Pumpkin Oat Bars

Pumpkin Oat Bars

Welcome to another edition of cooking with the infirm. Yes, that’s right, Scarlett is sick. Just three weeks into the institution I warmly refer to as the cess pool (otherwise known as school) and her immune system was taken down by a horrendous case of strep throat with a scarlet fever chaser. In other words, we’re home making snacks that no one in the uninfected world would dare eat. I mean, are you willing to try one after sore throat girl has stuck her hands into every aspect of the dough making process? 













It’s actually the kind of thing only a mother would do– eat from a pan of contaminated bars. It’s why I made something I was dying to snack on. In fact, I’m pretty proud of myself that I waited until October to start my pumpkin marathon. I was itching to get it underway last month but resisted. Stock up on the pumpkin people–I’m ready to roll.

Pumpkin Oat Bars


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13  baking pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, oats, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

Cream sugar with butter until smooth in a large bowl.

Then add the egg, vanilla extract and pumpkin until combined.

Stir in the oat mixture

Pour into prepared baking pan and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

The only thing missing from these bars is chocolate chips. I was super tempted to put them in but our family gave up sugar for the month. Stop laughing. I’m serious. Stop laughing. Obviously, it would be too hard to give up sugar completely. After all, it’s found in basically everything. However,we’ve given up the obvious sugar traps: juice, ketchup, cookies, cakes, sweetened yogurts, my favorite pumpkin scones from Starbucks, dressings, jams, my favorite pumpkin scones from Starbucks, syrup and cereal. Oh, did I mention, I gave up my favorite pumpkin scones from Starbucks. I’m not bitter though. I didn’t want to have to make my own bread so we had to be a little lenient with our food taboos. We also made a rule that natural sugars like fruit are good.

So I think these bars qualify as OK. Now, I see you looking at me with those cross eyes because we have sugar in them but I didn’t put as much as I’d planned. I was going to use 1/3 cup but Scarlett talked me out of it. And since they’re full of pumpkin and oats I figured they weren’t like a cookie or a brownie. Right? (They’re not like a cookie or a brownie! Agree with me!)

It’s why I couldn’t put the chips in. I really would have no leg to stand if the recipe included a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. But you can add the chips. Please tell me you’ll add the chocolate chips. (Then save me one.)

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  1. Julie
    October 04, 13:32 Reply

    Oh my goodness!!! These look so yummy! I’m also on a pumpkin marathon, but I started in September – I just couldn’t wait! (I think it’s OK to start as soon as it’s officially Fall!) I am totally making them next week! And YES I will add the chocolate chips!!!

  2. Marisa
    October 04, 15:21 Reply

    Oh YUM!! Just the kind of recipe that will be perfect to use up the 1/2 can of pumpkin I have in the fridge. I don’t deprive myself of pumpkin … I’ve been baking with it all summer!! And I WILL be adding the chocolate chips …

  3. Erin
    October 04, 16:09 Reply

    Is there baking soda in the recipe! They look so yummy! Also curious when to add the pumpkin?

    • Laura Keogh
      October 04, 16:46 Reply

      Sorry ladies. It must be the sleepless nights with the sick kid. I forgot the baking soda. We used 1/2 teaspoon. I’d also recommend 1/2 cup chips. Or 1 cup if you like lots a chocolate!

  4. Shelley
    October 04, 17:01 Reply

    Hello Laura… how much baking soda? Also, where does the pumpkin get mixed in… I am thinking with the oat mixture before adding to the dry ingredients?

    Thanks! I am so excited to bake these… I love anything pumpkin… I am in the midst of making them now (:

    • Laura Keogh
      October 04, 17:04 Reply

      Hi Shelley. Sorry ladies. It must be the sleepless nights with the sick kid. I forgot the baking soda. We used 1/2 teaspoon. I’d also recommend 1/2 cup chips. Or 1 cup if you like lots a chocolate! Best, Laura

  5. Shelley
    October 04, 20:45 Reply

    Hello again Laura!
    The bars turned out amazing! I loaded them up with a “generous” cup of chocolate chips like you suggested.
    Thanks for a great recipe!
    Wishing you restful nights!!

    • Laura Keogh
      October 05, 02:50 Reply

      Hi Shelley! You are the best! Thank you for being so keen to try the recipe. How good are they with the chips? Amazing, right?! I wish I could say I’m having a restful night (I’m writing this at 2:45 am) but it was sure a nice night finding your kind note in my inbox! Have a lovely weekend and thank you for reading! Best, Laura

  6. Alexis
    October 23, 17:00 Reply

    Made these this afternoon. Very Yummy. I used whole wheat flour as I didn’t have spelt, but will get some to try next time. I threw a few dark chips on one side to try and it definitely makes them a more decadent treat.

  7. Kathy
    November 21, 21:34 Reply

    These are super thin, and not like usual “bars” I make. If I make these again I will definitely add chocolate chips, and I will use a smaller pan so that they are a thicker bar.

  8. Michelle
    September 29, 21:44 Reply

    Disappointed, they turned out a little dry. What kind of pumpkin puree did you use? Real pumpkin, pumpkin in a can, or pumpkin pie puree?

    • Laura Keogh
      September 30, 23:29 Reply

      Hi Michelle, I’m sorry to hear they turned out a little dry. I used pumpkin in a carton, not pumpkin pie puree. I got it from my local health food store. Although, I use the stuff right out of the can too. Do you think it was your baking time? Please let me know.

  9. Monika Smith
    October 05, 11:01 Reply

    These were a success! We used pumpkin puree from a can and they were incredibly moist and chewy! We didn’t have spelt flour so I used whole wheat instead. I added the chocolate chips for my four-year old son. They were gone in one day and my son asked for more! Will make again.

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