Wow. Apple season is here (at least in the Pacific Northwest!) and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
When I worked at a sandwich shop in college, I used to bring a granny smith apple in every day for my mid-morning snack. I literally ate an apple a day everyday for, like, two years. That’s love!
This recipe takes my love for apples into new territory. They remind me of apple crisp and apple pie and apple strudel all wrapped into one! Plus, just 10 ingredients and 1 hour required before these delicious Apple Pie Crumble bars are on your plate. Let’s do this!
The crust is my go-to almond oat crust that knows no bounds. I’ve now used it to make Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars, Baked Vegan Cheesecake, Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bars and soon-to-be more fall treats! Stay tuned.
I love it because it’s simple: Oats, almonds, coconut sugar, salt, and coconut oil. That’s it! And when it bakes up it’s reminiscent of graham cracker crust but without all the weird ingredients and preservatives.
The apples are tossed in cinnamon, lemon juice, and coconut sugar before they’re pre-baked for that quintessential tender, tart-sweet apple pie texture.
And the topping is easy, too! Simply mix coconut sugar, oats, gluten-free flour, and coconut oil together and crumble over the top for a crumbly, slightly crisp topping.
All that’s left is slicing and topping with an optional 2-ingredient powdered sugar and almond milk glaze! In my opinion, this really sends these bars over the top.
But they would be equally delicious as is or topped with Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream or Coconut Whipped Cream! I think they would also be amazing with my Coconut Sugar Caramel Sauce from the cookbook!
If you try these crumbly Apple Pie Bars, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it) and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
*Note: recipe updated 8/3/23 to increase the amount of coconut oil in the crust to help it hold together better.
Apple Pie Crumble Bars (Vegan + GF)
- 4 heaping cups peeled, cubed apples (half sweet + half tart apples // 1 apple yields ~1 cup cubed)
- 3 Tbsp coconut sugar (depending on sweetness of apples)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 medium lemon, juiced (yields ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml as original recipe is written)
- 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 5-6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 cups organic powdered sugar (ensure vegan friendly – I like Trader Joe’s brand)
- 1-2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper (adjust number/size of pan if altering batch size)
- Add apples to a separate baking dish along with coconut sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, lemon, coconut oil, and cornstarch. Toss to combine.
- Cover with foil and bake for 18 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for 4-5 minutes more or until apples appear slightly caramelized and are tender to the touch.
- Add melted coconut oil (starting with the lesser amount) and pulse a few more times until a crumbly dough forms that resembles wet sand and sticks together when squeezed between two fingers (add more coconut oil, as needed).
- Spread the mixture into the baking dish and press down into an even layer with your fingers or a flat object (such as a drinking glass or liquid measuring cup).
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350 (176C), then increase heat to 375 degrees F (190 C) and bake for 5-8 minutes more, or until the crust is fragrant and the edges are light golden brown. Set aside.
- While crust is baking, prepare crumble by adding all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and using a fork or your fingers to mix ingredients into a crumble. Set aside.
- Add baked apples and their juices/sauce to the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Then top with crumble topping and spread evenly to cover apples.
- Reduce oven heat back to 350 degrees F (176 C) and bake for another 15-25 minutes or until the apples topping are warm and bubbly and the crumble is golden brown.
- If serving with glaze (optional), prepare at this time by adding powdered sugar to a mixing bowl and adding 1 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) almond milk to start. Whisk until a thick but pourable glaze is achieved. If too thick, add more almond milk. If too thin, add more powdered sugar. Set aside.
- Remove squares from oven and let cool slightly – about 45 minutes. Once cooled, gently lift bars from pan and top with glaze (optional). Slice into 9 even squares (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
- Store leftovers in a well-sealed container at room temperature for 2 days, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or the freezer up to 1 month.