Easy Pumpkin Squares

gluten free, dairy free, quick and easy, pumpkin, squares, bars, Halloween, Thanksgiving, fall

Pumpkin “Patch” in Town

There’s frost on the pumpkin. Okay, frost is not quite yet here in my area of Virginia, but there’s definitely a chill in the air. The temperature was in the 40s last tonight. I know, I know … some of you guys have already had snow. I have one word to say on that—wow. But, whatever the weather where you are, it’s a good time to make pumpkin squares. Even if you are not a lover of everything pumpkin like I am, I can almost guarantee you will love these treats. They are light and while the pumpkin taste is lovely, non-pumpkin lovers do not always immediately recognize it as pumpkin. That can actually be a good thing. They just know these squares taste so good that they want another one. These pumpkin squares melt in your mouth and before you know it the whole batch has evaporated. Seriously. I’ve made four pans this week. I’m not kidding. There was the presentation that I gave on Tuesday night. I had to take some tasty gluten-free treats for that. Mr. GFE had promised to bring treats to handbell choir practice that same evening, so I had doubled the recipe. He said he was afraid he was going to lose a hand as he passed the squares out. I made another batch to share with family on Saturday. Then Son was home yesterday for a few hours and brought a friend. Five pounds of chicken wings and 3 ½ pounds of crab legs were consumed, so, of course, there had to be dessert. I started baking these squares when he called to say he was on his way. From those four pans of pumpkin squares, not one remains. Do you need further convincing that you should make these right now? Okay, here goes.

gluten free, dairy free, quick and easy, pumpkin, squares, bars, Halloween, Thanksgiving, fall


Easy Pumpkin Squares
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup oil (any kind)
  • ⅙ cup water (don’t stress over this measurement; just fill ⅓ measuring cup halfway full … you can empty or add water as necessary until you’re right at the halfway mark)
  • ¾ cup sugar (or coconut sugar or honey; if you use honey, omit water)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour mix* (see notes for grain-free option)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp each ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon (or ¾ tsp pumpkin pie)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9 x 13 pan.
  2. Beat egg and add other wet ingredients in a bowl (at least medium-sized); mix well.
  3. Add dry ingredients.
  4. The batter will just cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the batter if you like.
  5. Bake about 25 - 30 minutes. Squares will be thin and moist.
  6. Let cool before cutting.
The original recipe called these “bars” and included frosting. These treats are too light and delicate to be called bars or need frosting. If you want to gussy them up a bit, feel free to sift confectioner’s (powdered) sugar on them. Add the confectioner’s sugar right before serving and do not cover. Because they are moist, covering them will cause the confectioner’s sugar to “melt” into the squares.

If you use fresh pumpkin, you can usually omit the water as the fresh pumpkin tends to have a higher water content. I love these made with fresh pumpkin. They are so light and luscious when made with fresh pumpkin. Look for the small “sugar” pumpkins to do some baking---not the ones that you carve into jack-o-lanterns. By the way, no xanthan or guar gum is needed in this recipe. One gfe reader, Terri, likes to double the recipe for thicker squares that are more like cake bars. She bakes them just a tad longer.

*The gluten-free flour mix I make consists of three parts Asian white rice flour (much more finely ground than typical white rice flour) and two parts cornstarch. I make 5 lbs of this mix at a time. I use three 1-lb bags of Asian white rice flour and two 1-lb boxes of Argo cornstarch. Mix well, but gently in a very large bowl and then transfer to airtight storage containers (like glass jars or Tupperware). I realize this gluten-free flour mix is nutritionally not the best, but I have issues with many of the healthier options like buckwheat, sorghum, etc. But, feel free to try your favorite gluten-free flour mix. If you're not gluten free (yet), you can substitute your favorite all-purpose flour. If you want to make these squares grain free, gfe reader Kathi successfully made this recipe using ¾ cup coconut flour and ¼ cup almond flour instead of the gluten-free all-purpose flour.

Adapted from a recipe by Mary Burgdorff shared on the celiac listserv and celiac.com

gluten free, dairy free, quick and easy, pumpkin, squares, bars, Halloween, Thanksgiving, fallThis post is linked to the October roundup of Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! I always love participating in this monthly event. It’s just so much fun. The invention of creative Naomi Devlin at Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried, each month features a different blogger with a theme of their choosing. This month’s host is the sweet and lovely Heather of life, gluten free. The theme is pumpkin treats. Join in the fun. Entries are due to Heather by October 29 and her post will be up at the end of the month. Read more here if you would like to submit an entry.  No matter what, do head back over to life, gluten free at the end of month to add some new pumpkin recipes to your repertoire. Check out Heather’s site while you are there, too. She has a great post on the anxiety dreams of those who are gluten free. Read it here. Please add a comment if you have such dreams. I’m curious, and I know Heather is, too.  UPDATE: Here’s the roundup of gluten-free pumpkin treats at life, gluten free.


