Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pumpkin Gingerbread Squares - vegan

Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars - vegan

Hello friends, and welcome to October. Are you as surprised to be here as I am? Whew, September just flew.

There's an internal switch, I'm convinced, that flips back and forth between summer and fall during September and towards the end of the month eventually makes up its mind and sticks with fall. September is just one of those months with multiple personality disorder. Visually, it's obvious on sites like Pinterest or Tastespotting; recipes run the gamut from raspberry jam to pumpkin cheesecake to zucchini pasta to hearty chili. My blog stats tell me the same- my top five most visited recipes last month were:
  1. Peach Crisp
  2. Raspberry Coconut Bread
  3. Pumpkin Spice Cookies
  4. Baked Steel Cut Oats
  5. Pumpkin & Spice Overnight Oatmeal
I'm glad no one else can figure out what season it is either.
Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars

But now that it's October, I think we are firmly in the grips of Fall, and this bar recipe celebrates the flavors of the season. If it seems too fussy, it's not. While you do have to pay attention, you really only need two bowls, a spoon (ok, maybe two spoons), plus your measuring cups. You don't need a mixer, and I bet you have most, if not all, of the ingredients on hand. 

Go ahead, make this now, and I suspect you'll find yourself returning to this again and again throughout the coming months. It will be welcome at dinner parties, bake sales, and birthday bashes. Happy Fall!

Pumpkin + Gingerbread, squared

Pumpkin Gingerbread Squares - vegan
I'm hesitant to even link to my inspiration since I tore apart and then put that recipe back together, but if you're curious, here it is.

If you don't have quite enough pumpkin, you can add additional applesauce to make up the difference. If you don't have enough applesauce, you can substitute additional pumpkin, but keep in mind that if you add pumpkin to the gingerbread layer, it will have a pumpkiny flavor. I really like the two distinct flavors.

2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C Sucanat (or muscovado or brown or white sugar)
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Pumpkin Layer:
1 1/4 C pumpkin puree (from a can, though homemade would be even better)
1/4 C vegetable oil (I used olive)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice (I used apple cider vinegar)

Gingerbread Layer:
2 Tbsp Flour
1/4 C vegetable oil (I used olive)
1/3 C molasses
2 tsp ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice (I used apple cider vinegar)

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease a square baking dish. I found the squares to come out quite easily, but if you're worried, you can always add some parchment paper lining.

If you have a kitchen scale, set a medium-large, empty bowl on the scale and zero (or tare) it. This way, you can weigh your ingredients without taking the bowl into account. In that large bowl, whisk together the Base ingredients. Weigh the bowl+Base ingredients and note the total. This total is how much your Base ingredients weigh (my total was 1.25lbs/500g). You want to pour half the weight into another medium bowl so that you end up with two mixing bowls with equal amounts of the Base mix. If you don't have a kitchen scale, just eyeball it the best you can. 

Designate one bowl as the Pumpkin Layer bowl and the other as the Gingerbread Layer bowl. 

Add pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, cinnamon, vanilla, and applesauce to the Pumpkin Layer bowl and mix to combine.

Add flour, vegetable oil, molasses, ginger, cloves, black pepper, vanilla, and applesauce to the Gingerbread Layer bowl and mix to combine. Pro tip: rub the inside of the 1/3 C measuring cup with a little vegetable oil before you measure the molasses. This way, the greased cup will easily release the molasses into your batter. 

Stir in vinegar to the Gingerbread Layer bowl. Spread gingerbread evenly in your prepared baking pan.

Stir in vinegar to the Pumpkin Layer bowl. Gently spread pumpkin mixture on top of the gingerbread layer. Smooth top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan and allow to cool. Once the bars have completely cooled, cut them into 16 squares (4×4 grid) and enjoy!


  1. These looked so amazing that I had to try them right away, lol! My batch just came out of the oven. Oh my gosh, they are sooooooooo good! I did something a little different and sprinkled chocolate chips between the layers. YUM! Thanks so much for the lovely recipe. <3

    1. Chocolate makes everything better :) I'm so glad you tried them and liked them!

  2. Sounds delicious, mouth watering, I can't wait to try this...

    1. it is! I hope you give it a try :)

  3. Hi Kate, I'm so glad you were inspired by my recipe! Thanks for linking back!

    1. of course! Thanks for the idea :)


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