If you’re searching for a healthier, easy twist on Pumpkin Pie, check out these Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars! The bottom crust and crumb topping are made of the same mixture, with oats and pecans on top for a texture lovers dream. In between is a simple pumpkin pie filling. You’ll love eating a Pumpkin Pie-like dessert, without having to actually make pie!
What’s your favorite kind of pie?
Mine used to be NO pie. Ha! I just always thought gluten-free pie crust was such a pain to make. I never loved pie enough. It just wasn’t worth it for me.
But, over the years gluten-free flour blends have gotten a lot better. Which, in turn, means gluten-free pie crust is easier to work with (as long as you have the right recipe!). Now, I’ve come to love Pecan Pie and my crust recipe. I still don’t want pie every holiday though.
Yikes! Unpopular opinion? My family growing up never loved pie. We usually had something else as a dessert. Or, my Mom would make an obligatory pie that we barely ate. Like, the classic Pumpkin Pie.
The problem with Pumpkin Pie, for me, is the texture. I’m always looking for something a little extra to go with Pumpkin Pie. Some nuts, chocolate… something to give it a little oomph.
I was thinking of a pumpkin-pie-type of dessert to share this Fall. And thought, what about a crumble on top? Which reminded me of the Strawberry Crumb Bars I made this Summer that I loved.
I mashed together the Crumb Bars and Pumpkin Pie, to create these Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars. They’re lightly sweet, with pumpkin pie spices, and taste just like Thanksgiving.
The bottom crust and crumb topping are made of the same mixture, filled with oats for a great texture. The middle layer is a simple pumpkin pie filling, sweetened with either brown sugar or maple syrup.
These bars are pretty quick and easy to make, and are a texture lovers dream! If you’re looking to make something traditional BUT with a twist, these are it.
Let’s chat about layers for these bars.
These Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars are made up of three layers. And the base and crumble topping of these bars are the same… with the exception of pecans:
- Crumb crust
- Pumpkin pie filling
- Crumb crust topping, with pecans added!
First, you’ll make the crumb crust/topping. You’ll take about 2/3 of that mixture and press it into the bottom or your pan in a thin, even layer. You’ll bake that layer for 10 minutes, to get a crust that’s not mushy later.
Then, you’ll add some pecans to the rest of the crumb mixture that’s left, to sprinkle across the top of the bars. This helps give the bars extra texture, without compromising on a solid base. Still giving you the ease of one mixture and bars that hold together very well.
You can add 1/2-1 cup of pecans. If you don’t mind the high calories of pecans, go ahead and add the whole cup.
BUT in between those two layers is the pumpkin pie filling layer. It’s super simple. Both the crust/crumb mixture and pumpkin pie filling are each made in only one bowl! The less dishes the better. 🙂
There’s a few different ways to make these bars.
To make these Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars gluten-free, be sure to use a gluten-free all purpose flour and certified gluten-free rolled oats.
I would not recommend any other types of flour (other than regular white flour) or quick-cooking oats.
To make these bars dairy-free, be sure to use coconut oil or a dairy-free butter alternative, and coconut milk.
These bars can be made healthier with almond butter, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and coconut milk. A COUPLE TIPS: Use almond butter that’s more drippy/oily and not too thick. Also make sure you stir your coconut milk together well, prior to using a 1/2 cup of it for the filling.
Or, you can make them with all the butter, brown sugar, and whole milk. It’s up to you and the dietary needs of your family and/or friends.
Lastly, want to make these a little extra sweet? I recommend melting some chocolate with a touch of oil and doing a little chocolate drizzle across the top. These are also heavenly served with some ice cream (think vanilla, butter pecan, etc)!
These Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars are a great modern dessert for Thanksgiving, or a fun Fall treat. Filled with classic pumpkin pie flavor, with more texture and healthier options. You’ll love these bars!
And, after you make them, let me know what you think. Find me and tag me in a pic on Instagram or comment below. I love hearing from you all!
And while you’re here, check out some of my other favorite Fall recipes, like my Pumpkin Coffee Cake, Double Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Muffins, Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies, and Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies.
- 1/4 cup butter, melted (coconut oil or dairy-free butter alternative)
- 1/4 cup drippy almond butter (or more butter)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (or regular flour)
- 1 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2-1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (or whole milk)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (or 1/4 cup maple syrup)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 and line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.
To a large mixing bowl, add your butter and almond butter and whisk them together till smooth. Add your brown sugar, vanilla and egg and lightly mix them in. Then, to the same bowl, add your flour, oats, baking powder and salt and stir everything together. It will be a very crumbly mixture.
Add 2/3 of your mixture to your pan (about 2 cups) and press it into a thin, even layer across the bottom of the pan. Bake the bottom crust for 10 minutes. While it's baking, make your filling.
To a large mixing bowl, add all of your filling ingredients (pumpkin puree, coconut milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and egg) and whisk them together.
After your bottom crust has baked, pour your filling into the pan and gently spread it around to create one even filling layer.
You should have 1/3 of your crust mixture left. Add 1/2 cup of pecans to the mixture and stir them together, till well combined. Add another 1/2 cup of pecans, if you would prefer more. Then sprinkle across the top of your pumpkin pie filling.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out mostly clean.
Let cool for at least one hour. Then slice, serve, and devour!
These bars taste best within the first 2-3 days of baking them.
Hi! How do you recommend storing these if made a few days ahead.
Chelsea Green says
Hi Selena. I’d say cover them and store them in the fridge. Slice them up just prior to serving them. I hope this helps!