This post is also linked to Slightly Indulgent Mondays over at Amy’s blog, Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free. Amy has this weekly roundup of recipes that are just a little bit healthier for you. These pumpkin squares are healthier by the fact that they contain pumpkin, are gluten free, and are also naturally dairy free. Using oil that’s more beneficial to the body will also boost the nutritional value of these squares and make them less indulgent. Frankly, you won’t spend too much time thinking about all that because they are just that good. Oh, and Amy also has a giveaway and introduces a new blogger each week. I love that concept! Last week, I was the featured blogger. I was so honored. You can read that post here. And, did I mention that Amy also shares a fabulous recipe of her own each week?  Her weekly roundup is definitely worth a visit. Many of the terrific bloggers you already know are there with there best recipes, but the neat thing is that you’ll meet some new folks, too, sharing their healthier recipes.


gluten free, dairy free, quick and easy, pumpkin, squares, bars, Halloween, Thanksgiving, fall

Pumpkin Patch Near Our Mountain Property (with Christmas Trees in Background)

Pumpkin is great all year long in my opinion, but it’s especially appropriate in October. You can mix up a batch and bake these pumpkin squares in a short time—enjoy!

Not just gf, but gfe! 

This post is linked to Friday Foodie FixGluten-Free Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, and 5-Ingredient Mondays.

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


74 Responses to “Easy Pumpkin Squares”

  1. Linda on October 12th, 2009 10:26 am

    I love the picture of all the pumpkins.
    I thought I had to wait until later in the month to put up my Go Ahead… post. I don’t know why I thought that. Anyway, the pumpkin squares sound great.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:16 am

      Good morning, Linda–It’s impossible to resist the happy appeal of a grouping of pumpkins, isn’t it? I stopped just to take that photo. I didn’t feel too badly because that was a spot we often stopped at when Son was younger. He was pulled in by the giant inflated figures (like the one shown, scarecrows, etc.) as much as the field of orange. :-)

      Oh, dear, I hope I haven’t broken any GAHIGF rules … my understanding is that you can put up the post any time after the theme is announced and then just send the link and photo to the host so he/she can prepare the roundup at the end of the month. I think you already shared a great pumpkin muffin recipe. You could update that and submit that for GAHIGF. :-) And, do another later if you like … there can’t be enough terrific entries. I plan on submitting two entries myself. ;-)


  2. The Celiac Husband on October 12th, 2009 10:30 am

    Pumpkins. The seeds make great oil. But that’s about it. For me. Even though Victoria’s bakery turns out bestselling squares as well, I don’t eat them.

    Well, I lick the icing. That’s good.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:26 am

      H.Peter–LOL You are always surprising me! How can a man so worldly, who eats so many things (many of which I turn my nose up at), not like the humble, adorable pumpkin? I think you need to make these squares right now. They don’t have a strong pumpkin taste. Just lovely and light. And, sorry, dear, no frosting on these to lick off. LOL Although I’m sure that Victoria and the gf patissserie would let you use some of their icing. Or I could email you the frosting recipe from the original. But, really, frosting these would be a crime. If you were nearby I’d make you a batch so you could be brave and try one … ;-)


      • The Celiac Husband on October 13th, 2009 9:45 am

        How about some NUTELLA schmear?

        • Therese on October 13th, 2009 2:22 pm

          You are a very bad man, planting such evil thoughts into the heads of the likes of me.

          • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 6:25 pm

            LOL, Therese … He can’t help himself. He’s a big chocolate lover. Heck, he’s the one who “introduced” me to Scharffen Berger. ;-) But, I didn’t get to try any until I went to BlogHer Food ’09 and they were a sponsor–YES!


        • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 6:20 pm

          H.Peter–It’s always Nutella with you, dear. I know … you’re still waiting for my flourless Nutella cookie. I haven’t forgotten that recipe request. The recipe is still working itself out in my head, albeit very slowly. ;-)


  3. Pam on October 12th, 2009 12:38 pm

    Nice squares and cute plate!

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:30 am

      Hi, Pam–Thank you! Which one … first ghost or second ghost? The first was a gift from my dear sister and the second was a gift from my dear mom. They know I love Halloweeeeen! :-)


  4. Mari on October 12th, 2009 1:08 pm

    Wow, do those ever look delicious. The squares look so light and yummy. I can see myself eating those this afternoon. I like the fact that they don’t look heavy, and I like the fact that my treadmill is finally set up, so I can eat two of these little darlings. Thanks for the gorgeous Autumnal pictures and the equally gorgeous and welcome recipe. We are having an early winter here in Minnesota, and this is our second snow day, so the pumpkin squares will go well today! Nothing makes my darling Mr. Gluten cheer up more after a long day at work, than homemade goodies. He loves all your recipes as well as he likes the gluten in his treats, and sometimes he has been known to eat gluten free faster than his own things. His things are known to go in the freezer, because he can’t eat it fast enough, but gluten free things are generally lighter, and taste better, so he can eat it faster. No languishing in the freezer for your goodies, Shirl.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:38 am

