pumpkin pie bars


It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is one week away! For many of you, the next week will be filled with a flurry of activity, so here’s a one-bowl recipe to simplify your life. I like to think of these bars as portable pumpkin pie: the crust is reminiscent of an oatmeal cookie and the filling is classic pumpkin; pumpkin spice kisses make a fun and festive topping. For more Thanksgiving inspiration, see 15 Stress-Less Sides from my friend Priscilla at She’s Cookin’ – a round-up of easy side dishes, including my pumpkin spice biscuits, a must for your menu.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m sharing one of my favorite quotes:

“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.”

For me, it’s a reminder to stop and reflect on the many blessings in my life. This year, I’m especially thankful for God’s faithfulness, the love and encouragement of my family, and this space – a place to dream and create and share recipes with all of you, my friends. What are you thankful for?

Pumpkin Pie Bars
Oatmeal Crust
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pumpkin Filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 Tbsp low-fat milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pure pumpkin
30 Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses, halved

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter, egg, and vanilla with a pastry cutter until dough is moist and crumbly. Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking dish and bake for 12 minutes, until crust edges are lightly golden. Cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, yogurt, milk, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pumpkin, and stir with a whisk until smooth. Pour pumpkin filling over cooled crust, smoothing with an offset spatula. Top with pumpkin spice kisses and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until filling is set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

When ready to serve, lift up the ends of the parchment and transfer the bars to a cutting board; cut into squares using a sharp knife. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 day.

*Make your own pumpkin pie spice: mix 1/4 cup cinnamon with one tablespoon each of ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Store extra in an airtight container.

Yield – 20 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 155
Carbs – 23

  1. Laura, these are delightful! What a fun, creative idea!
    Yes, you are so right, we all have so much to be thankful for! I’m thankful for family, friends and the senses God’s given us to appreciate his beautiful world, taste, touch, feel etc. Most of all, I’m thankful for John 3:16 – For God so loved the world ……….. It just makes life totally worth living!

  2. I promised the bf pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but I think he could be convinced to let me make this instead. It’s just so much cuter! I’ve never seen pumpkin spice kisses before. Are they just white chocolate with food coloring, cinnamon and nutmeg?

    1. Hi Rachelle, you can find the pumpkin spice kisses at Target. I think they are white chocolate coated with a layer of pumpkin spice! 🙂

  3. Beautiful post Laura, your bars are lovely and perfect for the holidays..you’re so right about remembering to be thankful, in this world it’s easy to focus on all the negativity but even a little bit of thankfulness goes a long way;-)

  4. Oh my goodness – this is amazing! I could definitely serve this on Thanksgiving day (I haven’t even finished my menu yet! Eek!). I love that you added kisses on top too! I think the kids would just pick them off but then again I could always eat their serving of bars! 🙂

  5. What a tempting pumpkin treat! I’ve been looking for the perfect dessert that screams Thanksgiving and yet is easy to transport, serve and eat. A marvelous recipe!

    I am thankful for my family and good health this year, we are truly blessed!

  6. Hi Laura, these pumpkin pie bars are so cute with the kisses cut in half. I love Thanksgiving and all the things to be thankful for. I am so thankful to have wonderful family and friends who care about me and give me the love I need. I am also so thankful to God and Jesus Christ for everything they have given me because without them I would be nothing!

  7. What a wonderful quote…perfect for me to reflect on this morning. I bought caramel and peppermint kisses at Target, but I may need to go back and buy the pumpkin spice ones now! What tempting bars, my friend!!!!

  8. I have lots of things to be thankful for–family, friends, everything in my life. It’s so easy to forget all the blessings–thanks for the reminder.

    Now these bars are simply gorgeous. Brilliant use of the Hershey’s kisses here. Love this!

  9. Wish we had a thanksgiving-like holiday in Europe 🙁 Would be nice to have an extra reason to feast (on yummy things like this) and be happy in mid-November 🙁

  10. While Thanksgiving isn’t something we celebrate here in Australia, I really love the idea of setting aside a day and being thankful for what you have. And I’d certainly be thankful for one of your pumpkin pie bars. They look divine!

  11. What a fun recipe, and love love those candy kisses:-) I still have not tried the Hershey kisses yet, I guess I need to get on that! I love the idea of using of an oatmeal crust, sounds like a great mix of flavors:-) Your quote is beautiful! I hope you have lovely Thanksgiving, Hugs, Terra

  12. We don’t have Thanksgiving here in New Zealand but I think it’s a great festival. We should all have a day at least once year when we express our thanks for the good things in life. We do tend to forget the positive and dwell on the negative and a celebration like this would help switch this around.

  13. Now I know where those pumpkin Hershey chocolates will be used. Thanks again for taking some for me! There’s no Thanksgiving celebration here in Italy but I am always grateful for my family and our continued good health to enjoy life with each other. Cheers Laura!

  14. I’m thankful for special time with my family and my great friends. Love this pumpkin idea (can’t get enough of it!):)

  15. I’m finally catching up from my time away, and it’s so good to see what you have been up to! I am thankful for meeting you this year! One of the blessings of food blogging is meeting wonderful friends, like you!

    These bars are too pretty to eat, but I would eat it anyway 🙂

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