Pumpkin Bars w/ Caramel Frosting – Gluten Free & Vegan

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Pumpkin Bars w- Caramel Frosting Gluten Free & Vegan-4034With the kick off of the Fall season looming ever nearer, I baked up the first of my winter squash/pumpkins.  Have you ever tried fresh pumpkin puree?  The flavor is so mild and sweet compared to the strong canned flavor.  It is an extra step, but it is SO worth it…I missed it SO much these last 6 months!!  It is like having a best friend back in the fold again.

I wanted a bar to bring over to my friend’s house for supper, and created these off of a regular ole recipe I discovered on food.com.  I had to make it gluten free and vegan, so changed most of it!

The cake by itself is not overly sweet, but has a lovely, moist texture.  Delicious by itself and begging for adaptions (cranberries, chocolate chips, spices, pumpkin seeds, etc!), this cake can hold it own.  Don’t be afraid to increase the sweetener to suit your tastes (with the frosting however, sweetness should not be an issue!)

The frosting on these bars really rocks.  It is delicious in a very sinful way and quickly turns the bars into a decadent treat. I prefer the use of ghee (casein free butter), but coconut oil and vegan butters also work.  They do just do not taste as caramel-esque as the ghee.

This recipe was shared over at Everyday Health!Pumpkin Bars w- Caramel Frosting Gluten Free & Vegan-4056


5.0 from 4 reviews
Pumpkin Bars w/ Caramel Frosting - Gluten Free & Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup palm sugar (or other granulated sugar)
  • ⅓ cup applesauce
  • ⅓ cup light olive oil or softened coconut oil (any liquid or softened would work)
  • 3 tablespoons chia meal or ¼ cup flax meal
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup sorghum flour
  • 4 tablespoons ghee, butter, or vegan margarine of choice
  • ¼ cup palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons any milk or apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (we use a corn free version, and any powdered sugar will do, like palm sugar or xylitol, but the flavor will change of course)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9 X 7 rectangular pan (an 8X8 would work too)
  2. In a mixer, beat the pumpkin through the vanilla until well combined.
  3. With the mixer still running, sprinkle in the baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, and guar gum.
  4. Continue with the flours.
  5. Pour into your prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. In a small saucepan, bring the butter, palm suagr, and milk to a gentle boil.
  8. Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt.
  9. In a mixer, beat this mixture with the powdered sugar until well mixed!
  10. Frost a cooled cake.

Pumpkin Bars w- Caramel Frosting Gluten Free & Vegan-4048

This post was shared on  Natural Living Mondays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Fat Tuesdays, Hearth & Soul, GF Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Pennywise Platter, GF Fridays, Real Food Fridays, Let’s Get Real Fridays, Foodie Fridays, Savouring Saturdays,

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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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23 comments on “Pumpkin Bars w/ Caramel Frosting – Gluten Free & Vegan
  1. amber says:

    Ooooooo Tessa. These look amazing. I purchased a little sugar pie pumpkin today. They are starting to make a strong appearance at my Coop. I thought, this is the first of like 100 pumpkins I am probably going to buy this fall. Ha ha. Pumpkin season is here and I think your recipe is a great way to start us all off!!! Love, love. xoxo

  2. Ricki says:

    Hey Tessa! These look AMAZING. Drool, drool! Thanks for sharing at WW. I also sent you an email re: the cookbook–did you receive it?? If not, let me know, and the best email address to reach you! Thanks. Ricki :)

  3. Raeleen says:

    These truly are amazing! With the pumpkin-loving hubby’s bday coming up, guess what’s on tap for dessert 😀 Thanks so much for posting!

  4. Niina Maher says:

    So yummy! Going to serve these up with your amazing pumpkin ice cream recipe.

  5. Amber says:

    YUM! The icing alone is worth given this recipe a try! I will have to try it with fresh pumpkin puree!

  6. Tatyana Tucker says:

    Made these without the icing (just trying to avoid sugar). Used xylitol in place of sugar in the dough. Yum!

  7. Miz Helen says:

    Your Pumpkin Bars with that awesome Caramel Frosting look amazing! Have a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. These look wonderful! I have a pumpkin I picked up from the farmers market today and I anticipate having lots of leftover puree so I might just have to try this. Thanks for sharing it on WNWNW, Tessa, I’ve pinned it :)

  9. kris says:

    Hi there. Visiting from the Natural Living Monday link up. Love the recipe! We have one completely GFCF in our home, and another with an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts and eggs. I’ll be checking in here often from now on!

  10. What delicious looking pumpkin bars – and what a great idea to frost them with a caramel frosting! They sound absolutely delicious. I’ve pinned this recipe to my vegan recipes board :)

  11. I love the sound of that frosting, and I also love to make my own pumpkin puree. Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday!

  12. These looks SO tasty and healthy too! I love the combo of pumpkin and caramel, yum. Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

  13. Pure Ella says:

    Oh wow! This looks amazing! 😉
    Thank you for finally making me excited for fall 😉

  14. Melanie Davis says:

    Do you think these have to have guar gum in them? I don’t have any on hand right now! And I want to make these! Thank you!

  15. Kirsten says:

    After reading all the reviews on how these “looked” good, I’m thinking, “Come on people, I want to know how these taste!” So I dove in and made a pan last night and they are quite delicioso!! It was 8pm and I didn’t have a pumpkin to roast but next time I’ll try that. One of the best parts about this cake is the frosting! It has just the right amount of salt to give it a salted caramel taste…so good! Even better, I don’t feel guilty giving it to my kids as part of their b-fast b/c it’s healthier than most b-fast pastries out there. Another thumbs up for the diva. :)

  16. Valerie says:

    My mouth is watering right now! I may just have to make a batch of these this weekend!

  17. Marla says:

    Sounds and looks delicious. Perfect for a healthy snack or when you have some friend or family over. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.
    Marla recently posted…Real Food Fridays #61 – Where Health Comes FirstMy Profile

  18. swathi says:

    Delicious love pumpkin bars, thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop. pinning.
    swathi recently posted…ThenkuzhalMy Profile

  19. These look absolutely scrumptious, Tessa! Can’t go wrong with pumpkin and caramel :)

  20. Christie says:

    These bars look so moist and delicious! I can’t wait to make them. Thanks for linking up with #FoodieFridays!

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My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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