Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

If you haven’t tried the combination of peanut butter and pumpkin, you need to.

It’s a match made in thick, gooey heaven.

I’ve been eating these bars like there’s no tomorrow.

Or like there’s no pumpkin shortage.  Did you know about that?


But there’s no shortage of full-on pumpkin flavor in these.

Between the homemade pumpkin spice lattes and these bars, I’ve been converted to the other side the pumpkin side.

These were so easy to make.

No need to slave away on these bars.   Or slave away in the kitchen, ever.

For me, cooking and baking should be fun and not a chore, and I highly doubt you’ll find these bars to be a chore.

I love it when I don’t dirty every dish in the house and don’t have a total mess going on.  That’s actually been known to happen from time to time.  Shocker, I know.

The good thing about the peanut butter pumpkin bars is that your kitchen won’t look like a cyclone hit it when you’re done.

One bowl + One spoon + Oven = Bars in about a half hour

They’re vegan and gluten free (see this post about Oats near the bottom for a discussion on oats and gluten)

And they make me just wanna chomp

The pumpkin flavor really shines through.  Between the pumpkin puree and the pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin lovers can rejoice.

The peanut butter is nicely balanced with the pumpkin and the flavors complement each other, but these are definitely pumpkin-peanut butter bars, not peanut butter-pumpkin bars.

Thanks to my relationship with FoodBuzz as a Featured Publisher, I received this Planters Peanut Butter and put it to use in these bars.

The peanut butter eaten by the spoonful on it’s own is also great.

Doesn’t everyone eat PB by the spoonful at midnight standing in your kitchen in front of the refrigerator when you’re too lazy to make anything but you’re feeling snacky?

Well now I’ve got these to snack on.

You not only get both peanut butter and pumpkin in these bars (and I love a good two-for-one deal), but the brown sugar caramelizes when baking and makes these bars slightly chewy and caramely.

If you underbake them by a touch like I prefer to do with my baked goods, it’s the perfect marriage of barely crispy on the outside with a caramelized, moist inside.

If I was in charge of writing The Rules You Must Bake By, I think that all cookies, brownies, and bars all should have a slightly crispy edge with soft centers.

And never be dry.  Dry = not worth my chew

And the pumpkin peanut butter oat bars deliver if held up to my self-created Rules You Must Bake By.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

1/2 c peanut butter

1 c pumpkin puree (i.e. Libby’s in a can and if you don’t have pumpkin puree in your market, use sweet potato puree either canned or sweet potatoes that you boil/puree yourself)

2 c oats (whole rolled, not quick cook; use certified gluten-free if necessary)

1 c light brown sugar, packed

1/2 c granulated sugar

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (reduce/increase to taste)

1 tsp cinnamon (reduce/increase to taste)

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Optional: Add raisins, nuts, chocolate/white/peanut butter chips to the mixture.  I’d suggest starting with 1/3 to 1/2 c and going from there based on taste preference.

Optional frosting ideas (they really don’t need frosting, but I love frosting and wish I would have added some but was too in a hurry to just eat them):

Cream Cheese Frosting; add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice + cinnamon if you’d like

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Caramel Sauce, either jarred or homemade Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir by hand.  Spread batter (it will be pretty moist) into a foil-lined and spayed 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan.  Bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  The bars may still look underdone, but that’s ok because they will continue to set up as they cool.  Allow to cool very well before slicing.  Store extras on the countertop, refrigerator, or in the freezer for long term storage.

Notes: All measurements are approximate and if you love peanut butter or pumpkin puree, add a bit more of either.

Reduce the sugar amounts if you wish or even attempt a sugar-free version by making with stevia, stevia “baking blends” such as NuNaturals Baking Blend (enter code AVE630 to save $5 at checkout) or try other powdered forms of nonsugar sweeteners.

Adjust baking time as necessary based on your own recipe substitutions.

If you don’t enjoy pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or vanilla extract as much as I do, scale them back.  However, both pumpkin puree and peanut butter are very strong flavors and I find can stand up to lots of spices and vanilla extract and are complemented well by them.

A Visual Guide

Gather your ingredients

Combine all Ingredients & Mix

Press into the foil-lined and sprayed pan

Bake, Cool, Slice & Serve

Frost them if you desire.  Or have patience and can refrain from immediately chomping down the minute they are cool enough to devour.

