You can quickly stir together this Healthy Pumpkin Bars recipe (with oatmeal and low added sugar) for breakfast, snack time, or even dessert. The method is so quick and easy and the result is moist and full of pumpkin goodness. Win, win!

sliced pumpkin bars on cutting boardPumpkin Bars

I love baking with pumpkin in the fall and winter (or anytime I just need a house full of happy smells!) and this recipe is a great way transform a can of pumpkin puree into a delicious breakfast or snack. The bars are super moist, so are easy for little ones to chew, and they are flavorful enough for us grownups too.

These healthy pumpkin bars have more oats than flour for lots of whole grain goodness (and fiber!), a whole cup of pumpkin puree for flavor and Vitamin A, and low added sugar so they aren’t overly sweet.

Because of the nutrition profile, we have them for breakfast, snack, or dessert depending on your preference. But the overall result is moist pumpkin bars that totally satisfy.

TIP: You can use dried fruit, finely chopped nuts, or chocolate chips to add flavor to these bars.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

The rolled oats in this recipe add a nice dose of complex carbohydrates, which we all need for energy, and they help to keep the batter moist and almost impossible to over-bake.

Rolled oats take longer to digest than processed flour, which makes these bars a good source of balanced energy.

ingredients in pumpkin barsIngredients You Need

To make these bars you’ll need:

TIP: Be sure to use plain pumpkin puree, not pie filling.

how to make pumpkin bars step by step

Step-by-Step Instrutions

Here’s a look at the process involved in making this recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl. (photo 1)
  2. Stir together. (photo 2)
  3. Place batter into prepared and smooth with a spatula. (photo 3)
  4. Bake until lightly golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out cleanly. (photo 4)

TIP: You’ll want to let the pan cool completely before you slice the bars as the bars are tender when warm out of the oven.

Can I make these pumpkin bars ahead of time?

Yes! Just let cool and slice, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5. Serve cold or warm briefly in the microwave. You can also store in the freezer for up 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.

What type of pumpkin is best for these bars?

Choose canned pumpkin puree, either canned or regular, from the baking aisle of your supermarket. If you happened to have homemade pumpkin puree that was the same thickness and consistency to canned, that would work too.

pumpkin bars on kids plate

Best Tips for Success

  • Let cool and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5. Serve cold or warm briefly in the microwave. You can also store in the freezer for up 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free oats and a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Dairy-free: Use diary-free chocolate chips.
  • Egg-free: Grind the oats in a food processor or blender before you add them to the batter to create more of a flour-like consistency or use purchased oat flour. And omit the eggs and add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds and ¼ cup milk.
  • You can omit the flaxseed if you don’t have it. Just be sure to let it cool fully as it will be a little more tender.
  • Allow to cool fully before slicing.
  • Cut into smaller pieces for your child if needed.
  • To make these with less added sugar for younger toddlers, use unsweetened dried fruit (such as raisins) instead of chocolate chips.
  • Top with nut butter, cream cheese, or apple butter if desired.
  • You may also like Breakfast Bars with Jam, 3-Ingredient Cereal Bars, and Soft-Baked Granola Bars.

I’d love to know what you think about this recipe, so please comment below to share!

sliced pumpkin bars on cutting board

Healthy Pumpkin Bars Recipe

These bars are tender when warm out of the oven, so do be sure to let them cool completely before slicing.
4.98 from 102 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Snack
Calories 97kcal
Servings 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour blend)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (slightly cooled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or raisins, dried cranberries, or chopped walnuts)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and coat an 8x8 pan with nonstick spray.
  • Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir together to combine thoroughly, but gently.
  • Place batter into prepared and smooth with a spatula so the batter is evenly distributed in the pan.
  • Bake for 20-24 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out cleanly.
  • Remove from oven, place pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.
  • Serve warm, at room temp, or chilled.

