Pumpkin Pie Dessert Bars

October means Thanksgiving in Canada (November for our friends and family in the U.S.), and this year and our family will be gathering around the table to celebrate a year of many blessings. 

via Cooking Classy

via Cooking Classy

One of my favourite Thanksgiving recipes is for Pumpkin Pie Dessert Bars. A friend made these many years ago for a Thanksgiving staff luncheon. They were so delicious we were all asking for the recipe! I have continued to make this recipe at Thanksgiving for my family as it can be easily adapted to a gluten free dairy free diet like mine and it still tastes yummy.

The friend who shared this recipe has since retired, yet every time I prepare this recipe I am reminded how thankful I am for her mentorship and the teaching she gave to so many little ones. This year I am going to send her a note thanking her for what she means to me and how her pumpkin pie dessert bars are still enjoyed so many years later.


Pumpkin Pie Dessert Bars

**Gluten Dairy free adaptations are in (brackets)

Preheat oven to 350F
13 x 9 inch un-greased cake pan

1 ½ c quick cooking rolled oats (GF oats)
1 ½ c packed brown sugar
1 ½ c all purpose flout (375 mL or approximately 1 ¼ c GF flour)
½ tsp salt
¾ c butter (Margarine)
1 egg

3 c pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
¾ c packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
¾ tsp ground ginger
3 eggs
1 c evaporated milk (lactose free or non dairy milk replacement)
¾ c chopped pecans if desired  (* I omit this for my family☺)

Base: In a bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, flour and salt. Using 2 knives, a pastry blender or your fingers, cut butter in until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and mix well. Set aside 1 ½ c of the mixture and and press remainder evenly in pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Place pan on a rack to cool slightly.

Filling: In a bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Pour evenly over baked base.

In a small bowl, mix together reserved oat mixture and nuts. Sprinkle evenly over filling. Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until center is set. Place pan on a rack to cool completely then cut into bars and serve with a dollop of whipped cream. 

Kathy Watson

Kathy Watson co-founded Your Better Life with her husband, Tom. Kathy is a skilled Learning Support Teacher in Surrey British Columbia, Canada, and finds great joy in working with young children as they develop their literature skills. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Education and a Special Education Diploma, and has worked with students of all ages throughout her 24-year career in education. A former competitive swimmer, Kathy has developed a deep and long-lasting passion for fitness, nutrition, health and wellness. While working toward her Fitness and Nutrition Coaching Diploma, Kathy has learned the vital importance nutrition plays in a person’s overall wellness. To that end, Kathy has enthusiastically partnered with Nutrie, and is excited to bring the products and lifestyle to the Your Better Life community to make the achievement of personal health goals simpler. Kathy and the rest of the Nutrie team are excited to help you start making the little changes in your life – one day at a time – that will lead to BIG results and the best you! To learn more about how Nutrie can help you, visit Kathy’s website. Kathy and Tom have been married for more than 20 years and have three grown sons. Together, Kathy and Tom are dedicated to working with various communities to assist them in reaching their full potential, as is evidenced in their devotion to the success of Your Better Life.