Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie Dessert Squares (made healthier)
You guys know I have a thing for pumpkin. But nothing can satisfy my pumpkin cravings like my Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie Dessert Squares aka my family’s VERY favorite dessert. Seriously so yum!
It’s only the start of November and I’ve already went through 2 pumpkins and about 5 cans of puree. Yikes! I’ve also already posted 7 pumpkin recipes this season, but there is one recipe that takes the cake. My Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie Dessert Squares go above and beyond any other recipe on this blog. They are seriously my all-time favorite dessert recipe. There is just no comparison.
One whiff of the fragrant pumpkin spices of this dessert and the memories of my childhood come flooding back to me. Such happy recollections of my whole family enjoying a huge spread of Thanksgiving yumminess at my grandma and grandpa’s house.
My grandma’s original pumpkin pie dessert squares are mind-blowing delicious, yes. But nutritious? Nope. I had already been dreaming of ways to make this dessert a little more figure-friendly and wholesome. Then I got the opportunity to team up with Immaculate Baking Co. and I took the challenge of making these dessert squares guiltless, but just as scrumptious as the original.
I’ve been purchasing products from Immaculate Baking Co. from the start. I LOVE this brand and everything they stand behind. Their line of cinnamon rolls and crescent rolls make my picky kiddos very happy! And I can trust their commitment to bring us wholesome, organic, and some gluten free items; while staying dedicated to premium taste and ingredients.
So, as you might have guessed, I can report the challenge a complete success! The slight tweaks I made from the original recipe were not noticed by anyone in my family and the yellow cake mix from Immaculate Baking Co. was definitely Immaculate, in a major way!
What do they taste like? Kind of amazing. They’re:
Crusty on top
Creamy on the inside
Cakey on bottom
And the perfect sweet treat for your Thanksgiving Day spread
I made this batch of squares on what was supposed to be a low calorie day (according to my boot camp meal plan) and just shooting the photos, I managed to do some serious damage. Yep, a few pieces of dessert squares ended up being dinner. No regrets.
Grandma's Pumpkin Pie Dessert Squares
For the crust:
- 1 box Immaculate Yellow Cake Scratch Mix (any yellow cake mix will work), 1 cup reserved
- 1 egg
- ½ cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, melted (any butter will work)
For the filling:
- 15 oz pumpkin pie mix (this is not the same as canned pumpkin purée)
- 15 oz pumpkin purée (or use 30 ounce can of pumpkin pie mix)
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cups dairy-free milk, (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but any milk will work)
For the topping:
- 1 cup reserved cake mix
- ¼ cup Swerve All Natural Sweetener (the original recipe uses 1/4 cup sugar)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, melted (any butter will work)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust and press into the bottom of the pan.
- Use the same bowl to combine the ingredients for the filling and pour over the crust.
- Rinse the mixing bowl and combine the ingredients for the topping. Sprinkle topping over filling.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 to 50 minutes.
- Allow dessert squares to cool for about 20 minutes and then chill in the fridge (at least 3-4 hours) before serving.
- Bars will be tasty at room temperature, but are best served COLD with a whipped topping. You can use Cool Whip or Redi-Whip, but to keep bars more nutritious use whipped coconut cream, So Delicious Dairy Free Cocowhip or Truwhip.
**To make this recipe gluten-free, try a gluten-free yellow cake mix.
***Feel free to use a different variety of butter, pumpkin pie mix, milk, sugar and cake mix. For this recipe, I listed the products I used for a healthier dessert.
Did you make this recipe?
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Important question! I saw that you use an egg AND the vegan butter. This leads me to believe that you are using the vegan butter for a reason other than its vegan-ness. Why do you prefer the vegan butter? Does it hold better? Have less calories? Etc.
I really try to avoid dairy most of the time, so that’s what I usually use. You will be fine using regular butter. Enjoy!
Hi Kim! So to clarify, your recipe calls for “1 15 ounce can Organic Pumpkin Pie Mix (this is not the same as canned pumpkin puree)
and 1 15 ounce can Organic Pumpkin Pie.” The latter can is actually canned pumpkin puree, correct? I think perhaps it is incorrectly listed as “Pumpkin Pie.” Thanks for clarifying!
Hi Ava! I updated the recipe to make it a little more clear, but you’re right. For the lighter version, I used 1 can pumpkin pie mix and 1 can pumpkin pie purée. The original recipe, my grandma made, calls for all pumpkin pie mix. Enjoy!
Looks so good! The recipe says two different things of pumpkin pie. Can you specify more for me so I get the right things?? Thanks!
Thank you! You’ll notice, in the baking aisle where the canned fruit is located, there is pumpkin puree with no added sugar and then there is pumpkin pie filling with added brown sugar and such. I used one can of each. My grandma’s original recipe calls for 2 cans of pumpkin pie filling, but this will increase the sugar, fat and calorie count of the recipe. Enjoy – I know you will!!
I LOVE this company!! My local grocery store carries many of their products and I love that I can give my family really delicious goodies and feel good about it. Great recipe! Grandmas always make the best stuff!
Thanks so much and I totally agree on both accounts!