pumpkin protein bars with hazelnut cocoa crumb topping

by purelytwins

Pumpkin protein bars with hazelnut cocoa crumb topping recipe. Pumpkin bars made with plant based protein powder. Can be made grain-free.

Happy Friday loves!

Pumpkin bars with the classic cream cheese frosting was a dessert that we loved growing up that we got out of the Pillsbury baking cookbook. We always looked forward to it each fall/winter time.

Pumpkin bars with hazelnut cocoa crumb topping (gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free)

Now – to present- we no longer really eat cream cheese for our own reasons, but we still love pumpkin bars. Hence why we created our pumpkin bars with our lucuma cashew frosting last year, which we feel is very competitive to the classic cream cheese frosting for pumpkin bars. Maybe not exact but still pretty darn good if we say so ourselves.

We already have our holiday urges setting in. Anyone else? You could say we are already singing some holiday tunes.

These pumpkin bars would be perfect to serve at a holiday gathering or family dinner, or even a gift for your friend or coworker. They are simple to make. A soft, chewy bar combined with a little pumpkin, a little spice, a little protein powder and a little cocoa to create one scrumptious treat! These pumpkin protein bars where gone very quickly in our home, once you go for one you want to go back for more.  Gary was a little unsure about them at first, but by the time he was done eating his slice he was like, “ok these are good!” yay!

How to make gluten-free vegan pumpkin bars with a hazelnut cocoa crumb topping.

First you need to make your crumb coating to top your bars with.

We also adore cocoa and hazelnuts together so we decided that would be the basis of the crumb topping.

Once the crumb mixture is ready, set aside to make your pumpkin bar batter.

Once pumpkin batter is made pour into a square baking dish and top with crumb coating. Then place into oven to bake, sit and relax while it bakes.

Your kitchen will soon be filled with delicious smells of pumpkin, spice, hazelnuts, and cocoa.

These pumpkin protein hazelnut crumb bars are so dense and moist.

Not too sweet, just the way we sometimes like our treats. We like to be able to taste all the flavors going on not just a sugar coma. The hazelnut meal also provides a wonderful chew and texture to these bars.

You could even serve this in the morning or enjoy it throughout the day! Like we did!

In our house it is never too early to enjoy a dish like this. In fact it is  a must.



We used some brown rice protein in these bars to up the protein in them along with adding in some psyllium husk mainly for texture. We have heard good things about the texture it provides baked goods, especially vegan baked goods. So we thought, why not give it a try.


pumpkin protein bars with hazelnut cocoa crumb topping (gluten-free, vegan, soy-free)

Pumpkin bars with hazelnut cocoa crumb topping (gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free). A healthy dessert recipe and easy to make.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: makes one 8 in square glass pan 1x


Pumpkin bars

  • 1/3 cup brown rice protein powder (or protein powder of choice) (1 1/4oz)*
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot starch (or could us potato starch) (1 1/4oz)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (1oz)
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut meal (1 1/4oz) (could use almond meal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon psyllium husk (could use flax meal)**
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (2oz) (or sugar of choice)***
  • 8oz pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid (2oz)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

Hazelnut crumb topping

  • 1/3 cup hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or sugar of choice


  1. Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together.
  2. Next add in your wet ingredients (pumpkin puree and coconut oil). Stir.
  3. Keep stirring till everything is well combined.
  4. Batter will be on the thick side.
  5. Place in lightly coconut oiled pan. We used a 8inch square glass pan.
  6. Once pumpkin bars batter is in pan top with your crumb topping.
  7. Place all three ingredients for crumb topping into a bowl and stir.
  8. Sprinkle on top of bars before baking.
  9. Place in preheated oven of 350 degrees and let bake for about 20-23 minutes.
  10. Let cool before slicing into bars.


  • Serving Size: makes 9 - 12 slices

Substitutions :

  • could use another protein powder or just use any regular flour or gf flour of choice for the 1/3 cup
  • psyllium husk you could replace with flax meal or even try chia seed meal (ground chia seeds), we just like the texture that the psyllium husk provides
  • we used coconut sugar (palm sugar) because we love the flavor it gives our baked goods, but you can use any sugar. If you want to use a liquid sugar, you might need to reduce coconut oil by 2 or 3 tablespoons.

Now find some where cozy to sit and pour some coffee (or tea), and swoon over your holiday themed pumpkin protein bars with hazelnut cocoa crumb topping.

till next time,



and glad everyone enjoy our chocolate covered pumpkin fudge cups!

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Heather @ Sweetly Raw November 2, 2012 - 11:05 am

Wow these look insanely good! Im still in pumpkin craze too!

purelytwins November 2, 2012 - 6:47 pm

always a pumpkin craze here haha

Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness November 2, 2012 - 11:44 am

These look awesome! How perfect for Thanksgiving! Pinning this one!!!

purelytwins November 2, 2012 - 6:47 pm

thanks girl!

Lisa November 2, 2012 - 3:28 pm

Oh gosh, these look great! I’m a sucker for pumpkin anything. They look like the perfect snacks for those afternoon munchies. I need to get my hands on hazelnut flour! I haven’t tried it yet. I wonder about baking with it…I tend not to use almond flour because of the oxidation and rancidity it creates when heated…are hazelnuts similar to the heat reaction? You might not know though ha ha.

purelytwins November 2, 2012 - 6:47 pm

thanks Lisa!!

lindsay November 2, 2012 - 9:06 pm

confession, i might just make the cashew frosting and eat it straight up. Yup.

purelytwins November 3, 2012 - 1:51 pm

it ok we do that 🙂

Nicole November 3, 2012 - 1:24 am

Thank you for putting substitutes in parenthesis! I was all excited about having all the ingredients till I saw psyllium husk haha – maybe I will buy it some day, but for now – flax meal it is!

The recipe looks delicious, I’m stoked to try these guys!

Meg November 3, 2012 - 1:58 pm

SISTERS!!!! These look amazing! Your long lost sis LOVES hazelnuts! Currently, I am addicted to hazelnut oil drizzled over my eggies!!!!!!! I will be making these for sure 🙂

purelytwins November 3, 2012 - 2:08 pm

thanks sister 😉 xoxo hazelnuts are the best!

Brittany November 5, 2012 - 9:13 am

These look delicious!!

purelytwins November 5, 2012 - 9:51 am

thanks Brittany!

Jaclyn November 21, 2012 - 10:43 pm

Just made these! They are AWESOME!!! Finally had an excuse to buy RAW protein powder, I think it was great in this recipe.

Meg @ A Dash of Meg September 28, 2013 - 7:18 pm

IMPRESSIVE! they look amazing girls! and I LOVE hazelnut

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