Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
These healthy pumpkin chocolate chip bars land between a cookie, a cake and a blondie and are perfect for pumpkin lovers.
About the Recipe
If you love pumpkin and chocolate together, you’re going to love these decadent but healthier pumpkin chocolate chip bars. They’re the perfect autumn (or anytime) dessert.
They’re very easy to make, no eggs or dairy needed, are oil-free and naturally sweetened and are ready to enjoy in about 45 minutes. They also make your home smell amazing.
The texture is part cookie, part blondie and part cake – you’ll have to decide which for yourself! If you have half a can of pumpkin puree you need to use up, these bars are the perfect way to do that.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section covers notes on the specific ingredients used and possible substitutions. Please scroll down the page or use the Jump to Recipe button at the top to see the printable recipe card with the ingredient measurements.
- All-Purpose Flour: This recipe was developed for all-purpose flour and hasn’t been tested with other flours.
- Baking Powder: Watch you use baking powder not baking soda.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: You can substitute lemon if needed.
- Cinnamon: This adds a little extra boost to the pumpkin pie spice.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: If you don’t have this available, use 2 tsp cinnamon in total, with 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg and a pinch of allspice or cloves.
- Maple Syrup: This can be substituted with agave syrup.
- Applesauce: I recommend unsweetened applesauce though you could use sweetened for sweeter bars. Note that they’ll have more added sugar if you use sweetened applesauce.
- Pumpkin: Use pumpkin puree from a can, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Almond Butter: This can be substitute with cashew butter, peanut butter or for nut-free bars, sunflower seed butter.
- Chocolate Chips: You can use any dairy-free chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips. I like dark chocolate chips but semi-sweet chips are good too.
How to Make (with Photos)
Prepare to bake by preheating the oven to 350 F and greasing and lining an 8×8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
While it’s not required to use parchment paper, it will make it easier to remove the bars at the end. If you’re not using parchment, just grease the pan with some non-stick cooking spray.
- Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice).
- Step 2: Mix the wet ingredients (maple syrup, applesauce, pumpkin, vanilla, almond butter and vinegar).
- Step 3: Add the wet to the dry and combine.
- Step 4: Fold in the chocolate chips, reserving 1/4 cup for topping.
- Step 5: Bake the bars.
- Step 6: Cool, slice and enjoy!
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread out the top until smooth and even. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over top and bake for 30 minutes until the edges look golden brown and a toothpick or knife inserted into the bars comes out clean.
All the bars to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes then lift them out of the pan using the parchment, slice into 9 portions and enjoy!
If you didn’t use parchment, slice them in the pan and carefully remove one by one.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe has not been tested with gluten-free flour though you should be able to use a gluten-free all-purpose baking flour blend in place of all-purpose flour.
Sure. You can use homemade pumpkin puree in this recipe. Use the same amount as listed, 1/2 cup.
Tips and Notes
- Measure accurately. Baking ingredient ratios are important so I always suggest using a kitchen scale when baking to accurately measure your ingredients.
- Serving Size. I portioned my bars into 9 servings but you can slice them into 12-16 square for a smaller serving size and lower-calorie option. For 12 bars, they’re 187 calories each and for 16 small square they’re 140 calories each.
How to Store
- The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- To freeze, wrap and store in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.
Did you try this recipe?
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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
- Prep Time: 8 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 38 minutes
- Yield: 9 bars 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
These pumpkin chocolate chip bars are soft, moist and decadent while offering a healthier option by being oil-free and sweetened with maple syrup and applesauce.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (256 g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (5 g)
- ½ cup maple syrup (110 g)
- ¾ cup applesauce (177 mL)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (113 g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (5 mL)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (15 mL)
- ½ cup almond butter (120 g)
- 1 cup chocolate chips, divided (170 g)
- Grease and parchment line a 8×8 square baking pan and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Using a whisk, wooden spoon, or an electric mixer, stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, add the maple syrup, apple sauce, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and almond butter. Using a whisk, wooden spoon, or an electric mixer, stir to combine the wet ingredients.
- Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon or electric mixer, mix until well combined.
- Add ¾ cup (120g) of the chocolate chips to the batter. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips. You can use an electric mixer however, the chocolate chips might break up a bit. Folding them in will help them hold their shape.
- Add the batter to the prepared 8×8 baking pan and smooth out the batter so it will bake evenly in the pan. **I used an offset spatula. For best results, spray a small amount of oil on the off-set spatula then gently smooth out the top so the bars are smooth and even. This will prevent the batter from sticking to the offset spatula.
- Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, the edges will be golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean.
- Allow the bars to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them. Lift out of the pan using the edges of the parchment and slice the bars up into 9 equal pieces.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days, in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze in a freezer-bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.
Almond butter can be substituted with another nut or seed butter.
Use a digital scale to accurately measure ingredients for best results.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 250
- Sodium: 125 mg
- Fat: 15 g
- Carbohydrates: 56 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 8 g
Keywords: pumpkin chocolate chip bars, healthy pumpkin bars