These gluten-free pumpkin bars feature a soft, spiced pumpkin sheet cake topped with a fluffy cream cheese frosting. They make the perfect gluten-free fall dessert!
From the type of gluten-free flour to use to dairy-free substitutes, this post has all the tips and tricks you’ll need to make gluten-free pumpkin bars. They turn out soft, but sturdy and are loaded with pumpkin spice flavor.
These gluten-free pumpkin bars are everything I love about fall. They’re soft, spiced and topped with a pillowy layer of cream cheese frosting. This is an easy recipe that’s full of fall flavor – you’ll want to make it all season!
I also love these pumpkin bars because they’re great to make for a crowd. One sheet pan can be sliced and served up for any fall/holiday gathering. Be warned they disappear fast! 😉
VIDEO: How to Make Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars
It’s hard to pick just one favorite gluten-free pumpkin dessert! For more gluten-free pumpkin recipes, try this gluten-free pumpkin roll or gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake.
From gluten-free pumpkin donuts and gluten-free pumpkin muffins to the perfect gluten-free pumpkin pie (with a homemade gf pie crust!) there is no shortage of recipes for pumpkin season on this blog. Check out my whole collection of gluten-free pumpkin recipes here.
Ingredients You’ll Need
These pumpkin bars are made with easy-to-find pantry staples. Here are a few more notes on the key ingredients. If you have any additional questions feel free to leave me a comment below!
- Gluten-free 1:1 Baking Flour: I like to use a high quality gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend like King Arthur Flour in my baked goods. Look for a blend that contains xanthan gum for best results. These pumpkin bars will not turn out with almond flour or coconut flour as a substitute.
- Canned Pumpkin: You’ll use the whole 15oz can of pumpkin for this recipe! Be sure to select 100% pumpkin puree rather than canned pumpkin pie filling.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: For that classic pumpkin flavor! You can swap in 2 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice for the individual spices if you have it on hand.
- Oil: Use any kind of oil you like! I usually use vegetable oil or coconut oil.
- Sugar: White cane sugar and brown sugar help with the consistency of the batter and the structure of the final cake. Unfortunately maple syrup or coconut sugar won’t work in this recipe.
You might also like these recipes for gluten-free pumpkin bread and gluten-free pumpkin cake.
Make the Cake
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
Tip: Set out your butter/cream cheese when you start making the cake so they can be at room temperature when it’s time to make the frosting.
- In a seperate bowl or measuring cup combine the pumpkin, milk and vanilla extract, then whisk together until smooth.
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix on medium high for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy and pale in color.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the oil. Mix until combined.
- With the mixer running on low, add 1/2 of the the dry ingredient mixture. Mix until combined then add 1/2 of the pumpkin mixture.
- Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Scrap the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed together.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread out into an even layer using an offset spatula. Bake at 375F for about 25-30 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when pressed lightly. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
What Pan to Use for Pumpkin Bars
It’s best to use a 10x15x1 inch jelly roll pan for pumpkin bars. If you don’t have a jelly roll pan, you can also use a 9×13 pan. The bars will need to bake for an additional 5 minutes and will be slightly thicker.
Dairy-Free Pumpkin Bars
Dairy-free option? These pumpkin bars can be made dairy-free with a few substitutions. Here are my favorite dairy-free substitutions.
- Almond Milk – in place of milk
- Earth Balance Buttery Sticks – or vegan butter of choice in place of butter
- Kite Hill Almond Cream Cheese – in place of cream cheese
It’s best to chill these bars for 30 minutes before slicing. These gluten-free pumpkin squares should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can take them out a few minutes before serving, but I prefer to eat them slightly cold!
More Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes
Happy Baking! If you try this recipe be sure to leave me a comment and star rating below. I’d love to hear from you!
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour 230g
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 15 oz pumpkin puree one small can
- 1/4 cup milk 62 grams (or almond milk)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup white sugar 160 grams
- 1/2 cup brown sugar 110 grams
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil 130 grams
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar 340 grams
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Make the Pumpkin Bars:
- Preheat oven to 375F and generously grease a 10x15x1 inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray. (PS – This is a good time to set out your butter/cream cheese for the frosting so it's at room temperature when you need it!)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup, combine the pumpkin, milk and vanilla extract, then whisk together until smooth.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix on medium high for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy and pale in color. With the mixer running on low, slowly drizzle in the oil. Mix until combined.
