Just in time for your Halloween party — soft, moist pumpkin bars studded with caramel toffee bits, a treat everyone from kids to adults will devour. And since this easy one-bowl treat is gluten-free, you don’t have to poll guests ahead of time to find out their dietary preferences — everyone can join in the fun!
Let’s get started. These bars couldn’t be simpler to make. The only out-of-the-ordinary ingredients you might need are canned pumpkin, toffee bits or cinnamon chips, xanthan gum, and your favorite gluten-free flour blend (full disclosure: I’m a recipe developer for King Arthur Flour, so that’s the brand I use).
Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9” x 13” pan.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 cup toffee bits or cinnamon chips
Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and beat briefly, just until well blended. Really, there’s no need to first mix the oil and sugar, add the eggs, or otherwise make a fuss: just dump it all in and mix it up.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the bars for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean of any wet batter; a few moist crumbs are fine.
Remove the bars from the oven, and let them cool in the pan. Cut into bars or squares; if you cut 2” squares, you’ll have 2 dozen.
P.S. Want to add a flavorful final touch? Drizzle bars with caramel sauce just before serving.
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PJ Hamel is senior digital content editor and food writer at King Arthur Flour, and a James Beard award-winning author. A 16-year breast cancer survivor, her passion is helping women through this devastating disease. She manages a large and active online survivor support network based at her local hospital and shares her wisdom and experience with the greater community via HealthCentral.com.