These lightened up pumpkin chocolate chip oat bars are soft, sweet, gluten-free and perfect for an anytime healthy snack!
I use pumpkin ALL year long. It's not a fall thing in our house.
I believe in seasonality, sure, but I also believe in pumpkin. And I believe I can keep my pantry stocked with cans of it so I’m never without.
I cannot bring myself to throw away pumpkin, so I keep a list of all the things I have made and would like to make with pumpkin, along with how much each recipe calls for — 1 cup, ½ cup, etc.
These pumpkin chocolate chip bars are a favorite way to use up some extra pumpkin.
They're a delicious, healthy snack with oats, pumpkin, applesauce and chocolate chips. And just 1 tablespoon of butter for the whole batch.
They're easy, too - just mix the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients and put 'em together.
They are also gluten-free (be sure to use certified gluten-free oats) and can be vegan if you opt for oil and vegan chocolate chips. So everyone can enjoy these!
OK, let's get baking.
I've got a few quick recipe notes coming up below. Just tryin' to help.
If you want to go straight to the recipe, just scroll through the rest of the text. The recipe card is at the bottom of the post, just above the comments section.
Notes on pumpkin chocolate chip bars:
- Oat flour: You can make your own oat flour in just minutes. Measure a heaping 2 ½ cups of regular old fashioned rolled oats into a food processor or blender and pulse until the oats are ground into a flour-like consistency.
- Brown sugar: I use light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar would be fine here too.
- Spices: If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use 2 teaspoons cinnamon (instead of 1 teaspoon) and a pinch of nutmeg and cloves.
- Chocolate chips: I prefer the mini chocolate chips so they get more evenly divided in the bars and aren't a big chip to bite into.
One more thing, let's talk about how to store these.
- These bars, once cooled, can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
- They will store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (I like storing them in the fridge for the extended shelf life and also so they don't get too soft.)
These pumpkin chocolate chip bars are so good you can open a brand new can of pumpkin for them and find another way to use the extra.
And then you’ll be in an endless loop of having extra pumpkin to make more, more, more pumpkin things.
Welcome to my world. It’s a good place to be. 😉
So whether or not it's fall, aka the time for all things pumpkin, whip up a batch of these delicious snack bars soon and snack happy.
- 2 ½ cups oat flour (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (see notes)
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 heaping cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or sub canola oil)
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Mix the dry ingredients together (oat flour through chocolate chips) in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients - the pumpkin through oil or butter. Mix very well to make sure all the sugar dissolves.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir everything to combine. No worries about over-mixing here because there’s no flour/gluten to make the dough tough.
- Pour the whole thing into your baking pan. (Or most of it. There’s no egg here either so you can lick the spoon, lick the bowl, or if no one’s looking, plunge your face into the bowl!)
- Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, until done.
- Let cool for a little while in the pan before cutting into squares. Then dive in!
Oat flour: You can make your own oat flour in just minutes. Measure a heaping 2 ½ cups of regular old fashioned rolled oats into a food processor or blender and pulse until the oats are ground into a flour-like consistency.
Brown sugar: I use light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar would be fine here too.
Spices: If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use 2 teaspoons cinnamon (instead of 1 teaspoon) and a pinch of nutmeg and cloves.
Chocolate chips: I prefer the mini chocolate chips so they get more evenly divided in the bars and aren't a big chip to bite into.
Gluten-free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if you need this recipe to be gluten-free.
Vegan: Use canola oil and vegan mini chocolate chips if you need this recipe to be vegan friendly.
Storage: Once cooled, store the bars in a covered container at room temperature for up to 1-2 days. Or store in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. (I like keeping them in the fridge for the extended shelf life and so they don't get too soft.)
Serving Size:1 large square
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 5g
This nutrition information is for making 9 large square oat bars. You can also cut these into 12 rectangles or 16 smaller squares.