Healthy Pumpkin Bars are made without flour or refined sugar, and are surprisingly light and fluffy! They are one of my favorite grain-free desserts for the Fall, and once you taste them, I think you’ll fall in love with them, too.
Inspired by my Paleo Banana Snack Cake, this recipe uses almond butter instead of flour. It’s amazing how when you pair it with eggs and a little honey, it becomes quite cake-like!
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in healthy pumpkin bars?
- Almond butter
- Pumpkin puree
- Pumpkin pie spice
If you don’t have almond butter on hand, cashew butter also makes a similar substitute. I’ve tested this recipe using peanut butter, and the results aren’t quite as delicious, because the peanut flavor competes with the pumpkin flavor too much.
For best results, I recommend using a “raw” or non-roasted nut butter, for the most mild flavor.
How to Make Pumpkin Bars
1. Mix. Combine the almond butter, pumpkin, honey, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, and stir until very smooth.
Once the batter is mixed, add in the vinegar and stir again. You’ll notice that lighter swirls will start to appear as you mix, and that is the reaction between the baking soda and vinegar.
This will help the bars rise even better, and will help to avoid an aftertaste from the baking soda.
2. Bake. Pour the mixture into a lined or greased 8-inch pan, and bake at 350ºF for 35 to 40 minutes.
When the pumpkin bars are done, the center should rise, without jiggling in the middle when you shake the pan.
3. Slice. Let the bars cool completely in the pan, then slice into squares and serve right away.
These pumpkin bars are lightly sweet on their own, but I like topping them with a quick maple pecan glaze for an extra-special dessert. To make it, you just need to blend a few ingredients together!
This glaze is naturally sweetened and will NOT set like one made with powdered sugar, so it’s best to drizzle it over the bars right as you serve them, with a few chopped pecans on top.
They taste so impressive this way!
Pro Tip: For an even deeper flavor, swap the water in the Maple Pecan Glaze for black coffee. The maple coffee flavor is also excellent on these healthy pumpkin bars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I swap the sweetener? This recipe should work well with a 1/2 cup of maple syrup to replace the honey. II’ve also tested it with 2/3 cup of coconut sugar, but the texture changes slightly when you swap a liquid sweetener for a granulated one.
I don’t work with zero calorie sweeteners, so I don’t know how this will work with a sweetener like stevia.
Can I make this vegan? Try my Vegan & Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars recipe, for an egg-free recipe that is already tested for you.
Or try my Vegan Pumpkin Muffins, if you prefer to work with oat flour.
Can I make pumpkin puree from scratch? Check out my how to cook pumpkin tutorial, for the easiest way to make pumpkin puree at home!
More Pumpkin Recipes
Looking for more pumpkin inspiration? Try these!
Healthy Pumpkin Bars
Healthy Pumpkin Bars are naturally gluten-free, made without flour or refined sugar! They are amazingly light and fluffy, using simple, real food ingredients.
Maple Pecan Glaze
- 3/4 cup pecans , plus extra chopped for serving
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup water (or coffee)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, almond butter, honey, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda, and stir until very smooth.
Add the vinegar into the batter, and stir again. The batter will have lighter swirls in it, from the baking soda reacting to the vinegar. This will help the bars rise and remove any baking soda flavor in the final bars, so keep stirring until the batter looks uniform. Pour into a greased 8-inch baking dish, lined with parchment paper for easy removal later.
Bake at 350ºF for about 35 minutes, until the bars rise in the center and don’t jiggle when you shake the pan. Cool completely, then slice and serve.
To make the optional Maple Pecan Glaze, combine the pecans, maple syrup, coconut oil, water, vanilla, and salt. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the blender as needed. You can add a tablespoon of water, as needed, to help it blend. Pour the glaze over the bars, and serve right away with chopped pecans on top.
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves to replace the 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
For a vegan, grain-free recipe, try my Vegan & Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars.
Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2177IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
If you try these healthy pumpkin bars soon, please leave a star rating and comment below letting me know how you like them!
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