I recently went apple picking and picked WAYYYY too many apples. So what's a girl to do with all those apples? Make these apple crumble bars of course! There's something about these delicious apple pie bars that scream Fall. And don't even get me started on the date caramel sauce. I got the sauce perfectly drizzly and I highly recommend making it.
Apple crumble is so good. But what if you want those same flavours as a snack or for breakfast? I mean, I've definitely wanted that in the past. So I combined all the flavour of apple crumble and put it in a bar form. And kept it slightly lower in sugar, letting the natural sweetness of the apples shine. This way it's not too sweet and you can enjoy it for breakfast. Because I don't like super sweet things in the morning.
If you're looking for another apple recipe perfect for Fall baking, check out my apple crumble muffins! These are perfect for breakfast, or as a snack. Or if you're looking for a more traditional apple crisp, check out this gluten free and vegan apple crisp!
But if you want these apple crumble bars for a snack or dessert, that definitely works too! And if thats the case, I highly suggest drizzling some of the date caramel sauce on top. The sauce is NEXT LEVEL GOOD. I've made a caramel sauce before (many times) but the texture on this one is by far the best I've ever made. I mean, do you see how smooth it is in the photo below... *swoon*
Here are all of the ingredients you need to make these apple crumble bars! As usual, I've tried to keep the ingredient list short and sweet.
You will need 1 1/2 cups of oat flour and 1/2 cup of rolled oats reserved. To make oat flour, simply measure out 1 1/2 cups of oats and then blend on high until a fine flour is formed. Alternatively, you can also buy oat flour.
I always buy this brand of rolled oats!
This will help the dough hold together and also it tastes delicious too!
I like this brand of almond butter.
Coconut oil provides some high quality fat and also helps the crust hold together.
I like this brand of coconut oil.
You only need a little bit of maple syrup to provide some sweetness and to help the dough hold together.
I like this brand of maple syrup.
These will be combined with about 1/3 of the dough mix for the crumb topping.
You'll need about 3 1/2 cups of chopped apples for the filling. I used 3 large Honeycrisp apples for these apple crumble bars. You can use another type of apple, I just happen to LOVE Honeycrisp the most due to its sweet and crunchy taste.
As for the spices, you'll need cinnamon, ginger and a pinch of nutmeg.
Only a small amount of maple syrup to help bring out the natural sweetness of the apples.
Some acidity to help balance the sweetness.
To help thicken the filling, you'll need some tapioca flour combined with water.
I always buy this brand of tapioca flour!
You'll need about 10 large medjool dates for this. I like to soften them in water beforehand. This just helps to ensure that the caramel sauce becomes very creamy. Even if your dates are soft, adding them to just boiled hot water makes a difference.
Canned full fat coconut milk makes this caramel sauce super creamy, so don't skimp on getting full fat.
For the sweetener (it is caramel sauce after all), I like being consistent and using maple syrup again. You can also use brown rice syrup or honey (if you aren't vegan).
Sometimes I run out of vanilla (also it's expensive!), so a splash of vanilla almond (or oat milk) is a nice touch. If you don't have vanilla flavoured dairy free milk, you can of course use a splash of vanilla extract.
The first thing you'll need to do is make the crust. To do this, go ahead and combine the oat flour, almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup in a blender or food processor. Pulse in the water until the dough comes together. Process until the dough starts to hold together when pressed between your fingers. Pulse in the oats.
Reserve about 1/3 of the dough and set aside in a bowl and add the chopped pecans.
Press the remaining dough into an 8 x 8" pan lined with parchment paper.
Heat a medium sized pot over medium-low heat. Add some coconut oil and then add the chopped apples, maple syrup, lemon juice and spices. Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until softened.
In a small bowl, add the tapioca flour and the water and whisk to combine. Add this to the apples and stir to combine. Cook until thickened, about 2 to 4 minutes longer.
Remove from the heat and then add on top of the crust in an even layer. Add the crumble on top.
Place into your preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until everything is bubbly and cooked through.
This caramel sauce is optional, but so recommended! Plus, it's so easy to make. All you need to do is soak your medjool dates in a bowl of just boiled water for about 10 minutes to soften them.
Once that's done, go ahead and add these to a blender along with all other caramel ingredients. Blend on high until smooth.
The date caramel sauce can be made in advance and stores well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Once your hot apple pie bars are out of the oven, let them cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan. Then lift the parchment paper out of the pan and let the bars cool on a cooling rack for another 25 minutes or so. From there, you're able to cut into squares and enjoy.
If enjoying for dessert, don't forget that caramel drizzle (and maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream).
You can store leftover apple crumble bars in a sealed container at room temperature (on the counter) for a few days. Then move to the fridge and keep them in a sealed container. When you want a slice, you can either enjoy it cold (it's still delicious) or you can reheat it in the oven or microwave until hot.
If you make these vegan apple oatmeal bars, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to tag me on Instagram, and/or leave a comment, rating or review below.
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When you want an apple crumble but in bar form, make these apple crumble bars. They're low in sugar, gluten-free and absolutely delicious!
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