Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip & Pecan Granola Bars

Pumpkin Granola Bars

I’m still on a pumpkin kick over here, and these granola bars are such a fun and different way to use pumpkin. I have always adored granola bars – I kept boxes of them in my dorm room in college (along with cans of Spaghettios and boxes of microwave popcorn – such a healthy diet!), and once I started working full-time I kept them in a drawer at my desk. They were always perfect for grabbing a quick snack or for tiding you over if you got stuck in a meeting and missed lunch. However, I haven’t had any in a very long time because once I started paying attention to the quality of foods I was eating, I realized there was a ton of sugar and processed ingredients in them. I know what you’re going to say – “But you bake with TONS of sugar!” Touche. But at least I know exactly what goes into everything I bake; I like to stay away from overly processed foods if possible. And these homemade granola bars provide a fabulous happy medium. I get to eat my granola bars, but I get to make them from scratch, and bonus! There’s pumpkin!

Pumpkin Granola Bars

I think that this is a fabulous base recipe to use for tons of different granola bar variations. I am thinking of trying out a version that replaces the pumpkin with peanut butter and adding chocolate and peanut butter chips. You could replace the pumpkin with more applesauce or honey and add in dried cranberries, white chocolate and almonds (one of my favorite combos). The possibilities are seemingly endless, and I can’t wait to come up with more varieties of homemade granola bars.

You’ll want to make sure you don’t underbake these bars and wait until they are deep golden brown before removing them from the oven. Because the pumpkin will keep the bars moist, they need to baked fully so they don’t end up soggy.

What is your favorite variety of granola bars?

Two years ago: Wendy’s Chili – A Copycat Recipe
Three years ago: Homemade Soft Pretzels

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip & Pecan Granola Bars

Yield: 10-12 granola bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

3¼ cups traditional rolled oats
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup cinnamon chips
½ cup chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the oats, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. In a medium bowl whisk together the brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, honey and vanilla extract until combined and smooth. Pour the mixture over the oats and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to mix until all of the oats are moistened. Stir in the cinnamon chips and pecans.

3. Evenly press the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure not to underbake! Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars and serve. Leftover bars can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container and kept at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

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57 Responses to “Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip & Pecan Granola Bars”

  1. Heather @ Side of Sneakers on October 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    These look insanely delicious- I really want to make them! I have a question- where did you find cinnamon chips?! I was looking for them for my cinnamon chip scone recipe last week and couldn’t find them anywhere- no grocery store, target, walmart…sigh.

    (And I think it’s funny that your ’3 years ago’ post is homemade soft pretzels and that’s what my post is today!!!)

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 20th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Heather, I bought them at my (very small) grocery store, Hershey’s brand. There were only a couple of bags left though – had to reach faaaaaar back to grab one!

      Reply

  2. Susan on October 20, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    This looks amazing. I really need to attempt making granola bars – I think Seven would love them!

    Reply

  3. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on October 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    These granola bars look great! I’ve never made my own, but this recipe has inspired me to try for the first time. Thanks for sharing! Also, I have a caramel apple turnover recipe up today that I think you’d really like!

    Reply

  4. Michelle on October 20, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Nice idea to use pecans. I am using pecans in more and more recipes!

    Reply

  5. Jen @ How To: Simplify on October 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make my own granola bars. I keep seeing them pop up on the food blogs every now and then and they always look so tasty. I love that you used pumpkin in this recipe! Yum!

    Reply

  6. Jeanine on October 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Those are some great looking, seasonally appropriate granola bars! And I just so happen to have some cinnamon chips in my freezer, wondering what I was going to do with them. :)

    Reply

  7. Diana @ A Girl, a Dog & an Oven on October 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    These look so good! I love the pumpkin/cinnamon chip combination. The chips are so versatile, but this time of year pumpkin adds just the right touch. Love your granola bar base, it’s nice to find one that doesn’t require 1/2 cup of 1000 different “specialty” ingredients.

    Go Steelers!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 20th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      Go Steelers is right! Woo Diana!

      Reply

  8. Rachel on October 20, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    It’s so true that putting your own ingredients in something is much, much better than taking whatever a packaged version has in it.
    I love that your granola bars include pumpkin and applesauce in place of oil and the sugar is really very light.
    The only granola bars I’ve made included lots of cardamom – which was really tasty. I’ll definitely try these!

    Reply

  9. Cookin' Canuck on October 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    These would be a great snack to go into my kids’ lunch boxes. With a great base recipe like Maria’s, it’s fun to be able to make changes to fit your palate.

    Reply

  10. maggy@threemanycooks on October 20, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I love granola bars :) so delicious. especially granola bars with pumkiny, cinnamony, chocolatey goodness in them!

    Reply

  11. Jenny on October 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    These look amazing!!! :)

    Reply

  12. imwaytoobusy on October 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I am so glad I found this recipe! I love homemade granola bars and a pumpkin batch sounds perfect!

    Reply

  13. Katrina on October 20, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    LOVE this recipe!! These look amazing!

    Reply

  14. Rachel Joyce on October 20, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    FIrst, I could not agree more about your granola thoughts. My mom has passed a granola square recipe I make to this day that everyone just loves! She created it because she didn’t make us to eat processed foods but still wanted to give us sweets when we screamed for them. I tried using a boxed pumpkin granola mix earlier this year but I like your recipe much better. And since I just made some White Pecan Pumpkin Cookies (on my blog if you want to peak), this is my next pumpkin treat for sure-Cheers!

    Reply

  15. Nancy aka SpicieFoodie on October 20, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Wow! I’ve never had pumpkin granola bars, and now I want about 2 dozen. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

    Reply

  16. Nancy Baggett on October 20, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    These look quite good, but I am still hung up on those amazing salted caramel brownies you posted a while back. In fact they kept haunting me until I HAD to create a salted caramel something myself. (It turned out to caramel & apples sprinkled with coarse sea salt, which IMHO is also a winner!) Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 6:44 pm

      Oooh those apples sound fabulous! Thank you for sharing the idea!

      Reply

  17. the blissful baker on October 20, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I’m a huge fan of granola bars! i’ve been on a pumpkin kick lately, so naturally i’m already in love with these granola bars!

    Reply

  18. Sara on October 21, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Yum, these sound like such a delicious fall snack! Can’t wait to make them.

    Reply

  19. eatgreek.net on October 21, 2010 at 3:03 am

    they look amazing!!! :D

    Reply

  20. Kelsi on October 21, 2010 at 7:10 am

    these. look. amazing! thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

  21. Paula on October 21, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Nothing is as good as home-made and you created a delicious looking snack with these bars that I’m sure everyone who tries one will love!

    Reply

  22. Jason Phelps on October 21, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Another awesome pumpkin recipe. The pumpkin pie bars were fantastic!

    Jason

    Reply

  23. Elin on October 21, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Great pumpkin granola bars….heathy too. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

    Cheers,
    Elin

    Reply

  24. Amalia on October 21, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Mmm granola! to crumble in my yogurt ;) and on everything else! Thank you!

    -Amalia

    http://buttersweetmelody.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  25. Tracy on October 21, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I LOVE the idea of pumpkin in granola bars! Of course I’ll have to leave out the nuts; I’ll probably just add in more oats. Yum!

    Reply

  26. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels on October 21, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I could never get tired of your wonderful pumpkin recipes! These granola bars look soooo good. I love the addition of pecans (my favorite nut!) and cinnamon chips. Such a creative and delicious recipe.

    Reply

  27. CookiePie on October 21, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Those look fabulous!! I’m not a fan of the cinnamon chips (I know, I think I’m the only one!), but I’d like to try these with dark chocolate chips. Bookmarking!

    Reply

  28. Krystle Thorn on October 21, 2010 at 11:13 am

    These look awesome and you dont have to feel too guilty about eating them! Love it

    Reply

  29. Alisa on October 21, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Love, love, love the idea of pumpkin granola bars!

    Reply

  30. Becky on October 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I love all of your pumpkin recipes, including this one. Pumpkin gives everything such an nice flavor. I can’t wait to try these!

    Reply

  31. Kathryn on October 21, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Hey! Just stopping by to let you know we’re giving away a signed Sandra Lee cookbook with 1,001 recipes over at Chew on That! We’d love for you to enter! The giveaway ends on Halloween, so hurry over! :)

    Reply

  32. bridget {bake at 350} on October 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    “But at least I know exactly what goes into everything I bake; I like to stay away from overly processed foods if possible.” DITTO!!! I feel the SAME way!

