Easy to make low carb gluten free 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.
Adapting to a low carb pumpkin bar recipe
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.
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.
Therefore, I tried using 1.5 cups of almond flour and 0.5 cup of coconut flour to replace the all-purpose flour. I also added a little xanthan gum to reduce crumbling that can occur without gluten.
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.
How to make gluten free 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 is tastes much better.
The ingredients needed to make the recipe are: butter, low carb sweetener, eggs, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, xanthan gum, and low carb chocolate chips.
To make the bars, first the butter and half the sweetener are creamed together (photos 1 & 2). The eggs and vanilla are beaten in next (photos 3 & 4) then the pumpkin puree is mixed in (photos 5 & 6).
The rest of the ingredients are then stirred in (photos 7-13) with the exception of a handful of chocolate chips to sprinkle on top before baking. The batter is then spread into a 9×13-inch pan (photo 14), the reserved chips are sprinkled on top (photo 15), and then it’s baked for 30-35 minutes at 350°F.
When done, the top of the bars with be a nice golden brown (photo 16). Once cooled slightly, the bars are cut into squares and enjoyed (photos 17 & 18).
What kind of low carb chocolate chips?
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 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. If you give the recipe a try, be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars - Gluten Free
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup low carb sweetener divided (add more to taste)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum optional - to reduce crumbling
- 4½ ounces sugar free chocolate chips about 3/4 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 an mix well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined. Fold in all but 1/4 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.
6 grams net carbs per bar.
Originally, 1.5 cups of sweetener was used, but it seemed too sweet so it was cut back to 1 cup. Additional sweetener can be added if desired. You can also use 1/2 cup of granular low carb sweetener and 1 teaspoon of either liquid monk fruit or liquid stevia to reduce the erythritol.
The recipe yields a dozen large bars. They could be cut into smaller squares to reduce carbs and yield more.
A chocolate ganache could be drizzled on top instead of the chips. The recipe we suggest is in the low carb peanut butter cheesecake recipe.
If the chocolate is left out, a drizzle made with cream cheese, cream, and powdered sweetener could be used. Another option is to frost them with the same cream cheese icing used in the low carb pumpkin bars recipe.