      Mari–What a wonderful comment! You made me chuckle (re: the treadmill) and smile the whole time I was reading. :-) So you’re one of the folks with snow already, huh? Yep, time to get baking for sure. Hope you and Mr. Gluten enjoy these! And, LOL, on the “Mr. Gluten.” Mr. GFE still eats gluten, too, but he loves all my gf goodies as well and being called Mr. GFE. Since he’s constantly supporting the gfe cause and hasn’t had a sinus infection in 6 years, has had his carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms disappear, etc. from eating largely gluten free, I’ll cut him some slack. One day he may come to being gf on his own.

      Thanks again, Mari … I sooo appreciate your very positive words!

  5. Lauren on October 12th, 2009 1:22 pm

    Okay, Yum! Those look absolutely delicious. I’m game for anything pumpkin this time of year =D.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:40 am

      Lauren–Hey … a fellow pumpkin lover! Pumpkin lovers unite! ;-) Hope you enjoy these when you make them. :-)

      Thanks for being such a loyal reader and commenter here at gfe!

  6. Gluten Free Steve on October 12th, 2009 1:34 pm

    Yum – pumpkin squares. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:43 am

      Hi, Steve–Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! Yum, indeed. :-) Hope you and The Artist will give this recipe a try. You might want to make it when you have a gathering or at least a few friends over. Otherwise, you’ll end up eating an entire pan of pumpkin squares before you know it. Seriously.


  7. Brian on October 12th, 2009 4:45 pm

    These look delicious! I’m a big fan of pumpkin bars. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:45 am

      Hey, Brian–So good to see you. :-) Thanks so much! I bet you’ll really like these. I’ll have to check out your site to see if you’ve made anything with pumpkin for the season yet …


  8. SnoWhite on October 12th, 2009 6:41 pm

    Thank you for such a great looking recipe! I’ve already copied it down to send to my MIL.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:49 am

      Hi SnoWhite–I think this is your first time commenting here at gfe—welcome! Thank you very much. Glad you are sending the recipe along to your MIL. BTW, if you are not gf, just substitute your usual flour and try it yourself. I think you’ll really like these squares. ;-)

      Thanks again!

  9. Melanie on October 12th, 2009 7:46 pm

    Oh…these look wonderful, and I too, “love all things pumpkin!” Can’t wait to try them out. Thanks, and hope you are doing well!

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:52 am

      Hi, Melanie–So good to see you! All well here … thanks so much. I do believe I am happier during baking season. Is that the real reason I love fall so much? ;-) I’m sure you’ll love these, but let us know when you try out the recipe. I need to get over to your site and see what’s been going on with you. :-)


  10. Therese on October 12th, 2009 11:54 pm

    Shirley, these look great and so quick to put together. We’ll be enjoying your Delicious Pumpkin Squares soon.

    What do you think of brown rice flour? Or is that like whole wheat flour, heavier results?

    Plenty of lovin’ from your oven these days! No. 1 Son and Friend must have felt very happy with their wings, legs, and dessert!
    Such a good Mama. xoxo

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:58 am

      Hi, Therese–I think you’ll really enjoy these, my dear. A lot of folks use brown rice flour. It’s very nutritious. It is a little heavier. I think it could work well IF it was finely ground. I have heard that Authentic Foods makes a finely ground brown rice flour. Maybe some other readers will jump in and let us know which brown rice flour they use. And, if it makes these slightly heavier, I think that would be okay, too. I plan to try this recipe with almond flour soon … and then try making them with honey vs sugar, too.

      LOL on lovin’ from my oven … those little jingles stick with us, don’t they? But, how true … I do like to send out love via my oven. ;-) There was a lot of eating going on and not much talking, but I did get some sincere thank you’s.

      Thanks so much … xoxo,

      • Lisa on October 14th, 2009 10:30 am

        Hi, Shirley

        I have used Authentic Foods “Superfine Brown Rice Flour” in my flour blend and it works well. Stores normally don’t carry it, so I order it online. I mix it with potato starch & tapioca flour. Once I finish up my containter that I have now, I’m going to try your flour blend, so much easier and no ordering online!

        • Shirley on October 14th, 2009 9:35 pm

          Hey there, Lisa–Thanks for sharing your experience with Authentic Foods “Superfine Brown Rice Flour.” I know others really like it and order it online, too. I don’t do well with the potato starch or the tapioca starch/flour, even though I do fine with potatoes and tapioca pudding … go figure. ;-) I hope you like my flour blend. I will admit that it doesn’t have the nutrition of the brown rice flour, but I really like it for a number of reasons: I don’t have issues with it, it’s very inexpensive, the ingredients are readily available like you say, and it can be used in most any recipe (easy to convert gluten recipes replacing cup for cup and usually adding 1/2 tsp xanthan gum per cup of flour mix). As long as you are not eating it constantly, I think it’s a reasonable choice. :-)

          Thanks again!

