Healthy Pumpkin Bars

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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.

healthy pumpkin bars stacked on plate

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

healthy pumpkin bar ingredients

What’s in healthy pumpkin bars?

  • Almond butter
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • 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.

pumpkin bar ingredients mixed in glass bowl

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.

vinegar mixed into batter and poured into pan

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.

baked pumpkin bars in the pan and sliced

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!

maple pecan glaze on top of pumpkin bar

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!

plain pumpkin bar eaten on black plate

More Pumpkin Recipes

Looking for more pumpkin inspiration? Try these!

healthy pumpkin bars stacked on plate
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4.89 from 131 votes

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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy pumpkin bars
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 147kcal

Ingredients

Pumpkin Bars

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

Instructions

  • 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.
    pumpkin bar ingredients mixed in glass bowl
  • 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.
    vinegar mixed into batter and poured into pan
  • 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.
    baked pumpkin bars in the pan and sliced
  • 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.

Video

Notes

Nutrition information is for 1 of 9 bars. This information is automatically calculated, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee. For a lower-calorie treat, slice the bars into 16 squares instead.
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.
 

Nutrition

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!

Reader Feedback: Which Fall dessert would you like to see next?

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Comments

Christy Dennis

I made these this weekend for a holiday party, and NO ONE THERE could IMAGINE that they were flourless! They came out PERFECT and EVERYONE was blown away!

Amazing recipe…and proof that when you know what you’re doing you can have both HEALTHY and DELICIOUS!

Maria

Sounds terrific. Shall try this.

Kari

Just made these as a trial because I need to take a dozen of something to a concert reception. They are great! And I’m so glad to have something tasty to serve as a healthy alternative to all the junk they will be serving. Thank you!

Kristen

can i use peanut butter instead?

    Megan

    If you think you will like the peanut butter + pumpkin flavor, then go for it!

Tracey

Can I get the nutritional facts for the Pumpkin Bars? Esp. the sugar and fat gms.
Thanks!

    Megan

    You can use a free website, such as FitDay.com, to calculate any nutrition information you might need. Simply add in all the ingredients and divide by the number of servings to calculate each bar.

Martha

Dear Megan,
I love your blog and your recipes. And I should never open this page if I’m hungry 🙂
I tried this and few other deserts and I loved them all. And I found do it your self butters very useful.
Thank you for your effort, here I find some true culinary inspiration.
Best regards from southeast Europe.

Shirley

This is the 3rd batch I’ve made of these and I can’t get enough. I did note that on my 3rd batch, I actually mixed everything in my new VitaMix blender and it made all the difference in the finished product. While the first 2 batches were absolutely delicious, they did have a “pie filling” texture and consistency. When compared to the 3rd “blenderized” batch, it gave me the unbelievably perfect, moist and spongy bar you want. I can’t believe how delicious and addictive they are! Thank you Megan!!!

Ashli

I just made these and they are SO yummy! 🙂 Awesome recipe that’s for sure!

Caitlin Tull

I was SO SO SO glad to run across your website tonight. I was looking at a “healthy dessert blog” that was anything but to me and really bothering me. I made these tonight. (Okay, the hubs did for me..) and they were so delicious. I made them with peanut butter, and you couldn’t taste the pumpkin at all, which was fine with me. VERY yummy. Thanks for the great site! 🙂

Crista Cady

I made a batch of these and took them with me to share with family in Berkeley over Christmas. I whipped up the maple glaze and we ate them warm with coffee one morning – everyone raved about them! You are a genius! 🙂

jeff

Hi. Do you have nutritional information for this recipe? It is really good and I’m just curious on calories, carbs, etc.
Thanks!

Damianne President

I made this and it is delicious. I posted pics on Instagram. It’s one of my keeper recipes. I’m planning to try your morning glory muffins tomorrow with goji berries instead of raisins.

Cara Halvorson

I made this with squash instead of pumpkin and they turned out just great (and my family hates squash)! They were delicious and we alll could hardly believe that this was grain-free. Yummy!

    The Gluten Free Girl

    Got to try the squash and banana versions. They sound fantastic!!!

Erin

My 5 year old son and I just made these & ate the entire pan within 10 minutes. Yikes! Great recipe– thank you much!! Have been craving pumpkin bars yet not a fan of all the sugar and flour. Love that these are properly combined as well. :o)

Lisa

WOW, very nice! I made this tonight & had it for dessert.
I am so in love with the Maple Pecan Glaze! Simply amazing!
Thank You!!