Notes

  • Let cool and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5. Serve cold or warm briefly in the microwave. You can also store in the freezer for up 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free oats and a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Dairy-free: Use diary-free chocolate chips.
  • Egg-free: Grind the oats in a food processor or blender before you add them to the batter to create more of a flour-like consistency or use purchased oat flour. And omit the eggs and add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds and ¼ cup milk.
  • You can omit the flaxseed if you don't have it. Just be sure to let it cool fully as it will be a little more tender.
  • To make these with less added sugar: Use unsweetened dried fruit (such as raisins) instead of chocolate chips.
  • Cut into smaller pieces for your child if needed.
  • Top with nut butter, cream cheese, or apple butter if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar, Calories: 97kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 54mg, Potassium: 87mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2414IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yum these are so good. I used oat flour instead of gluten free, and honey instead of maple syrup only because that’s just what I had in the kitchen. I also soaked and finely chopped the walnuts and didn’t add any dried fruit for my 15 month old. She approves!

  2. 5 stars
    Doubled the recipe and made it in a 9×13, so ended up baking probably 35ish minutes, but it was a huge hit at breakfast this morning! I microwaved it with kerrygold butter on top, and my kids loved it. I loved how easy it was to make and feel good about it being way higher nutrition than their normal bowl of cheerios. My pickiest kid ate a slice, and then on her second, picked out all the chocolate chips and left the pumpkin, but even that to me feels like a win—she ate oats, a little egg, and some pumpkin!

  3. 5 stars
    I have been struggling finding a food my 15 month old will eat and like lately! These bars were a hit! I didn’t put many chocolate chips so they were like a treasure hunt for him to find them! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Love this recipe! Will definitely be making again. Left out the chocolate chips for my 19m old and he loves them. I was wondering if you measure the coconut oil solid then melt and use the full melted amount or do you melt then measure out the liquid?

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice now and our whole family enjoys them! Fall has me in the mood for all things pumpkin and this was perfect. It’s not overly sweet. The maple syrup and the dark chocolate chips (60% cacao) I used adds just enough sweetness. My 11 mo. old eats it without the chocolate and asks for more! Thank you for another awesome recipe!

    1. Hi- It should work fine I’d think. In a mini muffin pan I’d do 375 F for 10-12 minutes (with about 1 heaping tablespoon batter) and full size (with about 1/4 cup batter in each) I’d do about 16-18 minutes. Enjoy!

  6. 5 stars
    Sooooo goooood! Used butternut squash, craisins, walnuts, butter for coconut oil, and 1/2 c brown sugar. Topped with a crumble. Drizzled cream cheese frosting for oomph. So, sorta mostly healthy bars.

  7. These were pretty good. I would increase the spices and add salt. I almost always add salt when a baking recipe doesn’t include it but forgot this time. I can always tell – it tastes flat. That being said, my 15 month loves them, but 6-year old does not (she’s much pickier 🙂
    Tastes better toasted with butter and salt!

  8. 5 stars
    These were amazing!! I added chopped chocolate chips on top of half of them since I have one kid who likes chocolate and one who doesn’t. Worked out perfectly!

  9. 5 stars
    I’m loving this! I made it twice in 3 days. I took it to my in laws for brunch on [Canadian] Thanksgiving, and they kept the rest of it so I had to make another batch! The first time I made it I found the rolled oats too chewy, so the second time I used buckwheat flakes. I also swapped the flax for ground chia, and eliminated the eggs. I used a gluten free flour mix (it contains millet and sorghum flours), and accidentally doubled the pumpkin spice. I also used just one tbsp of avocado oil, and also swapped the maple syrup for coconut sugar! I’m totally obsessed! I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for variations, like if I could try replacing the pumpkin with banana and carrot, or zucchini? Thanks!!

  10. 5 stars
    Made these twice last week and plan to make another batch this week! My 3 year old ate 4 in one day lol!! Seriously irresistible. This will definitely be a fall staple for us!

  11. 5 stars
    Flavor is great and my 2yo picky eater even enjoyed them! Couldn’t decide between the add ins so split the 1/3 cup into a couple tablespoons each of chopped up golden berry mix raisins, pistachios and chocolate chips. So yummy! The only thing I would do differently is mix the wet and dry ingredients separately before adding them together. The batter looked well combined but found some spots of unmixed flour and flax when I cut them up.

  12. 5 stars
    Very good. I made these as healthy breakfast for me- not a toddler. I followed the recipe pretty closely except I did not add the flax seeds. I did add some wheat germ and chopped pecans instead of chocolate chips. Excellent texture and not too sweet.

  13. 5 stars
    These are soo delish! I wish my toddler liked them, but I def did! Moist and healthy and yummy. Thanks for the great recipes.

