These Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Bars are moist, fluffy and covered in a tangy “cream cheese” frosting. They’re warmly spiced and slightly denser than pumpkin cake. They come together in one bowl and are refined sugar free too. They make a great shareable dessert for Thanksgiving!
How to make this recipe
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Mix together all the ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.
Tip: Make sure to use a measuring jug to measure out the exact amount of plant-based milk!
- Transfer the batter into a square baking tin.
Tip: Make sure to line the loaf tin with greased baking paper – this will make removing the bars from the tin so much easier!
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool before applying the frosting.
- Use a knife (or palette knife for frosting) to spread the frosting over the top.
- Slice into bars.
Substitutions you can make to this recipe:
- You can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil.
- You can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc.
- You can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, date syrup etc.
- You can replace the ground almonds with ground walnuts.
- For a nut-free version: replace the ground almonds with ground sunflower seeds, use a nut-free plant-based milk and use a coconut cream-based cream cheese frosting instead.
- You can use plain flour, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or spelt flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free.
- You can use either shop-bought pumpkin purée or make our own.
- The pumpkin purée can be replaced with sweet potato or butternut squash purée.
- The mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice) and ginger can be omitted.
Ingredients you can decorate these bars with:
- Chopped dried cranberries.
- Chopped pecans.
How long do these Pumpkin Bars keep for?
These Pumpkin Bars do taste best when fresh, but keep covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
More vegan desserts:
- Coconut Macaroons
- Lemon Bars
- Strawberry Trifle
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Lemon Pudding
- Pumpkin Loaf Cake
- Coffee Cake
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Watch how to make this recipe:
Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Bars
For the bars:
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 150 ml (⅔ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 225 g (1 cup) pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar * (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds (almond meal) **
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice to taste (pumpkin pie spice, or a mixture of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
For the bars:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if not using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the pumpkin purée, vinegar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and ground ginger
- Mix well, adding a splash more milk if looking too dry
- Transfer the mixture into a square baking tin lined with baking paper (I used a 23cm/9inch square baking tin)
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Leave to cool before applying the frosting
For the frosting:
- Drain the soaked cashews and add to a food processor or blender with the maple syrup and lemon juice
- Whizz until completely smooth, adding some plant-based milk or water to thin out if necessary
- Spread frosting over the top of the cake
- Slice into 16 squares
- Tastes best when fresh, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
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