Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars.

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for “on the go” on those chilly fall days.

Photos updated September 2015!

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for "on the go" on those chilly fall days.

I dream about my Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars every time I gobble the last one up from the batch. So soft, moist, wholesome, and chock-full of banana and peanut butter flavor. The chocolate chips are dreamy too.

I’ve had an itch to remake the bars with a little fall-ish makeover. Sub some pumpkin for the bananas, some molasses for the peanut butter, and fill them with pumpkin spice and everything nice.  Love love love.

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for "on the go" on those chilly fall days.

I’m in a pumpkin-state-of-mind these days and there’s no turning back.

Until, of course, it’s time to roll out the green & red Christmas sprinkles.

Pumpkin-chocolate-oatmeal was my regular breakfast some years ago. A sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of cocoa powder, a spoonful of honey, a smothering of pure pumpkin, and chewy, buttery oats were the start of my fall days.

It’s been a few years since I made my pumpkiny oats, but the taste and texture comes to my mind whenever the air begins to cool. Pumpkin and oats go hand-in-hand for me, so I knew this recipe would turn out perfectly. Plus, there’s chocolate.

The pumpkin leaves these bars soft and moist, exactly like my original recipe with bananas. The oats give each bite a chewy texture.  I use old-fashioned whole rolled oats in my recipe, not quick oats. Quick oats are finely ground up whole oats, and would leave these bars with little texture.

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for "on the go" on those chilly fall days.

The molasses & brown sugar blend give the bars a rich sweetness and depth of flavor. You could use any type of molasses in these, just go by your taste preference. I used dark molasses, which is less sweet than light molasses but slightly sweeter and easier to handle than black-strap molasses.

I also didn’t use too many chocolate chips in these. I opted for mini chips and only used 1/2 cup. I didn’t want the chocolate to overpower the pumpkin.

The bars are dense, but not heavy. They’re low in fat, but NOT in flavor. I love that I didn’t have to clog these bars with any extra fats like oil or butter. There was simply no need for it!  Healthy AND tasty recipes do exist.

Perfect as quick pre-workout fuel or a wholesome mid-afternoon snack.

Serving suggestion: warm up in the microwave for 15 seconds. Eat. Grab a napkin. (I was left with melty chocolate on my face and pumpkin on my fingers.)

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for "on the go" on those chilly fall days.

 1  bowl. 1 pan.  Easy clean-up. 20 minutes. Healthy. Low-fat. Quick. Chocolate.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

Yield: 16 bars

Print Recipe

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for "on the go" on those chilly fall days.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick oats)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk1
  • 1 large egg2
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly spray 8 x 8 square baking pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Add in the vanilla, pumpkin, milk, egg, and molasses. Mix together until evenly combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Do NOT overmix.
  3. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 20 minutes-30 minutes, or until baked through in the center. Allow to cool and cut into bars.
  4. Make ahead tip: Bars stay fresh for up to one week in a covered container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Bars freeze well, up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

Additional Notes:

  1. Or any milk you prefer.
  2. You can choose to leave out the egg by using a “flax egg” instead of a regular egg. Flax egg = mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes while it “gels” up. Use the "flax gel" as a replacement for the egg. To make vegan, use this flax egg as well as dairy free milk and chocolate chips.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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Lightened Up Pumpkin Spice Bars

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Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for on the go!

Soft & chewy pumpkin spice oatmeal bars loaded with chocolate chips. Perfect for on the go!
   

148 Responses to “Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars.”

  1. #
    44
    Heather Rposted February 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I forgot to ask you this. My daughter’s 4th birthday is coming up soon and I’m making your funfetti cupcakes for her. I’m so overwhelmed by all your delicious recipes that i can’t decide on another treat to make for her. What do you suggest?

    Reply

  2. #
    45
    Kelly K @ Dances with Chaosposted July 21, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Another recipe to add to my list. Both of my kids LOVE granola bars and I’ve been looking for a recipe that uses pumpkin because I like how it a) makes it moist and allows me to avoid adding oil and B) gives them vitamin A.

