Pumpkin Oat Bars


I guess it’s finally time for some pumpkin.

I’m sure you’ve been wondering, “Why is this blog called ‘pumpkin & peanut butter’, but we haven’t seen any pumpkin yet???” That is entirely my fault. As well as my lack of time for baking this week (I blame my big girl job for this). But it’s finally here! And, oh, is it good.

I adore pumpkin, almost as much as I adore peanut butter. Believe it or not, I didn’t like pumpkin until about 3 years. My only experience with pumpkin was pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. You see, I have some issues with food consistencies, and pumpkin pie just did not do it for me. So I ruled out all pumpkin, lumping it together with that strange spongy, geletin-like consistency that pumpkin pie seemed to have. I know, it’s very strange.


Pumpkin Oat Bars // pumpkin & peanut butter


Fast forward years later and I began working at Starbucks during college. During my orientation, I got to try lots of their bakery goodies (so that I would be able to explain them to customers) and one of the stars of their bakery case happened to be their Pumpkin Scone. All it took was one bite for me to fall in love with pumpkin for the first time. Well, it could also be that I was not used to eating sweet, buttery baked goods, but that’s a story for another time. I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on that wonderful fall flavor for 20 years!

And then my love affair with pumpkin began…. pumpkin cookies, pumpkin scones, pumpkin bars, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin oatmeal. The list goes on and on. Not only is its warm, comforting flavor amazing, but it also is an awesome substitute for butter and oil in so many delicious recipes. Not to mention the nutritional benefits! So there you have it. My pumpkin addiction finally beginning in my twenties and now making its way to your kitchen!

I adapted these pumpkin oat bars from Ambitious Kitchen’s recipe on her blog. I cut the sugar a little bit, upped the spices, and added a little extra chocolate (because who doesn’t love some extra chocolate?). They’re so quick and healthy, AND they’re vegan and gluten-free. I would even condone them for breakfast! The dough is not too sweet, but that extra dark chocolate gives it that sugary bite that it needs. The best part is that they stay soft and moist, even without any butter or eggs, which is just how I like my cookies. I hope you love them just as much as I do!


Pumpkin Oat Bars // pumpkin & peanut butter

Pumpkin Oat Bars

Serves 16-18
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert


  • 2 ¾ cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
  • ½ cup of dark chocolate chips, plus 2-3 tablespoons for sprinkling on top


based on ambitious kitchen's healthy pumpkin chocolate chip oat bars 


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8 x 11" pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Step 2
Blend oats in a food processor until finely ground. Place into a mixing bowl and add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix together and set aside.
Step 3
In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients until smooth: pumpkin, applesauce, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and coconut oil. Slowly stir in the oat mixture until it makes a thick, sticky batter. Fold in ½ cup of dark chocolate chips, then spread batter into greased baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 2-3 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips over the bars and press them lightly into the bars.
Step 4
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into bars. I usually get 16-18 bars out of each batch, depending on how big I decide to make them.


Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


  1. These look delicious…definitely have to put them on my list for pumpkin treats this fall!

  2. Can’t wait to make these. Mitch wants to eat them for breakfast. 🙂 How do I find you on Pinterest?

    • Thanks so much for checking out my blog Kathy! I’m still trying to figure out how to add a Pinterest link to my blog. You can search me under “pumpkinandpb” on Pinterest.

  3. We’re already on our second batch of these. Easy and delicious. A new breakfast staple.

Comments are closed.