  14. 5 stars
    So easy to make and turned out great! I added a banana that was on its way out so had to cook closer to 35 minutes. So delicious!

  15. 5 stars
    These are delicious! I love how easy they are to mix up! Can’t wait to eat one topped with frozen yogurt tonight for dessert. Thanks for the recipe! 😍

  16. 5 stars
    These were a hit with both of my girls! I subbed pecans for half of the oats and just ground them with the oats to avoid chunks and swapped unsweetened applesauce for the butter – so nice to have an easy breakfast or snack with great fall flavors. Thanks for another great recipe!

  17. 5 stars
    We enjoyed these very much. They lasted two days! Thank you! Will be making these again. They are lightly sweet but the chocolate chips really help add more yum.

    1. I haven’t tried it that way—I think if you wanted to, I would recommend that you grind up the oats or use oat flour to help everything hold together a little more. Report back if you try it!

  18. Hi! These bars look so yummy! Any suggestions what I could substitute for the maple syrup and how much to use? Thanks!

    1. Hi! You can sub an equal amount of honey or use an equal amount of sugar and add 2 tablespoons of milk to the batter. Enjoy!

  19. This turned out to be so delicious!! They’re just sweet enough to satisfy your taste buds while also being so nutritious. This is the first time I baked with pumpkin and I’ll surely try the other recipes. I was looking to make some munchies to carry on a long car ride, and my 18mo loved it (so glad)! I completely forgot to add the eggs and didn’t have baking powder, so used 3/4 tsp baking soda instead. Added nut butter and chia seeds. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  20. 5 stars
    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this. I used some chickpea flour for a portion of the flour b/c I have to watch blood sugar. Chopped up dried prunes and everyone thought they were raisins. Will make again for sure.

  21. Hi, I will be trying this for first time fot my 13m old, can I half the qty since I don’t like pumpkin but want my baby to eat it 🙂

    1. I think you could do that—though in order to keep the same thickness and baking time, you’d need to try to keep the batter on one side of your pan. Maybe fold the foil up to do that? (OR try something like pumpkin oatmeal which might be easier to make in a smaller quantity)

  22. 5 stars
    Fabulous! 2 yo loves them. I’ve made these several times the last few times I used half pumpkin pureee and half sweet potato / butter nut squash (was trying to use up some leftover baby food). / added hemp seeds for extra protein, topped with blueberries once. And they always turn out amazing. Super versatile and packed with nutrition
    We try to keep sugar to a minimum so I actually used half of the suggested maple syrup and they still turned out good. .. I have served for lunch and snack.. love love this recipe

  23. I just made these and my toddler LOVED them! She asked for another serving! I especially loved that it mixes all in one bowl. Thanks for the easy and delicious recipe!

  24. 5 stars
    Yet another staple from you that’s a constant in our freezer stash! The egg sub works great and everyone from my picky husband to my toddler devour these.

  25. 3 stars
    Sadly this is one of the first recipes on the site that really didn’t hit the mark for me. I get that this is low sugar so that it is suitable for kids/babies but if I’m going to bother to bake some thing, I’d like to also think it’s yummy too. I would probably add about twice as much maple syrup or some other sweetener. It’s very bland/bitter as is.

  26. 5 stars
    So easy to make and absolutely delicious! I love the texture, sort of a cross between pumpkin bread and baked oatmeal. Thank you again for a great easy recipe my whole family loves.

  27. 5 stars
    This recipe is fantastic. Nutritious, tasty, and actually easy to make. I used butter and raw sugar and added a pinch of salt

  28. LOVE these! Do you think they would freeze well or have any suggestions on how to freeze them?

    1. You can wrap them in plastic wrap or foil and place into an airtight zip top bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You could even wrap each one individually so you can pull them out one at a time for easy snacking!

  29. 5 stars
    My kids absolutely loved this ! They loved to eat the dough before baking it too ?. Thanks so much ❤️.

  30. 5 stars
    I used mini dark chocolate stevia chips, a little xanthan gum with my gluten-free flour blend, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and cloves because I didn’t have any pumpkin pie spice. Also a little less than 1/4 c cane sugar instead of syrup because I didn’t have any. A little salt and baked in a 9×12 pan because my 8×8 has disappeared. Oh and chopped walnuts. Also steel cut type oats I often use for baking. Sorry I had to change so much but these are yummy.

