REVIEW: Pumpkin Pie Quest Bar

I first discovered Quest Bars in Winter 2013. I was locked into a battle with Tony Horton and the P90X workout program. During this time, I had my nutrition so dialed in that I completely eliminated sugars, dairy, & processed foods from my diet altogether. Living in such a hell, Quest Bars intrigued me because they were advertising dessert flavors and “cheat meals without the cheating.” They contain less than 1g sugar and I don’t care what kind of artificial sweeteners so don’t even start with me.

I ate a Quest Bar with almond butter every day at 3:00 PM sharp, and this helped keep me sane and satisfy my sweet tooth. Though I’ve completed all three P90X programs, Tony Horton won the war… I would go on to launch a junk food and craft beer blog just so I could tell jokes to anyone reading this (nobody). I’ve been on auto-delivery for Quest Bars ever since.

See Also: Review of Every Quest Bar Ever Created 

But I always felt one bar was missing from the 18 flavors previously available. Can you guess which flavor I longed for? Yes, I trolled Quest Nutrition’s social media channels and requested “pumpkin spice,” “pumpkin pie,” “pumpkin cheesecake,” and several thousand other flavors that started with “pumpkin” every day for nearly two years. My pumpkin prayers were answered when Quest announced Pumpkin Pie Quest Bars for a limited time. Not wanting to go HAM before I sampled one, I only pre-ordered four boxes.

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Pumpkin Pie Quest Bars are Quest’s first ever coated protein bar. They’re covered in a thick pumpkin orange glaze complete with graham cracker crumble. Their sheer beauty brings a pumpkin-spiced tear to my pumpkin-spiced eye. In addition to the standard Quest ingredients, these bars contain pecans, pumpkin powder, cinnamon, and butter. Yes, you read that correctly – butter. While this may deter team #fitfam, I personally love that Quest went with full-blown butter because the only macros I have been counting since starting this blog are butter, sugar, and trans fats.

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Sinking your teeth into this pumpkin protein log is like biting into a Rice Krispie treat; there is so much awesome graham cracker crumble to work through. The center is your typical Quest Bar consistency (dense but chewy) with no textural elements in the center. My first bite didn’t release the huge pumpkin flavor I was hoping for. I closed my eyes and counted to “pumpkin,” but it never hit the point I wanted it to. Did I just waste two years of my life fantasizing about this bar for nothing?

Not exactly. The flavors in this bar are quite good. The flavor is a blend of smooth vanilla and subtle cinnamon spice. I think these taste more like vanilla than the Vanilla Almond Crunch Quest Bars do. But like most health food products, there just wasn’t enough sweetness to evoke an indulgent “Pumpkin Pie.” No worries; this junk food idiot came prepared.

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This was easily the best decision I made in my entire life. When warmed, the coating begins to melt and the center softens to a pie-like consistency. No, this didn’t make the bar sweeter, but this was remedied by dumping 3/4th of a bottle of whipped cream right on top. Actual healthy people might prefer vanilla Greek yogurt. It could be witchcraft, but baking this bitch did make it taste more like pumpkin pie. It adds a nice toasted flavor that makes you think “pie crust,” and the warm center softens to feel like pumpkin pie filling. I’m not really sure why Quest didn’t use nutmeg, ginger, allspice, or cloves in the recipe. While I did beg for a more pronounced pumpkin flavor, Vanilla Cinnamon Graham is a pretty damn tasty combination.

The graham cracker crumble and thick coating on these Pumpkin Pie bars makes this the most fun Quest Bar yet. It’s entirely possible that I’m just trying to justify buying four boxes, but I am happy to welcome Pumpkin Pie Quest Bars into my rotation through the winter. I needed more pumpkin protein in my diet, and it sure is satisfying to see your dream flavor come to fruition. Now if only I could get Quest to switch back to sweet, sweet IMOs instead of soluble corn fiber…

I sure hope Tony Horton reads my blog.

Made Two Straight Years Of Internet Trolling Worth It Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Odds That Tony Horton Reads My Junk Food Blog Rating: 0.5 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10

To see how we compared Pumpkin Pie to other Quest Bars, check out our review of every single Quest Bar ever created.

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15 Responses

  1. I have never been a huge quest bar conosure. But I did enjoy some of the flavors: banana nut muffin, chocolate peanut butter were my favorite. (I know that’s not normal). It is a bit disappointing they are changing their ingredients to use Palm oil and the corn fiber. But regardless at least they still taste good (though I haven’t tried the new bars yet). Good to know this flavor is good! I wish it had more pumpkin to it though. And how does this rank among the other quest flavors? I hope they come out with more seasonal flavors…that would be really cool! Maybe a hot cocoa/marshmallow chunk one. Or white chocolate oatmeal cranberry.

