Vegan Pumpkin Bars are a delicious way to celebrate fall! The warm pumpkin-spice-flavored bars are topped with a silky smooth vegan cream cheese frosting. Serve up these delicious pumpkin bars for a weekday dessert, holiday party, or tasty 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.
These Vegan Pumpkin Bars are:
- 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.
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed, printable instructions.
Tips & Tricks for Vegan Pumpkin Bars
The Flax Eggs
Flax "eggs" are a popular trick for vegan baking. Mixing flax with water creates a thick consistency that resembles the texture of egg, and helps your baked good hold together.
But you have to allow the water and ground flax seed to set until they become the right texture. Don't rush through 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 (like this one).
You can halve this recipe if you don't want as many pumpkin bars. But if you do cut the recipe in half, just make sure to use a baking dish that is half the size, too.
Hand vs Stand Mixer
I recommend using a stand mixer for this recipe. The batter for these pumpkin bars is very thick and creamy, so it will be much easier to mix in the machine. Making sure your batter is well-mixed will give you a nice fluffy batter!
Of course, you can mix the batter by hand if you prefer - just be prepared to use some elbow grease.
Variations to Vegan Pumpkin Bars
Mix up the Frosting
Don't want to make vegan cream cheese frosting? No worries! You are welcome to use any flavor of frosting you want - cinnamon, pumpkin, or caramel would all be tasty.
This simple vegan buttercream frosting goes with pretty much everything. And the coconut frosting from this gingerbread cake would be a great choice too.
Or Skip the Frosting
Go ahead and skip the frosting altogether if you want to lighten up these pumpkin bars a bit! You could dust your bars with powdered sugar for a hint of sweetness, or just enjoy them plain.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
If you prefer, you can replace the spices in this recipe with 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice seasoning. Pumpkin spice has a similar flavor and you only have to buy one jar of spice.
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 pumpkin, spices, and sweeteners used for making pumpkin pie. You'll want to use plain pumpkin puree for this recipe - the only ingredient on the label should be pumpkin. I use this brand.
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 vegan 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. I prefer to freeze them without frosting and add the frosting fresh when I am ready to eat.
More Tasty Recipes
If you love these vegan pumpkin bars, be sure to check out these other vegan treats:
If you're here planning a meatless holiday menu, be sure to check out our new Vegan Thanksgiving and Vegan Christmas Cookbooks too!
Vegan Pumpkin Bars
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ⅔ cups sugar
- 1 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 15 oz pumpkin puree canned
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese softened at room temperature
- ½ cup vegan margarine
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 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.
What Do You Think?