  31. 5 stars
    This is my go to website when I want to find a reliable healthy and tasty recipe to feed my 3 and 1.5 year old! These pumpkin bars are AMAZING. They’re healthy and just the perfect amount of sweet, I used mini dark chocolate chips in mine and after tasting them I wound up making a second pan just for myself!

  32. I love your recipes! We made your healthy chocolate chip cookies and they were a bit. My 3.5 year old also loved these bars! Will definitely make again – thank you ?

    1. Sure. I’m not sure I’d go over 1/4 cup though since I think that you might start to be able to taste it and/or the texture may be impacted a lot. Let me know if you try it!

  33. I made these bars for the second time today and love them. They are easy, and a great mix of healthy and yummy!

  34. 5 stars
    I made this with my 2.5 year old grandson. So easy and they came out great. I want sure if he’d like the texture of the oats, but they were soft and smooth in texture and he loved them! We’ll be making these again, thanks!

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure but I think it would work. Be sure to let the bars fully cool before slicing since they may be a little more tender.

  35. Hi! I saw you say you can replace chia seeds with the ground flaxseed. I was wondering if that means you can replace the ground flax for whole chia seeds? Or would you have to ground the chia seeds in a blender first?
    These look great!

  36. Hello Amy. This looks great! Do you think it might work with leftover roasted acorn squash instead of pumpkin?

    1. Yes, if it’s mashed very smooth and it’s not too watery. So if the pureed squash looks the same as canned pumpkin, it should be okay!

  37. Is flaxseed used in the recipe to increase the nutritional value or influence the consistency of the bars?
    Would substituting flax ‘eggs’ for regular eggs, in addition to the Tbsp of ground flaxseed, change the outcome?

    1. If you want to make them egg-free, I’d recommend the egg-free option I have listed in the Notes at the bottom of the recipe since I know that works well. The flaxseed helps with the texture a bit.

  38. I want to try this recipe but was wondering if I could use oat flour instead of whole wheat? Looks amazing thank you!

    1. I think oat flour would work though I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. If you try it, be sure to let the bars cool totally before you cut them to ensure that they firm up. Let me know if you try it!

      1. After following the recipe I decided to change the ratio of flour and oats hoping my daughter would like the texture better (1st attempt was rejected by her). I used 1 cup oat flour and 1/2 cup oats and my daughter and husband loved them. Bonus that this made it gluten free for my parents visiting. I cooked it for about 10 minutes longer in my glass pan.

  39. 5 stars
    These were delicious! My five year old, three year old, and 11 month old really enjoyed them. Thank you for a one bowl super easy recipe!

  40. Thanks for this recipe! Do you think using chia seeds would be a good alternative to the flax seed? Just because it’s what I already have on hand. Also, what’s your take on giving this to an 18 month old? I know added sugars are not recommended for kids under 2, but I’m trying to make something palatable ?

    1. Yes, I think chia seeds would be okay. And I’d be fine offering this to an 18 month old (I try to limit them but baking without any added sugars can be a challenge so I am comfortable with foods like this in the mix). You can reduce the chocolate or use dried fruit if you prefer. Let me know how the chia seed goes if you use it!

      1. I have used chia and it’s been totally fine! My boys love this recipe.
        It’s currently in the oven in a muffin tin for easier portions ?

  41. Hi Amy, my daughter is allergic to oats. Is there anything else I could use instead of oats in this recipe ?

    1. I haven’t tried them with anything else but quinoa flakes should work and it’s possible all flour would work too.

  42. 5 stars
    My 23 month old toddler and I love this and made it together today. I also love your meal prep for family dinners article.
    Thank you for your website. I struggle with making sure my son gets all he needs in meals but also feeding myself and my husband healthy well-rounded meals with sides. You have so many amazing recipes that I can’t wait to make ♥️

    1. From King Arthur Flour experts on the subject: “The standard advice for baking in glass is to lower the oven temperature by 25°F from what the recipe calls for, and bake up to 10 minutes longer.” I haven’t tested it so I can’t say for sue but I trust their advice!

  43. Yum! I made this tonight to have for dessert and they were amazing. I didn’t have any chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries or walnuts on hand, so I just made them plain … but they were still delicious! Thank you!