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 flax "eggs" work well in this recipe as does gluten free flour!
Even though this is a dessert, I always try to get by with the least amount of sugar and oil needed (but still making sure it tastes good because...it's dessert!) I ended up cutting 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup oil without anyone (my kids) noticing.
The original recipe says to bake these in a jelly roll pan but I usually use a 9x13 inch cake pan which makes them come out more like pumpkin cake.
If you use a jelly roll pan or 16 x 12 x 1 inch cookie sheet you will get more servings and they are 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 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 (omit if it's in your all-purpose flour blend already)
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.