No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

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These decadent no bake pumpkin pie bars pair a crunchy granola crust with a creamy, thick pumpkin filling with coconut oil and cashew butter. Vegan & gluten-free.

Last week I shared a sweet and savory wild rice stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving, but now it’s time to move on to dessert! Dessert is the best part about the holidays anyhow, amirite?

Of course pumpkin pie is a quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, but I honestly think this no bake version of pumpkin pie is even better than the baked version. The filling has such a great texture because it is chilled, thick and creamy. I enjoy it so much more than the fluffy custard-like filling that pumpkin pie can sometimes have.

If you’re in the same boat, you will LOVE these no bake pumpkin pie bars! And the whole no bake thing means that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of an oven, which works out perfectly considering most folks have a big ol’ turkey and lots of sides hogging all the oven space on Thanksgiving Day.

These decadent pumpkin pie bars pair a crunchy granola crust with a creamy, thick pumpkin filling with coconut oil and cashew butter. Vegan & gluten-free.

As I mentioned, the filling in these no-bake pumpkin pie bars is especially rich, thick and creamy, but the best part might be the granola crust.

By using only three ingredients – coconut oil, dates and granola – you can have yourself the perfect crunchy crust that holds together well. I’d personally choose a granola crust over a graham cracker or shortbread crust any day! Who’s with me?!

Ingredients in These No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

  • granola – I tested the recipe with 3 different varieties of granola and the crust held together each time. I found the Purely Elizabeth granola worked best. If your crust seems dry and doesn’t seem to be holding together well, add another 1-2 Tablespoons of coconut oil.
  • medjool dates – You can buy medjool dates that are already pitted or pit them yourself (it’s super easy). Two brands that I like are Natural Delights and Joolies. You can find Natural Delights in the produce section of most grocery stores (near the bananas) and Joolies are offered on Amazon and Thrive Market.
  • pumpkin puree – if you’re using store-bought canned pumpkin make sure you grab pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which is usually sweetened. I also have a homemade pumpkin puree recipe if you’re interested!
  • cashew butter – I haven’t tested these bars with a different nut or seed butter, so I’m not sure how they’d turn out. I think cashew butter works best because it’s extra creamy, so I highly recommend using that for the best results. If you try another nut/seed butter, please let me know in the comments.
  • coconut oil – this helps hold the granola crust together.
  • pumpkin pie spice – you can make your own pumpkin pie spice blend or use store-bought!
  • vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt – seasonings and spices to bring the flavors together.
Vegan and Gluten-Free No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

How to Make No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

Make crust: First, you’ll want to make your granola crust. Add your granola to a food processor and process until the granola is the size of graham cracker crumbs. Add coconut oil and dates to the food processor and process until mixture is well combined and sticking together. Next, pour the crust mixture into an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Use your hands to press the mixture firmly into an even layer along the bottom of the dish. Place dish in the fridge to allow the crust to harden up.

Make filling: While the crust is setting in the fridge, clean out your food processor and assemble it to use it again. Add your dates to the food processor and process until dates have turned into a sticky paste. A ball might form and this is okay. Just break the ball apart with your hands. Add remaining pumpkin filling ingredients to the processor (pumpkin, cashew butter, coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon). Turn on your food processor and blend until the mixture is completely combined and smooth. There may be a few specks of the dates visible, but the mixture should be smooth.

Set: Remove the pie crust from the fridge and pour the pumpkin pie filling into it. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the filling evenly. Now all you have to do is place the dish back into the fridge for at least 4-6 hours but overnight is best. This will give the mixture time to really thicken and set up.

No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

Coconut Oil Used As a Binder

As you’ll notice, this recipe doesn’t require any butter for the crust or binders for the filling and that’s because we’re using coconut oil. Coconut oil hardens up when it’s chilled and helps to hold everything together.

Of course the dates and cashew butter also help to thicken up the pumpkin pie filling, but the coconut oil is definitely the saving grace when it comes to keeping the crust together.

I’m sure most of you are fully aware, but coconut oil is great for vegan baking/desserts. I use it all the time! For this recipe I’m teaming up with Nature’s Way and using their organic extra virgin coconut oil which is cold-pressed and not refined, deodorized or bleached.

Pumpkin Pie Bars 2

How to Prep Pumpkin Pie Bars in Advance

If you’re like me and enjoy getting a few things knocked off your list before Thanksgiving Day, then this recipe is perfect for you as the pumpkin pie bars need a few hours to set up so you’re forced to make them in advance. This allows you to get it out of the way so come Thanksgiving Day you can serve your delicious dessert with minimal effort.

To prep these bars in advance, simply make the bars as directed below and place the dish back in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours, but overnight is best. This will give the mixture time to thicken and set up. Once set, remove from the fridge, cut the bars and serve.

How to Serve

Ready to serve? Remove the dish from the fridge and cut into 12 even squares. The bars are fabulous on their own, but feel free to spruce them up with a dollop of store-bought or homemade coconut whipped cream.

More Holiday Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out the full collection of pumpkin recipes and a collection of Thanksgiving recipes here on EBF.

No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

4 from 22 votes
These decadent no bake pumpkin pie bars pair a crunchy granola crust with a creamy, thick pumpkin filling with coconut oil and cashew butter. Vegan & gluten-free.
Pumpkin pie bar with a bite taken out of it on a white plate.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

Granola Crust

  • 3 cups granola*
  • 2 Tablespoons solid coconut oil
  • 10 pitted medjool dates

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup cashew butter
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Add granola to a food processor and process until the granola is the size of graham cracker crumbs. Add coconut oil and dates to the food processor and process until mixture is well combined and sticking together.
  • Pour crust mixture into an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Use your hands to press the mixture firmly into an even layer along the bottom of the dish. Place dish in the fridge to allow the crust to harden up.
  • Wipe out your food processor container, replace blade and add dates to the processor. Process until dates have turned into a sticky paste. A ball might form and this is okay. Just break the ball apart with your hands.
  • Add remaining pumpkin filling ingredients to the processor (pumpkin, cashew butter, coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon). Turn on food processor and blend until mixture is completely combined and smooth. There may be a few specks of the dates visible, but the mixture should be smooth.
  • Grab crust from the fridge and pour pumpkin pie filling over it. Use a spoon or spatula to spread the filling evenly.
  • Place dish back in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours, but overnight is best. This will give the mixture time to thicken and set up. Once set, remove from the fridge, cut the bars and serve. Top each bar with a dollop of coconut whipped cream for serving if you wish.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

  • I tested the recipe with 3 different varieties of granola and the crust held together each time. I found the Purely Elizabeth granola worked best. If your crust seems dry and doesn’t seem to be holding together well, add another 1-2 Tablespoons of coconut oil.
  • The bars are fabulous on their own, but feel free to spruce them up with a dollop of store-bought or homemade coconut whipped cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar Calories: 291kcal Carbohydrates: 30g Protein: 7g Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 6g Sugar: 15g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: no bake pumpkin pie bars

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    36 comments
    1. Robin
      November 27, 2021 AT 11:19 am

      5 stars
      These came out great! Follow the directions exactly had no problems. I kept them in the refrigerator an extra day and they were just as good the next day.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 29, 2021 AT 10:28 am

        Woo!! So thrilled to hear these were a hit, Robin! Thanks so much for making them and coming back to leave a review. It means the world to me!

    2. Erica
      October 26, 2020 AT 11:06 am

      5 stars
      Love this!! It was also a total hit with our dinner guests! I love that the crust is made from granola and that you used dates to bind and sweeten the crust and filling. So yum!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 26, 2020 AT 9:05 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad these bars were a hit! Thanks for making them and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it. <3

    3. Deepika
      November 30, 2019 AT 6:17 am

      These are mouth-watering! Do you think I can use carrots instead of a pumpkin?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 2, 2019 AT 3:54 pm

        Hey Deepika – The pumpkin is a main component to this recipe. I am not sure how mashed carrots would work as a replacement, but you could definitely try it! I’m just not sure if they will turn out the same. Let me know if you do end up using carrots and how it turns out for you.

    4. Lauren M
      November 21, 2019 AT 11:17 am

      Yum! Can’t wait to try – did you use the PB chocolate granola from purely Elizabeth? Ever since you talked about that granola we can’t stop buying it! Obsessed. Also do you think you could sub almond butter for cashew butter? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 21, 2019 AT 5:19 pm

        Hi Lauren – I found that the original granola from Purely Elizabeth worked the best, but I’m sure using the chocolate granola from them would also be delicious! In regards to the almond butter, I think cashew works best because it’s extra creamy, but almond butter will likely work too. Although I haven’t tried it so I’m not entirely sure how it will turn out. Let me know if you decide to try it!

    5. Kara
      December 11, 2018 AT 9:41 pm

      5 stars
      I made this recipe twice so far for Thanksgiving and it was super easy and super delicious! Both groups of people loved it and wanted to know the recipe. The coconut whip cream was a nice added addition on top as well!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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