… Bringing the Goodness of Pumpkin Pie and Bars Together!
We all know that pumpkin pie is a classic dessert for Thanksgiving. I’ve heard through the grapevine, though, that some of you don’t want to serve pumpkin pie. (Personally I just don’t get that because I wait all year for pumpkin pie season … but I completely respect it!) No problem.
If it’s the process of making a pie from scratch – since that’s nearly the only way you’re going to get a gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin pie – the crust is what usually trips people up, and we can be work with that. If that’s not it, then we’ll move on from pie.
If it’s that you are tired of serving the “expected” on Thanksgiving, and you’d like to do something a little different this year, then you’ve come to the right place. One option would be to go a cake approach. Check out my gluten-free, dairy-free Pumpkin Cake with Ginger Buttercream Frosting. The cake is subtle and the frosting has a distinct flavor. If cake’s not floating your boat either, check below for some other suggestions. I’ve shared a variety just for you. (When it comes to pumpkin, I get a bit light-headed just talking about all the options and tend to stray periodically.)
If you’re anxious to hear about these Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bars, let’s get back to this recipe post, shall we?
Pumpkin bars come in all shapes and sizes. They can have a crunchy crust, crumble toppings, no toppings, etc. And they’re all good!
These gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin bars are covered in a slightly crunchy, gently chewy streusel mixture of pecans and coconut, with bits of brown sugar and flax stirred in, for good measure. To keep things simple, I used the same streusel topping for the crust too. I love the surprise bits of orange zest that add interest. The bars are not overly sweet, and will perfectly follow a heavy dinner as a light dessert. These bars are very good on their own. Add just a dollop of sweet, fake (aka non-dairy) whipped cream and this Turkey Day dessert goes from delicious to FAB-u-lous!
For my non traditional-pumpkin-pie goers, here are some other dessert choices that would follow your Thanksgiving feast deliciously:
Apricot Sweet Potato Bars (great as a side dish too!)
Cake Pop Turkeys (fun dessert or place card activity for the kids)
Want to skip the pumpkin (or sweet potato) theme altogether? Perhaps you can serve a moist, autumnal flavored Carrot Cake with Apricots and Orange Zest or Chunky Apple Butternut Squash Pie. You can’t ever go wrong with these, in my humble opinion.
Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bars
For Streusel Crust and Topping
- 1 cup shredded coconut, chopped
- 1/2 cup (60g) finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup (60g) sweet white sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) finely almond flour
- 1/3 cup (35g) flaxseed meal
- 1/3 cup (75g) packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup non-dairy butter substitute - I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread - soy free
- 2 Tablespoons zest of 1 huge or 2 medium oranges
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, optional for toasted coconut top
For Pumpkin Filling
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Mix all topping - except the 1/4 cup shredded coconut - in a bowl. Gently rub mixture between fingertips to incorporate the butter substitute into the mixture.
- Place half of the mixture into an 11x7-inch baking dish and press mixture firmly to make an even crust. Bake at 375ºF on center rack of oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while making filling.
- While crust is baking, in a medium bowl combine all pumpkin filling ingredients, stirring well to incorporate. When crust has finished baking, pour filling into pan. Smooth gently.
- Distribute remaining streusel topping mixture over filling. Gently pat to smooth.
- Place baking pan on center rack of oven. Reduce temp to 350ºF and bake for 35 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of bars comes out damp but clean. Remove pan from oven. For added toasted coconut on streusel topping, sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup shredded coconut over topping, pressing gently to stick. Return pan to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and place on cooling rack to come to room temperature, approximately 2 hours. Serve or refrigerate. Keep all leftover bars covered in fridge. Will last a few days. (I haven't tried freezing them.)
*This recipe is a DailyForage.com original recipe and has been shared on Gluten Free Fridays #159 at VegetarianMamma.com.
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