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.

pumpkin bars in rows on marble slab


 

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! 😉

Table of Contents

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, gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes 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

overhead shot of ingredients needed to make gluten-free pumpkin bars

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, gluten-free pumpkin chocolate chip bread and gluten-free pumpkin cake.

Make the Cake

dry ingredients whisked together
  • 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.

pumpkin and wet ingredients mixed together in glass measuring cup
  • In a seperate bowl or measuring cup combine the pumpkin, milk and vanilla extract, then whisk together until smooth.
step by step photos of how to mix together pumpkin bar batter
  • 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.
batter spread into baking pan

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

You also might like this full collection of gluten-free thanksgiving recipes.

gluten free pumpkin bar on white plate with fork

Storage

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!

pumpkin bars in rows on marble slab
4.99 from 88 votes

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 36 slices
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!

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 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

Other:

  • 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

Instructions 

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.

Notes

Storage/Serving: These are best stored in the refrigerator. You can take them out a few minutes before serving, but I prefer to eat them slightly cold!
Dairy-free? These pumpkin bars can be made dairy-free if you use almond milk in place of the milk. For the frosting use Earth Balance buttery sticks and Kite Hill Almond milk cream cheese.
What kind of pan? 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 186IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have yet to make these, but if they are anything like your other GF recipes, they will be amazing. I just wanted to share that every time I look for a GF recipe, without fail, I always end up at your site. Not sure why I even bother to check other sites! Thanks for putting these recipes out there for all of us. I am definitely not the kind of cook/baker that would just experiment with a recipe, and am grateful for those who do!

  2. 5 stars
    Don’t usually rate, but this was so easy to make and a big hit with my family. Only change I made was used half the sugar in the bar and only 2cups powdered sugar in icing! they were just the right amount sweet this way!!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

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