cool down lately, so I’ve been spending a lot of time in my kitchen, trying to warm up. Apples, pumpkins, figs… eat ALL the fall foods! The only thing is… I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie… like at all. It’s a texture thing, I think, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. I do love the flavour though, so having it in a bar form sounds much more appealing.

    • That expression of “eat ALL the ___” makes me smile every time, so thanks for that :D

      As for pumpkin pie, I kind of feel the same way, After one bite I’ve had my fill. I like something with substance. That’s what so great about these bars- a similar flavor/taste but much sturdier and it gives something to bite into.

    • I think I understand what you’re saying about pumpkin pie. It’s silky and not very dense… Like what I said to Amanda above, not really any substance? Your teeth slip right through. Thick desserts like brownies are way better, I completely agree! And I think these pumpkin bars more closely resemble the textures of brownies but the taste of pumpkin pie. It’s a win win!!

    • Thanks Amy. I can completely empathize with you on needing to find substitutes. The almond flour is easiest to replace with other nuts ground into flour. The coconut flour is probably pretty important for this recipe to hold together, but just for future reference with grain-free recipes… Usually you replace 1 cup of regular/nut flour with 1/3 cup coconut flour + 1/4 cup binder + increase in wet ingredients. In reverse to convert something with coconut flour like this you could increase the nut flour to 1 3/4 cups and take out the water. Just a suggestion/observation although it may not work…

      I will have to come up with a delicious recipe where you can have ALL of the ingredients :D

  4. This looks amazing….. and I THINK I have all the ingredients… pinning it (haha, I’m finally learning how to use it!)

    And in response to an older comment you left- I’m leaving this comment later instead of one of the first as bloglovin is being crappy and delaying posts!

    • Isn’t pinterest awesome?!

      I love it when I have all of the ingredients for a recipe. It’s like the stars aligned just right :)

      Bloglovin has been acting up for me too lately. I wonder what’s wrong. Some mornings it will show 0 new posts and then by that afternoon they’ll all show up at once :(

    • Hi Jo! I totally understand your frustration with having to bake with food allergies so I will try to provide some suggestions, although I can’t guarantee that they will work since I haven’t tried them myself.

      My first thought was that adding another 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree and 1 or 2 additional tbsp of honey would probably increase the sweetness and moisture enough in the absence of banana.

      The banana acts sort of like a binder so another tbsp of ground flaxseed might also be helpful.

      If your mom can have eggs, maybe replacing the banana with an egg would be another option.

      Again, these are just suggestions but I think that the pumpkin and honey substitute would probably be your best bet and I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t turn out just as delicious :D After you make them feel free to report back here with what you changed and how they turned out! I hope you and your mom and enjoy them.

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  6. Holy freakin’ &(*&%^$#&^&*&^%$#!!! 8O Why, Madison?! WHY do you have to do this to me?! My list of things to make is getting bigger and bigger by the day…there just aren’t enough hours! I need to quit my job…and not sleep…and get my hands on a tape worm! Haha!

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  16. I tried these and couldn’t be more disappointed. I was expecting a real pumpkin pie taste, but this is rather bland and more banana flavor than pumpkin. They are on the dry side and not worthy of all the fine ingredients. Cooking Paleo can be expensive, I am always sad when the results are not as hoped.

    • I’m really sorry that you didn’t enjoy the recipe Tricia. I completely understand how expensive grain-free ingredients can be and I too hate feeling like they are wasted on a recipe that didn’t turn out as expected.

      A few thoughts that may be able to help- First, did you change anything from the original recipe or make any subsitutions? Sometimes even a little change can make a big difference. Second, these bars did not come out dry for me at all. In fact, as I stated in the post itself I actually thought in the beginning thta they would be TOO wet. That is why I suggested checking them at 60 minutes instead and going by look/feel rather than time alone. Everyone’s ingredients and oven temperatures differ so much that it can sometimes produce totally different results. Third, with vegan type recipes I would recommend always tasting the batter before baking, especially with ingredients than can be as expensive as these. Usually the batter will taste sweeter than the final product so you can adjust as necessary with that. Some suggestions for being too bland and tasting more banana-y…. Replace the water perhaps with coconut milk and instead of the banana maybe add some melted butter/ghee/coconut oil instead. That would provide some moisture and more of a traditional baked good finish if that’s what you are used to.

      Again, sorry you didn’t like the recipe and thanks for leaving a reply with your results. I hope you have a great day Tricia!

    • I hope you enjoy them! Just a note from the feedback that I’ve received from others: You may want to start checking the bars earlier than the time in the recipe. For me just longer than 60 minutes was perfect- they were wet right out of the oven, and then solidified to a great pumpkin pie texture. For a few others though I think they just went by time and not texture (so they were a little drier). And also taste the batter before baking! That’s what’s so great about vegan desserts, right? :) You can taste and change them!

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