Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars

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gingerbreadpumpkinbars 4023   Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars

Normally, we have our Christmas tree up by December 1st, but this year we totally dropped the bulb.

It really doesn’t surprise me because I’ve been about 2 months behind throughout the course of 2013. The holidays only serve to enhance this feeling. I’ve still been so busy with book work, despite prematurely thinking that it was finished (hint: it never ends). So, here we are mid-December and there is no tree up yet.

Side note: I still can’t believe I made an advent calendar from scratch last year. Where is that girl? I have no idea where that thing is either….Eric probably got rid of it. If you read the advent calendar post you’ll notice I said these words: “[it’s] a fun advent calendar that can be reused for many years to come…Maybe some day a child of our own will be using this each year.”

hil-arious.

Anyway, back to the tree. The main reason we don’t have a tree is because our tree stand is stored at my brother-in-laws (along with other boxes of junk until we move into a house…bless you, Dave), and we haven’t picked it up. Or should I say, someone went to pick it up (along with our decorations), but the tree stand wasn’t in the box when that someone got home. Oops. The good news is we do have 15 nutcrackers to stare us down while watching TV. Not creepy at all. 

Now we’re at that awkward point in December when we I ask if we even bother to put up a tree this year.

Our convo went a little something like this:

Me – Is it too late to get a tree? Should we even bother this year? [said while feeling lazy and pms-y]

Eric – Ange. We’re GETTING a tree. Don’t be a scrooge! [said while blasting Christmas music at his desk]

Me – Oh no you didn’t! I AM NOT A SCROOGE!

So, it’s settled. We’re getting a tree.

squee!

I’m going to pick the biggest one I can find, just to prove a point. Who needs photography space anyway? I’d rather be a Griswold.

I guess we better make this tree thing happen before the snow arrives tomorrow. I’ll try to take a couple pictures of the tree (that is, before Sketchie knocks down all the bulbs and covers the branches with tiny wisps of tinsel-like fur).

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veganpumpkinbars   Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars

Speaking of running 2 months behind, I have a pumpkin recipe for you today! Is it too late?

Probably, but I never really had a solid run with pumpkin this year. Even if many of you are sick of pumpkin by now, you might be happy to know that the pumpkin flavour is barely detectable in these bars, despite having a whole cup of pumpkin puree in the recipe. Yes, that’s a whole cup of vegetables in a holiday snack bar recipe. Who can argue with vegetables over the holidays?

In addition to the hefty amount of pumpkin these bars pack in, there’s also a good amount of iron and other minerals. Over 5 tablespoons of iron-packed blackstrap molasses make these bars ultra-dense and gingerbread-like while providing a healthy dose of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and more. The bars aren’t super sweet, which is why I decided they were better described as a “snack bar” rather than a dessert bar. They are also nice with a cup of tea at night while snuggling on the couch in total hibernation mode.

I added a creamy cashew butter maple cinnamon glaze on top in lieu of an icing sugar glaze. You can also try spreading them with pumpkin butter to enhance the flavours, or they are great plain too. I also recommend throwing a couple bars in your purse (skip the sticky glaze though) as an emergency-holiday-shopping-snack. I don’t know about you, but I think going to the mall in December without a snack in my purse is dangerous. Holiday shopping is cardio and cardio needs fuel! Thanks to the bars being so sturdy, they hold together wonderfully so you don’t have to worry about them breaking apart or getting crushed in your purse. Dainty little flowers, they are not.

gingerbreadpumpkinbars 4025   Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars

Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars

Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free

By

4 from 3 reviews
print icon   Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Bars

These lightly sweet pumpkin gingerbread snack bars are dense, chewy, and filling! Try them topped with my creamy cashew butter maple cinnamon glaze, or enjoy them plain or spread with pumpkin butter. This recipe is adapted from Have Cake Will Travel.

Yield
10-12 bars
Prep Time
Cook time
Total Time

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients:
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or granulated sugar of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Dry ingredients:
  • 1 + 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Pamela's brand, see note)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • heaping 1/3 cup dried cranberries.
Cashew Butter Maple Glaze (optional):
  • 2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • pinch of cinnamon, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
  2. In a medium pot over medium heat, stir together the pumpkin, molasses, sugar, and oil. Heat until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. In a blender or food processor, add the rolled oats. Blend on the lowest speed (or pulse, if using a processor) until roughly chopped. You don't want to pulverize it into a flour - the goal here is to keep a coarse texture, with some large pieces of oats and some smaller ones.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (oats, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cranberries).
  5. Scoop the wet ingredients over the dry and stir well until combined. The mixture will be very sticky and heavy. Totally normal...swear.
  6. Scoop the dough into the prepared square pan. Since the dough is so sticky and dense, it's challenging to spread out smoothly. I placed a piece of parchment paper on top of the dough and pressed down on it with my hands, trying to spread it out evenly as I went. It takes a bit of time, so don't worry! After pressing it as smoothly as I could, I placed a pastry roller on top of the parchment and rolled it smooth while pressing in the edges with my fingers.
  7. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 22-25 minutes (I baked 23) until firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before lifting out the square and cooling it on a cooling rack for another 30 minutes. Slice into 10-12 bars.
  8. For the glaze (optional): In a small bowl stir together all the glaze ingredients until combined. Add the glaze into a plastic bag and snip off the corner so you can "pipe" it on the bars. Or simply spread the bars with the cashew mixture using a knife. Your call.