    Alas, 100 degree weather is returning so my oven might be quiet for a while, but this will be bookmarked for the next cool spell.

    Oh, my 6.5 year old loves your peanut butter chocolate energy balls (and I love the no baking required). Three-and-half year old hasn’t weighed in yet. I’ll comment later on that recipe when she does. :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on July 22nd, 2013 at 11:51 am

      Kelly, so happy that you all love these bars. They truly are one of my very favorites! Along with those chocolate energy balls.

      Reply

  3. #
    46
    Ursula Bananposted August 30, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I am SO excited to see how these turn out. They are in the oven right now. My home is flourishing with the pumpkin aroma. I hope they taste as decadent as they look. Don’t you just love the sweet taste of pumpkin, especially in this hot August humidity. My kids will be sure to enjoy this, getting ready for the Halloween season. They usually are picky and hate my cooking, but these mouth-watering treats will be sure to thrill their taste buds!! BRB (LOL! i love using texting language as a mom, my kids make fun of me) the timer just rang, let see how they turned out! I’ll be back with my results.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 31st, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Hi Ursula! I hope you enjoy them. And I love your texting language use. My mom enjoys using it too. It makes me smile to read :)

      Reply

  4. #
    47
    Tina @ Tina's Chic Cornerposted September 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Oh my gosh these look so good! I’m not quite ready to make those Fall recipes. I guess I feel like it will make the cold weather come quicker. Lol. Definitely pinning to make soon!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 3rd, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Thanks for pinning Tina! And I hope you enjoy them.

      Reply

  5. #
    48
    Brittanyposted September 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    These look incredible! Could I omit the molasses or use something else in it’s place by chance? And do you think a gluten free all purpose flour would work?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 7th, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Brittany! You may use honey or agave instead of the molasses, but the bars won’t have that typical “spice” flavor using a more mild liquid sweetener. A GF flour should work, yes.

      Reply

  6. #
    49
    Monicaposted October 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe. It is the only way my three year old will eat oats! Since I discovered this recipe a couple weeks ago, I’ve made these every few days so that we won’t run out.. Everyone in the family loves them!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 10th, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Monica, that is so great! I make these easy oatmeal bars all the time too. Maybe not as often as you! I’m happy that your little one loves them too.

      Reply

  7. #
    50
    Jonnaposted October 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Gonna try these bars without the oatmeal just pumpkin choc chip bars my daughter who is super picky and allergic to everything will love these as she loves pumpkin and chocolate. She loves the puppy chow all varieties

    Reply

  8. #
    51
    Jessicaposted October 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Could this be done with almond or coconut flour? Would it be Ii heavy?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 22nd, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      Replacing the WW flour with either of the flours you mentioned would be just fine. I say this because only 1/4 cup of either will not make a huge difference to the overall taste and texture of your oatmeal bars.

      Reply

  9. #
    52
    Leslieposted November 5, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Okay, I just made these this evening and was so excited. Now, I’ve made thick granola bars before (from Smitten Kitchen blog), and they were the best granola bars I’ve ever had. They however had a good amount of fat in them, so thought yours would be a good alternative. But, I just bit into one and almost couldn’t swallow. They don’t have a nice and chewy, granola bar texture..instead, they taste like rubbery, over-cooked oatmeal :/. The texture is so off-putting, their flavor doesn’t redeem them. I followed your recipe exactly..is this the texture they’re supposed to have? I’ll probably throw the whole pan out..I’m so sad.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 6th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Oh goodness, I’m so sorry you don’t like the texture of these granola bars, Leslie. They aren’t supposed to have a rubbery texture, but they will taste like baked oatmeal. Did you change anything at all (even the slightest thing) about the recipe? Granola bars can be rubbery when there is a lack of sugar.

