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Pumpkin Granola Bars are sweetened with maple syrup and bursting with oats, nuts, dried cranberries, and the warmth of pumpkin pie spice. Make a batch of these chewy bars for a delicious healthy snack that you can pack in a lunchbox for work or school, or take along for an afternoon at the park or on a hike. Or grab one for breakfast on the go. Plus, they are gluten free and vegan.
Originally published on Nov 11, 2012
See that date up there. Yes, this recipe is from way back in 2012. I was scrolling back through some of my old posts and realized I needed to make these again. Part of that was because I couldn’t stand looking at the terrible photos.
But mainly it’s because I was craving the warm aromas of pumpkin and cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg wafting through my kitchen. Because when fall is your favorite season but it’s late September or early October and still ninety degrees, you’ll do anything you can to convince yourself that cooler temperatures and crisp afternoons are on the way.
And, you know, I have two little human garbage disposals so I always need plenty of snacks around. And I’d much rather have them munching on snack bars where I know all of the ingredients than some of those bars you get at the grocery store.
The simple list of ingredients, incredible flavors, and not too much sugar make these something I want to keep on hand all the time.
And keep my house smelling like pumpkin spice all the time. OK, time to throw another batch in the oven…
Pumpkin Granola Bars
Not too sweet, slightly spiced, and filled to the brim with chewy cranberries, crunchy nuts, the rich flavor of maple syrup, and let’s not forget the warmth of pumpkin pie spice, this isn’t just your basic pumpkin granola bar recipe.
What is in Maple Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars?
- Old-fashioned oats
- Ground flaxseed
- Pumpkin pie spice – you can also use a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves if you don’t have a jar of pumpkin spice on hand.
- Pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie filling
- Maple syrup
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Dried cranberries
- Chopped walnuts or pecans – if you need a nut-free option, try pumpkin seeds or pepitas
How do you get granola bars to stick together?
First, you toss together the dry ingredients. Then stir together the wet ingredients. The combination of the moisture from the pumpkin puree and the stickiness from the maple syrup and brown sugar being absorbed by the oats and flaxseeds helps the mixture to stick together.
Besides the recipe itself, it is important to press the mixture firmly into the pan before baking. Be sure to bake until firm, and do not remove from the pan or cut the bars until it has cooled completely.
These are a softer and chewier granola bar, as opposed to a hard or crunchy one. So while they will not fall apart, you can break them in half easily if you would like to eat small pieces or share.
Wrapping them individually in plastic wrap will help keep them together if you are transporting them to work or school or bringing them along on a hike.
Are pumpkin granola bars gluten free?
As long as you are using certified gluten free oats, then this granola bar recipe is gluten free. As always, you should read the labels of your ingredients and evaluate them based on your particular needs. Occasionally packages of flaxseed are processed in facilities where there is a risk of cross-contamination. And sometimes spice blends have fillers that contain gluten. This is not usually the case with pumpkin pie spice, but if you are concerned, you can always use the individual spices listed in the recipe.
Are these granola bars vegan?
Yes, since they are sweetened with maple syrup and honey, and don’t contain eggs, they are also vegan without needing any substitutions.
Need a nut-free option? You can always swap the walnuts or pecans for pumpkin seeds to still get that bit of crunchy texture.
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You might also like these pumpkin recipes:
- Mini Pumpkin Pies (crustless)
- No-Bake Pumpkin Energy Balls
- Coffee Pumpkin Overnight Oats (like a PSL)
- Pumpkin Chocolate Cake Roll
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Breakfast Bars
Here are some more healthy gluten free snack recipes:
- Trail Mix Nut-Free Granola Bars
- Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Muffins (here is the Whole Wheat Carrot Zucchini Muffin recipe too!)
- No-Bake Apricot Energy Bars
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- Banana Granola Healthy Snacks
Pumpkin Granola Bars Recipe
With flavors of real pumpkin and maple syrup and aromas of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, you’ll love snacking on these, whether you take them to school, work, or on an afternoon hike. The fiber and whole grains from the oats will keep you satisfied, and you’ll love the textures of the chewy cranberries and crunchy walnuts or pecans. Be sure to add these healthy granola bars to your weekend baking plans!
I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on this pin on Pinterest!
Pumpkin Granola Bars
- 3 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats *See Note
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or a mixture
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Coat an 8x8 in. baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, toss together the first 7 ingredients (oats through salt)
- In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla until well combined.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the oats mixture, and stir until evenly coated and the oats are moistened.
- Stir in the cranberries and nuts.
- Press the mixture firmly into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown, and firm.
- Cool in pan for about 5-10 minutes, cut into bars, and remove from pan to finish cooling completely.
Not a fan! I would not recommend this recipe to anyone…Sorry, but thought it was only fair to unsuspecting people
out there looking for recipes that they should keep on looking and not try the pumpkin granola bars.
I’m sorry you did not like them. Can you tell me what you didn’t like about them? Maybe I can get int he kitchen and work on the recipe.
I found those yesterday and was really excited as I used to make great pumpkin bars but lost the recipe and these sounded similar. I made yours with all organic ingredients, followed the recipe exactly except for the nuts (work in a nut-free daycare) which I substituted with org. pumpkin seeds.
I was sooooo disappointed when I tasted them: they were pasty, dry, and bland even with the spices and the maple syrup. They held together perfectly, but they weren’t tasty. I expected something moist and tender with the full flavour of the yummy ingredients. Wonder what I did wrong… Any idea?
