Healthy apple crumble bars made with wholesome ingredients and fresh apples. You’ll love the cinnamon apple filling paired with the oatmeal crumble crust and topping! Vegan + gluten-free.
Are you guys ready for this recipe? I don’t think you are… it’s SO good! These apple crumble bars are amazing on their own but next level when paired with this date caramel sauceand vanilla ice cream. Trust me. I won’t admit how quickly these disappeared from our house. LOL! They’re the perfect fall dessert.
I based this recipe off my healthy blueberry crumble bars, which were a staple in the house this summer. I wanted a fall version with apples that was just as delicious and these bars totally hit the mark.
There are two main components to this recipe:
The crumble crust and crumble topping. <– The cool part is that we’re able to use the same mixture for the crust and the topping.
The apple filling in the middle. It’s loaded with cinnamony goodness.
How to Make Apple Crumble Bars Healthy
Traditional apple crumble bars are loaded with butter and sugar, but this recipe makes them a bit healthier, vegan and gluten-free just by swapping a few simple ingredients.
We’re using fiber-filled rolled oats instead of flour, coconut oil instead of butter and only a 1/2 cup of coconut sugar for the whole recipe. And there’s also no added sugar in the apple filling either. Cooking the apples down with a little cinnamon makes them sweet enough without the need for extra sugar.
As I mention in the recipe, the bars are much easier to cut and remove from the pan after cooling completely so don’t skip this step. I usually pop them in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process. I also recommend storing them in the fridge because the bars hold together better when cold and are so delicious straight from the fridge. They’re a real treat for breakfast, but also make for a great snack. There’s really no wrong time to serve them.
If you’re serving them for dessert and want them to be warm, you can cut and portion the bars right away… they just won’t hold together as well. When serving the bars warm, I highly recommend topping them with ice cream (use dairy-free ice cream, if needed) and my date caramel sauce. SO GOOD!!
Like This Recipe? More Apple Desserts You Might Like:
Healthy apple crumble bars made with wholesome ingredients and fresh apples. You’ll love the cinnamon apple filling paired with the oatmeal crumble topping!
Crumble Crust and Topping
2 cups rolled oats, divided
7 Tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature/solid
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
3 cups diced apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a square (8×8) baking dish with parchment paper.
Add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, water and arrowroot powder into a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring often and watching to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn. You’ll know it’s done when the mixture has thickened and the apples are soft, but still hold their shape. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and set aside.
Add 1 cup of oats to your food processor(affiliate link) and process until oats turn into a fine oat flour.
Add remaining cup of oats, coconut sugar, coconut oil and sea salt into the food processor and pulse until everything is combined and the size of coarse crumbs. Don’t over process the mixture, you want to be able to visibly see some of the oat flakes.
Measure out 2/3 cup of the oatmeal crumble mixture for the topping into small bowl and stir in the chopped pecans.
Use remaining oatmeal crumble mixture to create crust. Evenly press into the parchment lined baking dish using your hands.
Pour apple filling on top and sprinkle the oatmeal + pecan crumble on top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until the bars are golden brown on top. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Be patient, if you don’t let them cool before removing them from the pan they will fall apart. I recommend putting them in the fridge or freezer to chill, about an hour or so.
Once cool, cut into 9-12 bars and enjoy right away or chill longer in the fridge before serving. I personally like the bars chilled because they hold together better if you’re eating them as a snack.
If you’re serving them for dessert, I recommend placing a portion into a bowl, warming in the microwave and topping with ice cream.