Note: If you aren't using gluten-free all-purpose flour, I suggest using all-purpose flour or light spelt flour. Whole wheat pastry flour might work too. If you try anything, please let us know in the comments how it went! 2) Feel free to swap the cashew butter glaze for a simple icing sugar glaze. 3) For a nut-free option, skip the cashew butter glaze.

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Congrats to Jenna K. for winning the Vitamix!! Thank you to everyone for participating. Many more giveaways to come this month!

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{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

Keri December 13, 2013

Since I was craving a pumpkin pie smoothie for breakfast, this mama is excited for more pumpkin recipes! I think pumpkin season should be from late October to New Years! Can’t wait to try this recipe :)

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Emily - It Comes Naturally Blog December 13, 2013

Oh wow – they look amazing – I’m sure they would make a great Christmas gift :-)

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Elizabeth hippy mom December 13, 2013

So i can’t wait to make these bars, and some other Vegan cacao Christmas treats , I love the holidays so much its kind of scary, oh well Happy Holidays!!! Love your recipes and i must pick up oats today so i can start back on green drink, your oat recipe, my arsenal supply of whole food supplements , my herbs , and whatever else healthy I can push thru my body. Im going for a jog now. Have rockin day Angela.:)

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Elizabeth hippy mom December 15, 2013

Its hippy mom to bad you didn’t decorate your place so obsessively Christmas that you used it in your shoots, example i would have love to see one of your recipes nestled in a Christmas shoots such as a pie you made, but a tree behind it and maybe some Christmas lights draped over the food if lights shoot well i don’t no just sayin hope you get it. Your a smart lady i no you do.have a great day

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Corinne December 13, 2013

I don’t have a tree up either yet… I appreciate the reminder– something I must do today! These bars look like the perfect thing to make this wintery weekend.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 13, 2013

Glad I’m not alone. Yes, my goal is to have it up by tonight! enjoy :)

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan December 13, 2013

Never too late for pumpkin or a tree! I can understand the “Um is it even worth it?” feeling but after it’s up it seems like it just adds that Christmas feeling : )

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Averie @ Averie Cooks December 13, 2013

I love how DENSE and thick and flat and just amazing these look, Angela! The fact that there’s plenty of bold molasses flavor, and some pumpkin, and coconut oil, and all that texture, I am in heaven! pinned

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Abby @ Change of Pace December 13, 2013

My goodness they look amazing! And if mine could ever come out as beautifully as your bars, they’d make a great gift! Or at least a great dessert at the family potluck!
We haven’t put our tree up (or any decorations for that matter) yet either. I’m thinking we will on Sunday!

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Christine @ Gotta Eat Green December 13, 2013

It’s never too late for a pumpkin recipe! These look super tasty. And I love the Cashew Butter Maple Glaze. mmm I can think of so many recipes that would be good on!

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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh December 13, 2013

It’s NEVER too late for pumpkin! (Plus you paired it with gingerbread so you know, there’s the Christmas save.) ;-)

Now…go get that tree girl!!! :D

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Leanne December 13, 2013

I am assuming that these would work with regular flour or a mix of coconut flour and regular all purpose? These look amazing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 13, 2013

Hi Leanne, Yes I think a variety of flours would work! See my recipe note.

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Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl December 13, 2013

Yum…. these look so delicious and I’ve been on a major gingerbread kick! I agree with Eric, you HAVE to have a tree at Christmas! ;)

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suzanne December 13, 2013

oh my..this recipe is right up my alley -(and I love the look of the label you put on) I am still loving pumpkin (drinking pumpkin smoothie now :-) and the gingerbread makes it so Christmasy (makes it easy to justify the pumpkin in December…as if it needs to be justified!)

As for the tree…we are doing ours tomorrow – we are all decorated but my family is coming 1/11 to celebrate together so I need the tree to last! It was refreshing reading this post bc I am feeling very behind and scattered – nice to know I am not alone!

Thanks Angela

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 13, 2013

Good call on waiting to put the tree up…it’s always nice when it’s not dry as a bone for the company :) And no, you are certainly not alone in feeling scattered!

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suzanne December 13, 2013

oh- one question – do you think these would be ok without the cranberries? My kids will not eat them with dried fruit in them – (maybe I could chop them up really tiny) – though it sounds heavenly to me!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 13, 2013

The cranberries are really nice in these, but yes they should work just fine without!

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suzanne December 14, 2013

Thanks so much!

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kmaywatson December 13, 2013

Well, I just roasted 3 sweet pumpkins and was wondering what to do with all that puree! THANKS…looking forward to this {^_^}

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 13, 2013

Hope you enjoy!

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Lillian @ Seize the Latte December 13, 2013

Oh my, the combination of pumpkin and molasses is one of my all-time faves. I never get sick of it, so you need not worry about the two-month lag time — I’d gladly house a whole batch of these in one sitting.

