These gluten free pumpkin bars are easy to make and taste delicious! They are soft, packed with flavor and will melt in your mouth!
These pumpkin bars are an easy treat that you can make in under and hour! They have the perfect texture and density to them. The pumpkin adds extra moistness and the cream cheese frosting provides a rich creamy flavor.
If you're looking for more holiday recipes, check out this skinny peppermint latte or these gluten free ginger cookies.
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Reasons To Love This Recipe
- The pumpkin bars are gluten free, but you can't even tell! They have the perfect texture and taste like normal pumpkin bars.
- These GF pumpkin bars are so easy to make! They can be prepped and baked in less than 40 minutes.
- The pumpkin bars are low in sugar: the recipe uses applesauce to reduce some of the sugar content.
Step By Step Instructions
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 make these pumpkin bars more nutritious.
- Low Calorie Pumpkin Bars: Use 1 cup of applesauce and omit the oil completely.
- Frosting Optional: 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 to reduce calories and fat.
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!
Store the pumpkin bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They will keep for about 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.
- Cool completely prior to icing. 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.
- Don't over-mix the bars when combining the wet and dry ingredients. This will prevent a rubbery texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
A 13x19 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 13x9 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 (9x5” bread pan) or make them into mini muffins! Cooking times will vary significantly.
Having trouble finding a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan? Check your local Target's baking section, or check out this one! (affiliate link)
Yes! This batter is very versatile! It can be made into muffins, mini muffins or a sheet cake. Cooking times will vary significantly.
- The serving size for these bars is 1/16 of a pan. A gluten-free pumpkin bar with frosting contains 280 calories, 3 g protein, and 44 g carb.
- This recipe contains 85% DV of Vitamin A. More info on Vitamin A!
More Fall Recipes
Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 & ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups gluten free flour (sub all-purpose flour if not concerned about gluten)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 package (8 ounce) low fat cream cheese softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon butter softened
- Preheate oven to 350F. Grease a 10x15 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.
Turned out perfectly!!
These look great. Right along the lines of the type recipe I was looking for. Far too much sugar for my likes, so I'll be substituting either Swerve or Xylitol. And NO canola oil either so what oil substitute would you recommend to replace? I'm thinking olive would impart it's flavor a bit too much? Definately going to use walnuts in the cake part and only add half the frosting. So far, I hope these substitutions will work out.
Pinch of Wellness
Hi! Walnuts sound great in the cake ???? I have only made this with canola oil, however melted coconut oil is another alternative. Subbing Olive oil does tend to have a very strong flavor if used in baking, but some people don’t mind this. I’m curious to see how the sugar subs work out for you, as I have not tried these either. Hope you enjoy ????
These look terrific! Thank you!