  11. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free on October 12th, 2009 11:55 pm

    Shirley – I got teary-eyed reading all the nice things you said about me. I don’t feel a little bit healthier today – I’ve been in my test kitchen mode and sampling this and that and then a little more.

    I had to laugh when you said the original recipe calls these pumpkin bars but they just are too light to be a bar. When I’m cooking something new and what comes out of the oven doesn’t match up I have to wonder if it’s me or the recipe. It’s all in the interpretation, huh?

    Thanks for linking up to Slightly Indulgent Mondays! (and pumpkin is so darn healthy!)

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 8:05 am

      Hi, Amy–Ahhh, I didn’t mean to make you tear up, dear. I’m not sure if you are saying you aren’t a little bit healthier because of all your gf/sf baking or that you are not feeling at your optimum due to too much baking. Either way, your comment is proof that too much of the goodies, even the gf goodies, can make you feel a bit wonky or at least guilty. ;-) Thank you for making this sacrifice for me and your other loyal readers!

      Yes, interpretation! I think these squares, bars … whatever you call them … would collapse under the weight of the frosting in the original recipe.

      I need to get over to Slightly Indulgent Mondays and check out all of this week’s entries! Thanks, Amy. :-)

  12. glutenfreeforgood on October 13th, 2009 7:02 am

    I just picked up my CSA share last night and lo and behold — I had 2 pumpkins in my box! Perfect timing, Shirley. I’ve been wondering what to make. I also got a zillion apples so I think apple crumble might take priority over the pumpkins (since they’ll last longer), but this recipe of yours is on my “to do” list.

    As always, I can count on you to provide great GFE recipes!


    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 8:10 am

      Melissa–Oh, how wonderful to have two pumpkins in your CSA box! That’s reason enough to join a CSA IMO. :-) Yes, pumpkins keep well. Your apple crumble sounds awfully good, too. (Who can resist any dessert dish called a crumble? That just sounds so enticing.) When you give these squares a try, please let us know what gf flour mix you end up using and how they turn out.

      Thanks for being a loyal supporter of gfe! :-)

  13. Heather on October 13th, 2009 12:53 pm

    Those are beautiful and I love the picture of the pumpkin patch! Thanks so much for participating Shirley!

    I’m the host and I haven’t made my contribution yet… uh oh :)

    But I have some surprise visitors coming this weekend – my nieces! I’m going to make my pumpkin contribution for them and my Sophie dear.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 9:22 pm

      Hi, Heather–I missed your comment earlier, too. My apologies. It’s always my pleasure to participate in GAHIGF, but especially when you picked a terrific theme for October and made it so easy. :-) I can never resist a pumpkin patch. You have plenty of time still. I just know I am going to be out of town all next week and thought it would be nice to get my post up. Plus, that way everyone can start making these goodies. ;-)

      That sounds like a lot of fun with your nieces and Sophie! Can’t wait to see what you come up with. I’m sure you will have adorable photos, too. You always do when Sophie is involved.


  14. CinnamonQuill on October 13th, 2009 2:00 pm

    Oh, how I love pumpkin! This looks like a super recipe; love how simple it is!

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 9:19 pm

      CinnamonQuill–Somehow I missed your comment earlier … so sorry about that. Yes, it’s a simple recipe and the pumpkin squares are so good. :-) I wish there were some left. ;-)


  15. Therese on October 13th, 2009 2:44 pm

    Shirley, I made them! Couldn’t resist and cannot believe how QUICK these are! This is a lovely recipe, the texture is wonderful. Light, as you said, but moist and luscious at the same time.
    My minor modifications (aside from the major one – using wheat flour as it is what I have) included replacing some of the oil with applesauce and upping the spices and including ground ginger. I tripled the recipe (aren’t I something?) but will take lots to work with me later on today. Dream Date will be delighted when he gets home to enjoy an especially good batch of homemade chicken noodle soup and then your Delicious Pumpkin Squares for dessert! I expect to be mighty popular today. :) Thank you, dear Shirley, for another winner.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 6:46 pm

      Hey, Therese–I’m so glad you made these pumpkin squares and love them. Now I can say it’s a reader-/friend-tested recipe! :-) Yes, they are just great little treats. As you said, you can jazz up the spices a bit according to your personal preferences. Good variation with the applesauce, too. LOL on tripling the recipe … tuh, duh, duh, duh—it’s super woman! Hehe. It’s not hard at all, is it? The fact that the recipe only calls for a 1/2 cup of pumpkin allows you to easily make several batches and not use more than one can of pumpkin. I think you’ll make your co-workers very happy and your Dream Date (love that term–too cute!) very happy as well. You’ll be winning the Miss Popularity contest for sure! ;-)

      You’re so welcome! Thanks so much for reporting back … it’s so thrilling to me to get a good review and very helpful to others (especially when you share your adaptations). :-)


  16. Nance on October 13th, 2009 4:44 pm

    I’m a huge fan of pumpkin goodies with cream cheese, so I’ll “gussy them up” with a cream cheese schmear. Maybe whip the cream cheese up with a little powdered sugar and vanilla if I’m really feeling worky. Thanks for the note regarding the use of AP flour. I don’t need things to be gf, but your recipes always sound so good that I like to try them if there’s an easy workaround.

