These easy-to-make squares are perfect for dessert or a snack. This is my go-to recipe when I’m in the mood for a pumpkin dessert but don’t want to spend the time making an entire pumpkin pie. If I’m serving these at a special occasion, I will add Vanilla or Lemon Frosting.
- 7 ounces pitted dates (11 to 12 Medjool or 22 to 24 Deglet Noor), chopped
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
- 1¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or see Notes)
- 1 can 100% pure pumpkin (15 ounces; see Notes to use fresh pumpkin)
- Vanilla Frosting (optional)
- Place the dates, milk, and vanilla into a small bowl, and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the dates can soften).
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Grind the rolled oats into flour with a blender. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in the pumpkin pie spice.
- Pour the soaking ingredients (dates, milk, and vanilla) into the blender, and blend until smooth.
- Pour this mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, and add the pumpkin. Mix the batter with an electric mixer until it is thick but smooth. (If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can use a food processor or a blender along with its tamper.)
- Spoon the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving (or chill overnight for firmer snack bars). Serve as is or with Vanilla Frosting.
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you may substitute 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of ground ginger, ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves.
Oat flour: You can easily grind rolled oats into flour by using a high-speed blender.
Above: These are completely cooled, so they are firm enough to be cut into snack-sized squares. The bottom squares have a little grated macadamia nut on them instead of frosting.
Above: This was baked in a pie pan and served soon after taking out of the oven, so it has a looser texture. The longer it sits (or is refrigerated overnight) the firmer it will get (see below).
Above: You can also make mini pumpkin pies slices. After baking in a square pan and cooling, slice into three equal strips and then cut out little pie slices as you go across each strip.
If you make this recipe and enjoy it, please share a comment below or on my Facebook page. If you’d like to print this recipe, use the green “Print” button near the top-right of the recipe. Learn more about the Straight Up Food Cookbook here. Thank you!