These allergy friendly pumpkin bars are a Thanksgiving tradition at our house! This recipe is free of the top 8 allergens but these bars are so good you won't even know they're egg, dairy, and wheat/gluten free!
Most Thanksgiving menus include dessert, right?! While pumpkin pie is a traditional Thanksgiving dessert, we choose to make these allergy friendly pumpkin bars instead.
Allergy friendly ingredients
This yummy dessert was inspired by my mom's pumpkin bar recipe which called for eggs and wheat flour. I used some allergy friendly substitutes to replace those ingredients.
The original recipe called for four eggs so I was a little unsure if they would turn out with an egg substitute. It turns out that you can still make delicious pumpkin bars with flax "eggs" instead of eggs!
To make the flax eggs, combine ground flaxseed with warm water and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes until it is thickened.
Gluten free flour
If your blend doesn't have xanthan gum in it, I would recommend ½ teaspoon for this recipe. Xanthan gum works as a binder in gluten free baking. You can omit it but it might result in a more crumbly bar.
Pick a pan
You can bake these pumpkin bars in a cake pan or a jelly roll pan. A jelly roll pan is the size of a cookie sheet but it has sides that are about 1 inch tall. A cake pan is a 9 by 13-inch pan with taller sides.
When I first started making these bars, I always used a cake pan because I didn't really know what a jelly roll pan was (or that I had one!)
Using a cake pan yields a thicker and denser cake-like bar. These are more eat-with-a-fork kind of bars.
As you might have guessed, baking the bars in a jelly roll pan yields a less-cakey, thinner bar that you can eat with your hands. You also get more servings this way.
Whether they eat them with a fork (like cake) or with our fingers (like bars), my kids love them either way!
Allergy Friendly Frosting
When I frost the bars, I put blobs of frosting on top in several places. Then I just "connect the dots". This seems to make the process easier without getting the top of the bars sticking to the frosting and getting spread right along with it.
If you don't have frosting, these bars are plenty sweet without it. You can just serve them plain or even dust them with some powdered sugar. They will still be delicious!
Whether they're part of your Thanksgiving feast or your coffee break, I hope you enjoy the pumpkin bars!
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Allergy Friendly Pumpkin Bars
- 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 6 tablespoons warm water
- 1 (15) ounce can of pumpkin puree
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ¾ cup cooking oil vegetable, soy, grapeseed, etc
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour mix
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- "Safe" cream cheese or vanilla frosting
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a jelly roll pan or cake pan.
- 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, applesauce, oil, flax seed and water mixture and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat with mixer until well blended.
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.
When cooled, frost with your favorite "safe" frosting.
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