Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bars
I have been making pumpkin goodies for the last several months, and guess what? I am not sick of them yet! I wait all year for all things pumpkin so I enjoy them all during the fall and winter while I can! Last week for Thanksgiving I decided to make some Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bars instead of a pumpkin pie because I thought it would be easier to share and store. And they were! Plus sometimes when you have just eaten a large meal, a bar is the perfect size, or if you have more than one dessert like I did.
These bars pack all of the goodness of pumpkin pie, but are a little easier to make! When I make bars of any kind I like to line my square pans first with parchment for easy bar removal (just lift out onto a cutting board and cut). I always do this after seeing Martha Stewart do it once and how easy it makes it. For this crust, I made a brown sugar shortbread that is really simple to make, just mix together with your hands, and press into the pan. Or, if you preferred you could add the ingredients to a food processor, pulse them together and you would have the same affect. I just didn't want to dirty extra dishes so I used the old fashioned method. I find myself doing this a lot. I do own things like a stand mixer but often mix by hand because of convenience. This crust smelled so amazing while baking, Eric came out of the other room to ask what smelled so good and if he could have some. I told him it was just the first half of the deliciousness just wait for the filling!
I used my pumpkin pie filling for these and it worked out perfect! It is spiced just enough with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves plus a hint of vanilla. It has some full fat coconut milk for richness and I sweeten it with maple syrup. It is so delicious and also smells amazing while baking! Once these bars were baked and cooled, I topped them off with a little vegan whipped cream. I got the vegan whipped cream from Aldi, it comes in a can, and I prefer the almond because I find that it lasts longer, but they also have coconut. It was the perfect addition to these pumpkin bars! The bars themselves tasted like mini bites of delicious pumpkin pie with just the right amount of spices and sweetness with a rich buttery crust! If you need some pumpkin pie in your life, definitely give these Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bars a try!
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Bars
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 2 cups organic cooked pumpkin (canned is ok too), packed
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup full fat organic coconut milk (the thick part)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 /4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon agar powder
- vegan whipped cream (I used almond whipped cream from Aldi)
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees, and line a 9x9 inch square pan with parchment
- In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, sea salt and vegan butter and mix together, squeezing with your hands until it becomes a cohesive dough. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Place in the oven and bake crust for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, to make the filling, in a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, sea salt, cornstarch and agar powder until completely smooth (Or you can place in a food processor and blend until smooth).
- Pour over the crust and smooth out.
- Place back in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes until lightly brown at the edges and set in the center.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Serve with vegan whipped cream piped or dalloped onto each bar.