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Healthy Keto Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

These are the best Keto Pumpkin Bars ever! Bursting with pumpkin spiced flavor, and topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting. They are a healthy low carb dessert that your family is gonna love!

Best Keto Pumpkin Bars

This is the time of year for everything pumpkin. Last fall we brought some really good pumpkin recipes like our Low Carb Pumpkin Pie, and our Keto Pumpkin Bread, but this year we’re happy to bring you even more new delicious pumpkin recipes, perfect for these fall days. 

Has anyone ever had pumpkin bars?? If you haven’t then you’re in for quite a treat. But if you have had pumpkin bars then just wait until you’ve tried our Keto pumpkin bars. You would never even know that there isn’t white flour and sugar in them. 

I’ve made 2 batches of these low carb pumpkin bars in the last 3 weeks and made goodie plates for a bunch of my friends. During these recent days, I feel like everyone has been more in the mood for fresh baked goods. So even more so that our sugar-free and low carb desserts are coming in handy!

I’m loving coming up with new and delicious fall recipes for you to share with your friends and family, so enjoy!

What are Pumpkin Bars?

So pumpkin bars are basically a nice fall dessert that is cooked in either a long baking pan, cookie sheet, or pretty much any size pan to create bars. 

These keto pumpkin bars are lighter and not as dense as other traditional bars, it’s more like a cake. After the bars are cooled then they are normally frosted with a cream cheese frosting but can be omitted if you prefer.

Are Pumpkin Bars the Same as Pumpkin Cake?

A lot of recipes for pumpkin bars are extremely similar and can be very similar to a pumpkin cake. These particular keto pumpkin bars are a bit thinner and a little more fragile than a regular piece of cake. But all in all, when talking about the flavor and consistency, these healthy pumpkin bars are very, very similar to a pumpkin cake.

Are Pumpkin Bars Keto-Friendly?

Keto Pumpkin Bar Recipe

These healthy pumpkin bars are a great keto-friendly option! The cake layer is made with almond flour and a low carb sweetener making them keto pumpkin bars. 

1 of our Keto Pumpkin Bars is only 2.1 NET CARBS, making it the perfect low carb dessert or snack. 

Now compared to regular pumpkin bars, they can have anywhere from 20-30 NET CARBS each

That’s a very big difference and honestly, our keto pumpkin bars taste just as good as regular ones so why eat unnecessary sugar and carbs?!

What Ingredients are in Keto Pumpkin Bars?

Keto Pumpkin Bar ingredients

Bar Ingredients: 

  • Almond Flour – Our base flour for these keto pumpkin bars. 
  • Eggs – 5 eggs
  • Olive Oil – I used extra virgin olive oil, it makes our bars very moist. 
  • Pumpkin – Canned or fresh pumpkin. Do not use pumpkin pie filling. 
  • Sweetener – Granulated monk fruit sweetener, but feel free to use another if you prefer.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – Try our homemade pumpkin spice, it makes a difference.  
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda

Frosting Ingredients:

  • Cream Cheese – Softened cream cheese is a must. Let it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before using. 
  • Butter – The butter also needs to be softened to room temperature. 
  • Sweetener – Powdered swerve, or another brand of low carb powdered sweetener is key to getting a smooth and creamy texture. Don’t use a granulated sweetener. 
  • Heavy Cream – 2 tbsp of heavy cream. 
  • Vanilla – I really like my frosting to taste very “vanilla-y” so I used 2 tsp. You can use 1 tsp if you want a little less vanilla flavor.

Sweetener Options

So I chose to use 2 different low carb sweeteners in this recipe for sugar-free pumpkin bars. In the cake part of the recipe, I used granulated monk fruit. I like the way monk fruit sweetener tastes, I don’t find it has any aftertaste in this recipe.

You can use any other low carb sweetener such as Swerve or any other erythritol of your choice. 

*If using Xylitol, please be careful if you have pets. Xylitol is toxic to animals.* 

Now for the cream cheese frosting, you have to use a Powdered sweetener. I used Powdered Swerve, but you could use Powdered Monk Fruit or another brand you prefer. The reason for using powdered is it’s the smoothest option. 

You do NOT want to use any granulated sweetener because it will be too gritty, and no one wants a gritty frosting.

Canned Pumpkin vs. Fresh Pumpkin

Keto Pumpkin Bar Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

I tend to always recommend using canned pumpkin in my recipes, I find it gives you the best results. Plus it’s so much easier to use. 

Just make sure your canned pumpkin is 100% pumpkin and does not include any other added ingredients. Oh, and be sure not to use canned pumpkin filling…that has other ingredients you don’t want.

Can I Substitute the Eggs?

I haven’t tried to substitute the eggs in this keto pumpkin bar recipe. But typically if you can’t eat eggs, you can replace them with either flax egg, or chia eggs. You may get a slightly wetter consistency though. 

If you use one of these replacements then please let me know in the comments how it comes out.

Can I Substitute the Oil? 

