These Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars are made with protein-rich almond flour and are naturally sweetened with low-glycemic coconut sugar for a healthier Fall treat. They’re totally irresistible!
When it comes to gluten-free and grain-free baking, it’s challenging to make recipes that are egg-free, as well. I wanted this recipe to work well for my vegan readers, so I tried several substitutes using my original Paleo Pumpkin Bar recipe. (If you can eat eggs, that one is a fan favorite!)
The best egg substitute I have found so far when working with almond flour is using a bit of tapioca or arrowroot starch. These options are both grain-free and provide just enough binding to help the bars hold together without eggs.
They won’t rise as much as a bar made with eggs would, but the result is just as delicious! (And ultra-moist.)
It took me seven attempts to get this recipe right, so I don’t recommend making too many substitutions with this recipe without expecting drastically different results.
When you reduce the sugar or use almond meal instead of blanched almond flour, they become a little too moist in the middle. If you omit the coconut oil, the bars become a bit more “sticky” and challenging to slice, and if you add more tapioca or arrowroot starch they become “gummy” in texture. So, experiment at your own risk.
For those of you who need a nut-free option, I’d suggest trying my Vegan Pumpkin Bread recipe baked in a square pan for another gluten-free alternative. I hope you’ll enjoy them!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars (Vegan!)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot, coconut sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
- Add in the pumpkin and coconut oil and stir well until a thick, moist batter is formed. (It will feel crumbly at first, so keep mixing until it's thick and uniform.)
- Transfer the batter to the lined pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly into the pan, smoothing the top. Bake until the top feels firm to a light touch, about 35 minutes.
- Let the bars cool completely before slicing into them, as they are very fragile when warm. They will firm up when they cool, so you may even want to place them in the fridge to speed up the process. Slice and serve as is, or top them with a dairy-free frosting for a more decadent treat.
Per serving: Calories: 128, Carbohydrates: 11, Protein: 3, Fat: 8
For a frosted vegan pumpkin bar, try this Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting. (Pictured above!)
- If you use almond meal (ground almonds with skins) the results are a little more moist and mushy, but the bars still taste good! If you want to use coconut flour, try my Coconut Flour Pumpkin bars, and if you want to use buckwheat flour, try my Vegan Pumpkin Bread recipe, instead.
- I used a granulated sweetener in this recipe to help keep the bars from getting too moist (they are already VERY moist as written!), so I’m not sure that a sweetener like honey or maple syrup would work as a sub. Maybe date paste would work, but I haven’t tested that myself yet.
As always, if you make a modification to this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us know what worked for you, so we can all benefit from your experience.
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