    • Shirley on October 13th, 2009 7:02 pm

      Hi, Nance–Pumpkin and cream cheese … yum. I bet you love pumpkin rolls. ;-) I find them to be the ultimate pumpkin and cream cheese combo. Your schmear sounds quite good. Let us know how it works. I’m just concerned that these are so light that it will be hard to apply the shmear without crushing them. Of course, you might be far more delicate in your icing technique than I am. ;-)

      I’ve been meaning to mention the easy conversion to non-gluten-free (don’t judge that for something similar to a double negative, please LOL). I’m developing a FAQs section and that will be in there, but I’ll try to mention it more. Almost all my recipes have been converted/adapted to be gluten free by replacing the gluten-containing flour with gf flour and adding xanthan gum if needed. So going back to the original means using AP flour and skipping any xanthan gum in the recipe. So you’ve just been given a bunch of new recipes here at gfe, my dear! :-) Go forth and bake!


  17. Shari on October 14th, 2009 1:12 am

    Just found out last week that my 17-year-old son is sensitive to several foods. That is probably the cause of his Asperger’s symptoms and various minor, but frustrating, health issues (that would have become major problems in the not-too-distant future). Based on blood/urine testing, the doctor said “no glutin, casein, or sugar”. My head is spinning as I try to understand and begin our new diet (I am doing it too) I am a terrible ccok, but it looks like I have to improve for my son’s
    sake! He and my husband (the cooks)can’t do it all!
    We love pumpkin pie, cookies, rolls, ice cream…
    so, I was excited to find your Pumpkin Squares recipe! Any thoughts on how to leave out the refined sugar? Also, we are camping with Boy Scouts this weekend. I told them we’ll bring/fix our own. Any good camping suggestions? Propane stove/Dutch oven/cooler
    So glad I found your site. I got good ideas and it
    helps to see others thriving glutin-free!
    I’m falling asleep, but had to say thanks!

    • Shirley on October 14th, 2009 9:16 pm

      Hi, Shari—A hearty welcome to gfe! Your doctor sounds like he’s very up on how our diet impacts our health—that’s always a wonderful thing! I always recommend that actual celiac testing is done before one embarks on a gluten-free diet. Once one goes gluten free, it is highly unlikely that one can get a positive result on standard celiac testing (blood testing and endoscopy/biopsy). However, that said, I know that a lot of folks have difficulty just getting the testing, there are false negatives in celiac testing, and one can wait a good while to go through the testing process only to get a negative result. As you’ve shared, other dietary changes are often prescribed along with the gluten-free diet. Removing other foods makes so much sense because the gut is compromised and those foods also need to be removed for it to heal. In addition, the negative effects of dairy and refined sugar are well documented. Dairy has the same opioid effect that gluten has, and, therefore, can greatly contribute to neurological conditions like Asperger’s. So removing all those foods can indeed make a huge difference, leading to wellness and elimination or great reduction of symptoms.

      Now, yes, that’s a lot to take in once. So many of us have been in a similar position and remember what it was like to contemplate life without ingredients we’d come to take for granted. The first thing I recommend doing is checking my sidebar under gfe’s tip sheets. There you’ll find 50 Things You Can Eat Today, 50 Meals That Are GFE, 50 Treats That Are GFE, and so on. Now those are all written from the gluten-free perspective only, but many items listed are also dairy-free or easily made dairy-free. Refined sugar free can be accomplished by using honey, pure maple syrup, or agave nectar and reducing any liquid in the recipe to compensate for the fact that the non-refined sugar you are adding is already sugar, unlike granulated sugar.

      Nobody is really a terrible cook IMO, dear. They just haven’t had the proper instruction and/or played around enough in the kitchen yet. ;-) BUT, this is not going to be the huge task you are imagining. It won’t take three people to keep you all supplied with dishes you can safely eat if you take the gfe approach.

