These Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are easy, healthy and fill your kitchen with a beautiful pumpkin spice scent. There is no butter or eggs in the recipe, keeping the cookie bars vegan and dairy-free. They are also small batch and nut-free, made with buckwheat flour.
The great thing about these easy pumpkin cookie bars is that you don’t have to spend time rolling the mixture into individual balls. You just bake it in a loaf tin, then slice the slab into individual portions. Perfect if you want to whip up something quick and healthy for Halloween.
Healthy pumpkin cookie bars
Made with less processed ingredients, these pumpkin chocolate chip cookie bars are a healthier alternative to regular cookies and bars. Made with buckwheat flour instead of all purpose flour, and coconut oil instead of butter, they can be enjoyed on a gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan diet. Plus the pumpkin purée counts as a hidden vegetable, which is always a bonus.
To keep the sugar content down, I use at least 70% cocoa dark chocolate for the chocolate chip component. I buy a bar and chop it into chunks with a sharp knife. However, you can use regular chocolate chips or even a sugar-free variety if you prefer.
How to make homemade pumpkin purée
You can use canned or homemade pumpkin purée in this recipe. I usually make my own purée so it’s super fresh. Canned purée can also be hard to find in some countries.
It’s actually really easy to make pumpkin purée at home. The method I use ensures that your purée is thick and not watery. Check out my post on how to make pumpkin purée for baking recipes for a step by step guide.
Ingredients for Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Pumpkin purée: You can use canned or homemade in this recipe. If using canned, make sure it’s purée and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has added flavor and sugar, while purée is only made with pumpkin or squash.
Coconut oil: This recipe uses melted coconut oil instead of butter to keep it dairy-free and vegan. However, you should be able to use melted butter as a substitute if you prefer.
Coconut sugar: I love the toffee-like flavor of coconut sugar. It is also less processed than regular sugar. However, you can use brown sugar instead if you prefer.
Buckwheat flour: To keep the pumpkin cookie bars gluten-free, I use buckwheat flour in the recipe. All purpose flour should work as a substitute if you are ok with gluten.
Pumpkin pie spice: You can use pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice, or simply make your own blend of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. I have listed quantities to make your own blend in the notes under the recipe below.
Baking powder: Baking powder gives the cookie bars a tiny bit of lift.
Sea salt: Adding some sea salt to the mixture enhances all the flavors. I never skip it in baking recipes.
Dark chocolate: Since these are chocolate chip pumpkin cookie bars. I like to chop up a bar of dark chocolate into chunks. But you can use chocolate chips if you prefer.
More healthy pumpkin recipes
This Gluten Free Dairy Free Pumpkin Bread is sweetly spiced, moist and comes with a delicious maple glaze.
For a healthy bread substitute, this Easy Pumpkin Loaf can be enjoyed with sweet or savory toppings.
If you have leftover pumpkin purée, you could make these Pumpkin Pancakes which use oat flour instead of wheat flour.
You can find more healthy baking ideas on the Baking Recipes page.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe
- 1/3 cup / 86g pumpkin purée (see Note 1)
- 1/4 cup / 60ml / 54g coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup / 63g coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup / 90g buckwheat flour (see Note 2)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (see Note 3 for substitute)
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup / 45g chopped dark chocolate
1Preheat your oven to 160°C fan-forced / 180°C / 350°F and line a 4 x 8 inch / 10 x 20 cm loaf tin with baking paper.
2Beat the pumpkin purée, melted coconut oil and coconut sugar in a bowl until well combined (see Note 4). Add the remaining ingredients, except for the chocolate, and fold through until combined.
3Press the mixture into the lined loaf tin using your fingers or the back of a spoon, spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle over the chopped chocolate and press it into the mixture.
4Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 25 minutes or until the top is set and the edges are starting to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before slicing into bars.
1. Pumpkin purée – You can use canned or homemade pumpkin purée. If you don’t have canned, check out this homemade pumpkin purée recipe. That is what I use, and you can freeze any leftovers for future baking recipes.
2. Flour – I highly recommend weighing your buckwheat flour in grams on a food scale for best results. This is because cup measures are notoriously unreliable when measuring flour.
3. Pumpkin pie spice – If you don’t have pre-made pumpkin pie spice mix, you can use this instead:
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp allspice
1/16 tsp nutmeg
1/16 tsp cloves
4. Lumpy coconut oil – If your pumpkin purée is cold from the fridge, the melted coconut oil might seize up and form lumps. If this happens, place your mixing bowl in an inch or so of hot water to warm the mixture without getting it wet, and keep stirring until the lumps melt down. You can avoid lumps in the first place by allowing your coconut oil to get quite warm when melting it, or by letting your pumpkin purée come to room temperature before mixing.
5. Making a larger batch – To make 16 bars, simply double the recipe and bake it in a 8 x 8 inch / 20 x 20 cm square cake tin or dish. The cooking time should still be 18 to 25 minutes.
6. Storage – Since there is pumpkin in these cookie bars and no added preservatives, I store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. The texture gets a little bit drier when chilled, so I like to bring them to room temperature before enjoying.
Serving size: 1 bar
Energy: 164 Cal / 685 kJ
Total Fat: 9.4g
Saturated Fat: 6.9g
Total Carbohydrate: 18.9g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2g