Paleo Pumpkin Streusel Bars

By Jess

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Pecans and pumpkin make a wonderful sweet and nutty pairing in this ultimate fall dessert. Your taste buds will thank you and so will your body, because you are indulging in healthy, gluten-free sweets. Especially during the time of year when temptation is everywhere in the form of baked pumpkin goods and Halloween candy.

Paleo Pumpkin Streusel Bars- never make these for your friends! If you do, they will request them over, and over, and over… They are that good.

Paleo Pumpkin Streusel Bars- never make these for your friends! If you do, they will request them over, and over, and over… They are that good.

Begin by making the crust for the bars. The crust is fairly simple, mainly based in almond flour. Once the crust ingredients are mixed together, press the crust into an even layer in an 8×8-inch baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes to set, and then remove from the oven and let cool. Step one is complete.

The second step is to mix pumpkin puree with some popular fall spices. You can use your favorites, or the combination that I suggest below. I know that a lot of people have a pumpkin pie spice already in their cupboards, which would also work well here. Once the filling is pleasing to your taste buds, spread it in a thin layer over the baked crust. You might have some pumpkin puree left over, but there are plenty of other recipes you can make with that.

chopped walnuts
adding the pumpkin
pumpkin bars in the pan

The third step is to prepare the streusel topping. In the traditional sense, streusel is made of flour, bread, and sugar, none of which are eaten on the Paleo diet. So we make a different delicious version using nuts, maple syrup, and coconut oil. I chose pecans because I love pecans with pumpkin, but walnuts or almonds would also work well. Mix the chopped pecans together with the other few ingredients for the topping, and sprinkle over the pumpkin layer. Then bake everything together in the oven for 15 minutes more.

pumpkin streusel bars

This dessert can be served warm out of the oven or chilled after spending some time in the refrigerator. I prefer them served cold. The simple and nutty streusel topping adds just the right crunch to the bars. These gluten-free dessert bars, with layers packed full of flavor, are perfect for the fall.


  • For the crust
    • 2 cups almond flour
    • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp water
    • 1/2 tsp salt
  • For the filling
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • For the streusel
    • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish with coconut oil spray. Place all of the ingredients for the crust into a bowl and stir to combine. The dough should form into a ball. Transfer to the baking dish and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, and then remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl. Spread over the cooled crust in a thin even layer.
  3. Toss the chopped pecans in a small bowl with the other streusel ingredients. Sprinkle over the top of the filling. Bake everything together for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.


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    • JoAn, I made these and the streusel topping provides just the right amount of sweetness. I do suggest chilling them before cutting them though.

    • That’s a great suggestion, thanks JoAn! Maybe next time I’ll try that, you could always taste the filling first and then decide if you would like to add some honey.

      • Unless you’re looking for a treat on the savory side, you most definitely want to add something to sweeten the filling. And maybe the topping too. Quick and easy recipe!

    • In this recipe, coconut oil is used in the base and the topping. For the base you could substitute lard or butter. For the topping I would replace the coconut oil with 1-2 tbsp more maple syrup.

  1. This looks so good. Do you think I could substitute the maple syrup with dates or a banana? I am trying to stay off of all sugars. It has been almost 3 weeks for me with no sugar but this recipe is very tempting:). Thank you so much!

    • I think that chopped dates would work better for a substitute, since they would add to the streusel topping. The banana would be the wrong texture.

  2. Made this recipe tonight. My oven didn’t beep very loudly though, so I way over cooked it. Still turned out great. This seems to be a no fail recipe. I’m very pleased and so is my husband, as I am introducing both of us to a paleo lifestyle.

    • Oops! I feel like we have all had such mishaps in the kitchen. I am glad that the recipe still worked out.

  3. What on earth is canned pumpkin puree? We just don’t have that in Australia! I see it in a lot of USA recipes.

    Can I simply take pumpkin, cook it and puree it or would this be different? I mash cooked pumpkin all the time. I used to use it in potato mash and pasta dough, now I use it in grain free gnocchi dough, pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones etc Having very young kids it was a baby staple in our house!

    I just don’t know if this is what you are talking about. We certainly don’t have anything in a can!

    Thanks, Sam.

    • Hi Sam… I’m sure it is the same.. The purée isn’t sweet… But the company has just done the cooking and mashing for you. Ingredients in a can of pumpkin purée= pumpkin.

    • Samantha,
      Canned pumpkin puree is the same thing as cooked pureed pumpkin! I would say that its even better :) So you should be more than fine using your own pumpkin .

    • Hi Sam,
      I am in New Zealand and we do not have canned pumpkin either. I always substitute for the ‘real thing’, pureed cooked pumpkin.

    • Hi Samantha – pumpkin puree is exactly what you described! I definitely prefer the fresh puree to the canned kind that is available in the grocery stores here in the U.S.

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