You will be hooked with just one bite of these moist gluten free pumpkin cake bars! These pumpkin bars scream pumpkin season! These bars will fill your kitchen with scents of warm spices. I include a dairy-free option for those who can't have dairy.
If you have been waiting for me to post a delicious gluten free pumpkin bars recipe, you are in luck! I have been working hard making original pumpkin recipes this past month. I have quite a few coming, but I am really proud of these cake bars!
This gluten free pumpkin bars recipe is perfect for a small cake or double the recipe to make it a gluten free sheet pan pumpkin cake to feed a crowd! It makes the best pumpkin treat!
Mr. Fearless Dining had a hard time waiting for me to photograph these. I promised him I would be quick, so I didn't get a chance to frost these with my delicious cinnamon buttercream frosting.
Serve with my creamy Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting, or enjoy them plain! I even include some options to make them healthy if you want to serve this as a breakfast cake!
If you love pumpkin as much as we do, you will want to check out all of my delicious gluten free pumpkin recipes.
Why This Recipe Is Great:
- One of the best things about these pumpkin cake bars is that they are moist without being dense and heavy from the pumpkin puree.
- These gluten free pumpkin squares are full of pumpkin flavor, and the chocolate chunks make it even better!
- This recipe is made with simple ingredients that can be found at any grocery store.
- This is an easy recipe that you can make in about 40 minutes!
- This is the perfect dessert for a fall bake sale.
If you love pumpkin pie, be sure to try my Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Bars recipe too!
- Gluten free flour blend - I tested this recipe using Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend and King Arthur's Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours and I can not guarantee the recipe will work if you use other mixes.
- Xanthan Gum - If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add one teaspoon.
- Salt - Use sea salt or kosher salt.
- Brown Sugar - You can use either light or dark brown sugar.
- Butter - To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the butter for vegan butter.
- Light Oil - I used avocado oil, but canola oil, coconut oil, or another light vegetable oil also works well.
- Eggs - I used size large eggs. Room temperature is best.
- Vanilla Extract - I recommend pure vanilla extract, but imitation is okay in this recipe.
- Pumpkin puree - You can use canned pumpkin as I did or roast your own. If you want to roast your own, there are simple directions in my gluten free pumpkin cheesecake recipe.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice - You can buy it premixed in a jar or blend your own using ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.
- Chocolate chips - You can use any brand. If you need dairy-free chips, I recommend Enjoy Life. Read to find out What Chocolate Chips Are Gluten Free.
- Confectioners or Powdered Sugar - This is only needed if you make the cinnamon buttercream frosting.
Recipe Step By Step Directions:
Step 1: Add your dry ingredients to a large
Step 2: Add your wet ingredients to a medium-sized separate bowl and whisk.
HINT: When melting your butter, be sure it isn't too hot, so it doesn't cook your eggs!
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate chips or chunks and optional pecans.
Step 4: Mix the ingredients into a batter gently. Try not to overmix, so your cake bars are fluffier. I do not recommend using a standing mixer or food processor because it tends to overmix your batter.
Step 5: Place the batter into a parchment paper-lined 8x8 pan. Bake at 350º F for 25 minutes until done.
To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake needs to bake longer.
Step 6: Remove the cake by pulling on the parchment paper. Allow cooling on a wire rack.
Step 7: Whip up the cinnamon buttercream frosting if you plan to frost your cake bars. Frost the cake when it is completely cooled!
If you love all flavors of cake bars, you will want to try this popular Gluten Free Banana Bars recipe too!
Make Them Dairy-Free:
To make this gluten free pumpkin bars recipe, dairy-free is easy!
- Use dairy-free/vegan butter instead of regular butter.
- Use dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Top it with the creamy Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting that I use in my Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes recipe.
- Add some caramel bits (made by Kraft) into the cake!
- Drizzle melted chocolate over the cake bars.
- Make it healthier by using coconut sugar instead of refined sugar and swap ¼ cup gluten free flour blend with ½ cup almond flour!
Tips and Recipe FAQ:
There are two main differences between pumpkin pie filling and canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is 100% pureed pumpkin. That is it. Pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and spices.
In this recipe, you can not substitute pumpkin pie filling. The added sugar and spices will throw off the taste and texture of this cake recipe.
These bars pumpkin cake bars will keep about 4 days in the refrigerator.
You can easily freeze these pumpkin bars in a zip-style freezer bag. I recommend freezing them unfrosted.
Note, this post was updated with more information from an older September 2021 post with more details.
More Gluten Free Pumpkin Recipes:
I am a huge pumpkin fanatic. We love all things pumpkin! If you love pumpkin as much as we do, here are some of my best gluten free pumpkin desserts for you to try:
- Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
- Creamy Gluten Free Pumpkin 7-Layer Bars
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Madeleines
Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars
- 1 ½ cups gluten free flour blend * see notes
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground pumpkin spice
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter * see note
- ⅓ cup light oil
- 1 egg size large
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
- In a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the chocolate chunks. Mix until just barely mixed.
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and pour in the cake batter. Use a spoon to spread it out so that it is evely dispursed.
- Bake for 25 minutes until done.
- To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake needs to bake longer.
- Remove from the oven and pull the parchment paper to lift the cake out of hte pan and onto a cooling rack.
- Make the optional cinnamon buttercream frosting (see notes for the link to the recipe.) Frost the cake when it is completely cooled.
- I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF and Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend. That doesn't mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
- Xanthan Gum - If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum, please add 1 teaspoon.
- Butter - soften to room temperature or melt. Be sure it isn't too hot or it can cook the eggs. Use dairy-free butter if you can't eat dairy.
- These pumpkin bars will keep for up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
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