These pumpkin bars are the perfect ode to fall. Full of pumpkin spice, a touch of maple syrup, and topped with a vegan cream cheese frosting, these secretly vegan pumpkin bars are fluffy, soft, moist, and a delight to enjoy!

sliced vegan pumpkin bars

Why you should try these pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting

Whether or not you’re vegan (or gluten free!), you will fall in love with these easy vegan pumpkin bars. Topped with a creamy dairy free cream cheese frosting, there is truly no match for these autumn-inspired cake bars.

Here’s the deets: we have an ultra fluffy, moist, and flavorful pumpkin cake-like base. It’s full of flavor and wonderfully balanced with a touch of maple syrup and sweetness to round out the flavor profile (and make them different from my pumpkin cupcakes and pumpkin cake!). Next, we have a from-scratch vegan cream cheese frosting that could quite honestly be eaten with a spoon.

Both kids and adults love this recipe, and it’s easy to eat a whole slice in a sitting. You’ll definitely want to share.

These easy vegan pumpkin bars are perfect for Thanksgiving dessert, Halloween (decorate them with fun vegan Halloween sprinkles!). And they go great with a homemade pumpkin spice latte 😉

sliced vegan pumpkin bars

What’s the difference between pumpkin bars and pumpkin cake?

If you’ve been a Banana Diaries reader for a while, then you’re probably familiar with this vegan pumpkin cake. It’s absolutely delicious and the fall cake to make this season.

However, pumpkin cake is definitely different from pumpkin bars…which are still different from a brownie or even sheet cake!

These vegan pumpkin bars are like an in-between of a sheet cake and a brownie. Not super fudgy and dense, but also not quite so tender that it will easily crumb, like cake. They’re super fluffy and light while also being packed with flavor. I think it’s most similar to a snack cake!

All in all, these pumpkin spice bars are just delicious!

stacked vegan pumpkin bars

Ingredients & Substitutions

Here are the few and simply ingredients you need to make this super easy vegan pumpkin bar recipe:

  • Flour: you can use gluten free 1:1 baking flour or regular all purpose flour here.
  • Sugar & light brown sugar: The light brown sugar helps to add a bit of extra moisture and a deeper rich flavors to our pumpkin bars.
  • Pumpkin spice: This is typically a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. However, sometimes, I mix in some cardamom as well! You can make this homemade if you’d like or purchase in stores.
  • Cinnamon: for extra warming spices 🙂
  • Pumpkin puree: you can’t have pumpkin bars without pumpkin puree! I haven’t tested this recipe using homemade pumpkin puree, so I can’t speak to the results.
  • Vegan butter: I recommend Flora Plant Butter or Miyoko’s here for the best result!
  • Vegan buttermilk: I combined dairy free milk with a little apple cider vinegar to yield a dairy free buttermilk that acts just like traditional. It’s super easy! I recommend Forager Project Oat Milk or oat milk in general, as it tends to be creamier and yields a fluffier cake.
  • Vegan cream cheese frosting: this is a combination of vegan cream cheese (recommendations in the recipe card below!), vegan butter, and powdered sugar!
bitten slice of vegan pumpkin bars

Overview: How to make one bowl vegan pumpkin bars

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

Let’s go over just how quick and simple these pumpkin bars are to make!

These pumpkin bars are:

  • Full of pumpkin spice and tastes like fall in a bite!
  • Light and fluffy, yet tender and moist
  • Perfectly sweet with a slight tang (thanks to the cream cheese frosting!)
  • Undetectably vegan, eggless, dairy free, and gluten free (perfectly vegetarian friendly as well!)
  • Great for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any fall celebration!
  • Approved by picky eaters and non-vegans
stacked vegan pumpkin bars

More Vegan Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love:

Vegan Pumpkin Pasta

Amazing Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

BEST EVER Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Nut-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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bitten slice of vegan pumpkin bars

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 9 reviews
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 27
  • Total Time: 37 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


These pumpkin bars are the perfect ode to fall. Full of pumpkin spice, a touch of maple syrup, and topped with a vegan cream cheese frosting, these secretly vegan pumpkin bars are fluffy, soft, moist, and a delight to enjoy!


  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegan buttermilk
  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour*
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 can (425 g) pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 batch vegan cream cheese frosting


  1. Please read through all instructions before beginning.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, and grease the edges. Measure out all ingredients for the pumpkin bars specifically. For the buttermilk, follow the instructions to mix together the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar, then set aside to curdle for 5-10 minutes. 
  3. Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, melted vegan butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Add in the pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together. Then add in flour, along with the vegan buttermilk, and gently whisk the flour into the wet until there are just no more dry clumps (be careful not to over-mix the batter). 
  4. Bake the pumpkin bars: Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and place the pumpkin bars pan into the oven to bake for 27-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the bars to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before making the cream cheese frosting.
  5. Make the vegan cream cheese frosting: Once the pumpkin bars are completely cool, you can begin to make the vegan cream cheese frosting. Start by creaming together the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter in a large bowl, using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Add in the powdered sugar in 1 cup increments, mixing as you go. Once the powdered sugar is fully incorporated, mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. You can use a tablespoon of dairy free milk if necessary to help incorporate the powdered sugar.
  6. Frost the pumpkin bars: Spoon the frosting onto the tops of the pumpkin bars. Spread it evenly until it reaches the edges of the bars. Slice and serve. If needed, you can allow the pumpkin bars to set in the fridge for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
  7. Storage: Store any leftover slices in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.


Gluten free flour: I recommend using King Arthur Measure for Measure baking flour here for the best results. 

Vegan buttermilk: You can use soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk

Vegan Cream Cheese: the brand of vegan cream cheese you purchase is super important. Not all brands are made equal and act differently in different recipes. For frosting, I prefer to use my homemade vegan cream cheese, Kite Hill, or Tofutti. I’ve had the most success with that brand in terms of taste and stability of frosting. 

slice of vegan pumpkin bar on a plate