These Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. These pumpkin bars are also gluten free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, and nut free (as long as you use a nut-free milk alternative). These are the perfect allergy-free treat to enjoy all the best Fall Flavors.
These pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting are a spin-off of my easy gluten free pumpkin bread recipe. I loved that pumpkin bread so much that I had to make it again but with a tasty twist. This time I turned that delicious easy gluten free pumpkin bread recipe into perfect sized bars. I then topped those bars with an amazing vegan cream cheese frosting. The dairy-free cream cheese frosting has a tasty light flavor because of the added lemon juice. It compliments the spiced pumpkin bars perfectly.
These pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting truly have the perfect taste and texture. The pumpkin bar itself is so moist, soft, and flavorful. Yes, they are gluten free and vegan but I promise you, no one will be able to tell. They are not dry or crumbly whatsoever like some gluten free baked goods tend to be. The dairy-free chocolate chips and pumpkin pie spice add a delicious flavor to these soft gluten free pumpkin bars. Then to top it all of the dairy-free cream cheese adds a delicious creamy texture. These are the perfect easy Fall dessert to bring to a party or dinner with friends.
Cream Cheese Used for Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Picking a dairy-free cream cheese can sometimes be a challenge. Not all dairy-free cream cheeses are exactly the same. My favorite dairy-free cream cheese is probably Kite Hill plain cream cheese. However, since Kite Hill is so pricey, it did not make sense to use it in a recipe like this where the flavor will be masked by sugar anyways. When you are adding dairy-free cream cheese to a recipe like this, go with the cheapest option. Any “off” taste will be masked by the other delicious ingredients in the frosting.
I chose WayFare original cream cheese. The taste is pretty mild, the texture is perfect for this frosting, and the price tag is on point. WayFare is still a small company and is not sold in every market. If you can not find WayFare, Daiya plain cream cheese is your next best option. Daiya also has a good price tag and a suitable texture for frosting.
How to make a Nut Free Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
While most faux cheesecakes or cream cheese frostings contain nuts, this delicious frosting used for these pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting is completely nut free. Instead of using cashews to create a creamy consistency I chose to use a combination of store bought vegan cream cheese (see section above), oats, and coconut oil. Soaked oats add a delicious creamy texture to this frosting and a tasty sweet flavor. The coconut oil helps the frosting bind up as it cools. If you are allergic to coconut oil, feel free to try substituting with a dairy free butter like Earth Balance.
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Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 batch Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread - make sure the recipe is set to 10 servings
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats - soaked in a bowl of water for 4-8 hours
- 8 oz container vegan cream cheese - see note in blog post on choosing cream cheese
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted - see note in blog post about substituting for allergy
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice - about 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and very lightly flour a 9x13 baking pan. Spread your pumpkin bread batter into your pan evenly and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
- Let your pumpkin bars rest in the pan on a cooling rack for about 40 minutes or until cool to the touch.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Drain and rinse your soaked oats. In a high powered blender, blend your soaked oats, vegan cream cheese, powdered sugar, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
- Spread your vegan cream cheese frosting onto your cooled pumpkin bars and pop them into the fridge for about 2 hours or until frosting has firmed up. Cut your pumpkin bars and serve.
You can store in the fridge for about 4 days or store in the freezer for much longer.