Vegan Pumpkin Bars are a delicious way to celebrate fall! Indulge in a warm pumpkin-spice-flavored bar topped with a silky smooth vegan cream cheese frosting. Slice and serve up these delicious pumpkin bars for a weekday dessert, holiday party, or gift to a loved one.
No one will ever know that this is a vegan dessert! These cake-like pumpkin bars truly melt in your mouth with each bite.
This Vegan Pumpkin Bars recipe is...
- Easy to make
- Fluffy and moist
- Frosted with creamy frosting
If you love vegan cooking, make sure you grab a copy of my free vegan cheat sheet while you’re here. It’s packed with all my favorite plant-based substitutions to help you vegan-ize any recipe!
How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Bars
- Preheat your oven and prep your baking dish.
- In a small bowl, mix water with flax seed and let it sit to make flax eggs.
- Beat the flax egg with sugar in a stand mixer. Add in coconut oil.
- Now add in the pumpkin puree.
- Sift your dry ingredients and mix in slowly to form the batter.
- Pour batter into the baking pan, and bake as directed.
- Whip up the frosting and spread on the cooled pumpkin bars.
- Slice and serve.
Tips & Tricks for Vegan Pumpkin Bars
Mixing flax with water creates a thick consistency that replaces the egg in the recipe. But you have to allow the water and flax to set until they become the right texture. Don't skip this step, or your bars will not turn out properly.
For this pumpkin bar recipe I used a 12 x 16 rimmed baking pan (also known as a jelly roll pan). This recipe makes a good amount of pumpkin bars, but you can half the recipe if you don't want as many. If you half the recipe, just make sure to use a baking dish that is half the size, too.
Hand vs Stand Mixer
I recommend using a hand or stand mixer for this recipe. You will want to really work the ingredients together until they're fully incorporated. Making sure your batter is well-mixed will give you a nice fluffy batter.
Variations to Vegan Pumpkin Bars
Don't want to make vegan cream cheese frosting? No worries! You are welcome to use any flavor of frosting you want—cinnamon, pumpkin, caramel, etc.
Skip the Frosting
Go ahead and skip the frosting altogether if you want! You could dust your bars with powdered sugar for a hint of sweetness or just enjoy them plain.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Replace the spices in this recipe with 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice seasoning if you want. Pumpkin spice has a similar flavor and will give you a nice fall flavor in each bite!
Vegan Pumpkin Bar FAQs
Are pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie mix the same thing?
Pumpkin puree is simply pureed pumpkin. But pumpkin pie mix is a mixture of ingredients used for making pumpkin pie. There is usually pumpkin puree in pumpkin pie mix, but you'll want to use plain pumpkin puree for this recipe.
Why sift the dry ingredients?
I recommend sifting your dry ingredients. This will lighten up the batter and give your pumpkin spice bars a nice fluffy consistency when baked. If you don't sift your dry ingredients, your pumpkin bars can become dense and heavy.
How should I store leftovers?
Store any leftover bars in the fridge for up to 4–5 days. The bars will dry out as they sit in the fridge, but they won't lose their tasty flavor. The bars need refrigeration because of their cream cheese frosting or they will spoil.
Can you freeze pumpkin bars?
You can store any bars you don't plan to eat right away in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just make sure to freeze them in an airtight freezer friendly container. Then thaw your bars in the fridge when you want to eat them again.
Vegan Pumpkin Bars
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax seed and water. Allow to rest for at least five minutes to thicken. These are your “flax eggs.”
- Beat the “flax eggs” and sugar together in a stand mixer. Slowly add the coconut oil and mix to combine.
- Add the pumpkin puree and beat until light and fluffy.
- Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt) together in a separate bowl.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until a fluffy batter is formed.
- Pour batter into a 12x16 rimmed baking pan (or jelly roll pan). Bake for 20 minutes.
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream together the vegan cream cheese, vegan margarine, vanilla extract, and maple syrup until smooth. (This is best done in a stand mixer.)
- Slowly add in one cup of powdered sugar at a time, whisking until combined.
- Continue mixing on high until the frosting is nice and fluffy.
- Allow the pumpkin bars to cool completely, then top with a layer of vegan cream cheese frosting.