Lightened Up Pumpkin Spice Bars

These lightened up pumpkin spice bars are mega moist, perfectly spiced, and simple to prepare. You won’t be able to stop at just one!

stack of pumpkin spice bars

While incredibly delicious and perfect for the season, classic pumpkin bars are typically made with a heavy dose of oil and sugar– not exactly your wholesome snack of choice. Today, we’re putting a healthy spin on one of my favorite fall recipes and I’m excited to share these lightened up pumpkin bars with you. You’ll love the gooey, sticky, and sweet tops– each bite tastes like a muffin top + pumpkin pie combined!

These Lightened Up Pumpkin Spice Bars Are

  • Super soft and moist
  • Packed with pumpkin
  • Perfectly spiced
  • Made with a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour
  • Even better on day 2
  • Easy to make and serve
  • A nourishing fall recipe, just like my healthy pumpkin oatmeal cookies

pumpkin spice bars on a silpat baking mat

Ingredients You Need

  • Flours: A combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour gives us the best of both worlds– whole wheat wholesomeness and a light texture from all-purpose flour. If using solely whole wheat flour, the bars will be extremely dense and heavy.
  • Spices: For cozy fall flavors, we use cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Both help the bars rise.
  • Salt: Salt adds flavor.
  • Eggs: 2 eggs add structure and bind everything together.
  • Brown Sugar: A little sugar adds sweetness. Instead of brown sugar you can use coconut sugar.
  • Pumpkin: Can’t have pumpkin bars without pumpkin! Plus, pumpkin keeps these bars moist and tender. Use fresh or canned pumpkin puree– and use any leftover in my pumpkin recipes.
  • Milk: Milk adds moisture. Use your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk.
  • Butter: A half stick of butter adds flavor and structure. You can use melted coconut oil instead.
  • Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract adds flavor. Try homemade vanilla extract.

pumpkin spice bars

Overview: How to Make Lightened Up Pumpkin Spice Bars

Today’s recipe makes a small 8×8 pan of 12 moderately sized squares. You can easily double this recipe if you’re baking for a crowd.

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients together.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together. Do not overmix.
  4. Bake.
  5. Cut the bars into squares.
  6. Enjoy!

pumpkin spice bars

More Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

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stack of pumpkin spice bars

Lightened Up Pumpkin Spice Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Enjoy these easy lightened up pumpkin spice bars.


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
  • 1/4 cup milk (or almond or soy milk)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients until fully combined. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, and pumpkin together until combined. Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until *just* combined. Do not overmix.
  3. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely and cut into 12 squares. Bars remain fresh for up to one week stored chilled in an airtight container.


  1. Freezing Instructions: These bars freeze wonderfully– freeze them for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

Keywords: healthy pumpkin spice bars, light pumpkin spice bars


  1. This recipe is such a keeper, you absolutely cannot tell that these bars are “lightened up!” I used 1 cup all-purpose flour as it was all I had on hand, as well as almond milk and melted coconut oil in place of the butter and it turned out amazing- fluffy, soft, cinnamon-y pumpkin deliciousness! From reading the other comments at least I know I’m not the only one to make a pan of these disappear on my own in 2 days 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness. AMAZING!!! These won’t last long… Next time I think a sprinkle of chocolate chips on top before baking may be delicious too. I love your recipes!!!

  3. Hi Sally, 

    Just wondering if these are freezable? and if so do how long? Thank in advance


    1. Hi Natasha! Yes, they freeze wonderfully. Quite tasty thawed, too! See my make ahead tip in the recipe.

  4. Hi Sally,

    Can I use all All-purpose flour instead of half whole wheat flour?



    1. Hi Christy! Yes, you can use all-purpose flour instead. Same amount.

  5. I made these today – wonderful recipe! I made exactly as written with the addition of roasted pecans and chocolate chips. I will make it again!

  6. Hi Sally, love your recipes! Do you think one could use buckwheat flour in place of the whole wheat flour? Or would that make it taste too earthy?

    1. Hi Allie! Buckwheat flour is too heavy for these bars.

  7. Gauri Vasudevan says:

    Could I substitute almond flour or oat flour for the whole wheat?! Thank you!

    1. I don’t recommend it. Here are all of my gluten free recipes if you are interested.

  8. Made them today and they turned out really good! Not much butter and sugar but so soft and moist. Simple ingredients and good flavor!

  9. Mark Gassmann says:

    So good and so easy. Great crumb and cohesion and let’s talk about flavor!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally