One of my favorite recipes to make in the fall was Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Bars. It is really more of a cake than a bar, but they were delicious and I knew they were one recipe I wanted to adapt them to be gluten free.
I recently spent some time tweaking the recipe making it gluten free and the gluten free version turned out so good.
I want to clarify though that when I say I tweak and adapt a recipe, that it takes time and it is not always easy. I have received several emails recently asking how I adapt my favorite recipes to be gluten free. I wish I had a magic formula, really I do. My answer is it takes time. It takes trial and error and a few disasters.
I read a lot of gluten free books and cookbooks and get ideas of what might work, but it doesn’t always work. Yes, sometimes it does and I have a great recipe to post, but often I have to start over and try again. This is the reason that I only post a few times a week. It takes time to recreate my recipes to be gluten free.
Don’t get me wrong, I love adapting my family’s favorite recipes and posting about them. I love the challenge, and I love it when I finally get it right and my family can’t tell that a favorite food is gluten free, but it is not always easy.
There are a few things I have found that make some recipes more adaptable than others, and I hope to share some of those over the next few weeks and months.
But I want to make sure that you know that my goal is not to discourage anyone from gluten free baking. My goal is to help show you that gluten free food can and should be good. You can and should enjoy it. And with a little work you can recreate some of your favorite foods to be gluten free.
Now back to the pumpkin bars. These would be perfect not only for fall, but for the holidays. You could easily serve these to a large group and I doubt anyone would know that they are gluten free. I hope you enjoy this pumpkin recipe as much as my family did.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars
A classic pumpkin bar made gluten free.
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 3/4 confectioners’ sugar ( or a little more )
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl stir together the rice flour, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
- Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until well combined.
- Spread the batter into a greased 9x13 cake pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
- For frosting, in a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
- Gradually beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to achieve desired consistency.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 483Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 372mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 1gSugar: 50gProtein: 3g
Nutritional values are approximate and aren't always accurate.
You Pumpkin Bars look great! I have been in a pumpkin mood also, making pumpkin doughnuts and pumpkin pancakes. Personally, I think pumpkin is a great ingredient in gluten free baked goods, as it adds so much flavor and moisture.
Your frosted gf pumpkin bars look so delectable!!
MMMMMMMMMMMM,…You also have a COOl foodblog!!
Many greets from a recent gf foodie from Brussels, Belgium!!!
Thank you! I am glad that you found my site.
Your pumpkin bars look really yummy!
I wonder if you could use fresh pumpkin puree instead of the canned puree.
I see lots of giant pumpkins for sale for just $2. I’m a bit sick of making pumpkin soup and would love something different like this for a change 😉
I think homemade pumpkin puree would work fine in this. I hope you enjoy it!
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I love pumpkin, and your pumpkin really looks amazing. I am a big foodie and I love tasting different kinds of dishes, so I am trying my hands in the kitchen as well, I tried this recipe too it tasted good but didn’t look as good as yours.
I am glad that it tasted good and that you enjoyed it.
Since I am not allowed to have sugar or cornstarch, I substituted Stevia for sugar, and tapioca starch for the cornstarch. It turned out perfect!The pumpkin bars were so moist. I am so glad to have found your site! Thank you for sharing these recipes. It is so nice to be able eat eat food that is so tasty and won’t make me sick.
I am so glad that you were able to adapt this to work for you. We love these and am so happy that you do also. Thank you for reading!
I made these today for a Thanksgiving meal. My family and I had Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house and she has to be on a gluten free diet. I was pleasantly surprised. These came out GREAT! I have never eaten gluten free anything to my knowledge and had read that some gluten free baked goods have a bitter after taste so I was a bit worried. These tasted like regular pumpkin cake. They were moist and very tasty. My friend loved them. The kids loved them also. Thanks for a great recipe.
I am so glad that you all liked them. We love them and I agree these are one of those gluten free things that anyone would enjoy. Thanks for letting me know how much you liked them.
What is xanthan gum and do I really need to use it in the recipe?
I have a post for my food facts series on xanthan gum planned soon. Xanthan gum gives gluten free baked goods texture, it helps replace the characteristics of gluten. In a recipe like this it helps it rise and stay together. I have never made this recipe without xanthan gum, most cakes will turn out dry and crumbly if you leave out the xanthan gum. I hope that helps.
What if I do not have cornstarch or regular flour? Should I double the rice flour or can I use tapioca flour instead to thicken it?
You need the starch, so I would try tapioca, it might change the texture some though.
Thanks! This was actually a very last minute comment on my part b/c I made them tonight. I used the tapioca and actually made cupcakes since my pan was a little too big and they turned out great. Got lots of compliments, thanks!!
I am so glad to hear that they worked for you that way. Thanks for letting me know.