  2. Junk Male says:

    Sit tight, Sarah. I will have a review of every single Quest Bar in one post by the end of the week 🙂 The flavors were much sweeter and more delicious before the switch to soluble corn fiber. Some flavors are better than others. I will say that the pumpkin pie quest bar is outside my top 5 of their 18 varieties.

  3. Yay!! Can’t wait for that review!! I’ll sit tight til then 🙂

  4. carrie says:

    i love just about all the Quest bars. I eat them as meal replacements twice a day and have lost about 15 pounds. Just picked up the pumpkin bar…. sadly, it’s very artificial tasting… too bad because I love everything pumpkin but this just didn’t float my boat. I’m still a huge Quest fan… now what to do with the 10 pumpkin bars sitting in front of me!

    • Junk Male says:

      Carrie,

      First off, congrats on the weight loss! That’s no small feat. I’ve found Quest Bars to be a great tool in both losing weight or trying to add muscle. I have to admit – I’m with you. I gave the Pumpkin Bars a 7 out of 10 for a variety of reasons. Had I not heated it and tried it like I do most Quest Bars, I would have landed on a 6. I bought FOUR boxes of them. I really think they just taste like Vanilla Almond Graham, and that works for me. But as a pure pumpkin product, not quite.

  5. pamb says:

    Hi, I read your blog and enjoy your jokes! As I am a pumpkin junkie as well, I admire your dedication to trying what must be every pumpkin flavored item on the shelf.

    I’ve read about Quest bars before, but why does everyone always recommend to heat them? If it’s to soften them, how hard are they right out of the wrapper? That always freaked me out a bit, as I usually eat bars in the car, where no heating is available.

  6. Junk Male says:

    Hi Pam! It’s nice to hear that there is someone out there that finds us funny. Thanks for reading! We are pumpkin freaks for sure.

    There’s something really great that happens when you bake or broil a Quest Bar. I prefer to broil them. The outside gets toasted and firms up, while the inside gets even more gooey. It’s a great textural contrast and seems to maximize the flavor due to food science that I cannot explain.

    People also like to bake with them. You can microwave for 10 seconds, break it apart like dough and craft it into cookies, then bake and they will rise just as cookie dough would. I was on a Quest Cookie kick for a while.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating Quest Bars as is. I eat one straight out of the wrapper at work every day, and they are still excellent.

  7. Jas says:

    how long and at what temperature did you bake these for please? Is broiling the same as grilling for us English peeps?!

    • Junk Male says:

      Hey Jas! Most bars bake best at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. As this is the first coated Quest bar, you might want to pay attention to it in the oven so it doesn’t become a complete mess. Mine did not, but oven temperatures may vary.

      I’ve only broiled in the oven; never grilled a Quest Bar! Most kitchen ovens in the U.S. have a broiler at the top, so the heat source is from above in this case. You expose the bar to an extremely high heat source for a short period of time; usually about a minute per side. The bar gets toasted on the outside but a softer texture on the inside. It’s my preferred way to eat Quest Bars.

  8. Jas says:

    Ah thank you for such a helpful and speedy response. Yes broiling sounds like our oven grills which is the same with the high heat coming from the top of the oven. I shall give it a whirl, bought three of the pumpkin bars!

  9. rebecca says:

    QUEST BARS ARE SO GROSS THEY CHANGED THEIR RECIPE AND ARE INEDIBLE NOW!

    • Drunk Female says:

      Rebecca, we appreciate the enthusiasm with which you hate Quest bars. But please stop yelling at us.

      • pamb says:

        I’m conflicted… I ran out to get the pumpkin pie Quest bar (GNC is having a special right now) and heated it in the microwave vs. the oven (oops. The coating melted). I found it really chemical-y tasting. But my daughter ate the cookie dough right out of the wrapper and enjoyed it. I guess I’ll stick with Kind and Larabar…

        • Junk Male says:

          Hey Pam! I’ve never been a proponent of microwaving even the non coated bars, as I don’t prefer them to become overly softed. This pumpkin pie bar would surely soften even more given the coating. When I baked mine in the oven, I took it out before it became a melty mess and it was quite enjoyable. As far the the chemical taste, I can relate. This would be the sucralose (artificial sweetener) you’re picking up on. It worked for me, but doesn’t for all. I’ve been eating these straight out of the package and have been enjoying.

  10. Sarah says:

    I finally found and tried this!

    I hated it. Sorry. It was that coating. So oddly oily and not very food-like.