      Reply

  10. #
    53
    Leslieposted November 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Nope..aside from adding some dried cherries, I didn’t change a thing. They’re supposed to taste like baked oatmeal? I guess I was assuming they’d taste like a thick and chewy granola bar, since they’re touted as granola bars :). I suppose if that’s what you’re expecting, they’re okay. Ah well, unfortunately, a little bit of fat does make things taste so much better :)..perhaps I’ll try them again with a little less pumpkin and add a couple tbsp of butter.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 6th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Well they aren’t hard and sticky like most granola bars. Sorry to have disappointed you Leslie. Maybe you can crumble them up on top of ice cream or something?!And top with caramel? Anyway, yes – a little more fat does make everything better. You could add 2 Tbsp of melted butter or oil if you’d like. Thanks for your feedback.

      Reply

  11. #
    54
    Leslieposted November 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Go to the Smitten Kitchen blog and make her thick and chewy granola bars. They’re not hard or sticky..they’re exactly what I expect from a hearty and yummy granola bar from a coffee shop or something. But, they do have 6 tbsp of butter :)..and corn syrup, but as she says, the corn syrup is necessary to make them glue a bit. Shrug, not as healthy as yours, but they have nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal and flax seed, so I don’t consider them UNhealthy either, lol. No worries, it’s just different expectations and preferences..obviously others liked this recipe.

    Reply

  12. #
    55
    Alyssaposted November 10, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Found this recipe after googling chewy chocolate chip pumpkin oatmeal cookies. Love the spice, the molasses and the pumpkin–and that there’s no butter or oil. I made it just as written with the exception of adding some dried cranberries in addition to the chocolate. Maybe next time I’ll add some toasted pecans to the bars?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 10th, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Yeah! These are great with pecans, toasted or not. I always prefer toasted though. I just made these the other week. Always a favorite this time of year. Thanks Alyssa!

      Reply

  13. #
    56
    Lizzieposted November 12, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I finally got around to making these last week. Yum! Very good. I am a really big fan of your peanut butter banana chocolate chip oatmeal bars, too. I wonder if an Almond Joy flavor would be do-able? 😉

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 12th, 2013 at 9:39 am

      Oh my gosh, Lizzie. Almond Joy would be so, so good!

      Reply

      • Lizziereplied on November 12th, 2013 at 9:46 am

        I think so, too! It would be easy enough to use almond butter and throw some coconut and dark chocolate in there…what I am stumped on is what to use for the “goo”… the pumpkin/banana substitute. :)

        • Sallyreplied on November 12th, 2013 at 10:01 am

          Hmm. Applesauce?

  14. #
    57
    Cassadyposted November 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    I’ve been reading the blog for over a year (I love the photography and down-to-earth attitude!), but this is the first thing I’ve baked from it, and it was awesome. Next on my list to try in the peanut butter banana bars. Any suggestions on quick, healthy uses for the half a can of pumpkin I have left over?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 17th, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      Hey Cassady! I’m so glad you love reading my blog and thanks for the sweet words about my photography. If you’d like something healthy with pumpkin, you can try my favorite pumpkin cupcake recipe (which can also be muffins) without frosting: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/11/16/favorite-pumpkin-cupcakes/

      Or anything you see here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/category/pumpkin-recipes/

      Reply

      • Cassadyreplied on November 17th, 2013 at 10:00 pm

        Thanks for the tips! One more question: is it possible to replace some of the oats with crispy rice in any oatmeal bar recipe? If so, what ratio would you suggest? I’m looking for a little bit of a lighter, crunchier texture in my next batch.

        • Sallyreplied on November 18th, 2013 at 9:22 am

          I would just add 1/2 cup of rice krispies to the batter and not change anything else.

  15. #
    58
    Jayneposted November 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I adore your website- I have tried so many recipes and I must say, they are all fantastic. Just made these tonight-they’re wonderful.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 27th, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      I’m glad, Jayne! I love these oatmeal bars. Let me know what recipes you make next!

