Pumpkin protein bars are a no bake snack recipe that is inspired by the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte! Thick, chewy, and delicious pumpkin flavored bars that are refined sugar free and loved by both kids and adults!
Pumpkin Pie Protein Bars
When I see the first pumpkin spice latte at the coffee shops, it means just one thing to me- Make pumpkin spice protein bars!
Popular brands like Quest Nutrition and Larabar always release the limited edition pumpkin pie protein and snack bars. As someone who enjoys pumpkin year round, I found myself always stocking up on them during the Fall season. Since making my own protein bars, I was able to make a pumpkin version I could enjoy YEAR ROUND!
These pumpkin pie protein bars require no baking and are full of delicious pumpkin flavor. They have notes of cinnamon and vanilla throughout, and make a fabulous post-workout or anytime snack. They are packed with protein, fiber, and completely naturally sweetened!
How do you make pumpkin protein bars?
- Oat flour– Homemade oat flour or packaged oat flour. Be sure to use certified gluten free oat flour, if needed.
- Coconut flour– gives sturdiness to the protein bars and a cakey texture.
- Protein powder– vanilla protein powder, to give a light vanilla flavor and a protein boost. See my tips below for the best protein powder to use for these bars.
- Granulated sweetener of choice– any sugar free sweetener can be used. I’ve used both monk fruit sweetener and erythritol successfully.
- Pumpkin pie spice– A must for any pumpkin dessert or snack recipe!
- Pumpkin puree– Homemade pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin. If you use the latter, be sure to use the unsweetened kind, not the pie filling.
- Peanut butter– Smooth and drippy peanut butter. You can also use almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or tahini.
- Maple syrup– Gives a little sweetness, and helps keep the bars soft and chewy. Agave nectar or honey will also work. However, honey is not strictly vegan.
- Vanilla extract– You can never go wrong with some vanilla flavor.
- Milk of choice– To help form protein bars! I used unsweetened almond milk. You may need more milk than listed, dependent on what kind of protein powder you use.
In a mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well, until combined. In a microwave safe bowl or small saucepan, add your peanut butter and maple syrup. Heat up until warm and whisk together, until combined. Pour the peanut butter mixture, along with the pumpkin and milk, and mix until combined and a thick batter remains. If the batter is too thick, add a little extra milk.
Transfer the protein bar batter into an 8 x 8-inch pan and press down into it. Refrigerate the bars for at least an hour, to firm up.
Which protein powder is best for this recipe?
Not all protein powder is created equal. Many protein powders have added sugars and fillers, and some are so filtered, they will leave your protein bars wet and slimy. After testing this recipe out multiple times, there are two kinds of protein powder that work very well- Brown rice protein powder and casein protein powder.
- Brown rice protein powder– A vegan and gluten free protein powder, they are thick and work well in recipes calling for protein powder. It’s to be noted that this kind of protein powder has a very earthy consistency and a subtle sweetness.
- Casein protein powder– My favorite kind of protein powder for baking and recipes. While it is not vegan, it is gluten free and low carb. When using casein protein powder, you’ll find that adding extra milk to the recipe is important, as this kind of protein is extremely thick.
Storing and Freezing bars
- To store: Protein bars are best stored in the refrigerator, so they remain firm and chewy. They will keep fresh for up to 1 month.
- To freeze: Individually wrap protein bars in parchment paper, and place them in small ziplock bags for a quick grab and go snack. Store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More high protein snacks you’ll enjoy
- Protein Cookies
- No Bake Protein Bars
- Protein Mug Brownie
- Flourless Protein Brownies
- Peanut Butter Protein Bars
Pumpkin Protein Bars
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
- 2 tbsp granulated sweetener of choice I used a monk fruit sweetener
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and a dash of ginger
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup peanut butter can sub for any nut butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup use maple syrup for paleo option
- 1 tbsp milk of choice * See notes
- Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, protein powder, sweetener, pumpkin pie spice, and mix well. In a microwave safe bowl or stovetop, heat your peanut butter with your maple syrup until combined.
- Pour your wet mixture, vanilla extract, pumpkin, and milk to the dry mixture, and mix well. If the batter is too thick, add extra milk.
- Transfer the batter into the lined pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, to firm up. Once firm, cut into bars.