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!)
- 2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 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.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite Fall dessert?
Questions and Reviews
Thank you for your persistence in creating recipes! I would never have the patience to test a recipe more than 3 times, let alone 7 times!!!
Me neither!!! But I’m on the hunt for a good pumpkin recipe and this has got to be it!!!
What is the frosting illustrated in the picture? Please share the recipe.
It’s right here: https://detoxinista.com/vegan-cream-cheese-frosting-nut-soy-free/
I made these just now and they are AMAZING! Thank you for creating this recipe! :)What is your recommended on storing these? And will they freeze well?
We stored them loosely covered at room temperature for 48 hours… and then they were gone. Ha! But, I would have moved them to the fridge for longer than that, because they’re so moist that they could be prone to mold. I think they would freeze well!
Would this recipe work as muffins?
These bars turned out great. I did do some modifications and it did not seem to affect the outcome negatively. I did not have a full half cup pumpkin. It was maybe closer to a third, so I added in a bit of finely chopped apple. I also only used a half cup of the coconut sugar. I made the vegan cream cheese frosting and it was quite decadent on the bars. Thanks so much!
Looks delicious! What can I use to replace almond flour as I’m allergic to nuts? (also would like to try the no-bake brownies, but need to replace the almond flour)
I can’t eat pumpkin. Would sweet potato puree work?
Sure, I think that would be fine!
These were great! I used tapioca starch instead of arrowroot, vegan butter instead of coconut oil, and brown sugar instead of coconut sugar because these were the things I had on hand. I also used only 1/4 tsp of baking soda and added 1 tsp of baking powder because I wasn’t sure there was enough acid to activate the baking soda. I’ll definitely make these again. Thanks for a lovely start to pumpkin season!
This is simply delicious. You just make my day by creating this recipe.
With what can I substitute arrowroot starch pls? can I use cornstarch? I would like to try this recipe.
Like this recipe! Especially because I bake for persons who MUST eat dairy free and gluten free! Taste tested this recipe with my multigenerational class, they liked them, so im pretty sure that the people with food restrictions will also! ….
…. I did change the recipe. Arrowroot starch is pricey where I live, $4.69/lb. I’m baking 6 batches of pumpkin bars. Searched for arrowroot substitutes. Sites indicated the pros and cons of why arrowroot vs. other starches. Learned that acidity is a key factor for this baked dessert. Pumpkin is NOT acidic so the less expensive tapioca flour, $1.29/lb, was viable alternative. Baked very well! FOR SURE MUST COOL COMPLETELY, and need to be VERY careful and gentle when SLOWLY slicing/cutting into squares! They held their shape, but tried to stick to the knife if not cutting slowly! Cut/sliced more cleanly than brownies from a box, and especially than old fashioned brownies from scratch! ….
…. Recommend this becomes a regularly prepared dessert, even if don’t have foid restrictions! I know I’ll be baking this often! And will experiment some baking with other fruit too!
One more thing, I baked this 25° lower for more control since baking this for my first time. Added about 8 mins more to my baking time.
These were delicious! I have made them several times with great success. This last time around I noticed my pumpkin puree was quite dry, so I subbed maple syrup for the coconut sugar to add a bit more moisture. I typically make a vegan buttercream on top and the result is reminiscent of cinnamon rolls:-) For the buttercream I mixed: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup vegan butter, and 1 tablespoon almond milk.
Made this with 1/4 cup maple syrup instead of sugar — plus about 10 drops of Stevia. turned out fantastic! And actually a little on the sweet side for my tastes. Thanks for a great recipe! (Oh, and I used the almond meal.)
May I ask why baking soda and not baking powder? What is the acidic ingredient that would react/neutralize the soda in this recipe?
I just made this recipe and it came out perfectly, not crumbly at all. Cooled quickly (I used a metal pan), and it cuts smoothly and tastes delicious! I also realize the baking soda probably reacts with the possible acidity in the pumpkin puree?
I only had almond meal so I subbed half a cup of coconut flour to dry it out – turned out great!
These are amazing! Thank you!
These were AMAZING! I made them tonight and I’m not sure they will last til morning because they’re so good! I added some vegan chocolate chips for a little extra sweetness and they worked perfectly. Thanks for the great recipe!
This was an awesome recipe. I subbed arrowroot with tapioca, also used pumpkin spice and it came out perfect.
It’s like eating pumpkin pie.
Could you make muffins out of this mix!?
These were seriously delicious! I was out of coconut sugar so used 1/2 cup of white sugar. I also mixed the dough in my food processor since it sounded like it was going to be really thick — that worked like a charm. I pulsed the dry ingredients together first and then added the wet. I portioned 3 tbsp into each of my silicone muffin cups and that worked great too (it made 11 muffins). Topped with the vegan cream cheese frosting and I was in heaven.
I’d rather not run out to buy arrowroot . Any good subs for that?
I’m allergic to almonds – what is a good substitute? Love all your recipes!!
Just made these exactly as written and they are insane!! Thank you!
Hello, I absolutely love this recipe and have made it many times. Recently, I’ve had to go on a low FODMAP diet, so almond flour is out. Could I substitute tigernut flour here? Thanks!
I followed the recipe exactly, but mine didn’t rise at all. They tasted great, but were only about 1/2″ thick. Of course, we ate them anyway. 🙂
Is it ok to double this recipe? Has any one tried it?
Everyone at thanksgiving dinner raved over these! Frosted with Miss Jones frosting and they were the perfect healthier treat!
Has anyone doubled the recipe and put in a bigger pan to cook? Did you add more time? If so how much?