Pumpkin Bars Two Ways

pumpkin bar with cream cheese frosting, grain free, low sugar

Just as I thought the weather was turning to fall, it went back up to 90 degrees.  Dangit.  So I make these pumpkin bars to tempt mother nature to bring the coolness to come back around.  I’m ready.

Pumpkin bars are easy to make and easy to eat. I offer this recipe as a festive, lower-sugar treat you can make with the kids for Halloween.

If you’ve never made pumpkin bars, they’re  really more like mini cakes.  Think of the texture somewhere between a really moist cake and a brownie, that’s a pumpkin bar.

Make sure you cook until the center is done through.  The cream cheese frosting version is very rich because of the frosting.  You may want to add more sweet to the frosting to taste.  I don’t add more sweet.  I think they taste great as is.  I’m just giving suggestions because if you’re low carb and your guests aren’t, they may desire a little more sweetness. The maple walnut glazed version is sweet on its own, no need to tweak the sweet.

Here’s the 8×8 pyrex pan I cook these in. I use this pan all the time for baking, casseroles, and roasting chickens. It’s worth every penny.

These pumpkin bars are some Halloween through Thanksgiving autumn goodness.

If you want to know my philosophy of why I use real sugar in my Sweets recipes, you should click here. You are also more than welcome to use sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners, if you’re into those. I use real sugar because I can’t tolerate sugar substitutes. But definitely read the article above for guidance! I’m not a diet-mentality kinda lady, and that’s why I offer up lower sugar versions of my sweets recipes.

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Pumpkin Bars

(Yields 9-12 bars)
Course Sweets/Desserts
Cuisine Paleo


  • 15 ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar (or regular sugar or raw honey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Coconut oil spray to grease an 8x8 pan


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until mixed into a batter. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish. If using Maple Walnut Glaze, bake 35 minutes, remove dish from oven, evenly pour on Maple Walnut Glaze mixture, put back in oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Cut and serve.
  • If using Cream Cheese Frosting, bake for 45 minutes, remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Cut into bars and serve.
Keyword celiac, dairy free, halloween, holiday, thanksgiving
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Maple Walnut Glaze (Dairy Free)

Dairy Free Topping for Pumpkin Bars
Course Sweets/Desserts
Cuisine Paleo, Vegetarian


  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Salt for seasoning
  • 1 cup walnut pieces or pecan pieces


  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, season lightly with salt. Add in walnut pieces, stirring to coat them with sugar mixture. Pour evenly over pumpkin bars after 25 minutes in oven, then put back in oven for 10 more minutes. Let cool. Cut into bars and serve.
Keyword celiac, gluten free, halloween, holiday, paleo, thanksgiving
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cream Cheese Frosting (Dairy Full)

Dairy Based Frosting for Pumpkin Bars
Course Sweets/Desserts
Cuisine Vegetarian


  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Whisk together all ingredients with a hand mixer or whisk until blended into a creamy frosting. Spread onto pumpkin bar pan after it's cooled fully. Use in pumpkin bar recipe above.
Keyword gluten free, halloween, thanksgiving
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!






  • Lisa Williams / Reply

    have you ever tried making the cream cheese frosting with vegan cream cheese?

    • if you have a favorite vegan cream cheese, it would work great! I also am a fan of soaking cashews over night, then turning them into paste in the vitamix, and using that as a dairy-free sub for the cream cheese.

  • Any idea what the macros are for this? Trying to stick to a strict Keto diet. Knowing the numbers really helps!

    • I don’t do macros, but I do ketosis. Don’t make these if you wanna stay in ketosis, mostly b/c of the coconut nectar! These are a sweet treat when you wanna indulge.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, so delicious! Can I make these as individual muffins? If so, how full should I fill the cups, how long to bake them, and at what temperature would you recommend? Thanks in advance!

    • yes for sure! you could fill a muffin tin of 6 regular sized muffins. Just keep in mind, they won’t rise, so you can fill them to the top. You can still cook the same amount of time, checking after 30 minutes to see how jiggly they are and if they need to go back in the oven until cooked through. And definitely let cool completely before removing from muffin tin or icing them.

  • For the Maple Walnut Glaze, should it be poured over at 35min, then baked 10min? Or should it be poured evenly over the bars after they cool? The recipe says both.


    • Good catch and corrected, thank you! Truth is, either way is good, but you can add the glaze with 10 minutes left in cooking time then put back in the oven to toast the nuts in the glaze.

  • Linda Juliot / Reply

    Hey Anna! I dont want to have to buy a bunch of sugar for this recipe and have it sitting in my cabinets tempting us. Can I get away with just buying a small thing of maybe brown sugar and use it for the bars and the glaze? Or would I just ruin it? Thank you for all you do! We love Eat Happy and EHT ❤

    • absolutely!! you can use any type of sugar you like for any of my recipes.

      Thanks for your support of the books!!


  • Glenna / Reply

    Just found your site & this recipe & am wondering about 2 things in the Pumpkin Bars recipe list: is it really 2 Tablespoons (not teaspoons) of cinnamon and there is a lighter font “1 teaspoon soda” listed immediately after the ½ teaspoon baking soda entry — which is it? I hope you get this, since I’d like to try the recipe but don’t want to have it mess up. Thanks, Glenna

    • Glenna, I just emailed you back. Yes indeed, it’s 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, and I just deleted the errant light text as it should be 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, thank you for flagging!


  • Daniel Seedorf / Reply

    As a non-fan of pumpkin who got converted thanks to your pumpkin Marinara, I will have to give this a go.

    • it’s a really fun and delicious holiday treat. I make them 1x a year, so I’m eager to hear what you think, Daniel!

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