I am SO excited to share these healthy pumpkin bars with you. Think pumpkin muffins, but kicked up a notch with dark chocolate chips + in bar form so they’re great for dessert! They’re naturally sweetened and made with oat flour, so they also happen to be gluten-free, but you’d never know.
My family loves these chocolate chip pumpkin muffins on the blog, so I wanted to make a version of those that we could all enjoy for dessert. Gluten-free goodies sometimes are dense or crumbly, but these pumpkin bars are perfect. They have the texture of typical pumpkin bread.
All you need is oats or oat flour, coconut sugar (you can sub regular white granulated sugar), pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, canned pumpkin, milk or almond milk, eggs, vanilla, oil, and chocolate chips.
I love oat flour for gluten-free baking since it’s easy to make your own oat flour. To make oat flour, blend a heaping 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats in your blender until it’s very fine.
You can also buy oat flour, but I love how easy it is to make your own in case you don’t have oat flour in your pantry.
Any neutral-flavored oil like avocado oil works here. I use coconut oil a lot in healthy baking and don’t love when everythinggg tastes like coconut. But in these bars, there’s still no coconut taste, which is great!
If you have a grocery trip coming up, I highly recommend Ghiradelli’s giant bittersweet chocolate chips, which are amazing dark chocolate chips. The giant chocolate chips are just ultra-melty and perfect. But if milk chocolate is your thing, go for that!
I always add half of the chocolate chips directly to the batter and save half to sprinkle on top. Lots of chocolate chips on top make the bars look so yummy and decadent! I do the same thing for muffins and cookies, too.
To easily slice the pumpkin bars, you can line the baking pan with parchment paper. Then, let the pan cool briefly and lift the parchment paper out of the pan to slice the bars.
I’ve made these healthy pumpkin bars three times now, and they’ve been a hit every time! I’ve made them for a couple of family lunches, so they were a bit of a lighter sweet ending to the meal. I also love keeping bars like this in my freezer for whenever a chocolate or baked good craving strikes.
Hope you love these pumpkin bars as much as I do!
If you try these healthy pumpkin bars, feel free to let me know in a comment with a star rating or take a photo and tag me @livbane on Instagram!
The Best Healthy Pumpkin Bars (GF)
- 1 3/4 cups finely-ground oat flour*
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (can sub regular white granulated sugar)
- 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (can sub cinnamon if needed)
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 cup plain canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup milk or almond milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 Tbsp. oil (melted coconut oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil are my suggestions)
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together oat flour, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
- In a large measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir until almost combined, then drizzle in oil and add 1/3 cup chocolate chips, stirring until just combined.
- Line a 9x9 or 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Spread batter in the pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 30-33 minutes (9x9 inch pan) or 35-38 minutes (8x8 inch pan), or until a toothpick inserted into the middle (in a non-chocolate chip spot!) comes out clean. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and then slice into 12 bars.
- Store leftover bars in an air-tight container for up to two days for optimal freshness or freeze for up to 3 months. These bars taste best warm or at room temperature.