Each Thanksgiving, we substitute these pumpkin bars for pumpkin pie. I adapted a recipe that my mom has made for years.
The recipe called for 4 eggs which I thought was far too many to try to replace. But it turned out I was wrong. Flax seed "eggs" work well in this recipe as does gluten free flour.
At first, those were the only substitutes that I made. However, it always sort of bugged me that the recipe called for 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of oil so I tried cutting back to make it (slightly) healthier.
Even with cutting those ingredients back, the bars still taste great (my kids couldn't tell the difference!)
Another change that I originally made was baking these in a 9x13 inch cake pan instead of a jelly roll pan. Why? Well, I didn't have a jelly roll pan. The bars turned out more like cake but nobody seemed to mind.
Even though we were happy using the cake pan, it turns out my 16 x 12 x 1 inch cookie sheet is pretty much a jelly roll pan (who knew?). So, I made these using that pan and they turned out more like bars.
Whether they eat them with a fork (like cake) or with our fingers (like bars), my kids love them either way!
I like to frost these with a prepackaged dairy free cream cheese frosting. Look in the baking aisle for "safe" options. Otherwise, you can make your own vanilla frosting (try this easy recipe).
2 tablespoons. flaxseed meal
6 tablespoons warm water
1-15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup cooking oil (vegetable, soy, grapeseed, etc)
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
"Safe" cream cheese or vanilla frosting
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a jelly roll pan or cake pan.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flax seed meal and warm water. Set aside for a few minutes until the mixture thickens. In a mixing bowl, cream together the pumpkin puree, oil, flax seed and water mixture and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Beat with mixer until well blended.
3) Pour batter into prepared pan.
If using a cake pan, bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.
If using a jelly roll pan, bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
4) When cooled, frost with your favorite "safe" frosting.