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!

187 comments on “Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars”

  1. wow those look great! i really want to go pick up some pumpkins to decorate & to eat!

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  3. I love pumpkin and I am excited to try both the bars and the homemade latte. My daughter has a peanut allergy, so I will substitute Sunbutter for the peanut butter. Thanks for the recipes!

    • Yes, I was going to mention that in the recipe, to try SFSButter or another nut butter. LMK if you make them. I’d use a tad less SFSB than the recipe calls for PB b/c PB is more solid/less runny….and/or just use more oats to compensate and/or bake longer…it will all work out. Very forgiving recipe :)

  4. These look incredible! I so wish Australia had canned pumpkin! I know I could puree my own but that means so many more dishes to wash… :P

  5. HELLOOOO PUMPKIN BEAUTIFULNESS (yes I just made that word up!) haha this post is epic and so full of goodies! perfect to kick off october and so many easy delicious simple recipes with REAL ingredients, that is why I love your recipes, Averie!

    have you ever played around making pumpkin protein bars?! I would love to see that one up there! either way…keep doing what you are doing and making us happy readers and eaters! xoxo

    • I am sure that you could probably remove the 1 c of flour and add 1 c of protein powder and bake them off the same way. It would add more protein…I mean, you never know how things are going to bake w/ PP added, but pretty sure it would work just fine :)

    • sorry I am speed typing and meant to say, you could probably replace 1 c of oats w/ 1 c of protein powder OR just add 1 c of protein powder and a smidge more PB or pumpkin puree as needed to get it to combine properly and bake it up

  6. Bummer, these look amazing and I’m on the other side of the world where pumpkin is out of season and PRICEY! When there is ample supply, my favourite baked goods are cinnamon spiced pumpkin and dark chocolate chunk muffins (note the CHUNK not chip. bigger is better).

  7. These turned out AMAZING!! Made them last night and me and my kids did NOT want to stop eating them. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Love these and the smell it left in my house……totally FALL <3 <3

  8. Pumpkin my all time favorite squash! Just started making oatbran with pumpkin, apples, pecans, and dried cranberries for breakfast and YUMMY :-) and tried my hand at a pumpkin apple butter which was also delicious. I will have a pumpkin smoothie ever once in a while too!

  9. Fantastic recipe!!! These pumpkin bars are SO easy to make, and great for a pumpkin craving! I can’t stop eating them. Truly delicious. Thanks for the recipe!! :)

  10. What a great flavor combination!! These look absolutely delicious. So glad to have found you and this recipe via Jane Deere’s Fusion Fridays!

    • thanks for finding me and saying hi and I just popped over to your site…you are living my DREAM job and life
      “internationally published food and travel writer and photographer who contributes regularly to publications on three continents.”— sign me up! your photography is beautiful and keep in touch :)

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  12. love your recipes! Just found your site today and can’t wait to try some of them. Just a quick question though…could I use agave instead of the white sugar in the pumpkin peanut butter bars?
    LMK what you think and thanks for all the great recipes and photos you share :)

    • yes, or just omit it entirely. All sweetener amounts are to taste and it really won’t make too much difference I am thinking if you omit it. The only concern with using agave would be that it would make the batter more liquid-ey/runny so you may have to bake it a bit longer. Will depend on your oven and taste preferences. Just go for it and it will all turn out fine, just watch them in the oven and taste the batter before baking.

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  14. Usually if you sweeten with a liquid (my choice is honey and I’m going to try it), you need to reduce another wet ingredient or increase a dry ingredient. Since this recipe doesn’t have flour in it, I am going to try adding about 2 Tbs more oats.

    I also think that you need to note on these “vegan” recipes that they are no longer vegan once they have chocolate chips in them or Cream Cheese Frosting on them or are dipped in your lovely Rum Caramel Sauce. In trying to make several vegan recipes for certain Thanksgiving guests, I was really excited to find this, but the way I would want to serve it, it’s no longer vegan. :( Guess they won’t get frosting.

    • Depending on the kind of chocolate chips used, i.e. semi sweet, milk chocolate, specialty brand, it may or may not be vegan.

      And it’s possible to make cream cheese frosting with Tofutti or another type of cream cheeze such as cashew based cream cheese.

      I would assume that folks know the difference which is why I don’t spell.it.out. for people but then again, people surprise me all the time :)

      As for the oats/dry ingredients, adding a liquid…also the type of pumpkin puree you use, how much water is in the puree in that brand, the type of PB used, ‘natural’ which is oilier than other types…it’s all a judgment call. Use common sense and bake til they look done. Take out of oven. Eat. Not hard :)

  15. I just made these (but left out the white sugar and sprinkled chocolate chips on top), and they are amazing! I can’t even wait for them to cool…just.keep.going.back.for.more.

    Also about the peanut butter spoons. I have a jar of peanut butter in my cube at work and will randomly eat spoonfuls when I’m hungry. I’m pretty sure my coworkers think I’m weird!

    • thanks for the field report. Glad you love them.

      if they’re still warm you can kind of smoosh some white chocolate chips or other chocolate chips into the top layer while they’re cooling. I use that trick on some of my bars b/c I love added chips :)

  16. Pumpkin and peanut butter?! I can’t wait to try these!

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  18. would steel cut oats work? I’ve never cooked with oats before

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  20. I made these yesterday and they are scrumptious! Very easy. I had to stop myself from eating the batter. Thanks Averie!

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  25. Ummm, YUM. These are simply perfect. Love ’em! And super easy for my kids to help me make. I completely omitted the brown & white sugar, and used about 1/3 cup pure maple syrup instead. I’ll try making them next time with my meal replacement shake powder and/or protein powder to up the protein factor. Thanks for the delish recipe!

    • Thanks for the report back. I love hearing things like this…thank you! And what substitutions/omissions you made and yes, I bet that protein powder, etc would be just fine in them. The peanut butter and pumpkin will “soak up” tons…and are very forgiving. Really can’t go wrong :)

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