Pumpkin Dream Bars

by Melissa Diane Smith, author of Going Against the Grain and and Going Against GMOs

Looking for a healthier alternative to traditional pumpkin pie? Try these Pumpkin Dream Bars. They’re a dream because they are easy to make; they contain no flour or grains; and they have a decadent, light, and moist texture. Both the bars and the whipped coconut cream come out well using a variety of sweeteners.

Pumpkin Dream Bars


  • 1 cup canned organic pumpkin
  • 1 cup unsalted, unsweetened cashew butter or almond butter
  • 1 large organic, pasture-raised egg
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp. unrefined sea salt
  • Whipped Coconut Cream (see recipe, below) sprinkled with cinnamon
  • 9 home-toasted pecan halves (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 8-by-8 baking pan. Mix ingredients through salt together in medium bowl until well blended. Pour batter evenly in baking dish.
  2. Bake 25–30 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow bars to cool, then cut, and serve with a small dollop of Whipped Coconut Cream sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with a toasted pecan half on each piece.
Serves: 9 Bars

Whipped Coconut Cream

This recipe makes about ⅔ cup. Double the ingredients if more whipped topping is desired.


  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) organic unsweetened
  • full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs. sweetener of your choice (we used coconut palm sugar)
  • ½ tsp. organic vanilla extract
  1. Place can of coconut milk in refrigerator overnight. Flip can upside down and open bottom. Pour liquid at top away and save for other uses. Scoop out firm layer of coconut cream that has solidified at the bottom and place it in a large chilled mixing bowl with your desired sweetener and vanilla extract.
  2. Whip coconut cream with beaters until cream is thickened and fluffy. (Alternatively, you can whip the cream for 3–5 minutes in a blender, but the whipped cream usually will have a looser consistency.) Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use.

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