Halloween, Thanksgiving, or no holiday at all! These pumpkin bars are a must! As you already know, I am a huge fan of enjoying my favorite treats in healthier ways. Yesterday was no exception. My parents came to Detroit to visit and I wanted to bake up one of my dad and I’s favorites…pumpkin bars!
My dad is not a fan of healthy foods. He thinks most of them are dull, boring, and bland. Those are all the same things…I know. But I didn’t tell him these were healthy or low calorie and he couldn’t get over how good they were. He even had the nerve to ask me if they were store-bought. I forgave him.
The average pumpkin bar contains over 250 calories. And if you are anything like me…one isn’t enough sometimes! I wanted to make a recipe that I could feel good about eating and going back for seconds.
Ingredients For Pumpkin Bar Batter *1 1/2 Cups 100% Whole Grain Unbleached Wheat Flour, *1/2 Cup Almond Flour, *1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon, *1/2 Tsp. Freshly Grated Nutmeg, *1 Tsp Baking Powder, *1 Tsp Baking Soda, *1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce, *4 Large Eggs *1 Tsp Olive Oil, *2 Cups Pumpkin Puree, *3 Tbsps. Brown Sugar *1 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, *1/8 Cup Agave. and *Baking Stevia or Truvia to Taste.
Ingredients For Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting *2 Tbsp Almond Flour, *Baking Stevia or Truvia to Taste, *1 Tsp Vanilla Bean Paste, *5 Oz Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt, 3/4 Cups Plain Cream Cheese(1/3 less fat) , *1 Tsp Unsweetened Almond Milk, *2 Tbsp. Agave, *1 Tbsp Brown Sugar.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees!
Sift together the almond flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
Grate about 1/4 of the nutmeg into the bowl of dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, applesauce, and oil.
Measure and add agave to the bowl of wet ingredients.
A pumpkin to the wet ingredients and combine until smooth.
Add brown sugar and vanilla to the bowl of wet ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until completely smooth.
After the mixture is combined, add the additional sweetener. Don’t be afraid to try the batter to make sure it is sweet enough.
Grease a baking dish with olive oil, butter, or cooking spray.
Spread batter with a spatula until smooth.
Bake in the oven for 20 – 15 minutes. Use the toothpick method to make sure it is done.
While the bars are baking mix together all the ingredients for the frosting and place the frosting in the refrigerator.
Make sure you try the frosting until it fits your sweet tooth. I added about five packets of Stevia. It seems like a lot but, when it’s divided between 35 servings, it’s not that much.
Take the pumpkin bars out and allow them to cool before you add any frosting or the frosting will melt.
Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled pumpkin bars.
Sprinkle cinnamon on top for decoration.
Place the bars in the refrigerator for five minutes for the frosting to firm before cutting.
You can cut the bars in whatever shapes you wish. I just cut them into 35 squares.
Keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. They last about one hour before the cream cheese starts to get soft. Because this recipe contains dairy, it’s safer to keep them in a cool area after a while.
These bars are absolutely amazing. I literally can’t put it in words how happy I am with the outcome of this creation. Sometimes recipe swaps and concoctions don’t turn out too well, but this one is a guaranteed favorite!
We all had pumpkin bars for breakfast this morning with pumpkin yogurt! We are certainly going to turn into pumpkins.
I also had an extra good run today, so maybe these had something to do with it!
Recipe Makes 35 Pumpkin Bars.
Nutrition With Frosting: 60 Calories, 9 g Carbs, 2 g Fat, 2 g Protein, 2 g Fiber, 4 g Sugar
Nutrition Without Frosting: 46 Calories, 8 g Carbs, 2 g Fat, 2 g Protein, 1 g Fiber, 3 g Sugar
If you need help with some recipe swaps, leave a comment below and I’ll try to help you out!
Lindsay Hall says
Do you have any suggestions for an almond four replacement?? These look and sound amazing!
Taralynn McNitt says
I had someone make these and substituted at a 1:1 ratio plus 1 cup of coconut flour! 🙂 They said it turned out great.
