These gluten free pumpkin bars are easy to make and taste delicious! They are soft, packed full of flavor and will melt in your mouth!
Pumpkin is one of my favorite foods to cook with! I love it because it is a healthy way to make your baked goods taste really moist! Also I just love the flavor. If it was up to me, pumpkin foods with be a thing year around!
How to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars
Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: eggs, sugar, pumpkin and applesauce.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Mix gently using a rubber spatula.
Pour into your prepared pan and bake!
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
Choose a reduced fat cream cheese. Let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften. Allow the butter to sit out for 30 minutes to soften also.
Mix the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar together until smooth. Spread on completely cooled bars.
There are many variations to these gluten free pumpkin bars. Below are some suggestions to help meet your flavor or dietary preferences.
Lighten it up!
These bars have been made healthier by using applesauce to reduce the amount of oil used. Looking to make these bars even healthier? Here’s a few ways to do so!
- Use More applesauce: Use 1 cup of applesauce and omit the oil completely.
- Omit the frosting: Leave off the frosting to reduce calories and fat. Another option is to drizzle the frosting over the bars in a zig-zag pattern so that you still have some frosting, yet not as much as the normal bar
- Low Fat Cream cheese: Use low fat or fat free cream cheese for the frosting
Customize these Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars
- Add nuts: Add ¾ cup of your favorite type of chopped nuts into the batter mixture after all ingredients are combined. Popular options are chopped walnuts or chopped pecans
- Add chocolate chips: Add ¾ cup of chocolate chips or white chocolate chips into the batter mixture after all other ingredients are combined.
- Top the Bars! Garnish these bars with anything desired! Add extra flavor by garnishing with chopped walnuts, or sprinkle some extra cinnamon over the top for an extra festive flavor. Another great garnish is mini chocolate chips!
The gluten free pumpkin bars must be stored in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days. The pumpkin bars taste great when cold, however they also taste good when served warm or at room temperature.
Based on your preference, let the pumpkin bars sit out for 30 minutes prior to serving if wishing to eat at room temperature. These bars can also be warmed in the microwave for about 10 seconds prior to eating them.
Tips for Success
- Make sure the bars are completely cooled prior to icing them. To make the pumpkin bars easier to ice, stick them in the refrigerator for 3 hours prior to frosting. You could also stick them in the freezer for about 30 minutes to create a hard top which makes it easier to spread the frosting on top.
- Mix your wet ingredients & dry ingredients separately. This helps so all ingredients are evenly mixed in.
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What Can I Use Instead Of A 10×15 Inch Pan?
- A 13×19 inch pan can be used, however it will create taller bars (similar to the height of a sheet cake). The cook time will also take longer than recommended in the recipe.
- Another option is to pour ¾ of the batter into a 13×9 inch pan. This will allow the bars to rise to the normal “pumpkin bar height”, which is shorter than your typical sheet cake. Pour the remaining batter into a smaller pan (9×5” bread pan) or make them into mini muffins! Cooking times will vary significantly.
Having trouble finding a 10×15 inch jelly roll pan? Check your local Target’s baking section, or check out this one!
Can I Make the Batter Into Muffins?
- Yes! This batter is very versatile! It can be made into muffins, mini muffins or a sheet cake. Cooking times will vary significantly.
Looking for a delicious gluten free pumpkin bread? Check out this delicious, melt-in-your-mouth Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread!
- The serving size for these bars is 1/16 of a pan. A gluten free pumpkin bar with frosting contains 260 calories, 3 g protein and 25 g carb.
- This recipe contains 85% DV of Vitamin A. More info on Vitamin A!
More Pumpkin Recipes
Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 & 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups gluten free flour (sub all-purpose flour if not concerned about gluten)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 package (8 ounce) low fat cream cheese softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp butter softened
- Preheate oven to 350F. Grease a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan* with nonstick pan spray.
- Combine the oil, sugar and applesauce together in a large mixing bowl. Beat on high with electric mixer for 1 minute.
- Add in the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix with electric mixer until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Mix with spoon until combine.
- Pour the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Mix gently with a large spoon until combined.
- Pour evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick is inserted into the middle and comes out clean.
- Top with cream cheese frosting when cooled (optional).
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Combine cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, mix on high for 2 minutes until smooth and ingredients are combined. Spread over the cooled pumpkin bars.