I don’t see why you can’t use butter instead, but seeing that we use extra virgin olive oil it makes the cake layer of our healthy pumpkin bars dairy-free. Even though olive oil has fat, it’s a much healthier fat than butter so we prefer it in this recipe.

Can I Substitute the Almond Flour with Coconut Flour?

I haven’t tried to substitute almond flour with coconut flour in these healthy pumpkin bars, so I can’t say exactly how they will come out. 

But the rule of thumb when substituting almond flour for coconut flour is that for every 1 cup almond flour, replace it with ¼ cup of coconut flour.  And typically you should add an extra egg for every ¼ cup of coconut flour used in addition to the eggs called for in the original recipe. 

As I said, I haven’t tried it yet but if you give it a try please let me know your thoughts.

Different Variations of Low Carb Pumpkin Bars

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Bars on the table

Here are a few variations you can make to our easy keto pumpkin bars: 

  • Add Nuts: If you love nuts then feel free to add some chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter. 
  • Chocolate Chips: Pumpkin and chocolate chips go great together. Add some sugar-free chocolate chips for the batter for a little nice added chocolate flavor.

Toppings

As far as toppings go, I made a Keto cream cheese frosting that goes beautifully with these healthy pumpkin bars. But you don’t have to use the frosting, or you can even add to the frosting. Here are a couple of ideas: 

  • Add chopped nuts on top of the frosting. Makes it look nice and adds some crunch. 
  • Sprinkle some pumpkin pie seasoning, cinnamon, or nutmeg on top of the frosted or unfrosted bars. 
  • Instead of a cream cheese frosting, use a classic vanilla frosting. 
  • Decorate with chocolate chips, can never go wrong with chocolate chips. 
  • Add a tsp of maple extract to the frosting and now you have a Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.

Can I Make Keto Pumpkin Bars Without Frosting?

You can absolutely make these keto pumpkin bars without frosting. The cream cheese frosting is completely optional, but I do find that it goes so well with these bars. 

Some of our family doesn’t like cream cheese so I left them some bars without the frosting and they loved it. The cake is so moist and delicious on its own.

Tools to Use 

  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer – KitchenAid is my standing mixer of choice.
  • Mixing Bowls 
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons 
  • Spatula 
  • Baking Pan – I used a 9×13 glass pan
  • Parchment Paper and or Nonstick Cooking Spray
  • Offset Spatula aka a Frosting Spreader – Makes frosting cakes and bars much easier
  • Large Knife for cutting

How to Make Keto Pumpkin Bars from Scratch

Keto Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ok, let’s get these delicious keto pumpkin bars baked and ready to eat! 

Making the Bar Layer 

Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees

STEP 1: In a large bowl add the eggs, pumpkin, and olive oil. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer combine all the ingredients until smooth. Then set aside.

STEP 2: In another bowl combine all the dry ingredients: almond flour, sweetener, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir together making sure that you get all the lumps out.

STEP 3: Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, continue mixing until it is completely combined and smooth.

Baking

(This step is optional) – Lightly spray the bottom of a 9×13 pan and place the parchment paper in the pan. This keeps the parchment paper from moving around.

Baking dish for Keto Pumpkin Bars

STEP 4: Line the baking pan with parchment paper. This keeps the pumpkin from sticking to the pan.

lining baking dish with parchment paper

STEP 5: Pour the batter into the pan.

pouring Keto Pumpkin Bar mixture into baking dish

STEP 6: Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely on the counter.

Keto Pumpkin Bars baking in the oven

Preparing the Cream Cheese Frosting

STEP 7: To make the frosting bring both the cream cheese and butter to room temperature, this is very important. If your cream cheese and butter are not room temperature then the frosting will not mix well.

empty bowl and cream cheese frosting ingredients

STEP 8: Using an electric mixer or stand mixer and whip the cream cheese and butter together. Then add the sweetener, heavy cream, and vanilla. Whip until creamy.

STEP 9: Now it’s time to frost the bars. Spread the frosting evenly over the bars until completely covered.

How to Tell When Pumpkin Bars are Done?

In my oven, the bars took exactly 30 minutes to cook and that was perfect! Your oven may cook differently than mine so that’s something to keep in mind. 

The best way to tell if the gluten-free pumpkin bars are done is to stick a toothpick or a knife in the center and if it comes out clean then it’s done. If it comes out sticky or gooey then it’s not done. Set the timer for only 1-2 minutes at a time so you don’t overcook them.

Cutting Pumpkin Bars Neatly

Ready to cut Low Carb Pumpkin Bars

I recommend using a large sharp Chef’s Knife to cut your sugar-free pumpkin bars easily. 

After each cut, wipe the knife with a wet paper towel or rinse it with water then dry with a towel. Wiping the knife in between each cut ensures your bars will be nice and neat.