    I’ve always wanted to make granola bars…and with pumpkin? Sign me up!

    Reply

  33. Patty on October 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Love the addition of pecans to these!

    Reply

  34. Dana on October 21, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I am loving all these pumpkin recipes! These granola bars sound great… Love the combo of flavors!

    Reply

  35. Christina @ Sweet Peas Kitchen on October 21, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    These look amazing! I love, love, love pumpkin. I need to make these… :)

    Reply

  36. Reagan @ Recipesmademyway on October 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

    I’ve been wanting to make my own granola bars for the past week and I keep putting it off… need to get to it!! These look so great!

    Reply

  37. stephchows on October 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    i’m am so in for making these!!

    Reply

  38. Peggy on October 23, 2010 at 6:39 am

    I absolutely love love love the addition of the pumpkin in these granola bars! My favorite variety is just a simple chocolate chip granola bar, but I think maybe after trying this variation, that might change!

    Reply

  39. Annie on October 23, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    What a different use for pumpkin! I love granola bars but combining them with pumpkin is so original. Congrats on number one!

    Reply

  40. Foodie Interrupted on October 24, 2010 at 12:41 am

    These look fabulous, can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Reply

  41. Sharlene on October 24, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Delicious and healthy! Love it!

    Reply

  42. Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox on October 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    How fun! I may have to make some of these to pack in the husband’s lunch pail.

    Reply

  43. Spring on November 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Just made a batch of these and I wish they held together slightly better- mix looked dry and I almost added an egg to bind, but didn’t. Have you had to tweak the binding factor at all? The flavor is GREAT and my fam taste-tested and gave it a thumbs up! Hard to find a flour-free granola bar recipe (I’m gluten free) and am excited to play with this one some more!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 8th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

      I didn’t tweak the binder at all, but if you found it too dry I would add more pumpkin or honey. Glad you loved the flavor!

      Reply

  44. Spice Sherpa on November 13, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I’ve been on a granola hunt and just printed out your recipe to give it a shot. Going more for an apple-cinnamon recipe this time. Even bought the cinnamon chips which I’ve never tried before. :-)

    Reply

  45. Nancy Baggett on November 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I’ve been in a pumpkin cookie kick forever. I think my fave is a pumpkin cookie with cream cheese frosting that I posted last year. It smells like pumpkin pie when baking–I bet these do, too. Great idea to add cinnamon chips–will try that.

    Reply

  46. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef on November 16, 2010 at 9:09 am

    these sound amazing.

    Reply

  47. Kaitlyn on March 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I just found this recipe via a google search, and I just wanted to let you know that I made them yesterday and we can’t stop eating them. Great recipe! I used sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin, but I know that this would be wonderful with pumpkin also. And I added a little bit of ground cloves also. Thanks for a great recipe!

    Reply

  48. Steph @ Cookin' Cowgirl on July 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    These looks amazing BEB! I love pumpkin!

    I’m having my first linky party on my blog and the theme is pumpkin. I’d like to invite you to come link up your favorite pumpkin recipe. The link is open until Wednesday at midnight, so please stop by and say hi.

    http://cookincowgirl.blogspot.com/2011/07/pumpkin-blog-hop.html

    ~Cookin’ Cowgirl

    Reply

  49. Rashmi on October 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Made these today and the flavor was great (though a little more sugar/honey would have been fine too). However, they didn’t really bind together, so it was more of a crumble than a bar. Is this due to the underbaking you described in the post?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 10th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      It could very well be, I made a few batches of these and if you take them out too early (or try to cut when they’re still not cool) they won’t be set.

      Reply

  50. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on December 30, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I finally got around to making these yesterday. My son told me that I have to put them on my blog, so I will be doing that. I love the cinnamon chips and pecans with the pumpkin — perfect combination. I’ve looked at cinnamon chips and wondered how they would taste, and I have to say that I love them! Being a cinnamon fan, it shouldn’t have surprised me. These granola bars are a bit like a glorified oatmeal cookie, but that really isn’t a bad thing. I’ll be making these again with different flavor combinations for sure.

    Reply

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