Here’s the deal with this one: it took three tries. It was soooo frustrating getting the crust just right and the creamy pumpkin filling perfect…
I admit, I came dangerously close to bagging the whole thing, but I couldn’t leave newbies and myself hangin’ when we all know pumpkin pie needs to be on everyone’s holiday table real soon.
Thankfully, the third time was the charm.
In fact, this little paleo dessert recipe turned out so good, I kinda felt the the clouds parted and the sun shined down from the heavens just for us. Too dramatic? Okay, but I did break a sweat fretting over this one, so give me a little break. [av_sidebar widget_area=’Lockerdome’ av_uid=’av-89dj2′]
The crust holds together well and has little chunks of pecans to add to the creamy and rich pumpkin pie flavor on top. And of course there’s no gluten or refined sugars, so it’s a paleo pumpkin pie dessert you can enjoy guilt-free.
My husband (aka The Official Taste Tester) said it’s one of the best desserts I’ve made. So there you have it! This coming from the guy who sometimes looks at me and says, “Uh, is this your final version?” Sometimes I wanna hurl a pan at him, but I appreciate his honesty.
I wish I’d brought this to you a little sooner, but I still beat the turkey day deadline.
Hope you try this one. It’s really easy and I think you’ll love it.
Getting to work on paleo Thanksgiving stuffing for your holiday bird next. Hopefully I’ll have the recipe for you soon!
Happy cooking Pumpkin!
- (1) 15 oz can of pure pumpkin (not pie filling) –or– 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin purée
- 1/3 cup of Medjool dates (pulsed in a food processor or puréed)
- 1/3 cup of raw honey
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk, full fat
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 1 tsp of pure vanilla
- 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups of almond flour
- 1/2 cup of pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted
- 3 tbs raw honey
- 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees F
- Grease bottom of an 8 x 8 inch pan
- Combine all of the crust ingredients into a bowl and mix well by hand
- Take crust dough and press into the bottom of the 8 x 8 pan to form a tight layer
- Bake the crust 15-20 minutes, or until it's lightly browned
- Start pie filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk all the filling ingredients together
- Cook over medium heat, until filling starts to bubble - then cook for 1 minute more
- Remove from heat, and pour over cooled pie crust layer
- Refrigerate 2 hours before serving
- Keep refrigerated except to serve
- Note: To set up the pie bars faster, place in freezer after combining
I made this recipe for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the crust burned and the filling did not set like the picture. I checked the time for the crust after 15 min. I also soaked my dates to soften and used a little bit of the water the dates soaked in to puree them. The filling tastes yummy so that wouldmake me want to try this again. I would cook the crust for a shorter time and maybe cook the filling a little longer then freeze.
Hi Linda, I’m sorry the crust burned on you. I have never had that happen. Ovens and times vary, so maybe that’s it. I let the filling chill for a couple of hours before serving and it works out well. :) Thank you for stopping by!
I didn’t realize I was supposed to use chilled coconut milk. Does it make a big difference? Made both the crust and the filling 3 days in advance. Should I wait until Thanksgiving morning to put the filling on top of the crust. Didn’t want the crust to get soggy. How long does this keep in fridge?
Marissa, the crust holds up great! It will perfect with the filling if you add right away. No need to wait. I hope you enjoy the recipe! :)
Hi! I’ll be due with my fourth baby around thanksgiving, so I’m looking to get a jump start on planning and make the dinner as easy as possible on myself. I was wondering if you thought these would freeze okay about a week before thanksgiving? If so, what steps could I take for the best results?
Congrats mom…wow fourth one…good for you! Anyway, I’m not really sure if freezing and thawing this particular recipe would work Meghan…so sorry I can’t be more helpful!
Made these today! Wow they are so good. The only problem I had was with the medjool dates trying to purée them. I couldn’t get them that smooth but it still turned out great. The crust is to die for. Waited for 3hours in the refrigerator and they are awesome. Used whipping cream for topping as I didn’t have any coconut milk left in the refrigerator the nite before. Thanks so much!
Hi Lynn, you could soak them for a bit before mixing. It softens them a bit. I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! I do too! :)
LOVE this Paleo Pumpkin Pie Recipe! Ok, it’s valentines day & what does my honey want? No gooey chocolate, but ‘my’ pumpkin pie! We made the switch last fall to this healthy delicious version & it was an instant hit! I just made it for the 3rd time & it looks great & smells even better….what could be better than the smell of honey & coconut baking? I am forever grateful for all of the time & effort that went into perfecting this recipe & tweaked it further by lowering the amount of honey as we are not big sweet eaters. Thank you! thank you!
Yay! Lynda, I feel honored to be on your honey’s dessert list! I’m so happy you have enjoyed it! And thank YOU for making it for him and letting me know its a well liked recipe in your house! :)
I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you for all the effort you put into creating it! What did you use to substitute for the whipped cream topping?