I had no such patience and just dug in.

These bars made a pumpkin liar outta me

But I promise not to hoard Libby’s

Need other Pumpkin Recipes?

Check my Pumpkin Recipes Compilation Post

Or try No Bake Pumpkin Pie Donut Holes (Vegan, GF)

No Bake Pumpkin Pie (Vegan, GF)

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan, GF)

My last bar recipe, Caramel Apple Bars, don’t have pumpkin in them but are an easy, seasonal recipe for the apple lovers in case you’re more into apples than pumpkins.  It’s okay, I used to be like you and not “that into” pumpkin.


Do you like pumpkin?  In what forms?  Pie, Coffee/Lattes, Breads, Donuts, Smoothies, Other Forms?

Do tell!

I’d love to hear what your fave ways to use and enjoy pumpkin are.

And if you don’t like pumpkin or are just meh about it, that’s ok.

I like it, and these bars did make me eat some pumpkin crow with my words.

I love Christmas baking and the flavors of Christmas even more though. I think.  i.e. Barks, Brittles, Cookies, and Holiday Candies.  <– Those things really excite me

P.S. Reminder to enter the Bella Bars Giveaway.  Winner announced next post.

Have a great start to your week!


  1. Oh my word, these look amazing! Great pics too!

  2. I like pumpkin in pretty much all forms. I love its smell especially, and the spices that go with it.

  3. smoothies. hands down. the seasonal jamba juice pumpkin pie smoothie is divine but being vegan and sugar-free, one must adapt. And being sugar-free, well, that makes these delicious pumpkin bars off limits as well : (

  4. umm, drooooooooooool. how are you not famous yet? I keep thinking to myself that your recipes and photography can’t possibly get any better. but they always do! also, slightly undercooked = YES.

  5. Yum, these look delicious and such a great combination of flavours.

  6. These look incredible. YUM. What do you think about using the NuNaturals Baking Powder for the white sugar? Totally screw it up?

  7. Oh my goodness you are a genius. I’m amazed that you haven’t thought of every combination yet – but please, don’t stop! I love this one, i’m adding it to my pinterest board of recipes to make, stat.
    also :”Doesn’t everyone eat PB by the spoonful at midnight standing in your kitchen in front of the refrigerator when you’re too lazy to make anything but you’re feeling snacky?” <–YES.
    Happy october!

  8. Pumpkin and peanut butter! There’s a combination I can’t remember ever trying before. Those look absolutely wonderful.

    My love for pumpkin and apple is equal. There’s a lotta love in my heart.

  9. Oh my…I think I’ve died and gone to heaven – these look amazing. And two of my favorite things: pumpkin AND peanut butter! Thank you for this!!!

  10. haha, you seriously won’t believe this…i am standing here reading your blog post as i eat pb by the spoon! too funny.
    i am ok with pumpkin, not a huge fan. love a slice of my mom’s homemade pie at thanksgiving (which is next weekend here in canada!!).
    i honestly would never think to put pumpking + pb together…great idea, averie! and i def would add in some choco chips.
    i am with you: one pot, no mess, lickedy-split baking. thanks for the great idea and photos!!
    enjoy your aft!

  11. “Doesn’t everyone eat PB by the spoonful at midnight standing in your kitchen in front of the refrigerator when you’re too lazy to make anything but you’re feeling snacky?”

    Umm yes! Like all day long. I don’t think I’ve gone a single day in the past year without sticking my hand inside a jar of pb.

    And for the pumpkin: I’ve been making tons of recipes. Love it. Lately, my favorite is a new recipe of mine: Pumpkin Spice Latte Granola! yes. Pumpkin and Coffee in Granola form. Love.

    • All your creations sound awesome and when another reader asked me about sugarfree in the comments…I immediately thought of you.

      And like 10 mins later you randomly commented.

      Guess it was psychic powers or something :)

  12. I love easy, one-bolw recipes like this! I agree – cooking and baking should be fun and not a chore!

  13. Yummmmmmmmmmm! You know I freaking LOVE pumpkin. And with peanut butter? Great combo. I had no idea planters made peanut butter

  14. Thanks for the recipe – looking forward to making these this week now. Absolute pumpkin lover here!

  15. Love the pics of the bar with the chomp. :)

  16. “pumpkin crow”–I love it! These sound simple and delicious–great combination. Similar to the apple bars you also referenced but subtly different.

