Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars are baked to crispy perfection with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a hint of pumpkin spice. They’re also gluten-free, vegan and nut-free, so perfect for school lunches!
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:1 hour, 30 minutes (includes time for bars to cool)
Yield:12 bars 1x
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, medium desiccated
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup flax meal
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter, with salt
2 tablespoons virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil
Optional chocolate topping:
2 tablespoons vegan dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil
Pre-heat oven to 325F and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, add the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, flax, pumpkin spice and salt. Stir until combined. Mix in the cranberries.
In a small microwave safe bowl or measuring cup, add the maple syrup, sunflower seed butter and coconut oil. Microwave for 60-90 seconds in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each interval. The mixture should be a smooth liquid and bubbling.
Carefully pour the wet mixture (it will be hot) onto the oat mixture and stir until well combined. The mixture will be wet and a bit sticky.
Firmly press the granola bar mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan by using the back of a spoon or the palm of your hand.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. The bars may seem soft when you remove them from the oven, but they will get crispy as they cool. So let them cool completely on a wire rack before lifting out of the pan and cutting into bars.
For the optional chocolate drizzle, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a small microwave safe bowl and heat for two 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Stir the chocolate until smooth and drizzle over the granola bars. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze for later enjoyment.
To keep these bars gluten-free, make sure your oats and spices are certified gluten-free.
If you don’t need these bars to be gluten-free, you can use regular rolled oats. Or for a grain-free version, replace the oats with buckwheat flakes.
If using a sunflower seed butter without salt, you may wish to add more salt to the granola bar mixture (in addition to the 1/4 teaspoon already called for).
You can use nut butter as a replacement for sunflower seed butter. Just keep in mind these bars will not be nut-free.
I recommend using an 8-inch square pan to make these bars. I used a 9-inch pan for one batch and it spread the bars too thin, which resulted in some crumbling when cut.
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker’s Crunchy Baked Granola Bars.