      We love to camp and there are so many options for food while camping. You’ll see several posts here talking about our camping adventures at our mountain property. We tend to cook a meal of basic foods the first night, like a meat (chicken, steak, pork—can be grilled over fire, cooked in a pan on propane stove, or wrapped in foil with oil and seasonings and cooked in/on fire), potatoes for baking in the campfire, and corn on the cob for baking in the campfire (when in season). You can also cook your veggies in little foil packets in or on fire. I usually make enough so we have leftovers and then I use all the leftovers to make a great hash, which is basically hash browns with your meat, any other veggies, and seasonings added. The foil packets are perfect for those times when you are sharing a fire and cooking space with others who are eating gluten (or anything else you are not eating). They keep your food safe. Of course, you can also do the classic Boy Scout “stew” with ground beef, diced potatoes, diced carrots, etc. in the foil packets. Dutch ovens are terrific and will allow you to make beef stew and other main dishes or wonderful desserts like cobblers, etc. Beef stew recipes are almost always gf, df, and sf. Cobblers and the like can be easily made to meet your requirements, but start out slow to begin with. I have a recipe here for a strawberry-peach baked dish that is gf/df and could be adapted to be sugar free using honey. You could use any fruit in it. There are so many snacks that work well for camping and are fun. Eating pistachios or peanuts and getting to throw the shells on the ground (depending on where you are) is great fun! But, really at this point, the key thing is not to overthink it or make it too hard initially. Consider all the foods/dishes you might have made previously when camping … which of those meet your requirements now or can be adapted to meet your requirements? Chances are you’ll find some great options thinking that way. We can talk more via email, of course, if you’d like.

      Ice cream … there is commercial ice cream that meets all your needs. It is very good. It’s called Coconut Bliss. It is gf, df, and refined sugar free (made with Agave). It is pricey though. Therefore, I’ve been making my own ice cream that meets the same criteria using coconut milk. Look for recipes here, and more to come.

      Regarding the pumpkin squares, I’m thinking that replacing the sugar with honey and skipping the water will work, but let me give it a try tonight and report back. J This is actually something I’ve been wanting to try. I might try the same thing with agave, too.

      I’m so glad you found my site, too! Yes, you can totally thrive while being gluten free … and dairy free, and sugar free. (Full disclosure: The latter two I have done before, but am not currently doing 100%.) Hope the mini-book I’ve written helps some. Please feel free to email me if you have more questions or need more specifics or help.

      You’ll be surprised how soon that eating your new way can become second nature. I know you don’t believe it now, but it’s true. And, the health benefits will be huge!


  18. Julie on October 14th, 2009 2:11 pm

    Hi! I love your blog … and I have these prepared on my counter ready to go in the oven … but I just don’t see the oven temp anywhere! Just thought I’d let you know (I’m going to bake them at 350)! Also, since I’m sensitive to white sugar, I subbed agave … and I used Arrowhead Mills Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Mix (which includes leavening). I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    • Shirley on October 14th, 2009 9:44 pm

      Hi, Julie!–Welcome to gfe! Thank you so much for your very kind words and especially letting me know the temperature was missing. I logged in right away to make the fix. The temperature was missing in the original, too (which I’ve marked up and spattered batter on LOL). I had handwritten the temperature that I assumed just like you and just forgot to put it in. I can’t wait to hear how your squares turned out using agave. I just made them using honey and eliminating the water and they turned out wonderfully. Hope yours do, too! :-)

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and helping me out!


      • Julie on October 15th, 2009 4:24 pm

        They turned out delicious! I had added the water before I added the agave (in other words I forgot to leave out the water) and they turned out fine anyways. They are very light and fluffy, delicate, even with the heavier flour mix. My kids LOVE them!! Thank you!

        • Shirley on October 15th, 2009 6:54 pm

          Hi Julie–Thanks so much for reporting back with your great results! Love that! :-) Based on your experience, when I make these again with honey, I’ll leave the water in just to see if they come out as light. Leaving out the water when using honey and canned pumpkin does make for a denser pumpkin square. Still good, but different for sure. I also want to try using agave. There’s more sugar-free baking in my own future. :-)

          Thanks again, Julie! It really is helpful to hear back from others. One question, please, before I update the recipe with agave info … did you have to bake your squares any longer than the 25-30 minutes?


  19. Ali on October 14th, 2009 7:05 pm

    Shirley – I love pumpkin and your bars sound so yummy!!! I love that they have no gums!

    So I was thinking of making them this week using coconut sugar and fresh pie pumpkin – I like how you included the extra water if you use canned pumpkin – which contains much less moisture than fresh.

    What is your gf baking mix dear – I didn’t see it on your recipe?

    I was just thinking of trying 3/4 cup sorghum and 1/4 cup tapioca for the 1 cup of flour.

    Better get baking! Happy Fall! -Ali :)

    • Shirley on October 14th, 2009 9:53 pm

      Ali–Awww, thanks! :-) A number of my recipes don’t require any gums and I like that, too. I’d rather not use them for sure.