Kathy

Just made these pumpkin bars with the maple pecan glaze over the weekend. Absolutely delicious. It is hard to believe they are grain free. And, list others’ posts have mentioned the maple pecan glaze is to die for. You are talented!

jennifer mc

i just made these and they are fantastic! i cut them up and put them in the freezer and they are perfect. i just take it out a few minutes before wanting to eat it. i didn’t even try the glaze and i think they are perfect!! thank you!!!!!

Adelle

I made these last night and they were delicious! I haven’t had a pumpkin desert since going gluten free several years ago. Thanks for the great recipe! I didn’t use the maple glaze. That would probably make them even more delicious. 🙂

Gal

Just made these last night and they are amazing! Even my daughter asked for a second one… And that is without the maple glaze! The consistency is perfect – a cross between pumpkin bread and the filling in pumpkin pie. Delish!

Michelle

Hi- I love your recipes, but some of them, like the ‘Maple Pecan Glaze’ and others, will not open for me. I have Windows 7 and can access most of your site.

    Megan

    Hmmm… I have no idea why that would happen! It’s working perfectly fine for me in Firefox, so I’d recommend trying a different browser or clearing your browser’s cache, so see if that helps. I’m not a tech-wizard, so re-starting a computer or browser is usually my go-to solution! 🙂

Claudia

Hi
So glad I found your blog! I am trying your pizza recipe tonight and want to make these as well but do not want to use honey. How much trivia or xylitol would u recommend? I am confused because I will be substituting with dry ingredients. Thank you!

    Megan

    Unfortunately, I can’t comment on how to modify the recipes if I haven’t tried it myself. You’ll have to experiment and let us know if you have any success!

Kim

I can’t wait to make these but I am wondering if anyone had had success with an egg substitute so we can make these vegan. Would love any suggestions!

Noémi

Oh my god!!!! these took me to heaven! Mine also turned green because I used sunbutter, but they are sooooooo soft and tasty! Used 50g of dates made into a paste with a little soaking water instead of honey, they added just the right amount of sweetness, maybe even too sweet for my taste. Also added home made unsweetened dark chocolate chunks to it, and whipped up a banana-pumpkin-cocoa-yogurt cream to top it. I devoured half of the whole batch for my first and second breakfasts…
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

Cheers from Hungary,

Noémi

natalie

These are sooooo good. Made them and doubled the recipe so it was higher cake and it was superb. Very moist. I didn’t even make the glaze. Didn’t have to!! Be careful they are addictive!

Julia

I love these and have been making them for awhile. We are in a tight financial state right now so I increased the pumpkin to 3/4 cup and reduced the almond butter to 1/4 cup to save on costs. It works out great and makes them even more moist. My chidren have been gobbling them up. Our family is on a Candida cleanse right now and so many of your recipies have been helpful and made it easier to get through. Thanks so much.

Cgirl

I am vegan so I used a sub for the eggs. I eat VERY clean. If you eat super clean I do not recommend this recipe. They are unimaginably oily with the maple glaze. I’ll put it this way..my stomach is making so many noises I absolutely will not leave the house now. I’m just way to clean for this one due to the amount of oil.

    The Gluten Free Girl

    What type of substitute did
    you use instead of the eggs?

    The Gluten Free Girl

Brenda

This are soooo delicious!! The texture is wonderful & as you said, no one would ever guess that they are grain-free or a healthy food. I’m so happy to have this recipe & look forward to making them again & again. I love that they mixed up in the time it took the oven to preheat!

Leanita

I made these yesterday with orange sweet potatoes (my Caribbean heritage men’s that I grew up with the white variety!), as I didn’t have pumpkin and they were SO delish, especially with that wonderful glaze! Lots of love from London Town! Five stars!

Leanita

Means, not ‘men’s’ 😉

Joyce

These are absolutely delicious!! I am new to the grain free world and was wondering what I was going to eat. I found your website through a search on almond flour. Thank you for all of these delicious recipes!

Brittany

These are simply amazing! Oh my goodness! I could eat the whole pan and the sauce myself! Hubs absolutely loves it, and says it’s one of the best desserts I’ve made! Thanks so much for sharing! Now to figure out the calorie count to see if consuming half the pan will be that bad… hehe 😉

Brittany

Just saw your post regarding nutritional information! I don’t normally count calories either actually, but these are so good I guess I just wanted some “control” over my intake haha. Thank you again! 🙂 Hubs wants a seconds already!

Penny

Do I need to do anything special to substitute maple syrup for the honey?
Have you heard anything about the rumor that honey is not good for you when it is heated?
Thanks!