I appreciate the Griswold reference too — my husband’s office had a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-themed holiday party yesterday, and since things tend to be pretty dysfunctional in his office, I told him he should’ve made a banner reading “Look around us, Helen! We’re at the threshhold of hell!” to hang over the entrance. Surprisingly, this didn’t happen — but he appreciated the idea. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 13, 2013

hahah that would have been classic. Love the theme!

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Hannah December 13, 2013

I love that this festive snack bar is mostly nut-free. I don’t have an insensitivity, but I eat soooo many nuts in various snacks/smoothies/milks/etc, this sounds like a nice change :-) I dig the idea of pumpkin AND gingerbread flavors together…can’t wait to try these out!

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Lina December 13, 2013

I have ALL these ingredients at home! Perfect Bar to make for our upcoming road trip to South Florida for Christmas.. :) Thanks Angela :) :) :)

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Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables December 13, 2013

Never too late for pumpkin if it’s deliciously delivered! This recipe looks fantastic :)

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Chelsea @ BigBitesLittleBudget December 13, 2013

I am still in love with pumpkin and wish the season would last all year long. These bars look so simple and tasty! Homemade chewy bars are my favorite. I will be trying these for easy grab-n-go snacks during the week.

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sonia the mexigarian December 13, 2013

we just got our tree last night. my older sis is cutting her tree down this weekend. it’s not too late! I remember one year, when I was like 5, we got our tree on Christmas eve. we got it for free from one of the lots. :)

the recipe sounds delicious. I have been enjoying molasses a lot lately, but also wanted to incorporate ginger. perfect! you are a culinary genius :)

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Coco Beau December 13, 2013

Oh my, these look so great! I love pumpkin & I love gingerbread but I never thought of putting them together. Definitely will have to try this recipe out

xoxo

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Hilliary@Brunch&Cupcakes December 13, 2013

These look fabulous! Happy Friday!

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Anna @ Fitness à la Anna December 13, 2013

It is never too late for pumpkin, in my opinion ;) I am having my annual roommate Christmas dinner extravaganza this weekend, I’m thinking of testing these out!

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Amanda December 13, 2013

Yum! I am going to make these and bring them on long runs. Those artificial energy gels only go so far… These bars would be perfect chopped up into bites and put in a little baggy. Thank you!

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lea December 13, 2013

So you find
You are a couple of months behind
The have a very Merry
February!!!

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Annamarie Behring December 13, 2013

In some families, it is traditional to put the tree up on Christmas Eve. So, if you think of it that way, you are early!

Thanks for the wonderful recipe :-)

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Leanne December 13, 2013

Made these first thing this morning! I used 1/2 cup regular all purpose flour and 1/4 cup coconut flour. I also added 1 T of chia seeds and 1 T of cocoa nibs. They turned out great! The evidence being that husband and kids ate them and didn’t say anything other than yum! I am thinking I will make some of these up for a vegan friend for a Christmas gift. I am also toying with the idea of making these with sweet potato instead of pumpkin. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Elyse @myveganp December 13, 2013

Love the convergence of Fall and Winter in the ingredients! Sounds like an awesome treat for munching on in a snow storm! :)

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@simple green moms December 13, 2013

These looks super yummy! Definitely have to try making them over the weekend. Thanks for sharing =)

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nikita December 13, 2013

Just made these. It was really good. added some chopped nuts and increased the spice amounts. Forgot to add vanilla. They still turned out great.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 14, 2013

Glad to hear that Nikita!

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Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate December 13, 2013

I finished my pumpkin obsession early this year so I am ready to jump back on the bandwagon! Hopefully you get your tree before it snows!

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Ashley December 13, 2013

Ha, I just got my tree today, same story – except it was me dragging my husband out of the house and calling HIM Scrooge.

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Wendy Irene December 13, 2013

Happy Christmas Tree hunting!!

“Looks great. Little full, lot of sap.” ~ National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

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Alex @ Kenzie Life December 13, 2013

I get tired of all the pumpkin around Halloween so this is actually a nice change of pace! They look great!

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Brittany December 13, 2013

These look delicious Ange. Definitely putting them on my to-make list!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 13, 2013

Is it EVER too late for pumpkin? Not in my books it’s not! These look delicious. I totally remember your advent calendar from last year – it was gorgeous! Good luck finding your great big tree before the snow comes. I guess you could say I’m being a bit of a scrooge by not putting mine up, but that’s because I’m not going to be here so I really don’t see much point! Christmas carols however, have been playing in full force! :)

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Melinda @ Love Melinda December 13, 2013

Never too late for pumpkin! These sound delish!
Our tree is up but I’m totally punting on the decorating, except for the lights. :)

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Tiffany December 13, 2013

This is on my list for sure!!! Do you think oat flour would work in place of the gf all purpose flour?

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Amy December 13, 2013

Should there be something mapley in the cashew butter topping? It is called cashew maple glaze but the ingredients list only agave…?

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LeeAnn December 14, 2013

I was wondering about that too.

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Christine December 13, 2013

These look delicious! I don’t have coconut oil in the pantry right now, do you think they would taste ok with another type of oil?

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