These pumpkin squares are easier to make than pumpkin pie, and they are firm enough to be eaten as finger food. They are great by themselves, or add a bit of Macadamia-Vanilla Frosting for a little extra decadence. A sweet addition to any vegan Thanksgiving or holiday menu!

Check out our full round-up of pumpkin recipes here.

By Cathy Fisher,

Last Updated:


  • 10 medjool dates, pitted and diced (about 1 cup diced)
  • 1½ cups oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or see notes)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cooked pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk
  • 1 cup Macadamia-Vanilla Frosting


  • Soak the dates in a small bowl with ¾ cup water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the over to 375ºF.
  • Place the flour and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Place the soaked dates, the date soak water (see “texture” note), vanilla, and plant milk in a blender and purée until smooth (1 to 2 minutes). Pour the mixture into the bowl of flour and spices, and also add the pumpkin, and mix with a wooden spoon until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Scrape the batter into an 8 × 8-inch parchment-lined baking sheet (or use a nonstick silicone baking pan). Cook for 25 to 30 minutes at 375ºF, until lightly browned with some cracks on the top. Let cool at least 10 to 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
  • If desired, top with Macadamia-Vanilla Frosting just before serving, or use a rotary cheese grater to dust lightly with grated macadamia or other nuts. Storing in the refrigerator overnight will firm up these squares, then you can pack them in a lunch or as a snack.


    To make your own pumpkin pie spice: If you do not have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can substitute 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves.

    Texture: For a firmer texture without refrigerating overnight, use only ½ cup of the date soak water in step 2.

Comments (24)

(4 from 15 votes)

Recipe Rating

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These were great and simple to make! Based off the reviews I added another 1/2 cup of dates to make it a bit sweeter and added double the spices, and it was perfect. The texture was just a touch gummy/gooey after you first take it out of the oven (which honestly I didn't mind) but after refrigeration had a beautiful texture just like pumpkin pie. The frosting was a perfect addition, I'll definitely be making this again!


I would use less cinnsmon snd add a little more of sweetener about 1/4 cup more or 2T if it's a liquid sweetener.

amy fortin

I agree with some of the other comments. The bars were very dense and gummy in texture and not as flavorful as I’d hope. Followed the recipe exact. The frosting needed more water to thin out but the flavor was good and without it, the bars just wouldn’t have been very edible or worthy of a holiday dessert. Would baking powder or baking soda help the texture?


Good idea amy, will try to use baking powder next time.

Diane Giles

I have them in the oven now with the icing macadamia nuts and dates soaking...hope they turn out as I am not the best cook! I love Cathy's recipes! I did add more cinnamon though...Straight Up Food is my absolute favorite cookbook for vegan recipes...I had no idea until I read the comments and saw that this is Cathy's recipe...she was a speaker at True North in Santa Rosa, where I stayed for a week in 2020!!


This was a horrible recipe. The frosting was ok, but the cake was gummy and tasteless. Very disappointed I wasted so many expensive dates


So chewy and just a gummy texture.


What could be substituted for the Dates, they are a migraine trigger for me :(


You might try bananas

Joni Bokovoy

I absolutely love this recipe! To me it tasted like pumpkin pie. I did make a few alterations. First I didn’t have any non-dairy milk so I made mine on using a handful of cashews. Possibly just doing that helped make my texture more creamy and tasty. In addition to the 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice I added a teaspoon of cinnamon. And because I was doing this quickly and didn’t read the recipe thoroughly before I started, I added less fluid. Soooo I did a 1/2 cup and 1/3 cup of liquid:-) The texture was perfect, just like pumpkin pie! This makes me want to figure out ways to use it to make an actual pumpkin pie with maybe a nut crust. I am baking the squares now so write another comment to let everyone know how things turned out. Personally I love my mixture.


Added a tsp extra pumpkin spice and added salt and they were still rather bland by themselves (like others have commented). The consistency is good (I made my own oat flour in the food processor and left it on the grainer side). I also made a “frosting” of soaked dates, vanilla, salt, a splash of plant milk and pumpkin spice since I eat a very low fat plant based diet. They were delicious paired with the frosting! Overall, they were easy and satisfying and I will be making them again!


The frosting was nice, but the cake was horrible. It was very bland and had a weird jelly texture. Somehow mine also ended up with horrible hard bits in which could break a tooth. I’ve never used pumpkin purée before this, but I can only surmise that that was the culprit. It’s really put me off trying it again.

Brittany Daniels

The hard bits you experienced were most likely due to the pits in the dates. They have to be completely removed before soaking and blending. Iv forgotten a date pit before and blended it and have experienced how hard they can be in a dish.


Very bland. Baked it 20 minutes longer than the recipe called for and it was still not done, even though I decreased the liquid. Not a good recipe.


No leavening or egg substitute? Aren't these very dense?


Hi, is it possible to change the oat flour with almond flour or another gluten free flour? Would love ti di this recipe but I cannot eat food with gluten. Thanks!!!


There is no gluten in oat flour.


I was wondering too what replacement flour could be used. Here in Australia oats are not considered suitable for Coeliacs as the protein mimics gluten. There is currently research being carried out to determine effects of oats on coeliacs

Steven, FOK Support

Hi Lydia, you may wish to check out our whole grain flour guide for best reference for substitutions in the future :-)


These are a favorite! Easy and so good! Even sad friends enjoy these.


Easy and yummy!


Don't bother making these they are a waste of expensive canned pumpkin. Terrible, gummy, and without flavourful. I baked them for nearly an hour and still a gummy mess. Yuck.




The topping was great, but the pie itself was kind of bland

About the Author

Headshot of Cathy Fisher

About the Author

Cathy Fisher

Cathy Fisher is the creator of, a website offering free recipes and information on eating a whole-food, plant-based diet free of salt, oil, and sugar. She is also a cooking instructor, teaching classes at TrueNorth Health Center and the McDougall Program, both in Santa Rosa, CA. Cathy began eating a plant-based diet in 1999, and in 2016 published her first cookbook, Straight Up Food: Delicious and Easy Plant-based Cooking Without Salt, Oil or Sugar. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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