Get set to savor every bite of these scrumptious gluten-free pumpkin bars! They're the ultimate Fall dessert that's not only delicious but also free from dairy, eggs, and gluten. The best part? Everyone will love this delectable dessert whether they have dietary restrictions or not!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Allergy-Friendly Bliss: These gluten free pumpkin bars are a dream come true for those with dietary restrictions. Free from the top 9 common allergens, including dairy, eggs, and gluten, they're a treat everyone can enjoy without compromising on taste.
- Easy to make: These bars are a breeze to make, perfect for both seasoned bakers and kitchen novices (my sons have even made them!) If you're preparing a Thanksgiving feast, choosing an easy dessert means more time enjoying and less time stressing.
- Pumpkin pie vibes: If you love the sweet and spicy flavor of pumpkin pie but are not a fan of the classic texture of pumpkin pie, these treats will be your go-to. They have a heartier cake-like texture that will remind you of pumpkin pie but with a bit more substance, foregoing the ultra-smooth texture.
You don't need a lot of ingredients to make these tasty bars and you will be able to find all of it at most grocery stores.
- Ground flaxseed - This is mixed with water to make a flax "egg".
- Canned pumpkin puree - One 15-ounce can or about 1 ¾ cups.
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Cooking oil - I use canola oil but you can use vegetable oil or any other cooking oil.
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose gluten free flour mix - This recipe was tested with Bob's Red Mill all-purpose 1:1 baking flour which contains sweet white rice flour, whole grain brown rice flour, potato starch, whole grain sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum. If your all-purpose blend has similar ingredients, it should work well in this recipe.
- Baking soda
- Baking powder- make sure you choose a brand that does not add wheat starch. I use Clabber Girl or Aldi's Baker's Corner.
- Cooking spray (not pictured)
- Frosting (not pictured) - I use Pillsbury Creamy Supreme cream cheese frosting because it's so darn easy. It is gluten free and free from most common allergens but it does contain soy. If you prefer, you can make this delicious dairy free buttercream frosting.
Start by mixing the ground flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water. Set aside to allow it to thicken.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, applesauce, flaxseed mixture, and oil.
Once the wet ingredients are all mixed together, add the dry ingredients and mix.
Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all of the flour mixture makes it into the batter.
Spray your pan with cooking spray and transfer the mixed batter to the pan. Bake the bars in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30 minutes if using a cake pan and 15-20 minutes if using a jelly roll pan.
Allow the bars to cool. While you're waiting, make this dairy free frosting, or grab your favorite canned frosting.
When the bars are completely cooled, evenly coat the bars with frosting. See my frosting tips below.
Once frosted, cut them into squares and serve!
Recipe tips and variations
Measuring gluten free flour
Gluten free baking can be kind of finicky so little things can help set you up for success. One of those things is how you measure the flour. Here's some tips:
- Fluff and Spoon: Gluten-free flour tends to settle, so start by fluffing it up with a spoon. Gently scoop the flour into the measuring cup without packing it down.
- Level Off: Once the cup is full, use the back of a knife or a straight-edged utensil to level off the excess flour. This ensures you have the right amount without compacting the flour.
Cake pan vs jelly roll pan
You can bake these pumpkin bars in a cake pan or a jelly roll pan. A jelly roll pan is typically 10x15" and a cake pan is 9x13".
When you make these bars in a cake pan, the bars are thicker and are best eaten with a fork. Using a jelly roll pan yields a thinner bar that is easier to eat with your hands.
Frosting the bars
For an easy frosting technique, drop frosting blobs at different spots on the bars and then connect them—this helps prevent the top of the bars sticking and spreading.
And if frosting isn't your vibe, these bars are sweet enough to shine solo. Serve them plain or sprinkle some powdered sugar for an equally delicious treat!
No, canned pumpkin is typically gluten free. However, always be sure to check the specific product's label for any potential additives or cross-contact.
Absolutely! Pumpkin bars are a great make-ahead treat. Bake them, let them cool completely, and store them in an airtight container. If you aren't going to serve them in the next day or so, you can freeze them for longer storage. Just be sure to bring them to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.
Yes! You can freeze them in an airtight container for 2-3 months. When you are ready to serve them, let them thaw at room temperature before eating.
Allergens in this recipe
Unlike traditional pumpkin bars that include wheat flour, butter, and eggs, this recipe is allergen-friendly, steering clear of the top 9 allergens, which include wheat, dairy, and eggs. Just be sure to stick to the safe ingredients mentioned above to ensure a treat that accommodates various dietary needs.
If you don't need an egg free bar and don't have ground flaxseed, you can substitute 2 whole eggs.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 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 I use Bob's Red Mill all purpose 1 to 1 baking flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- "Safe" cream cheese or vanilla frosting See notes
- Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Spray a cake pan or jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed and warm water. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the mixture to thicken. While it is thickening, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, sugar, applesauce, oil, and the ground flax/water mixture. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure all of the flour is incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake. If using a cake pan, bake at 350℉ for 30 minutes. If using a jelly roll pan, bake at 350℉ for 20 minutes. Test if the bars are done by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, the bars are done.
- Allow the bars to cool completely before frosting. See recipe notes for frosting suggestions.
- For a bar that is more like a cake, use a 9x13" cake pan.
- If you prefer a thinner bar, use a jelly roll pan that is 15x10"
- I like Pillsbury Creamy Supreme cream cheese frosting on these bars. For best results, whip the frosting with a beater for 2-3 minutes before spreading it on the bars.
- If you prefer to make your own, this dairy free buttercream frosting will work beautifully!
- Avoid getting crumbs in the frosting by placing dollops on the bars and connecting them with an offset spatula. This also helps ensure even thickness across the surface.
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