Say hello to fall with these gluten free pumpkin bars! They're filled with oats and chocolate chips making them soft and chewy with a gooey rich middle. Made dairy free too!
If a brownie and an oatmeal cookie and a pumpkin collided...these delicious pumpkin bars would be the result. And let me tell you, they make the perfect fall treat! They aren't too pumpkin forward but have those hints of fall flavors that are sure to get you in the fall spirit.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Oat flour - Make sure to use gluten free if needed. You can also make your own oat flour at home by grinding up rolled oats in a food processor.
- Rolled oats - These are thin rolled oats, not quick oats. Yes, quick oats will still work in this recipe but because they are much smaller these bars won't be as chewy.
- Pumpkin - From a can. Make sure your can is pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. Pure pumpkin should be the only ingredient.
- Coconut sugar - Used to sweeten the pumpkin bars. If needed, substitute with light brown sugar.
- Sunflower butter - To provide a fat source to the bars so they are super fudgy and moist. We use SunButter so the recipe is completely nut-free for those with allergies.
Step by step directions
These pumpkin oatmeal bars are so easy to make and come together in about 30 minutes. You will need a bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer and an 8X8 square baking dish.
Step 1 : Beat the egg with the sunflower butter, coconut sugar, and pumpkin
In a bowl, mix together the egg, sunflower butter, pumpkin, and vanilla until creamy. The color will be a light tan.
Then add in the coconut sugar and continue to mix well.
Step 2 : Add the dry ingredients
Slowly add in the oat flour, baking soda, and rolled oats. Mix well so the rolled oats are coated with batter.
This is important because if the oats aren't mixed in well, they won't cook and get soft in the oven. The oats needs to be wrapped around batter in order to cook so be sure to mix well.
Step 3 : Fold in the chocolate chips
Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips. I like to se dark chocolate chips in this recipe.
You can do this with a mixer or fold them in by hand with a spatula. Either way, make sure the chocolate chips are evenly distribted.
Step 4 : Bake!
Greats an 8X8 pan with oil and lay down some parchment paper inside. This will make getting the bars out of the pan much easier.
Pour the batter into the pan and level it off with a spatula. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to help the batter even out as well.
Sprinkle some extra chocolate chips over top if desired then bake in the oven until the top turns a golden brown.
Just like my paleo brownies and my gluten free banana cake, using a plastic knife to cut the bars into squares will prevent pulling. You know when you have a beautifully baked batch of brownies and you go to slice them and now they look like your toddler cut them with a spoon? That's because when you cut with a metal knife, the warm baked good is going to stick to the coldness of the knife.
The best way around this is to use a plastic knife (I always have one on hand and will throw it in the dishwasher and use it over and over again). If you don't have a plastic knife, warm up your metal one by running it under some warm water for a few seconds. Wipe off the excess water then cut the bars. Clean off the knife after each cut and repeat.
To store these pumpkin oat bars, place them in an airtight container. They will keep for up to a week when kept out on the counter.
You can store them in the fridge if desired (they will been fudgier). When ready to enjoy, warm up a square on a plate in the microwave for 10 seconds.
- Use high quality pumpkin puree. The 365 brand is great and I also like Libby's and Farmer's Market.
- Don't skimp on the pumpkin spice. This is what elevates that pumpkin flavor since we don't use a lot of pumpkin puree in the recipe. If you don't have pumpkin spice, use ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nut meg, and ¼ tsp ginger.
- Don't over bake. You want to slightly under bake these bars so they have a real ooey gooey texture in the middle. Remember, after you pull the pan out of the oven they will continue to bake.
- Use a plastic knife to cut the bars. This will prevent the bars from pulling then you cut them into squares. Refer the 'serving' section above for an alternative.
Frequently asked questions
For this recipe, make sure to use pumpkin puree. Pumpkin pie filling has added spices in it and it sweetened even more.
Yes, once sliced into squares, place the ones you wish to freeze in a freezer bag or airtight container. They will keep for about 3 months in the freezer. When ready to enjoy, thaw out the bars at room temperature and then warm them up in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten free when dairy free chocolate chips are used. Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips are my favorite dairy free chocolate brand.
For more fall recipes, check out my:
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Gluten free Pumpkin Bars
- 1 egg
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup SunButter - creamy style
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅔ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, beat together the egg, pumpkin puree, SunButter, coconut sugar, and vanilla until creamy.
- Next add the rolled oats, oat flour, pumpkin spice, and baking soda and fold until the flour is incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate chips. Line an 8X8 baking dish with parchment paper and pour the batter into the dish. Top with more chocolate chips if desired and bake for 24 - 30 minutes until the edges turn golden brown.
- Let cool slightly before cutting into squares and enjoy.