Theresa

we said, “WOW!”. The best dessert ever! Well, there’s always chocolate…what a great treat. I doubled recipe today. Used a 9 x13, took 10 min. Longer.

Chantal

We live out in the sticks and I have to get creative with ingredients pretty often.I’d like to make these for Mothers Day but if I used a natural peanut butter would those flavors combine alright? Or if I used a homemade pecan butter would that add too much oil to the bar?

lisa

Wow, these pumpkin bars are to die for. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, i will definitely be trying out this over the weekend.

Lori

Megan,
I’m always skeptical when it come to “clean” eating, but I made these bars today (05/17/13) and all I can say is WOW!! They are delicious. I am excited to try may of your other recipes since I am going completely dairy, soy, gluten, corn, and peanut free; di you know that peanuts are not a “true” nut, they are legumes.
Do you by chance have any nutritional value on these and the maple glaze?
Thank you for the delicious recipes,
Lori

Melané Fahner

A winner again Megan. And we didn’t even like pumpkin pie:-). I ran out of honey so subst. with half maple syrup half coconut sugar and it is stunning! No need for a glaze this is just so more-ish and like this rests easy on the weight conscience…

asia

I just made these with 1/4 cup agave instead of honey and they came out perfect.
Thanks again Megan.

Lindsay

I love this recipe too, and make little muffins out of it for my daughters lunch box, just the pain of making almond butter that makes it harder than it needs to be, but then i rathre make my own almond butter than have to pay the price in the shops for a small little jar. Any non dairy substitute ideas for the almond butter?

    The Gluten Free Girl

    You can use sunflower seed butter or soy butter. (I use a kind called wow butter). Hope this helps.

The Gluten Free Girl

Hi Megan,
Can you use this recipe as a pudding?

Thanks,
The Gluten Free Girl

    Megan

    I’m not sure what you mean by that… like a bread pudding? Or you want to not bake it, and eat it as a pudding?

      The Gluten Free Girl

      Hi Megan,
      Someone mentioned that they made the bars and it turned out a bit like a gelatinous pudding. Can Serve it like that?

      Thanks,
      The Gluten Free Girl

        Megan

        They shouldn’t turn out like a pudding, but if for some reason they do, they’d still be perfectly delicious!

          The Gluten Free Girl

          I have a party tonight what should i make, Megan?(something from your blog).

The Gluten Free Girl

Sorry,meant Can I serve it like that

The Gluten Free Girl

Hi Megan,
Can I use homemade caramel instead of the maple pecan glaze as I am allergic to nuts?

Thanks,
The Gluten Free Girl

PS.Five star recipe

Diane

these were delicious….but, how do I get my glaze right? I’m here in Houston and the coconut oil is either rock hard in the fridge or completely liquid in the pantry, so my glaze was runny, even after I put it in the fridge to thicken up. How does one keep the coconut oil ‘softened’? Also, I’m eating baked goods daily from recipes on this site that I’m eating more sweets via maple syrup and honey than I should! Has anyone experimented with dissolved dates as a sweetner as a way of reducing the honey/syrup? (you put them in boiling water with a bit of baking soda and wait until the whole thing is a gooey, sweet consistency…would be a good sub for brown sugar).

    Megan

    If I store the glaze in the fridge, I usually let it soften-up by placing it on top of my oven while it’s warm. You could also briefly place it inside the oven until it just starts to melt around the edges, then stir it well to soften the whole batch.

    I’ve never tried working with date syrup as a honey replacement, but let us know if you have any success!

Sarah

Made these with homemade pecan butter instead of almond butter and they were delicious and so simple too 🙂

Jillian

I am looking forward to making these, I love the simplicity of them! I am vegan so I was wondering if it would work with “egg whites” (made from boiling water with 1/3c of flax seeds) since it has an almost identical texture as egg whites. I’m curious to know your thoughts on this before I try, you seem like a pro at this healthy baking!

Marla

Thanks for sharing this recipe! The cake turned out to have a very light cake-like texture and tasted amazing. Instead of the pecan glaze, I served it with whipped coconut cream. Love your blog – keep up the good work!

Mollie *The Almond Flower*

Wow, these look great with the maple glaze! I linked to your recipe in my post for Honey Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bars (Dairy Free)

http://www.thealmondflower.com/2013/09/honey-pecan-pumpkin-pie-bars-gluten.html

So excited to make your recipe- perfect for Fall 🙂
xoxo
Mollie

Cindy

Yummy recipe Megan! I baked a batch of these last night and they were good, BUT, they tasted even better today.

Lou Ann

These were so good. Shared with my Facebook group and several were excited to visit your blog.

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