Brownies & Bars

Gluten-Free + Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

I am currently wishing it was fall simply because it’s been above 105°F since April, and like anyone, I love fall weather. However, there is something so special about a change in the season and summer; this year has felt particularly long. This past summer was my second summer in Texas, and although it was hot, and honestly way hotter than last summer, I somehow didn’t have nightmares that I was suffocating like I did last year — but that is a story for another day! So that being said, I am manifesting fall by baking all the yummy fall treats since it will remain in the 80s/90s until December.

Growing up, the only pumpkin item I had was Trader Joes Pumpkin Bread. My mom isn’t a seasonal flavor gal, so the box mix from Trader Joe’s was my holy grail baking mix growing up. If you haven’t tried that box mix, I encourage you to track it down this season, they also have a gluten-free version that I was unable to get my hands on last fall, but you bet your ass I’ll be trying to get a few boxes this fall!

Why does everyone love pumpkin?

As much as I love a pumpkin item, canned pumpkin tastes just like the plain squash that it is until you add all the warm fall spices–let’s be honest, that is why we all like pumpkin items. The core flavors of pumpkin spice are; cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and ground ginger. That being said, this fall, if you find yourself making a lot of pumpkin items, skip buying the blend and grab a bottle of each spice because you can use all these spices in a variety of daily cooking, even savory dishes!

Pumpkin and Chocolate Pairing:

Chocolate has a sharp flavor naturally, especially when not sweetened. Often pairing semi-sweet or dark chocolate in a sweet cookie or cake allows the perfect balance of savory and sweet, I find that balance to be the same with a pumpkin-based dessert. Although I lump pumpkin desserts more into a spice category with a spice cake or a dessert cake, pumpkin has an overly vegetal and savory flavor. Pumpkin spice flavored items and even the spice itself create a spice balance that almost evokes the same bitter response to your flavor palate. In many pumpkin recipes you see molasses, brown sugar and white sugar added to add a depth of sweetness to the pumpkin spice mixture, in these bars the bitter dark chocolate, pumpkin, sugar, and spice blend create the perfect balance of sweet, savory, spicy and warmth.

Let’s bake pumpkin bars:

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Gluten-Free + Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars 1x


Gluten free and vegan pumpkin chocolate chip bars are the best way to enjoy a bite of fall. Your favorite fall flavors combined into one easy to bake delicious sweet pumpkin treat. 


  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of ground all spice
  • 1/4 tsp of ground clove
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cup of gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease your 8″x8″ baking pan with vegan butter
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream your vegan butter with your sugar until the butter and sugar become fluffy in texture
  3. Next add your spices and baking powder, stir until combined
  4. Next add in your vanilla extract and your cup of canned pumpkin
  5. Stir until the batter is incorporated
  6. Next add in your flour 1/2 cup at a time until the batter starts to form
  7. Remove the paddle from the stand mixer and fold in your chocolate chips
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and use a spatula to  smooth the top
  9. Bake your bars for about 30-35 minutes
  10. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes before eating
  11. Enjoy! 

Keywords: Gluten-Free and Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Let’s talk about the difference between bars and cookies. I have a gluten-free and vegan pumpkin cookie recipe that is one of my favorite fall recipes. These cookies are soft, and sweet and taste like pumpkin bread in cookie form. They are cakey, have a nice dense crumb and a balance of spice and sweetness. When it comes to turning these into a bar-style treat, they become fudgier and like a pumpkin brownie. I would say that both pumpkin desserts are delicious fall treats, but does one outdo the other on the fall treat scale? Honestly, not really! I think they are delicious ways to take similar recipes and change them up slightly.

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