Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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

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

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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

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

pumpkins

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

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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.

Peanut Butter

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.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

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

Ingredients for Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Combine all Ingredients & Mix

Ingredients Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Press into the foil-lined and sprayed pan

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars in foil lined baking 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.

 Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

These bars made a pumpkin liar outta me

One Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars on parchment paper with bite taken outBut I promise not to hoard Libby’s

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Need other Pumpkin Recipes?

Check my Pumpkin Recipes Compilation Post

Pumpkins in wooden bin

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

No Bake Pumpkin Pie Donut Holes on white plate

No Bake Pumpkin Pie (Vegan, GF)

No Bake Pumpkin Pie in white dish with whipped topping

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan, GF)

Mug of Pumpkin Spice Latte

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.

Stacked Caramel Apple Bars

Questions:

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!

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Comments

  1. I made these last night and replaced the sugar with 1/2 cup of erythritol, and for the peanut butter I used a dark chocolate flavored one – they were great! They tasted better this morning after chilling in the fridge overnight; they were less crumbly and richer tasting. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. These are amazing! I thought the peanut butter would have an overpowering taste (love peanut butter) but everything balanced perfectly! These are great, I just had trouble drying them out, the bars stayed moist.

    Great Recipe!

    1. Glad you loved them and yes, they’re a moist bar! I loathe dry food and these are perfectly soft & moist! :)

  3. These sounded greAt but I think it needs flour or an egg or something
    They never cooked and are the consistency of the pumpkin right out of the case
    A total flop

    1. Sorry that you didn’t have luck but you can see from my photos they worked just fine for me and many people have had great luck, no eggs or flour needed. Perhaps your peanut butter or pumpkin were especially on the runny side? Or maybe you just needed to bake awhile longer in your oven – things can vary so much. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  4. Can’t wait to try this it sounds so yummy love oats and peanut butter and have been on a diet this first of the year !! All ways looking for good treats that are healthy and ones my husband will enjoy!!! This will work!!! Thanks!!! Also started following your pins!!!

  5. These look,so yummy can’t wait to try them!! Healthy too!!! I’ve been on a diet since the first of the year and have lost 60 pounds! So always looking for a sweet treat that is low in calories!! Think this would work and husband will love the peanut butter and oats!!! Can’t wait to make these!!! Thanks I also started following you !!! You receipes are all yummy thanks again!! Love this web site!!!

  6. Using the following on substitutions, not having an oven, but a stovetop, so I cooked it flat in a non-stick pan, ate some of the rest of it raw:

    I used some oatbran, about 2/3 cup instead of 2/3 cup of oats.
    Wanting to use molasses for health reasons (I never cook with sugar and molasses has iron in it): I substituted six tablespoons of blackstrap molasses (less processed kind), for the sugar.

    I used fresh ginger, cooking the pumpkin with it some to infuse the flavor, and only had cinnamon on hand.

    I used almond butter instead of peanut butter, better for me.

    I added soaked, but not wet on the outside pumpkin seeds (more iron, and magnesium),

    The combination was really good, topped with the molasses-sweetened chocolate (which had a drop of cinnamon), cooked on a stovetop, then topped.

    BUT, even better was the leftover raw batter, and since oats are sufficiently cooked in initial processing, I am not worried about them being inedible. A friend I know from the local coffeehouse really enjoyed some raw, another ate the whole cookie.

    Cheers!

    1. Impressed that you did this on the stovetop and thanks for the detailed feeddback! The nice thing about vegan desserts is that the raw batter is always fun to eat :)

  7. I was really impatient to eat these, too, so I took them out of the oven, waited only about 5-8 min (they were still warm), and spooned some out. I’m very conscious of my sugar intake, so rather than making the frosting, I put plain, creamy neufchatel cheese on top and it melted a little bit. It was perfect with tea!

    1. So glad you tried them and thanks for LMK they were perfect for you, even with reduced sugar and an early spoon-out :)

  8. Thanks Averie for writing back. I have reduced the sugar and subbed for muscovado sugar in recipes before and have not had a problem, I guess this one is an exception. I love the idea of pumpkin peanut butter oat bars! They look so yummy so I’ll have to try it again sticking closer to your recipe. Cheers!

    1. The issue here is that there’s no flour to bind ingredients and the muscovado sugar is going to liquify when melted possibly more than other sugar; and there’s nothing to bind the bars and sop up that sugar. So although you may have reduced it, it still may pose a problem for this particular recipe. Baking can be so finnicky and this is a recipe I know isn’t broken, so I never change anything to try to fix it :)

  9. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup of muscovado sugar to make it healthier. It turned out very spicy. I’m not sure if the spices are extremely strong to begin with, 1tbs does sound like a lot to me or if reducing the sugar is what made it seem so strong. Maybe it is a combination. I also was expecting it to be a bit firmer or crispier but the squares were chewy. I may try this recipe again and reduce the pumpkin pie spice to 1tsp.

    1. Yes if you start reducing certain ratios and not others…you’re not going to get the same results that I did…from spiciness level to chewiness level; and on top of that you used a different type of sugar than I called for. So you changed many things – therefore you cannot expect to get the same results with this recipe as I wrote it (or with any recipe if you start changing 3+ things in it). They are a chewy bars, but they hold their shape. If you retry the recipe, make it as written; they are a favorite bar and as written, I’ve had so many people write to say they love these and I do too!