Easy homemade Pumpkin Protein Bars made with just 4 simple ingredients and packed with 18 grams of plant-based protein. And they taste like just a pumpkin perfect bar! Vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Since you guys are OBSESSED with our peanut butter chocolate chip homemade perfect bars, of course, I needed to make a pumpkin version. I honestly think these are better than the perfect bar pumpkin pie flavor. Made with just 4 ingredients (well 5 if you count salt), no baking required, and taste like pumpkin pie in a protein bar form!
Each bar packs 18 grams of protein. They are sweetened with just the protein powder. They make a great snack, pre or post-workout snack, or even healthy dessert.
How to make pumpkin protein bars
With one bowl and just 4 ingredients (plus salt), these no-bake protein bars couldn’t be easy to make. You will be making them over and over again.
Here is what you need:
- almond butter
- pumpkin puree
- vanilla protein powder – I used Orgain
- pumpkin pie spice
First, add you almond butter and pumpkin puree to a medium-size bowl and mix well to combine. Next add you protein powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix well until combined. It will get crumbly at first but then will come together in a large dough ball.
The consistency should almost be a little thicker and dryer than cookie dough and hold together well. If needed, add a little more protein to absorb any extra liquid.
Line a bread loaf pan with parchment paper to allow for easy removal. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. If desired, place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm up some (I like doing this). Finally, cut into 6 equal-sized bars and enjoy!
Tips for homemade protein bars
Here are a few tips to help ensure the best homemade pumpkin spice protein bars:
- make sure to mix your almond butter well – when using all-natural nut butter, the oil can separate and sit on the top. Make sure to mix well so it is thoroughly combined.
- use a thicker protein powder – the protein powder is what absorbs the liquid and is the flour of the recipe. You do not want one that dissolves easily in things (like collagen), or you will have to use a lot more. I used the brand Orgain and it works really well.
- use salt!! – trust me, it brings out the pumpkin flavor so much! Don’t skip it!
Substitutions for pumpkin protein bars
This vegan protein bar recipe is so simple, but there are a few things you can change to fit your needs. Here are some suggestions:
- nut butter – any nut butter should work and I tested with both cashew butter and almond butter and both were great. Peanut butter would also be delicious and you can use seed butter if you can’t have nuts. I love sunflower seed butter and tahini. If using another seed or nut butter and it is runny, make sure it is stirred really well as it is not too oily.
- spices – if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can use a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Usually, there is more cinnamon than the other spices in pumpkin pie spice, but you will just want a total of 1 1/2 tablespoons of combined spices to keep the ratio the same.
- protein powder – I like vanilla plant-based protein in these pumpkin protein bars recipe because it adds some sweetness and the consistency works the best. You will want a thicker consistency to help absorb the liquid of the pumpkin and almond butter. I find plant-based protein usually has that. If you don’t have plant-based protein, you can substitute your favorite protein, but I would be careful of the ratios. I tried collagen and it didn’t work as well as it wasn’t thick enough (you would probably need to use way more). Protein powders vary by consistency and how dense they are, so I would add a little less than the recipe calls for and add as you need for the best consistency. You can always add, but you can never take away!
Additions for pumpkin protein bars
To spice things up some, add some of these additions:
- sweetener – if you find you want these protein bars a little sweeter, you can add a little honey or maple syrup. I found since using the vanilla flavored protein powder you didn’t need it, but if using an unflavored variety, you might want it.
- chocolate chips – add some chocolate chips or cacao nibs for a pumpkin and chocolate combo!
- dried fruit – dried cranberries or raisins would be delicious
Copycat pumpkin perfect bar nutrition
These homemade pumpkin perfect bars calorie and macro breakdown are pretty similar store-bought kind. Homemade comes in at 288 calories with 18 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs, 20 grams of fat, and 2.5 grams of sugar. Store-bought have 310 calories with 14 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbs, 19 grams of fat, and 16 grams of sugar. Homemade has a little fewer calories and carbs, a little more protein, and less sugar.
The nutrition breakdown will depend on what kind of protein powder you use though.
How to store homemade protein bars
Pumpkin protein bars can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. Store in a tightly sealed glass container with a lid or covered with saran wrap to keep the air out. If exposed to the air too long, they will dry out some.
You can also freeze them. I suggest freezing individually and then defrosting the night before you want to eat.
More healthy protein snacks
Pumpkin Protein Bars
- Line a bread loaf pan* with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add your pumpkin puree and almond butter and mix well until combined and smooth. Add your protein powder, pumpkin spice, and salt and mix well to combine. It will get crumbly at first but then will come together in a large dough ball. The consistency should almost be a little thicker and dryer than cookie dough and hold together well. If needed, add a little more protein to absorb any extra liquid.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. If desired, place in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up some (I like doing this). Cut into 6 equal-sized bars and enjoy!* Store in the fridge for up to a week in a tightly sealed container.
- make sure to mix your almond butter well - when using all-natural nut butter, the oil can separate and sit on the top. Make sure to mix well so it is thoroughly combined.
- use a thicker protein powder - the protein powder is what absorbs the liquid and is the flour of the recipe. You do not want one that dissolves easily in things (like collagen), or you will have to use a lot more. I used the brand Orgain and it works really well.
- use salt!! - trust me, it brings out the pumpkin flavor so much! Don't skip it!
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