- With the mixer running on low, add 1/2 of the the dry ingredient mixture. Mix until combined then add 1/2 of the pumpkin mixture. Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Scrap the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is mixed together.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread out into an even layer using an offset spatula. Bake at 375F for about 25-30 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when pressed lightly. Cool completely before frosting.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Using a hand or stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Beat on low then switch to high for about three minutes or until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then mix for another 30 seconds or so.
- Smooth the frosting over the cooled pumpkin bars. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Ooooooh YES!! Didn’t turn out gummy like alot of my gluten free attempts. Lol These were beautifully dense and SO moist!! WARNING!!Dont try “just one” before you take these to your next potluck, or you’ll end up having to mix up another batch! Yes folks they’re THAT good, you cannot possibly eat just one!!
These were the best cakes (even including those with gluten!) we’ve ever had. The texture was perfection. Flavorful. Easy. This is our family favorite for sure.
The pumpkin bars were outstanding! I didn’t have cloves or ginger. I did have nutmeg but omitted it and used pumpkin spice instead of three individual spices. Love your cooking and baking tips, product recommendations and recipes.
Can you double the recipe and freeze the 2nd set?
Yes! That will work great. It’s better to freeze the pumpkin bars without the frosting – but either way will work!
Made these for thanksgiving instead of pie. Easy! So delicious! Could not tell they were GF. Moist and the frosting is out of this world!
Hi. I am wondering how long these stay good for and are they freezable with or without the frosting?
These pumpkin bars actually stay good longer than other gluten-free baked goods! They are good in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For best results freeze the pumpkin bars without the frosting- but it will work if you need to freeze them with the frosting too.
Can you use 1 1/2 cups of almond flour instead of the 1 1/2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour?
Unfortunately that won’t work! Almond flour and gluten-free 1:1 baking flour have very different properties.
Made this for dessert! It was a total hit!!The best part no one knew it was Gluten free! Yummo!!
Hooray! I’m so glad they turned out for you 🙂
Such a wonderful recipe- great job.
I played with it just because that’s what I do subbed 1/4 coconut flour. Then icing isn’t needed in my opinion but I only used 1.5 cups confectioners sugar and added touch of lemon juice.
I also on another played with 1/2 regular flour and 1/2 gluten it works – but not needed. None of the above needed though. This recipe is a favorite of mine and you did awesome job.
Great to know the recipe worked well for you with those additions! Thanks for the comment!
This recipe is fantastic! I live in Japan and made this recipe for my coworkers and English club for Halloween. Everyone was very surprised by the flavor and excited to try American food. I made a half batch because that’s all that can fit in my biggest pan that fits in my toaster oven (don’t have real ovens here). It also makes me really happy to have a taste of home despite being far away.
Aww that makes me so happy to hear! I’m so glad they were a little taste of home for you. And that your coworkers enjoyed them too!
The family raved about these bars. I had to pass the recipe on to my son’s GF. Light, soft, moist cake. I used up some cream cheese icing I had in the fridge.
Hooray! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed them. Thanks for the comment!
Made these over the weekend. I was preoccupied and multitasking and I screwed up the recipe, I combined the eggs, milk, vanilla, oil, and sugars instead of following the written recipe. I was hoping it would be okay anyway because of the leavener in the dry ingredients, and they were! Absolutely delicious. Thank you.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for the comment 🙂
Made you pumpkin bars the other day. My granddaughter has Celiac. I wish you could of seen how her eyes lit up and the huge smile on her face when she bit into it and said oh grandma these are the best gluten free baked things you have ever made. She kept exclaiming on how soft and not dry they were. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. Can’t wait to try these soft gingerbread cookies and your other recipes. Finally gluten free baking at it’s very best.
I’m so glad you liked the recipe! That is so sweet you made them for your granddaughter 🙂 That makes me happy to hear!
They were so delicious! But I took them out 5 minutes early as the consistency was like a brownie. My friends and family loved them. And who doesn’t like cream cheese icing I wonder…
One thing, I would like to reduce the sugar for the bars. Any advice?
Typically it’s recommended to only reduce sugar by 1/4th because any more than that and it’s going to affect the recipe. A recipe that calls for 1 cup of sugar would be reduced to 3/4 Cup.
You can always try more and see if it works out.
If I could give this recipe more stars I would. Great flavor and texture. Just the right spices to create the perfect pumpkin flavor. Definitely a recipe to keep and make again and again!
I’ve made these multiple times now! They are my favorite gluten-free treat recipe I’ve found so far! I used Trader Joe’s all-purpose gluten-free flour and it worked really well.
I’m so glad the pumpkin bars turned out for you! Great to know they worked well with that flour 🙂