Great for breakfast, a snack, or dessert, these chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars are studded with dried cherries and chocolate chips. They’re gluten free, dairy free, and loaded with fiber – the perfect fall treat!
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Happy October Veg World! This is one of my all time favorite months for experimenting in the kitchen. Nothing beats fall flavors, aromatic spices, and cozy dishes that warm you from the inside out.
And there’s no better way to kick off cooking season than with a pumpkin-themed recipe!
Based on the unofficial poll I took in my Instagram stories a few weeks ago, you all were not quite ready for pumpkin spice at that time. But now that it’s October, I think you’re probably ready to dive in, right?
If you’ve spent the last week transitioning from salads to soups or prepping your house with fall decorations (I did both), these Chocolate Cherry Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars should fit right into your new routine!
I am absolutely smitten with these chewy, heavenly squares! They’re SO simple to make and contain both veggies and chocolate. Need I say more?
Make a batch on Sunday for family brunch or stash them away for yourself. Whatever you do, make sure you take the extra minute or two to warm them up (and add a lil’ butter!) before enjoying with your morning cup of coffee.
By the way, can I tell you how much I love the versatility of pumpkin? It’s such a tasty addition to baked goods, but also works well in savory dishes, like my One Pot Pumpkin Tomato Pasta (a reader favorite!) and Pumpkin Black Bean Dip.
Ok, enough about my love affair with October foods. Let’s get to it.
How to Make Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars
Here’s my foolproof method for making the BEST pumpkin oatmeal bars, pumpkin breakfast bars, pumpkin pie bars…whatever you want to call them.
- Prep the oat flour by grinding 1.5 cups of the gluten free old fashioned oats in a food processor or high-powered blender. Combine this with the other dry ingredients (baking soda and powder, sea salt, pumpkin pie spice).
- Whisk together the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract). Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir. Fold in the remaining cup of whole oats, chocolate chips, and dried cherries.
- Spread the batter on a greased 8×8″ baking pan. Bake for 22-28 mins, or until the edges are brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
- Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before slicing and enjoying!
I personally like to reserve some oats and chocolate chips to push into the top of the batter before putting the pan into the oven. It just makes them look prettier!
Substitutions and Storage
You can use dried tart or sweet cherries for this recipe. But if you don’t like cherries or can’t find them, try dried cranberries.
You can also add chopped nuts or take out the chocolate chips or cherries and replace them with nuts. Pecans or walnuts would probably taste especially good!
If you want to make these vegan, I’d recommend using chia eggs (made by combining 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsp water). Be sure to add 2 chia eggs.
If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Chocolate Cherry Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars
- 2.5 cups old fashioned oats – get certified gluten free if you need to make these gluten free
- 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie filling
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs – beaten
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cherries – tart or sweet cherries; look for no sugar added varieties
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8" baking pan and set aside.
- Add 1.5 cups of the old fashioned oats to a blender or food processor and blend/pulse until you get a fine powder that resembles flour. In a bowl, combine the oat flour with the pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir to combine. Pour in the remaining 1 cup of old fashioned oats, chocolate chips, and dried cherries. Stir.
- Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter onto the greased baking pan. Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until the edges are brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bars cool in the pan for a few minutes before slicing.
- Store in an airtight container at room temp for 3-5 days.
Welcome to October, vegheads!