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Chewy, crunchy, and wholesome pumpkin spice snack bars filled with texture and flavor. Grain-free fall snacking at its best!

pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars

Hello how are you. (sings to Adele’s new song )

Greetings from Boston. I’m here on my book tour, as you know. And I have two more signings here this week– a release party tonight and a signing tomorrow. Right now I’m here in my hotel room listening to the cars whiz by in the rain. My first night of relaxing in almost 4 weeks. Currently wearing a face mask and I’m soaking up every second of it.

To clarify, it is a moisturizing face mask not a Halloween face mask. Because that would be weird.

Anyway. I’ve been on cloud 9 meeting so many readers this month. I’m still in awe that all of you make me apart of your day not only everyday reading my blog, but for coming out to meet me. I keep saying it over and over again to myself… what is this crazy life? Thank you all for helping to make it this way.

collage of images of sally with readers at book signing

Ok, how awesome are all you guys?!?

So being on the road for almost a month, I made sure to pack some healthy snacks in my suitcase. Like, a jar of peanut butter (does anyone else do that??) and a box of whole wheat crackers. But I also slipped in some homemade snack bars! And you’re looking right at ’em. They sort of balance out sugar-laden pumpkin spice lattes, no?

pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars

So YES today is the return of snack bar Sally! If you’ve tried my vanilla almond snack bars, my cashew coconut snack bars, or my cherry chocolate almond snack bars then you know why I’m obsessed. These snack bars are legit! They’re my version of a KIND bar, but homemade. Filled with ingredients you can see and absolutely no sketchy surprises. Being that pumpkin pie inspired treats rule my kitchen in the fall, I had to whip up a pumpkin spice version. Complete with dried cranberries because pumpkin and cranberry is life.

These gluten free bars are made with nuts and dried fruit. And not much else! One ingredient you may not recognize– or maybe you do because you’ve made my 3 other versions before– is almond meal. This ingredient is used in my spiced pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars to hold the ingredients together. Like flour would do in another granola bar. For anyone not familiar with almond meal, don’t be scared. It is not a crazy health food store ingredient. It is just ground almonds– ground almonds before reaching the stage of almond butter. You can buy almond meal, but I find it’s much more convenient to make it at home. Simply pulse almonds until they reach a gritty and rough flour-like consistency. If you’re a visual person, I have it pictured in my vanilla almond snack bars post.

ingredients for pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars in glass bowls

ingredients for pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars in a glass bowl

Also in these pumpkin bars? Some roughly chopped almonds for crunch, pepitas because hello they’re pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries because YUM, vanilla extract for flavor, and almond butter to bind. And don’t forget plenty of pumpkin pie spice for all that incredible spice flavor. Ahhhh you’re going to love these!

Because you’re so sweet, I add 1/4 cup of honey. But in reality, honey is used for binding. Like I’ve mentioned in my previous snack bar recipes, I do not recommend thinner liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or agave. You want a thick liquid sweetener. Brown rice syrup works too.

Bake the snack bars– only about 20 minutes or so. Just until they are relatively set and the ingredients bind together properly. Then, you’ll let them chill in the refrigerator to fully set. Then snack on, my pumpkin people. I’m awkward.

pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars

They’re salty & sweet, spiced, easy, crunchy, wholesome, chewy, and gluten free. I packed a batch for each leg of the book tour so far and they never last more than 3 days. #snackbarsally

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pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Cranberry Snack Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Chewy, crunchy, and wholesome pumpkin spice snack bars filled with texture and flavor. Grain-free fall snacking at its best!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup (91g) honey*
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (30g) almond meal*
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) almond butter
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (187g) whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (60g) dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup (104g) salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
  2. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix the honey, vanilla, almond meal, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and almond butter together until combined. Fold in the almonds, dried cranberries, and pepitas until combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press very firmly into an even layer. You really want it packed in tight- as tight as possible. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour. This helps firm up the bars which makes them stay compact. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or parchment. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I find they get a little sticky at room temperature over a few days, so I prefer the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.
  2. Sweetener: I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave– honey or brown rice syrup is perfect.
  3. Almond Meal: You can use store-bought almond meal or almond flour, or you can make your own. Start with 1/4 cup of slivered, sliced, or whole almonds. Pulse them in a food processor until a crumbly meal has formed. Do not run the food processor continuously; you may end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best. You will end up with around 1/4 cup almond meal.
  4. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon each ground cloves and ground allspice.
  5. Pepitas: I like to use salted pepitas because they add a little salt to the sweet dried cranberries/honey. I love the salty sweet taste! If using unsalted, add another 1/8 teaspoon salt to the recipe OR use salted almonds.
  6. Special Tools: Food processor or small blender to easily chop the almonds or make the almond meal (here’s the one I own and love!), Glass Mixing Bowls, Mariani Pitted Dates, Square Glass Baking Dish

Keywords: snack bars, pumpkin cranberry granola snack bars

More gluten free recipes! And plenty more healthier choices for you too.

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Do you think I could use walnut meal instead of almond meal? My grandpa just bought a bag of walnuts and there was a ton of it in the bottom of the bag. I am looking for a good way to use it so it does not get wasted.

  2. I was wondering if you ever make your own pumpkin seeds and if you do um if you have a favorite recipe for them?? 

  3. Just took these out of the oven.. I burnt them slightly, but they still look amazing! My modifications:
    Brown rice syrup, almonds AND cashews, pumpkin seeds AND sunflower seeds, I added goji and coconut rather than cranberries, and I mixed almond meal with flax meal!!! 🙂

  4. These are AMAZING! I just found your blog and it is wonderful!! I have made 3 of the snack bar recipes and these are by far my favorite so far. My hubby who is a cookie monster loves them too so these will be the new staple at our house. So much healthier than white sugar and flour treats! Thank you so much!

  5. Hi Sally! I’ve been obsessed with your website the past two months, my boyfriend and I have tried a dozen of your recipes from cookies to the carrot cake! I made these bars last but they’re aren’t binding together as well as I had hope, any advice?

    1. Hi Nina, I’m so happy you have been enjoying my recipes! The almond butter and honey are used to bind these together. Honey is the best for this job so make sure you aren’t using a thinner sweetener in it’s place. If needed you can try adding an extra TBS of honey.

  6. delicious. i added some shredded coconut. the only problem was getting them to be real hard, like Kind bars. they are good right out of the freezer, too. next time i think i’ll either cook longer or maybe add some rice flour

  7. I usually peruse your website for conventional baking, but recently learned I’m allergic to dairy, eggs and a few other things so I’m looking for alternatives. I had to chuckle when I read that you were relaxing WITH a mask on and then quickly scrolled up to check the date. Ahhh, not EVERYTHING pertains to 2020.

  8. I made these yesterday…excellent recipe, we love it, thank-you! One piece of advice you gave that I did not heed was to use the parchment paper to line the bottom. I thought that since I was using a ceramic non-stick pan that I didn’t need the parchment paper because everything I’ve made in those pans has never stuck. I was so wrong, it stuck like super glue to the bottom of this pan. Fortunately, it did not affect the taste and I look forward to using this recipe again and again…WITH parchment paper. 😉

  9. Oh my gosh these are amazing!! I just made a batch and will be making more to stick up in my freezer.

    I substituted peanut butter for almond butter and handed in some chia seeds. I also didn’t have pumpkin spice so I added some cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger. These turned out fantastic!

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