Pumpkin Pie Bars with Oatmeal Crust
Do you want the taste of pumpkin pie without the hassle? Then these pumpkin pie bars are for you. They have an oatmeal crust, which doubles as the streusel topping. In the center is an unbelievable pumpkin filling that is super creamy and flavorful. You will love this fall treat!
Pumpkin pie bars are one of my favorite pumpkin desserts. I love a good crumble topping and this one pairs well with the perfectly spiced and creamy pumpkin filling. I make these bars at least once every fall and every time they are a success!
Why this recipe works
The recipe only requires two bowls—one for the oatmeal crust and crumble, and the other for the pumpkin mixture. Both mixtures require no electric mixer, just stirring by hand. After that, it’s all about the layering. The pumpkin pie filling is sturdy and flavorful while the crumble is rich and sweet.
For a little added crunch, try adding 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts to the crumble topping! You can also serve the bars with a drizzle of salted caramel or dollop of whipped cream.
If you want to make these pumpkin bars gluten-free, then I suggest using oat flour or cup-for-cup flour. I do not recommend almond flour or coconut flour as they have a higher fat content and the crumble won’t set properly.
- Pumpkin purée: 100% pure canned pumpkin purée works best for this recipe (I used Libby’s).
- Rolled oats: Also known as old fashioned oats, they add some chewy texture to the crust and crumble. In a pinch you can use quick oats, but the texture won’t be the same. I do not recommend steel cut oats.
- Evaporated milk: This makes the pumpkin filling rich and flavorful. Half and half may be used as a substitution.
- Pumpkin pie spice: I like to use my homemade pumpkin pie spice, but you can also use store-bought or individual spices (see recipe card notes).
How to make pumpkin pie bars
- Make the oatmeal crust/crumble: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Whisk together flour, oats, salt and baking soda. Add sugar and brown sugar, whisk again. Pour melted butter and vanilla over the dry ingredients. Stir until clumps form and ingredients are moistened.
- Bake the crust: Press half of the crumble topping into a 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
- Prepare pumpkin filling: Whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar and spices. Add the eggs, vanilla, pumpkin purée and evaporated milk. Mix until combined and smooth.
- Pour the filling over the partially baked crust (it’s okay if it’s still warm). Spread into an even layer.
5. Bake filling for 15 minutes at 350 F.
6. Add the streusel topping and bake: Remove bars from the oven and sprinkle remaining oatmeal mixture on top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes longer.
Remember to reserve half the oatmeal crumble mixture for the topping. While the crust and filling bakes, keep the remaining mixture in the refrigerator so it gets cold—this is a must to achieve the most delicious streusel topping!
Adjust the oven rack to one position higher after adding the streusel topping (not the top rack). This helps the top get golden brown and a touch crispy, without over-baking the oatmeal crust on the bottom. Finally, let the bars cool completely before cutting and serving. The pumpkin pie filling needs time to set.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve cold or at room temperature.
No. Pumpkin pie mix has added sugar and spices, which will mess with the ratio of other ingredients in this recipe. Use 100% pure pumpkin purée.
Yes. Once the bars have cooled completely, place them (uncut) in the refrigerate to set. Use parchment paper ends to pull the whole bar out of the pan. Wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature, cutting and serving.
Yes, you can double this recipe and bake it in a 9×13 pan. Baking time for the filling will be slightly longer (no more than 5 minutes).
Whether you’re in search of more pumpkin recipes or some seasonal dessert bar recipes, I have you covered. Check these out:
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Pumpkin Pie Bars
- 1 ¼ cups (176 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups (116 g) old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (105 g) packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (305 g) canned pumpkin purée, (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ⅓ cup (85 ml) evaporated milk, (or half and half)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Adjust oven rack to the middle level. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt, baking soda, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Whisk until no clumps remain. Combine melted butter and vanilla. Add to mixture, then stir with a spoon until mixture is moist and small clumps form.
- Gently press HALF of the mixture into prepared baking dish and bake at 350° F 15 minutes. Keep remaining crumble mixture in the refrigerator while the crust bakes and you prepare the filling.
- Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add in egg, egg yolk and vanilla, and stir until blended. Mix in pumpkin, then evaporated milk.
- Pour mixture over baked crust (it's okay if it is still warm). Return to oven to bake 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove bars from oven and sprinkle remaining oat crumble mixture over top. Break any big crumbles into smaller pieces.
- Adjust oven rack to one level above (not the top level) and return the bars to oven to bake about 20 minutes longer. Bars are finished when the crumble top is golden and center only jiggles slightly. Allow to cool 1 hour at room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator to cool 1 hour longer. Cut into squares and serve.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy.