At this time of year, pumpkin pie is totally my jam.
Like, a slice of pumpkin pie (coconut whipped cream optional) with a cup of coffee or tea… perhaps with a warm fire burning in the fireplace… while wearing a cozy sweater and/or scarf and/or boots… Yeah, I am all over it.
The problem is that slices of pumpkin pie are always so small. Am I right? It seems like it's a universal rule for pumpkin pie slices to be at least 3-4 bites short of what I need to satisfy my pumpkin pie craving. Unless you made the pie and there's only one or two other people in your house, then going back for seconds isn't always a considerate choice. Otherwise, it's like "I wonder why there wasn't enough pie for grandpa to have a slice? Oh, what's that? Kristy ate the last slice? But she also had the first slice…"
The only viable solution for this problem is to make a pumpkin pie
replacement option that can provide enough servings for everyone to have seconds and possibly thirds. Bars are the perfect choice for this plan because if you put out a plate of bars, and you take one, then another, and possibly a third, like, a couple hours later for the ride home, no one is going to get up in your business about it. No one cares if you take multiple bars. Multiple slices of pie? Then people start to call you names raise an eyebrow.
My need for a good pumpkin pie bar brought me to these. They have a delicious oatmeal cookie base with a soft, luscious pumpkin pie top (it's slightly firmer than the average pumpkin pie filling, but it helps the bars keep their shape). And boy are they delightful! They're perfect for all the other times you like to eat pumpkin pie too- like for breakfast and/or second breakfast. This recipe makes a lot too. I sliced this batch into 18 big bars, but you could easily do 24.
The best scenario would be to bring these oatmeal pumpkin pie bars to Thanksgiving along with a vegan pumpkin pie. This way, you can have your slice of pumpkin pie and then have one or two of these guys later on. No leftovers of pie? Don't fret- these are small enough that you could stick a few in your pocket and the family would be none the wiser.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup spelt flour
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon flaxmeal
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cans of pumpkin puree (or 3 cups of pumpkin puree)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the oatmeal base. In a medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to combine. Spread the mixture out in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the milk and arrowroot powder. Add the rest of the pumpkin pie layer ingredients and mix until fully combined. Spread the layer out on top of the oatmeal base.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the edges have turned golden brown. It's okay if the center is still soft or seems undercooked- it will firm up in the fridge. Let cool on the counter before refrigerating for at least 2 hours. It's even better the next day. Slice, serve and enjoy!
What is your favorite type of pie?
Photography by Chris Miller
Emily - It Comes Naturally Blog
Mmm...I definitely had it in mind to make something like this, but with a crumble topping - I'm definitely using this as inspiration. It'll help to have a more solid pumpkin layer too! xx
This is the second time in the course of a day that I've seen a cookie as the base of a different dessert. I don't know what wibbly wobbly thing is happening to this world, but I like it. We need more desserts posing as other desserts. Plus, oatmeal & pumpkin are terrific together.
Annnnd you've stolen my heart with these!!
Cate @ Chez CateyLou
"Like, a slice of pumpkin pie (coconut whipped cream optional) with a cup of coffee or tea… perhaps with a warm fire burning in the fireplace… while wearing a cozy sweater and/or scarf and/or boots" - that sounds like perfection to me! These bars look amazing - the oatmeal cookie base might make me like these even more than pumpkin pie!
Gabby @ the veggie nook
For me, pumpkin pie was always a little too big- the slice was just too large and I would feel like I'd overdosed on pumpkin, leaving a couple bites waste. Which is strange because I LOVE pumpkin. So I love these bars because they would allow me to take a smaller portion, leaving more for the people that need just a little extra to satisfy the pumpkin itch 😉
These look so good! Could I sub buckwheat flour for the spelt? I need gluten-free right now. Thanks!
Thank you, Beth! I haven't tried it, but I don't see why not! 🙂
these bars look soo good! i love that oatmeal cookie base
the base sounds great. they look yummy!
Such a clever idea, and you're right about having sets of eyeballs looking at the person have piece #2 of the pie. Thanks for the idea.