Picking up a Keto Pumpkin Bar with a spatula

Best Tips

  • Use pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling. Be careful not to mistake them for each other. Pumpkin filling has added ingredients you don’t need or want. Pumpkin puree is just straight pumpkin. 
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer will get the batter the smoothest. Don’t mix with a whisk or spoon, you won’t get the right texture. 
  • Bring the cream cheese and the butter to room temperature before trying to mix the frosting.
  • If you want thinner bars use a baking sheet. 
  • For thicker bars use a 9×9 pan. Keep in mind the baking time will be a little longer.
  • Add chocolate chips or chopped nuts to the batter. 
  • Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, or nutmeg onto the bars after they have been frosted.

My Pumpkin Bars Fall Apart

These healthy pumpkin bars are more on the fragile side and are best eaten with a fork. If you try picking them up the way you would Keto Magic Cookie Bars, then they may fall apart. So handle them with care.

How to Keep Pumpkin Bars Moist

I found that the olive oil in the keto pumpkin bars really kept them moist and they didn’t dry out at all. I don’t know what would happen if you replaced the olive oil with butter or coconut oil. The texture may be different and I can’t guarantee they will be as moist.

If for some reason you find the keto pumpkin bars are not moist enough, then what I would do add ¼ cup more of olive oil, but no more than that.

Why Did My Pumpkin Bars Sink in the Middle?

It’s possible that your keto pumpkin bars sunk in the middle because your baking powder is expired. I learned that the hard way with my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins last year. Make sure your baking powder is fresh!

What to Serve with Low Carb Pumpkin Bars?

Keto Pumpkin Pie Bars

These low carb pumpkin bars make a great dessert, snack, or even a delicious breakfast treat. I love having a sugar-free pumpkin bar in the morning with my cup of coffee. 

If you want to make a whole “Pumpkin Theme” then whip up a batch of Keto Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Swirl, a Keto Pumpkin Pie, and then some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love this time of year, in case you didn’t know that by now…Hahaha!

Other Diets This Recipe is Good For

  • Gluten-Free: Not only are these pumpkin bars low carb, but they are also gluten-free. Made with almond flour and gluten-free baking powder, they are a delicious treat. 
  • Dairy-Free: The bars are completely dairy-free but the cream cheese frosting is where it’s no longer dairy-free. Your options are leaving the frosting off completely, or use vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, and almond milk to make your frosting.

How to Store Pumpkin Bars

Keto Pumpkin Bars

The best to store keto pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting is in an airtight container then placed in the fridge. 

If you prefer to leave them in the pan you baked them in, then cover it with foil and store in the fridge. They will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

Do Pumpkin Bars Need to be Refrigerated?

I always like to play it safe when it comes to refrigeration. Considering that these low carb pumpkin bars have a cream cheese icing, I store mine in the fridge to be on the safe side.

Can You Freeze Keto Pumpkin Bars?

Sure you can easily freeze these low carb pumpkin bars. The best way to freeze them is to let them completely cool first. It’s going to probably be easier if you cut the bars first, then tightly wrap the squares in plastic wrap or foil. 

After they are wrapped then place them in a Ziploc bag for some extra protection. Keep them stored in the freezer for about 1 month.

Best Low Carb Pumpkin Bars

Low Carb Pumpkin Recipes

If you’re in the mood for some other Keto-friendly pumpkin recipes, check out our:

Keto Pumpkin Muffins

Keto Dessert Bar Recipes

If you’re in the mood for some other Keto-friendly dessert bars, check out our:

Keto Lemon Bars with whipped cream

All of them are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will have your friends raving!

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Keto Pumpkin Bars feature

Healthy Keto Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Author: Stephanie Parlegreco
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 Servings (1 Square Bar Per Serving) 1x
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Description

These are the best Keto Pumpkin Bars ever! Bursting with pumpkin spiced flavor, and topped with a creamy cream cheese frosting. They are a healthy low carb dessert that your family is gonna love!


Ingredients

Scale

Pumpkin Bars:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 5 eggs
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup granulated monk fruit sweetener 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 cup powdered Swerve 
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

Notes

2.1 NET CARBS PER SQUARE BAR.

Use pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling. Be careful not to mistake them for each other. Pumpkin filling has added ingredients you don’t need or want. Pumpkin puree is just straight pumpkin. 

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer will get the batter the smoothest. Don’t mix with a whisk or spoon, you won’t get the right texture. 

Bring the cream cheese and the butter to room temperature before trying to mix the frosting.

If you want thinner bars use a baking sheet. 

For thicker bars use a 9×9 pan. Keep in mind the baking time will be a little longer.

Add chocolate chips or chopped nuts to the batter. 

  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Keto Pumpkin Bars, Low Carb Pumpkin Bars, Healthy Pumpkin Bars, Keto Pumpkin Bar Recipe, Sugar-Free Pumpkin Bars, Keto Pumpkin Bars with Almond Flour, Keto Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting, Keto Pumpkin Pie Bars, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars, Best Keto Pumpkin Bars, Easy Pumpkin Bars, Low Carb Pumpkin Bar Recipe, Pumpkin Bars

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