    I hadn’t heard about the pumpkin shortage but I guess with all the wildfires and droughts it’s not hugely surprising (but I should check out the link to see if it’s some invasive moth instead ;)

    I don’t adore pumpkin but I do like it and am looking forward to trying out some pumpkin tricks this season.

  17. Total yes to the spooning PB. In class the other day I was hungry and all I had on me was a jar of PB, no spoon. (Doesn’t everyone carry around a jar of PB with them?) So what did I do? PB fingers to the rescue. I was stealth about it until the smell of PB went wafting into the air hahaha.

  18. Until last year when I had Pumpkin Bread for the first time, I hated pumpkins. I am going to beg and beg my boyfriend to make these! My 5 month old son does not allow me to make anything, unless it’s for him. So many of your recipes are saved for me to make when I can find time.

    Looks soooo yummy!

  19. You are awesome. Both for creating these luscious-looking bars, and for spelling “complement” correctly. Thank you for that! :P

    • their and there

      compliment and complement

      yes, I try to get it right but sometimes ppl will write in criticizing my grammar with a long email and I’m like…whoa, it was on the fly blogging…ha!

    • Hey, I’m a linguist and I’ve never had a problem with your grammar. :) There’s a difference between personal voice and incorrect grammar. Words are meant to be sculpted to represent the writer’s meaning. Sometimes that means imperfect sentence structure, punctuation, etc…and there’s not a thing wrong with that.

    • I know you “get me” and you read tons of blogs like I do…and sometimes it’s nice to read prose that sounds like it’s being spoken right out of someone’s mouth vs. more formal prose….it’s so hard to “find your voice” and not get too wordy (or overthink it) sometimes!

      Have a great week my friend :)

    • Agreed!

      Have a great week yourself :)

  20. I WANT ONE OF THOSE FAIRY TALE PUMPKINS! yea.. kinda just because of it’s name, but how fun do those seem! I really like how they have a bunch of varieties to choose from…i guess not just for eating but decoration too, huh. Okay, but onto more fantastic things: these delicious pumpkin peanut butter oatmeal bars! i love that you kept the ingredients pretty simple and in their basic form :) definitely would pair it with the pumpkin latte, would be hard to resist that combo ;)

    xoxo <3

  21. Pingback: Oats and Oatmeal Recipes

  22. i love pumpkin. and i love you for creating these.

  23. Pingback: Pumpkin Recipes

  24. Pingback: Peanut Butter Recipes

  25. These look incredible. I am in the middle of a 28-day cleanse right now, but I plan to make this as soon as I’m done. I can’t wait. Thanks for sharing.

  26. “Doesn’t everyone eat PB by the spoonful at midnight standing in your kitchen in front of the refrigerator when you’re too lazy to make anything but you’re feeling snacky?”

    I truly believe this [unless something crazy like a nut allergy]

    NEED to make this asap!! Looks amazing and so easy to make! All ingredients I have on hand too!!!!

    Question…been trying to figure this out FOREVER…how did you get the “print this” code for your site?

  27. oh! these look AMAZING! i’m totally bookmarking this for all of the upcoming festive holidays that are in desperate need of pumpkin treats :) what pumpkin shortage? guess i should start hoarding libbys..

  28. I believe the pumpkin shortage must officially be over: yesterday when I went to Costco they had 3-packs of Libby’s 29-oz cans for $7.59. (And they FINALLY got in the giant sacks of frozen cherries!)

  29. Those look great! I’ll have to try them!

  30. These look great. Hey, you should make a whole post about “Rules to Bake By.”

    I love pumpkin. A couple of years back, I made a pumpkin lasagna, based on a butternut squash lasagna recipe by Giada de Laurentiis. It was super excellent, and really wowed everyone. Pretty easy to make, too. Now that I think of it, I’d better bust out that recipe soon.

  31. Yum–these look really good.

    I love pumpkin, but I haven’t starting making anything with it yet–need some colored leaves and a bit cooler weather for me to feel like its Fall. I did, however, get some pumpkin spice gelato from Ciao Bella the other day and it was INCREDIBLE!