Put a can of coconut milk in the fridge over night. Remove from fridge and use only the cream from the can. It will separate from the water. Use a good brand like Thai. Whip up the cream with a little vanilla and honey. Serve immediately! :)
GREAT! Thank you!!
Hi Trina–love your recipes!
I have to help feed a crowd this Thanksgiving….do you think I could double the recipe and make it in a 9×13 pan?
Yes, I think so! Have an awesome thanksgiving! :)
Hello, I would love to use this recipe, but i dont have any Medjool dates. I only have regular pitted dates so would i have to soak them in water for a bit? Also, can i use a different nut for the crust if i dont have pecans?
Yes Michelle, but make sure the dates are nice and soft. And feel free to use any crust you like! :)
Thank you!! So how long should I soak the dates for? And would the crust be crumbly if I don’t use any nuts at all, or use walnuts instead of pecans?
Soak for a morning or over night. I haven’t made the crust without nuts, so I’m not sure about the texture, but walnuts would work great!:)
I tried Deglets & they were too hard & dry. They left the filling ‘lumpy’. Even soaked they never seem to get the same results.The Medjools are very soft & moist & blend well in a food processor. Many recipes call for Medjools dates & are worth the purchase. Pumpkin pie without pecans? Say it isn’t so!
Hello – plan on making these bars for Christmas… can I make these a few weeks ahead and freeze. Thank you
Shirley, I have not frozen this recipe, but I’m thinking it would work out fine.
Just found this recipe on pinterest, and I am wondering if I can make it Whole30 compliant by leaving out the honey and adding in more dates? Would this change the consistency too much? I know it’s very SWYPO for Whole30, but since I’m doing mine over Thanksgiving, I think one SWYPO treat is in order. :)
Tara, I think you could. Please soak the dates over night. The honey helps break down the dates in the food processor. Without honey, you will need them to be very soft. Let me know how it works for you! :)
Could I use the crust of this recipe with a regular pumpkin pie filling and bake it all together like you would a regular pumpkin pie?
I haven’t used it with out baking the crust first. Its a bit thicker crust and I’m not sure how it would turn out without baking it before filling it.
Hi, they were very tasty but just wondering what the reason would be for not baking them in the oven? I didn’t read the recipe first so my crust was still cooking when I was done with the filling and thought something kind of disaster would happen if I put the hot pan with filling in the fridge lol . I was thinking that it was going to bake in oven like normal . I’m really new to this . Thanks
The filling is cooked on the stove. It helps to dates break down and mix with the pumpkin.
I am new to Paleo and learing! Where can I purchase Medjool Dates? Thank you!
They are available at most grocery stores. If you can’t find them there, trader Joes, Whole Foods and Sprouts have them. Most any “healthy” grocer.
What could I substitute for the eggs? I am allergic to them…but I would love to try this recipe.
Michele, I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you. The eggs do help hold the mixture together.
3 T flax meal + 1 T water = 1 egg. Mix water & flax, let sit for 5 minutes then stir before adding to your recipe. Works great for baking.
Yes my husband is as well…I tried pumpkin pie with gelatin instead of egg one year. It was okay, but I would definitely appreciate some other ideas!
I just read the other day you can substitute flax meal for eggs . Also maybe chia seeds soak over night . Maybe look it up in pinterest. Hope this helps
These sound delicious. Perfect to bring along with you. Pinned to my “Gluten Free Tailgating” board.
Can I use almond milk instead of coconut milk in the filling? I’m out of coconut milk. Thanks!
Chelsea, I don’t think you would get the same creamy texture. I’m thinking no, but you can try it if you want.
Can I use date paste in place of the pulsed dates?
Hi Rosie…well I haven’t tried the paste, but it seems like it would work in place of the pulsed dates. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out!
Do I need The dates?
Hi Rose…yes the dates are essential for structure and sweetness in this particular recipe. Another paleo pumpkin treat that doesn’t require dates is the Paleo Pumpkin Cake if you’d like to give that one a try instead.
Thank you , I will give it a try
Do I really need the dates……cause I don’t have any
Hi and yes you really do need the dates for this recipe – they are what give the pie bars their sweetness, and more importantly, their texture.
can i use coconut flower instead of almond?
Maybe, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you how to change up the recipe. I would have to play with the amounts because coconut flour absorbs so much more liquid than almond flour. They do not work the same in recipes. Sorry.
I made this recipe today and it is incredible! Couldn’t believe the flavor and I think it is way better than typical pumpkin pie. Thank you!
Kelsey, Thank you! I love them too! I’m waiting for my boys to come home for thanksgiving before I make them again, but I can’t wait! Thanks for letting me know you enjoy our recipe!
So I’m making the date puree and I have to admit I added a little water to help. Will this ruin it??