      I’m so jealous you have your homegrown pie pumpkins. That’s just wonderful. :-) I’m betting coconut sugar will be great. As I was just saying in another comment, I made them using honey and eliminating the water this evening and they turned out great. If that’s the flour mix you would make for lighter cakes and baked goods, it should work just fine. My flour blend is actually finely ground rice flour/cornstarch. It’s shown below the recipe. The primary reason I use it is because I have problems when I eat sorghum, buckwheat, tapioca, potato starch, etc. that are often in other blends. Hope you made them and they turned out well.

      Happy Fall to you as well! We have a fire in the woodstove tonight. :-)


      • Ali on October 14th, 2009 10:03 pm

        I have them in the oven right now. Shirley, I never make other people’s recipes because I am always creating my own but yours just spoke to me and I just had to make this! :)

        I didn’t want to wait for a pumpkin to be baked so I used some baked butternut squash that was in the fridge. They smell so good right now! :)

        I used the coconut sugar and the sorghum/tapioca mix like I said above. I love this season! :)

        I’ll let you know how they turn out. -Ali :)

        • Ali on October 14th, 2009 10:51 pm

          Alright, here is the verdict: I only needed to bake them for 15 minutes. They are somewhat crumbly without the xanthan. I think you are able to pull it off because of your flour mix. The sweet rice flour and cornstarch act as a binder and hold this together along with the egg. They are still totally edible and very yummy! I think I would reduce the salt next time. Coconut sugar is not as sweet as cane sugar so the salt really shines through. :) Thanks! -Ali :)

          • Shirley on October 14th, 2009 11:03 pm

            Hi Ali–Thanks for reporting back so quickly! Just to clarify, I actually use Asian white rice flour, not sweet rice flour. I’m thinking you could adapt your version somehow to make it less crumbly. I just made these with honey and no water and they turned out great. That makes sense about the coconut sugar not being as sweet and the salt shining through. I’ll be interested to see if you come up with another variation. The butternut squash is a good substitution for the pumpkin. Sweet potatoes would work as well. :-) Anyway, I’m glad they are still edible and tasty!


  20. Therese on October 14th, 2009 9:52 pm

    I’ve already had a request for the recipe. “Shirley’s Easy Pumpkin Squares” recipe is getting around.
    Oops, Julie’s comment reminded me that I meant to tell you the temp was missing (I winged it with no problem) but then I just forgot all about it! I’m sorry!

    Now I want to try them with honey in place of sugar! Which reminds me of the best muffins ever, your maple-banana-nut…oh boy. I’d better go read your salad post again.

    • Shirley on October 14th, 2009 10:23 pm

      Hey, Therese!–That’s so cool. Good recipes need to be shared for sure. Well, I think that we know that 350 is pretty standard for this type of baking recipe. It’s fixed now, so no worries.

      The honey version is really great. It reminds me of gingerbread. The outside is a little crusty. :-) I’m going to update the recipe right now to show you can make it using honey and, therefore, it would be refined sugar free, too.

      Yes, it’s that time of year when the banana maple-nut muffins are especially divine for breakfast! LOL on the salad … I hear you.


  21. carrie on October 16th, 2009 8:49 am

    These look lovely Shirley!! I love pumpkin in just about anything!! ;-)

    • Shirley on October 16th, 2009 11:58 am

      Well, hey there, Ginger Lemon Girl! Thanks so much. I’m so with you on the pumpkin. I had a pumpkin concoction for breakfast … all in the interest of recipe testing, of course. ;-)

      Thanks for stopping by, Carrie. Hope you had a wonderful anniversary vacation!

  22. Diane-The WHOLE Gang on October 27th, 2009 10:44 am

    You’re such a great Mom. Maybe if I had a gluten free flour mix ready to go that could be used for a lot of options, then I might bake more. Just have not taken the time to figure that out without rice. Every time I see one it has rice. I need to pay more attention to your baking. It looks so good. And no dairy in here either. I wonder if I can get Brad baking. He said over the Thanksgiving holiday we were going to have to get baking again. I’m never going to lose weight. :-)

    • Shirley on October 28th, 2009 7:20 am

      Diane–Aw, that was such a nice thing to say, especially coming from you … I think you’re due an award yourself! Soccer-induced ER visits and all that … ;-)

      Lots of folks use just buckwheat flour in place of their gf flour mix. It would be easy to try in this recipe. I also want to try it with the Honeyville almond flour. I think the texture would be different, but it sitll would be great. :-)

      Let me know if you try either and I’ll let you know when I try the almond flour. Happy Wednesday!


  23. Heather on October 30th, 2009 8:04 pm

    Thanks for participating again, be sure to check my blog to see the round-up.

    • Shirley on October 30th, 2009 8:42 pm

      Hey Heather–I’m thinking you got a ton of pleasing pumpkin recipes–must go see! :-)


  24. Jenn on October 31st, 2009 1:41 pm

    these look so yummy! I love your Halloween themed dishes too!

