First off I must come clean and share that I am not a HUGE pumpkin fan. I think I get slightly annoyed at the whole pumpkin thing because it is everywhere. Pumpkin toothpaste, pumpkin ice-cream, pumpkin pancakes, and even flipping pumpkin salt. Enough already right? I do not mind a little holiday pumpkin but my goodness do not shove it in my face everywhere. Wow, I sound like a true snot don’t I?
Well, the good news is I do like it enough that I made these amazing gluten-free pumpkin bars to share with you. Mike loves his chocolate so I added chocolate chips to half of the batter. I limit my dairy and white sugar so I made this batch with coconut sugar and dairy-free cream cheese. I made a homemade powdered sugar with coconut sugar. See the recipe notes for instructions on how you can do this too. I have noted the recipe card with the ingredients you can use if you want to use store-bought powdered sugar and white sugar.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars
- High-Speed Blender OR packaged powder sugar
- Food-mixer or hand-mixer
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend I use Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 blend
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tsp pumpkin spice blend Save this to put on top of the bars before you put them into the oven
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar you can use white sugar if you want
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup melted butter Use a vegan butter if you want to make them dairy-free
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 can pumpkin puree 15 oz and make sure it is NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups chocolate chips Optional to add to the bar base
Frosting- with powder sugar and regular cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter softened, use a vegan butter if you want to make them dairy-free
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar if you do not have powdered sugar you can make your own- see notes
Frosting with coconut sugar and dairy-free cream cheese
- 1/2 cup ghee Ghee is generally considered dairy-free
- 4 oz dairy-free cream cheese I used Kite-Hill
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 2 cups coconut sugar see notes on how to make powdered coconut sugar
- 4 tbsp tapioca starch arrowroot starch will work as well
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In your mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, maple syrup, butter, pumpkin, and vanilla extract for about 3-5 minutes. You want the texture to look light and fluffy. You can use a hand mixer as well.
- Carefully add in your flour mixture. Add in your chocolate chips now if you are using them. Mix till just blended. Do not over mix.
- Carefully fold your bar base batter into a 9 X 9 pan. I used a glass pan. Sprinkle your pumpkin spice blend on top of the batter.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Check the batter after 15 minutes. You want to take the bars out of the oven when you put a toothpick in the middle of the batter and it comes out clean. Let them cool COMPLETELY before you frost them.
- You can make the frosting in a bowl and mix by hand or you can use your food mixer. I used my blender so it came out super smooth. Add all the ingredients and blend till you get the consistency you desire. Do not frost the bars till they have cooled completely.
- . Keep them in the refrigerator once frosted. Mine lasted about 2 days, but they can stay yummy in the refrigerator for about 4 days.
If you are going to make your own coconut sugar you can find a simple recipe here. If you want to use regular white powdered sugar but do not have any you can make your own using the same method just leave out the tapioca flour/starch. Making your own powdered sugar is so easy and so much more affordable.