Natasha @ Under The Sticks says
Hi Taralynn! Just wanted to let you know I posted these to my site, Under The Sticks. I made a couple teeny adjustments like the implementation of soy milk, vanilla bean extract, and almond flour. They were a huge hit!!
xoxoxoxo Thanks for all, girlie!
Taralynn McNitt says
That looks amazing!!
Elizabeth McKinney says
Is there anyway to make these wheat free? Just a substitute for the wheat flour?
These look amazing. I will definitely pin this for later use. I love fall and pumpkin so this is perfect.
Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy says
The frosting gets me everytime 🙂
I love these low-cal recipes! Where do you buy your almond flour from? I can only ever find almond meal (which I assume is different?).
Shelly, you can get almond flour at Whole Foods in their bulk section. I would also try Trader Joes. Hope this helps!
For anyone thinking of making these, DO IT! They’re delicious!
Meal is the same as flour, they are both just ground almonds. So anytime you see meal, such as flax, cashew, or coconut it is the same as flour.
I really really want to try these out, but I don’t have whole wheat flour — would spelt or buckwheat flour work? 🙂
can i use a different non dairy milk instead of almond? and what can i use in the place of the almond flour? i have a slight allergy to almonds, but i really wanna make these!!
Meaghann Clope says
You can use any kind of non dairy milk- like soy. You can omit the flour and omit the almond milk probably
I made these and did the toothpick test and it came clean. The first day they were great; by day two they seemed to be a little more wet then by day three they were like too wet to eat. I didnt keep them in fridge because i didnt do the frosting. Should i have put them in the fridge anyways? Would they have stored better and not locked in so much moisture?! Advice would be greatly appreciated!! (: thanks!!
Rachel Olson says
Do you have any suggestions to make the icing dairy free?
Sarah Henderson says
I have a quick question!!! is there much of difference using coconut flower vs almond flour??? And does the whole wheat flour have to be unbleached??
Where can I find vanilla bean paste? I haven’t been about to find it at Kroger or Meijer. Thank you!
Where can I find vanilla bean paste? I bought all the ingredients for this recipe, but can’t find vanilla bean paste anywhere. Thanks!
Taralynn McNitt says
You can find it at whole foods, most grocery stores sell the vanilla bean paste in the produce section for some reason, but I bought this one at marshals!
These were so good. I sent them to my dad in NY and he loved them.
Hi Taralynn! Do you remember about how much baking stevia you used in the batter and how much you used in the icing? Thanks! Can’t wait to make ’em!
Can use buckwheat flour for the base? Almond flour and wheat flour is so hard to find in our area. Thanks
Can these be frozen?
Hi Taralynn! When you say that these last an hour before the cream cheese starts to get soft, does that mean the bars are best eaten the same day they are made? Or can they be kept in the fridge for a few days? Thinking of making them for Thanksgiving!
Taralynn McNitt says
They can be enjoyed up to 3 days after if you keep them in the fridge! 🙂 That was just if they are left on the counter. Also, you can freeze them and they’ll last basically forever 😉
This recipe is so amazing! It’s been my go-to pumpkin bar/muffin recipe for 2 years now 🙂 It’s so adaptable too — I made it today for Canadian Thanksgiving with shredded zucchini instead of applesauce. Thanks Taralynn!!
I pinned this recipe several years ago, made it once and absolutely loved it! I don’t bake often and it is a lot of bars to make for just me, so I haven’t made it since. But I’m having a dinner party on Saturday and have been looking for an excuse to make them, and here it is! But my pin led to an error page and I was so sad that I would never have these again. Thanks to google, I found your actual blog, and I’m so excited for these bars. They are amazing!
OMG I just made these and they are AMAZING!!! I substituted the whole wheat flour for buckwheat and used monk fruit syrup instead of agave. these are the best bars I have ever had!
Sharon Welch says
I love pumpkin, but am also trying to eat clean and avoid high calorie sweets. I found your recipe and would really like to make these, but am confused about what temperature to bake them at. It says 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean, but no temperature is listed. Can you advise?