    • Shirley on November 2nd, 2009 8:39 am

      Hey there, Jenn–Thank you! Very yummy indeed. They go quickly around here! The themed dishes were gifts from my mom and sister. I’ve enjoyed using them. :-)


  25. Kelley M on March 28th, 2012 1:47 pm

    I know this is an old post, it has been on my recipes to try list for a while. Thought I would post my changes to lower the sugar, in case anyone else comes across the page. It tasted wonderful to me — though I have been eating very low sugar for a while (even unrefined sugar). I am also slowly trying to convert to more grain free diet- so I substituted some almond meal/flour I ground in the blender.

    I made it with butternut squash, grapeseed oil (it was what I had), used 1/4 cup coconut sugar and a “squeeze of agave”, for flour I used 1/4 c almond meal, 1/8 cup each of flax and arrowroot and the rest rice flour.

    After I put it in the oven, I realized I forgot to put in the salt! However when it came out it was actually edible – thankfully. I think the mild flavor added from the grapeseed oil and almond flour made it okay without the salt. I really enjoyed it — have not had a dessert in several weeks, so it was a great treat! Thanks Shirley for all the wonderful recipes you have on the site.

    • Shirley on March 29th, 2012 6:10 am

      Hi Kelley!–Thanks so much for sharing your adaptation of this recipe. It’s going to be VERY helpful to others. So to be clear, you didn’t use any eggs by uwing the flax and arrowroot? Is that right? I actually made a version for our support group meeting a few months ago that was almond flour, tapioca flour, and just a little of my rice flour/cornstarch mix (as I was running out). Afterwards I realized that I could have cut back on the oil quite a bit because of the almond flour, but the squares were still good and enjoyed by all. So I think this recipe is more flexible than one might think.

      Thanks again for taking the time to share, Kelley, and for your sweet feedback on all the gfe recipes! :-)

      • Kelley M on March 30th, 2012 4:36 pm

        I did still use the egg. I did not think about leaving it out– though I am sure it would have worked to leave out since I used the flax and other ingredients. They turned out nice and moist with the egg added- I may leave the egg out next time and maybe add a bit a water to see how it turns out. I have some butternut squash left, and saw your post today about the muffins– plan on trying them this weekend. Thanks again!

  26. Laura's Gluten Free Pantry on October 2nd, 2012 12:13 pm

    I can’t wait to these pumpkin squares for my daughter’s school party later this month. Thanks for another fabulous recipe Shirley!

    • Shirley on October 2nd, 2012 9:27 pm

      Hi Laura–I hope you enjoy these squares. They are so popular at my house and easy to whip up in a few minutes. ;-)


  27. Heidi on October 3rd, 2012 12:07 am

    This looks yummy! Thanks for the great recipe. I’m pinning it and linking it up to this week’s Gluten-Free Monday on OneCreativeMommy.com. Feel free to link up anything you’d like to add!

  28. Erin on October 13th, 2013 9:36 pm

    Yummy! These look great, Shirley! Thanks for linking the recipe up to 5-Ingredient Mondays: )

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2013 5:54 pm

      Belated (yikes!), but thanks, Erin! Love 5-Ingredient Mondays! :-)


  29. Kathi on November 16th, 2013 5:22 pm

    Just made these & they are yummy. I used 3/4 c of coconut flour & 1/4 c of almond flour to substitute for the flour blend. I also used coconut palm sugar & coconut oil as substitutions. Next time I think I will try the honey!

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2013 5:57 pm

      Hi Kathi–Welcome to gfe! :-) I love your version!! I do think honey would be lovely. My first instinct is to use less honey than coconut sugar, but the coconut flour might “absorb” some of it and all would be fine. Maple syrup might work nicely, too. Thanks for creating a grain-free version. That’s definitely my preference these days. I often sub coconut sugar for granulated sugar and I believe I’ve used coconut oil in this recipe before, too. Will share your comment on Facebook and add it to notes in the recipe so that others can make this recipe your healthier way, too.


  30. Renee on November 27th, 2013 11:02 pm

    Thanks for this recipe! I made this a couple of weeks ago, but was talking to my husband while adding ingredients to the blender. I accidentally added 2 C of GF flour! But luckily I noticed and just went ahead and doubled everything else in the recipe. I poured all of it into a 9×13 pan and baked for 30 minutes. Made a tasty pumpkin cake! So good that I’m making it again for Thanksgiving tomorrow:) Oh, and I used 1/4 C honey and 1/2 C coconut sugar (doubled :))

    • Shirley on November 28th, 2013 12:32 am

      Hi Renee–It’s great to see you again. :-) And talk about “thinking on your feet”! Great job! :-) I’m so glad this recipe turned out so well for you and that you’ll all enjoy it on Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing your combo for a refined sugar-free version, too.

      Happy Thanksgiving, dear!

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