  32. Great pictures Averie :) This recipe looks so great! I love pumpkin <3

  33. I’m actually getting kind of sick of pumpkin lately. I ate it all summer though. Its how I thicken up my nighttime pudding bowls. I’m starting to think I need something new. Maybe I’m getting sick of pudding?

    DUDE. I just wrote my post for tomorrow that has a recipe that is earily similar to this – only replace the pb with butter and the pumpkin with applesauce. But the oat thing…yep. And mine are in cookie form. Frosted. Okay, myabe not alike at all.

    Pb on a spoon at midnight? Nope not me. I use my finger. :D

  34. I eat something similar to this for breakfast, but use stevia as a sweetener, it’s so good!

  35. OMG, Averie…MORE DELICIOUS BARS! I love your bar recipes. They really are the best I have found because my tastes are just like yours: super sweet, crispy on the edges and soft and dense (chewy) in the center. They look amazing. I can’t wait to try those too!

    I love pumpkin. I have a spiced pumpkin Yankee candle that I burn every year starting in October and I have had it for 10 years! I love it but I only burn it in the 3 months from October through Christmas. It reminds me of fall and warm pumpkin bread and pie and dessert! I also love to decorate with pumpkins and make pumpkin butter as Thanksgiving gifts.

    Your pictures are getting better and better. They make me hungry! :-)

  36. Holy cow….GIRL, these are FAB!!!! I must make these right away and report back! Maybe for our thanksgiving dessert this coming weekend??? hmmmm….


  37. Yum. I love Fall and I love pumpkin.

    So I have a question on the ingredients. What would happen in I used real pumpkin?

    I know harder to do for sure, but here in Hawaii they are growing like crazy and a great deal at the farmers markets these days.

    On another Fall note… still a die hard Chargers fan. They won. I”m stoked. Have to watch the games early here… but I will always love all my San Diego stuff!

    Aloha Wags!

  38. That reciipes sounds (and looks) great! Have to try it! I love pumpkin in soups and pie. I want to try the pumpkin pie latte but can not find pumpkin pie spice here in Germany :( I think I’ll have to creat my own pumkpin pie spice-mix :)

    • pumpkin pie spice mix is basically cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom…google it but just a blend of “warm” spices. And you could just throw in a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, whatever you have on hand and call it done :)

  39. HOLY YUM these look delish! :D

  40. I WILL be making these this week!! I have tried several of your recipes and they never disappoint :) Nothing compares to peanut butter and pumpkin! I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog/site this past summer. I look forward to your daily postings over my morning cup of coffee :) Keep up the good work Averie!! You have a fan in CT!

  41. always love your easy baking recipes, averie!

  42. Oh gosh, these bars sound fantastic! I’m so into pumpkin right now too…perfect timing! :D

  43. I’m fairly certain that pumpkin pie spice just makes life better. These bars look fantastic! I’m stockpiling my pumpkin recipes, and this is going on the list!

  44. I’m pretty “meh” about pumpkin, but I do enjoy a good pumpkin pie. But other pumpkin-flavored things aren’t my faves. Although these look absolutely delicious! I have two cans of Libby’s from last Fall and now I know what to do with them!

  45. Mmm….delicious. Tomorrow I’m posting the pumpkin cream cheese muffins I’ve been working away on. I worked all weekend on them but it wasn’t that hard a job; they’re pretty yummy! I linked up to your pumpkin spice latte tomorrow too – it’s a delicious accompaniment! xxx

  46. Oh man…My mouth is watering! haha, i’ve been craving pumpkin all day, and was going to make punkin oatmeal, but it was gone! Disappeared. :P But this looks awesome Averie!

  47. I really could have sworn that there were corn flakes in these! They looked so… corn flakish. Yes, that’s a technical term. I think the pumpkin shortage missed Canada… because we have LOTS!

  48. I love pumpkin EVERYTHING and surely these won’t disappoint! I’m thinking these to bring as a vegan dessert for family holidays. I love how simple they are!

  49. There are so many pumpkin recipes in blog land right now- these look lovely!

  50. these look so good! I am a pumpkin lover. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of pumpkin smoothies and chia puddings (new fave! just almond milk, chia seeds and sometimes vanilla protein powder, topped with ground ginger and cinnamon and stevia – delish!)

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