Hmm, I’m not sure. So sorry it didn’t work out for you. Perhaps different brands of oats absorb the moisture differently?
Welcome back to the food blogasphere, Brianne! Your granola bar look and sound delicious…pumpkin just makes everything so good!!
Thanks! Happy to be back! Pumpkin does make everything better 🙂
I wish to have a bite on these granola bars. Love all the ingredients especially pumpkin. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks! I have a few still in the fridge, if you are interested 😉
Good to have you back. I love the addition of pumplin to these granola bars. No matter how much honey I put in my granola bars I couldn’t get them to stick together very well. Any tricks?
Thanks! I think it was the combo of the pumpkin adding moisture, and also maple syrup, which I think it a little more liquidy than honey. So the oats were really moist, then I packed them in well. I have made bars before that crumbled, so I am wondering if just using honey as “glue” doesn’t work as well because it doesn’t moisten the bars as well to help them then re-dry a little as they bake and stick. I have seen recipes with applesauce, too, so I want to try that, and maybe even some mashed banana.
This looks and sounds Delish!!!Love the addition of pumpkin with all the lovely spices 🙂 Cannot wait to try 🙂
Thanks! I am one of those who loves everything pumpkin this time of year.
I have been looking for a new granola recipe and this one looks perfect. Thanks for sharing
Thanks, I thought it would be a nice change from the usual.
Love the presentation. Love the ingredients!!! A delicious snack, not to be resisted! Welcome back!!
Thank you! I did have some fun making it look like a gift!
Love these granola bars. This is a gift anyone would be super happy to receive.
Thank you. Well, my family would be happy to receive them… after they have had their cookies 🙂
These granola bars look amazing… I can’t wait to try them and your photography is just gorgeous!
Thank you! I love hearing the photography compliments because I felt like I had lost my mojo during my “break”.
Pumpkin sounds like a great addition to granola!
It adds the perfect amount of moisture, and I love anything pumpkin!
Wow! Your bars are so solid! Every time we make granola bars they crumble into pieces as I cut them or when the girls eat them. I would make them more if they stayed together. Maybe we will try this recipe!
That has happened to me. I think it is all the moisture from the pumpkin, and I really packed them in tight.
So good to see you back!!!! And with a delicious, healthy food gift…these are the best looking granola bars I’ve seen in a long time…YUM!
Thank you, so happy to be back! And what doesn’t look good when it has pumpkin and cranberries?! 🙂
Finally a use for the pumpkin I roasted!
Oh good! Would love to hear how it turns out with “real” pumpkin puree. I use the canned stuff, so I am guessing your may be a little more moist.
Oh my gosh, these look absolutely wonderful. I’m a huge granola fan, and I can’t wait to give these a try. Pinned.
I love Christmas shows just as much as the next, but that’s a bit absurd. Nov. 1st is much to early. BTW, I love your new look!
Hope you do get to try them! So perfect for the season! Thanks – I have been working on a few things in the background as I got ready for new recipes.
Now if I can only make mine look like yours!! Stunning, and I know, delicious!! xo Ally
Thanks Ally! I have only made granola bars a couple of times, and you don’t want to see my last attempt. Basically it was granola, and definitely not bars.
Mmmm- these granola bars look fantastic!!
Welcome back!! And what a way to return – these granola bars sound amazing. And the photos are gorgeous!
Thank you so much! I am hapy with how everything turned out, but it is taking longer till I get my groove back 🙂
I thought gluten free meant no oats. Am I wrong in this thinking?
Oops, should have commented that if you need this to be gluten free, to be sure to use gluten-free oats. Oats, in and of themselves, are gluten free, but the issue is that in standard processing plants, there is nearly always cross contamination, unless they are grown and process in a controlled environment to ensure no cross contamination. I will note that.
I also was curious how the triberr comment box differed from your blog comment box. Do you notice a diff if ppl only use the triberr box?
Hmm, I just upgraded my plug-ins, so this is the first I have seen of a Triberr comment box in my post. I’ll have to investigate, but it seems comments made directly in Triberr now pop up here.
These have a little bit of everything, a great recipe! I believe holiday spirit is a bit early this year. Welcome back Brianne!
Yes, jam-packed with my favorite holiday flavors. Thanks, so happy to be back!
Hey, lovely to see you again!! I love the new look here and want me some of those granola bars!!
Thanks! Yes, I have been working on a few things behind the scenes. More improvements to come!
Glad to have you back blogging and bringing great recipes like this one!
Thank you! So happy to be back. Just gotta keep up the momentum 🙂
Goodness gracious!! This looks amazing! I will definitely want to try this winter for sure
Thank you! I know, I love all of the winter flavors.
I have never made my own granola bars before, but these sound amazing! I want to give it a try….
Very easy, and I am already thinking of lots of variations!
I think it’s the pumpkin AND the cranberries in these that is driving me insane!
And welcome back to #SS!
I want to put pumpkin and/or cranberries in pretty much everything right now. I think one or the other will be part of dinner for the next three nights, if I keep to my menu.
Welcome back Brianne. Looks like you came back with a bang because you had me with this recipe, no doubt. Pumpkin, maple, spice – yes please. Wrap it all up in some yummy granola bars and I am a friend for life.
This is a great gift idea!
Thanks Nicole! So happy to be back, and happy I made this recipe a few weeks ago, because it works so well with the theme. Just tastes like the holidays!
I love anything that is sweet that I can claim as healthy. Beautifully photographed!
Thank you. Trying to get my photography mojo back. Definitely a treat that is a bit more on the healthy side.