Delicious dessert bars packed with fall flavor and loaded with chocolate chips. These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars are soft, rich and decadent. They’re easy to make – no mixer needed! Perfect for snacks or dessert.
Are you ready for sweaters, boots, crunchy leaves, apples, cool crisp air, and all things pumpkin?? Fall is my favorite season and I wish it lasted longer.
We are getting all-things-autumn started around here with these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars! The texture is a cross between cake, blondies, and soft baked cookies.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Flour ~ I like white whole wheat for these chocolate chip bars. It’s a bit heartier than all-purpose flour and is higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Yet, it still tastes light and fluffy.
All-purpose will work just fine in its place. You could also use regular whole wheat flour, spelt flour, oat flour, or a gluten-free flour blend.
Flax ~ Flaxmeal is what we’re using in this chocolate chip bar recipe. You can buy it ground or grind your own from whole flax seeds using a small coffee grinder.
The flax assists in holding the bars together and also provides added protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. [source]
Spices ~ Pumpkin pie spice is a delicious seasonal blend of several warm fall spices. I add extra cinnamon and nutmeg to really drive home that seasonal pumpkin flavor. Feel free to add some ground ginger or cloves, if you like.
A pinch of salt and drizzle of pure vanilla extract round it out.
Pumpkin ~Pumpkins don’t just look good on your front porch, they’re nutritious, too. These orange beauties contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and antioxidants.
Just make sure to use 100% pure pumpkin purée, if you’re using canned, not pumpkin pie mix.
Cashew butter ~ Cashew butter is a magical ingredient. It’s naturally sweet and really creamy. It provides the needed fat in this recipe to keep these bars moist and rich.
If your cashew butter is too thick, warm it in the microwave in 15 second intervals for about 30 to 40 seconds until it can be easily stirred with a spoon.
Sugar ~ I love coconut sugar in these pumpkin bars. It has a slight caramel taste which pairs nicely with the fall flavors. Light brown sugar or cane sugar may be used, if needed.
Chocolate chips ~ Chocolate chips, mini chips, chocolate chunks – they all work. Use your favorite. Just make sure they’re dairy-free and vegan. There are several brands available. Our favorite are the Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
Add the flour, baking soda, spices and salt to a medium bowl (1). Whisk to thoroughly combine (2).
In a separate bowl, add the pumpkin, sugar, cashew butter, and vanilla (3). Whisk until smooth (4).
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (5) and stir well to combine (6). Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Add the vegan chocolate chips (7) and fold them into the batter until distributed evenly (8).
Scoop the dough into a prepared 8 x 8 baking dish (9). Using a spatula, spread the dough out as evenly as possible (10).
Bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 28 minutes, until set (11). A toothpick inserted into the center should come out fairly clean. If you hit a chocolate chip, it will be gooey from the chocolate, which is normal, but there shouldn’t be many crumbs from the batter.
Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the baking dish and cutting into squares (12).
Serve them up with a cup of coffee (with a splash of dairy-free pumpkin spice cream perhaps!) or a cold glass of almond milk.
Storage and freezing
My kids can take down an entire batch of these cookie bars in less than a day. However, if you happen to have leftovers, you have options for storing them.
Counter: These vegan pumpkin chocolate chip bars will stay fresh in an air-tight container on the counter for 3 to 4 days.
Fridge: To keep them longer, store them in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezer: You can also freeze these cookie bars. Let them cool completely before transferring them to a a freezer-safe container. Layer them in the container with pieces of parchment paper between each layer. They should keep well for up to 3 months.
Thaw: If frozen, place the container on the counter for several hours to bring back to room temperature. You can also just remove 1 or 2 bars (or as many as you want) from the container instead of taking out the whole thing.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Use 100% pure pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling.
~ I highly recommend using cashew butter as it’s naturally sweet and very creamy. However peanut butter or almond butter may be used if you prefer. Please note the flavors of the bar will be affected.
~ If the cashew butter is too thick, warm it in the microwave in 15 second intervals for about 30 seconds, until it can be stirred easily.
~ The dough should be thick like traditional cookie dough. Use a silicone spatula or your clean hands to press the dough into the pan.
~ For a nut-free option, try Wowbutter or Sunbutter instead of cashew butter.
~For a gluten-free option, use a gluten-free flour blend meant to replace wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio, like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour.
Sure! Use a gluten-free flour blend meant to replace wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio.
Nope. They will stay fresh on the counter in an air-tight container for 3 to 4 days. If you need to store them longer, than yes, you’ll need to refrigerate them.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour spelt flour or all-purpose would also work
- ½ cup ground flaxmeal
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1 cup pure pumpkin purée
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup cashew butter
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Line an 8×8 square baking dish with parchment, letting the ends overhang to use as “handles” later.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, flax, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, coconut sugar, cashew butter, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the dry into the wet and stir to combine.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate. The mixture will be thick like traditional cookie dough.
- Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Pro tip: slightly dampen your hands so the batter doesn’t stick to your hands.
- Bake for 25 to 28 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan on a wire rack until cool to the touch. Using the parchment “handles” lift the whole thing out of the pan and place on the wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, cut into squares and enjoy!
The full recipe makes 16 square bars. Nutrition facts are calculated per bar.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.