Thats fine! A little soaking in water can help break them up and soften them.
Thank you for this recipe! I made it last night. Unfortunately, the filling did not “set up”, even after refrigeration. The pumpkin filling is similar to the consistency of pudding. Did i not cook the filling long enough?
Thank you for your help!
Kim, Maybe it wasn’t cooked quite enough or the dates were not pureed enough? I’m not sure. The dates and cooking time are key. Although it is soft, you should be able to slice it just like in the photos. :) Email me if you have any trouble . :)
Put this in the freezer about an hour ago. I substituted the dates with apricot and added some Rum extract (probably not paleo, but it’s fine haha). How long do you think it will take to firm in the freezer.
Nick, it shouldn’t take long. Let me know how it tastes! Sounds awesome!
Just in the midst of making these now. Are the dates supposed to be paste-like in texture? I pulsed them in the FP and they turned into a big gooey lump, so I tossed the whole thing into the pot thinking it would “melt” or whatever when it all heated up. But I’m left with hunks of date all through the mixture. I’ve broken them up the best I can with the back of a wooden spoon but they’re still visible. Date are yummy of course, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t the intended result? On the plus side, the crust just came out of the oven and looks and smells divine!
Cara, yes, they should be like a paste. Even if they are a little chunky I’m sure it will taste great! Even when I make them you can see little tiny pieces of date. Let me know how it goes!
Thanks for the reply! If you have any tips on how to get the dates to be like a paste rather than a big sticky lump, please let me know. But in the end I think they still turned out well. I stole a little corner (just couldn’t wait 2 hours to take them for a taste-drive!) and they seem yummy!
If they come out in a glob, next time add your honey (in the recipe) to the food processor when you blend them. Then put them in the pan together. The liquid of the honey will help smooth the dates.
Hi! These look fabulous and I am making them tonight for Thanksgiving! However, I just realized I have almond meal instead of almond flour – do you think that will be ok? Or would it make the crust too dense? Thanks!
Hi Melissa, go ahead and use the almond meal – the Pumpkin Pie Bars will turn out just fine. Happy Thanksgiving and hope you enjoy them!
Thanks for the quick reply, Trina! My family said these were “like a dessert from a gourmet restaurant”!! I appreciate your hard work on getting these just right and will definitely be making them again!
Hi Melissa! Thank you so much for the compliment! You just made my day! I’m so glad your family enjoyed them. Yay! :)
Hi! Do I need to spray or spread coconut oil in the pan before I form the crust? I’m afraid it will stick! I will be using a glass square pan. Thanks you’re recipes look amazing!
Biby, yes! I’m sorry if is not noted. Will check it! Happy Thanksgiving! :)
Making these! What is on top?
Coconut whipped cream. I didn’t include the recipe, but if you google coconut whipped cream you will see lots of recipes. It’s super easy! I would suggest using Thai brand coconut milk for it. It works the best!
Hi. This looks amazing and really excited to try it out for Thanksgiving. When heating up the pumpkin mixture what is the best tips for making sure the eggs don’t curdle. Thanks!!
Rachel, I mixed all the ingredients together in the pan and turned on the stove and had no problem with curddling. I think because it heated up gradually. I made it 3 times with no problem. :)
Is there anything I can substitute for the dates?
Hi Trina, Just found your site and I love it!!!! Thank you so much for the pumpkin recipe, it sounds delish and will def. be trying it for this coming week. I have a question about the dates, are they necessary?
Hi Erica and Dawn! To answer your question, the dates were added as an alternative sweetener instead of adding more honey. Plus you get the added benefit of the nutrients. There isn’t a date flavor at all. It tastes just like the pumpkin pie you’re used too. However, if you prefer not to use the dates, you can add 1/4 to 1/3 more honey or maple syrup. I hope this helps!
Ooh! These look too good, and I love that ingredient list!
Alanna, hi! Thank you so much! It is really yummy. Also, I went to your site. Your recipes look awesome and your photography rocks! :)
This looks so yummy! Could you sub the honey with grade b maple syrup?
Hi Lindsey, yes maple syrup would work well with this recipe. :)
I made this today and it is delicious. Thanks for all your experimenting it is worth it. Great site!
Thank you so much Diane! I’m glad you liked it! It was worth the work! :)
I always wonder about baking with my expensive raw honey. Won’t the heat of the oven spoil the healthful qualities of it’s “rawness”? Just wondering. Thanks for this fabulous recipe. I can already taste how wonderful it will be!
Thank you Jacqueline…this one’s really delicious, I hope you try it! And feel free to use a “cheaper” honey in any baking recipe as heat will degrade its vitamins, minerals and enzymes. However you’re still getting the healthier benefit of honey’s simple sugars (glucose and fructose) as sweeteners, instead of using table sugar or corn syrup.