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5 from 2 votes

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

A sweet and easy gluten-free pumpkin bars recipe for any festive occasion! Light and fluffy pumpkin cake squares filled with pumpkin pie flavors and topped with cream cheese icing–the ultimate dessert for a cozy Fall season! 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 24 Bars

Ingredients

Pumpkin Bars

  • 2 cups gluten-free I use Bob's Red Mill 1:1 baking flour
  • 11/2 cup white sugar* for low sugar replace with Swerve, it's a 1:1 swap
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz block cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2` tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, canned pumpkin, applesauce, and eggs. Mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until the batter is smooth and all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Once the pumpkin bars have cooled completely, spread the cream cheese icing evenly over the top. Cut the bars into squares or rectangles. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Icing

  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and unsalted butter together until creamy and smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until the icing is well combined and smooth.

Notes

Expert Tips

  • Dairy-Free: The recipe for the pumpkin bars is completely dairy-free. If you want to make the cream cheese frosting dairy-free, substitute vegan butter and non-dairy cream cheese as alternatives to regular cream cheese and butter. 
  • Low-Sugar: For a low-sugar option, substitute Swerve granulated sugar for the white sugar in the pumpkin bars and Swerve powdered sugar for the powdered sugar. 
  • Gluten-Free Flour: When you choose a gluten-free flour blend, make sure that you look for 1:1 blends. This means they are a direct substitute for regular all-purpose flour and contain xanthan gum, which is a key ingredient in gluten-free baking. It helps with the structure and texture of gluten-free baked goods (which is the job of gluten in wheat flour). 
  • Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice: 3 tbsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1.5 tsp ground allspice, and 1.5 tsp ground cloves. Combine in a small bowl, then use 2 tsp in this recipe and save the rest in your spice cabinet. 
  • Mixins: Feel free to add chopped pecans or walnuts, dark chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips into your pumpkin bar batter. 

Serving Tips

After your pumpkin bars have cooled completely, frost and serve. Dust with extra pumpkin pie spice and top with chopped nuts or chocolate chips, or by themselves! 

Storage Tips

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. 
To freeze, wrap individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw and serve! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 385kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 65g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 0.3mg