      Reply

  16. #
    59
    Hayleyposted December 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Hey Sally…I decided it was my moral duty to share my experience with these bars. I made them the other day, (and the day before that I made the healthy oatmeal pumpkin cookies YUM). Anyway I followed the recipe perfectly including the baking time and they came out gooey and really off-putting. I was so disappointed and read through the comments and found a few other readers with the same problem. I almost figured this recipe was a dud. NO. I refused to throw them out so I just rebaked them. Completely changed everything. I know you mentioned to another blogger that oven times vary but if you ever post this recipe again I would elaborate on how this recipe must be baked enough, even up to 35 minutes for some ovens. I’m not a newbie to your page (I’m baking about 3 more of your cookies recipes this weekend) so I had let you know so that no one thinks this recipe is anything less than delicious. I had never baked any kind of oatmeal bar before so I had no intuition of over/under baking. Now I know. Sorry for the long comment! <3 Thanks for everything you do, Sally!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on December 6th, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Hey Hayley! Thanks so much for the comment, I’m so happy you made these oatmeal bars work. You are so kind to leave such a thoughtful comment. I will go ahead and add a note to the recipe about extending the bake time if need be. Thank you very much and hope you are having a happy holiday season!

      Reply

  17. #
    60
    Angel T.posted February 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Hey Sally, I’ve made the bars before using the egg and they were REALLY good but I was wondering if leaving the egg out would make a huge difference.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 17th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      The ingredients won’t bind together as nicely. The egg’s purpose is to prevent the bars from falling apart. Let me know if you try it though!

      Reply

  18. #
    61
    Lauraposted March 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Even though spring is here I couldn’t resist using my last can of pumpkin to make these and they were AMAZING! Thanks for sharing, I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

    Reply

  19. #
    62
    Jenniferposted September 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Can I use honey instead of molasses? Is that weird??

    Reply

  20. #
    63
    Lorraine Fposted September 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    I just had to say that I am now addicted to these little healthy bars! I have already made them twice in one week. I love the fact that they have no oil or butter & very little fat, yet they are so tasty & moist! I will continue making them in the future. Thank you for such a great low-fat recipe!

    Reply

  21. #
    64
    admattaiposted September 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    These are great! I just made them, they’ll be a perfect breakfast for the week. The only change I made is that I used regular sized dark chocolate chips.

    Reply

  22. #
    65
    Cassie Loweposted April 20, 2015 at 2:01 am

    Can i freeze these or the mixture?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 20th, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Yes– up to 2-3 months

      Reply

  23. #
    66
    Holly Thompsonposted August 5, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I couldn’t wait any longer–had to make these today. So delicious! I substituted honey for the brown sugar and they are just wonderful! Love your website. Thanks for sharing! 

    Reply

  24. #
    67
    Jenposted September 20, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    These were NOT good! No one in my family would eat them. They had a horrible texture and the flavor was just ok. Chocolate makes anything bearable, but none of us could choke these down. Poor recipe, in my opinion.

    Reply

  25. #
    68
    Kara Fe.posted September 21, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I  made these and your pumpkin cupcakes over the weekend and we loved them. Great healthy treat. Compared to those cupcakes that is! The texture is soft and chewy and the pumpkin flavor is spot on. Thanks for sharing these pumpkin recipes Sally.

    Reply

  26. #
    69
    Katherineposted October 16, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Some of the comments here had me scared to try this recipe even though I was excited to find it. Oh well, decided to make my own opinion, and man was that a good choice. These are DELICIOUS. Of course, my version used all brown sugar since I had no molasses, whole milk since that’s what I drink, and I added two tablespoons of unsalted butter. So not as ‘healthy’ if you’re averse to saturated fats/dairy in any amount, but I was just looking for an excuse to use up my excess pumpkin puree while incorporating oatmeal. Thanks Sally! :)

    Reply

  27. #
    70
    Shannonposted October 18, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Made these today. Yummy! I meted white chocolate chips and spread them on top and added a few butterscotch chips. Divine! 

    Reply

  28. #
    71
    Andrea Grayposted November 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Found this recipe so gonna try it.. however,  I forgot the baking powder.  So we’ll see how they turn out w/out it. 

    Reply

  29. #
    72
    Megposted February 5, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I really loved this recipe ! May I feature it on my blog (of course with full credits given to you, and a link to your website)? ~ let me know :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 6th, 2016 at 8:23 am

      You may absolutely use your own photos and rewrite the recipe in your own words. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

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