Easy to make gluten-free keto pumpkin bars with chocolate chips that have no sugar added. They're so good even the kids love them.
As I was looking to use up some canned puree leftover after making pumpkin truffles, I stumbled upon a recipe for chocolate chip squares. Although I was searching for a pumpkin cake recipe, the bar recipe caught my eye so I decided to try and make a low carb version.
The recipe was on the Martha Stewart site. I’ve actually been a fan of Martha’s for a long time and was fortunate to get tickets to see her live in NYC back in 2005 during the first week of filming her new show.
How To Make Pumpkin Bars Low Carb
It wasn’t very difficult to adapt the original recipe to one that's keto-friendly. In fact, it wasn't difficult to adapt the recipe to make low-carb gluten-free pumpkin bars with chocolate chips.
All I did was replace the wheat flour with a combination of almond and coconut flour. I also used a sugar-free sweetener in place of the sugar and low-carb chocolate chips.
Everything else about the recipe pretty much stayed the same.
The results on the first batch came out so well that I didn't bother testing with a different flour ratio. I could have made other changes to use all coconut flour or even tried using just almond flour without any other changes.
I do prefer all coconut flour and I may try to tweak the recipe again for that. In order to make it work, I'd have to use less flour and add in a bit more egg and liquid. Usually a few tests are required to convert to a recipe using only coconut flour.
Low-Carb Ingredients For Pumpkin Bars
If you want to cut back carbs further, the chocolate chips in these gluten-free pumpkin bars can be omitted. However, I find the combination of pumpkin and chocolate tastes much better.
The ingredients needed to make the recipe are:
- Butter: adds fat and flavor.
- Low-carb sweetener: a monk fruit and erythritol granular is used, but any one-for-one sugar substitute can be used.
- Eggs: help to rise the batter when baking.
- Vanilla extract: adds a touch of sweetness and enhances the flavor.
- Pumpkin puree: use fresh cooked mashed pumpkin or canned.
- Low carb flours: a combination of almond flour and coconut flour provides the best texture.
- Baking soda: used to rise the batter when baking.
- Salt: enhances the flavor
- Spice blend: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and ground cloves perfectly complement the pumpkin flavor.
- Xanthan gum: helps prevent crumbling when using gluten-free flours.
- Low-carb chocolate chips: make them taste even better!
How to make gluten free pumpkin bars
The batter whips up in just a few simple steps:
- Cream together butter and sweetener.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Mix in pumpkin puree.
- Stir in remaining ingredients with the exception of a handful of chocolate chips.
The batter is then spread into a 9x13-inch pan and the reserved chips are sprinkled on top. Then it's baked for 30-35 minutes.
When done, the top of the bars will be a nice golden brown. Once cooled slightly, cut the bars into squares and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions About Keto Pumpkin Bars
Before I share this sweet recipe with you all, here are a few questions I wanted to answer beforehand.
What Is The Best Flour Replacement For Wheat Flour in Pumpkin Bars?
The original recipe calls for two cups of regular wheat flour. From my experience in low carb baking, the best flour replacement is a combination of both almond and coconut flours. The ideal ratio is 3-4 parts almond flour to one part coconut flour.
When I first tested my recipe, I tried using 1.5 cups of almond flour and 0.5 cups of coconut flour to replace the all-purpose flour. I also added a little xanthan gum to reduce crumbling that can occur without gluten.
It turned out perfectly! Don't forget to use xanthan gum - it really does reduce the crumbling and hold everything together.
What kind of low-carb chocolate chips should you use?
For convenience, I used Lily's stevia sweetened chocolate baking chips. Although you can use the whole 9 ounce bag, it adds a lot of unnecessary carbs.
I did a quick measure and the amount in the bag was about 1 ¾ cups of chocolate chips. I recommend using only a half bag of Lily's chocolate chips to cut back on carbs and cost. Therefore the recipe calls for 4½ ounces of chocolate chips.
To save even more money, you can make your own sugar free low carb chocolate chips. I use my own homemade chocolate recipe and pour it into a baking pan to cool. Then, I just cut the big hunk of chocolate into bits.
This recipe makes a dozen large pumpkin flavored keto chocolate chip bars. If making for a large group or to cut down on calories, they could be cut into smaller squares. Very dense and moist, these delicious pumpkin bars are hard to resist.
If you leave out the chocolate chips, a chocolate ganache could be drizzled on top instead. I've got a great recipe for ganache in my low carb peanut butter cheesecake recipe.
You can even leave the chocolate out all together and drizzle with a simple mix of cream cheese, cream, and powdered sweetener. Or, try frosting them with the same cream cheese icing I used in my other low carb pumpkin bars.
We hope you enjoy these delicious and easy to make pumpkin cookie bars with chocolate chips. Here's the printable recipe card with all the steps.
Other Popular Pumpkin Recipes
If you are looking for more low-carb pumpkin recipes, give one of these favorites a try.
- Easy Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake - This creamy keto cheesecake is both filling, sweet, and has a low-carb crust.
- Keto Pumpkin Pancakes - Start your day with these high-protein pancakes. They have the warm flavors of pumpkin and the texture you love.
- Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bread - This pumpkin bread is high in healthy fats and really good for your heart health too!
- Keto Pumpkin Spice Latte - Indulge in a PSL without all the carbs. This tastes just like the real thing.
- Dairy-Free Pumpkin Cookies - These cookies have no dairy, no eggs, and very few carbs - but tons of sweet flavor!
- Pumpkin Chia Pudding - Make a fall dessert quick and easy by just stirring and refrigerating!
Keto Pumpkin Bars with Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup low carb sugar substitute divided (add more to taste)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt can be omitted if using salted butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum optional - to reduce crumbling
- 4½ ounces sugar free chocolate chips about ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Grease or line 9x13 baking pan.
- In large mixing bowl, cream the butter and half the sweetener together. Then beat in egg and vanilla. Add the pumpkin and mix well.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined. Fold in all but ¼ cup of the chocolate chips.
- Spread batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle reserved chips on top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool on rack before cutting.
Array ( [serving_size] => 1 [calories] => 311 [carbohydrates] => 11 [protein] => 6 [fat] => 29 [saturated_fat] => 14 [cholesterol] => 71 [sodium] => 353 [potassium] => 146 [fiber] => 5 [sugar] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 3695 [vitamin_c] => 0.8 [calcium] => 56 [iron] => 2.9 [serving_unit] => bar )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
© LowCarbYum.com - Unauthorized use of this material without written permission from Lisa MarcAurele is strictly prohibited unless for personal offline purposes. Single photos may be used, provided that full credit is given to LowCarbYum.com along with a link back to the original content.
First Published: November 2014... Last Updated: September 16, 2020, with additional recipe information.