These are amazing! I missed out a couple of ingredients because I didn't have them handy, subbed the oat flour for a whole wheat, and probably changed the ratios with my haphazard measurements. I cut the recipe in half, and the batch was pretty perfect. They are brilliant!
Found them super yummy warmed up for about ten seconds in the microwave, and maybe topped with a cheeky streak of peanut butter.
Looking froward to trying some more of your recipes now 🙂 x
Thanks, Alice! So happy you like them and I forgot to mention- they are super when warmed up a bit! 🙂
As someone who eats pumpkin puree straight to the point of an orange tint, I am eager to try this. How would I go about replacing the spelt with, let's say, more oat or whole wheat flour? I can't really spend much and spelt is rather pricey around here.
You could definitely replace the spelt with whole wheat flour. It'll be just fine! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂
I am a bit disappointed… I skimmed, I suppose, but I used two cans of pumpkin -did not take to heart the parentheses that said 3 cups- I just automatically used 2 cans ... that is way way way too much… mine did not turn out - pumpkin not firm, and the crust is soggy. 🙁
I'm sorry. Did you refrigerate it for a few hours after baking? It will seem too wet/soggy until it has some time to set up.
Wow just made this and it was amazing ! I made it gluten free by using sorghum flour instead of the spelt flour. I used 1/2 cup + 3 tsp of sorghum flour + 3 Tbsp of tapioca flour + 2 tsp of xanthan gum in place of the 3/4 cup spelt. Also I couldn't find arrowroot flour so I used tapioca flour instead. I did however only use 2 cups of pumpkin because that's all I had. Still turned out great ! Thank you for sharing.
Deryn @ Running on Real Food
Mmmm, I'm about to begin my fall pumpkin kick and this seems like the perfect place to start!! I'm sure I'll have to take these to work or else I'll eat them way too fast 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
The squares turned out exactly as shown and were delicious. I served them as an alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie and they were very well received by all. I will definitely make them again.
oh wow, these look absolutely delicious... I will be trying these out at the weekend for sure!
I used brown rice flour instead of the spelt & oat flours since that's all I had and also tossed in a tablespoon of chia seeds and a few tablespoons of chopped sunflower seeds to the crust and used a kabocha pumpkin/squash and it came out great. It's a great recipe to improvise with. Thanks for sharing!
I cannot wait to try these on Thursday! Thanks for the wonderful recipe. They look delicious.
i love these bars but i think 1/2 teaspoon of clove would have been enough.
I made these and was very disappointed.
I'm sorry to hear that.
Stewart & Emily
We made these for Thanksgiving and will have to re-vamp the recipe as the crust had no flavor at all and did nothing to enhance the pumpkin pie layer. Maybe some additional sweetening source would add some flavor. The pumpkin pie layer came out very dark ...but tasted ok. What did we do, we followed all the directions and bought all the correct ingredients. Thanks
I'm trying my best to get sugar out of my diet and have been very good now for quite a while doing it.
Is there anything else I could substitute for the 2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup and the coconut sugar? I've been using Stevia for quite a while I should say too.
Hi Randy- you could try substituting with stevia but it will likely affect the flavor and the texture.
My family loved these bars. We finally had enough "pumpkin pie" for everyone to have their fill, with extra the next couple days. You were right, these were even better the next day!
Emily | Oat&Sesame
This is the yummiest idea I've seen all day! Just another excuse to buy more pumpkin!
3/4 cup Palm Sugar is listed on the first page under the ingredients. I don't see when I visit the full recipe and instructions. I just made them and haven't tried them yet :/ Is the palm sugar meent to be in the recipe or not? If so, where?
I'm not sure what you're referring to when you mention "the first page." The recipe calls for coconut sugar and it is listed under "Wet ingredients" and "Pumpkin Pie Filling" ingredients. When the instructions say to mix the wet ingredients together, that amount should've been added then, and when it calls for pumpkin pie filling ingredients, the rest should've been used then. Also, the quantities are 1/2 cup and 1/3 cup, not 3/4 cup.
Hi - this looks fantastic! I’m eating oil-free, do you have any auggestions for what to substitute for the coconut oil? I’m wondering if I could increase the amount of applesauce. Any thoughts? Thanks for the awesome recipe!