These apple crumble bars feature a cozy apple cinnamon filling between an oatmeal crumble crust and topping.

Stack of 4 apple crumble bars on a plate. The bars have an oatmeal crust and crumble topping with a layer of apple pie filling in between.

About this Recipe

If you’re looking for easy and delicious apple crumble bars, this is the recipe for you! It features a gooey apple layer between an oatmeal crust and crumble topping.

Though these bars are reminiscent of apple pie, they’re more like an apple crisp or apple crumble. For apple pie bars a shortbread crust would be used.

This recipe uses a simple oat and flour streusel for both the crust and topping, which makes them really easy to make!

These bars are perfect for Fall when a variety of fresh apples are in season but you’ll love them any time for a sweet treat you can whip up with just a few pantry ingredients.

A square of apple crumble bar on a wooden spatula held over more bars on a cutting board.

Highlights

  • Vegan (no eggs, dairy-free).
  • Can be made gluten-free.
  • Like an apple crisp in bar form!
  • Easy to make.
  • Simple ingredients.
  • Great for kids!

Ingredient Notes

The ingredients for making a vegan apple crumbles bar recipe. Each ingredient is labelled with text.

Please note the complete ingredient list with amounts is located in the recipe card below. This section covers notes on specific ingredients and any possible substitutions.

  • Oats: Rolled oats or old fashioned oats are best but quick oats would also work.
  • Flour: The recipe calls for all-purpose flour. You can substitute gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour or spelt flour.
  • Cinnamon & Cloves: Use cinnamon and cloves or just cinnamon if you don’t have cloves. Apple pie spice would also work or you can try a pinch of other spices like ginger and nutmeg.
  • Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract if you have it, if not artificial vanilla is ok.
  • Butter: You can use vegan butter, butter or melted coconut oil.
  • Apples: Any variety of apple works. You can use something tart like Granny Smith or something a bit sweeter like Gala, Honeycrisp or Fuji. I went with tart apples since the oatmeal crust and crumble is quite sweet but use your favourite apples.
  • Sugar: You’ll need brown sugar for the crust and crumble and regular sugar for the apple pie filling.
  • Cornstarch (Corn Flour): This thickens the apple filling. You should be able to substitute tapioca starch or arrowroot starch.
  • Lemon: Adds some brightness to the apple filling.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Start by preheating your oven to 350 F and lining a 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. It’s not totally necessary to line the pan but it does make it easy to lift the bars out after baking.

If you don’t have parchment paper, spray the dish with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray or rub with a little oil or butter.

Make the Crust and Crumble Layers

To make the mixture for the crust and the crumble topping, melt the butter and mix it with the oats, flour brown sugar, vanilla and spices in a bowl. If you’re using unsalted butter, add a little pinch of sea salt as well.

Mix it up until have a wet, somewhat sandy consistency then set that aside for now.

Oatmeal, brown sugar, butter and flour mixed up in a glass mixing bowl.

Make the Apple Filling

Add the diced apples, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and spices to a medium saucepan on the stovetop.

Cook over low heat while stirring often until the apples are soft and gooey, about 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Diced apples cooking in pot with lemon juice and spices.

Assemble the Bars

Take about 1 3/4 cup of the oat mixture and firmly press it into the bottom of the baking dish to create the crust. Add the apple filling then sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over top.

Press everything down gently with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.

Bake and Cool the Bars

Bake the bars for 35 minutes then allow them to cool for at least 1 hour in the pan, or preferably until completely cool.

I know it’s hard to wait but they need time to firm as they cool! I don’t recommend skipping this otherwise they’ll crumble when you try to cut them into bars.

Baked apple crumble bars in a glass baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Once the bars have cooled for at least an hour but preferably until completely cool, lift them out of the pan, slice and enjoy!

I like to let them cool for a while then put them in the fridge to chill. Once chilled, they’re firm and the crust layer is crisp but chewy.

If you didn’t use parchment, slice them in the pan and remove the bars one at at time.

Overhead view of a large square of apple crumble bars sitting on a square piece of parchment paper.

Notes & Tips

  1. Let the bars cool completely in the pan so they hold together really well when you cut them. After they cool for a bit you can put the whole pan in the fridge to speed up the process if you like. They get nice and firm after chilled.
  2. Use a digital scale to measure the ingredients accurately.
  3. Try them served warm with caramel and ice cream!
8 square portions of apple crumble bars on a rectangular cutting board with a handle.

Variations & Additions

FAQs

Can you freeze apple pie bars?

Yes. To freeze the bars, let them cool completely then either freezer them wrapped tightly in the pan or transfer to a freezer bag or container. I would recommend putting a piece of parchment or wax paper between layers to prevent them from sticking together.

Thaw the bars at room temperature or in the fridge and enjoy.

What are the best apples to use?

You can use any variety of apple you prefer or have available or use two different kinds of apples for more depth of flavour.

Some good choices are envy, ambrosia, Fuji, gala, Braeburn for sweet apples. For tart apples, granny smith works.

Storing Instructions

  • Let cool completely before storing.
  • Store wrapped tightly in the pan or transfer to an airtight container.
  • The bars will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature or 5-7 days in the fridge. I’d recommend storing them in the fridge.
  • The bars can be frozen wrapped rightly in the pan with foil, wrapped individually and stored in a freezer bag or stored in a sealed container. They’ll keep for up to 3 months (or more but are best before 3 months).
An apple crumble bar on a plate with a fork that has taken a piece from the bar and rests on the plate.

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Stack of 4 apple crumble bars on a plate. The bars have an oatmeal crust and crumble topping with a layer of apple pie filling in between.

Apple Crumble Bars

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

These apple crumble bars are somewhere between apple pie and apple crisp all packaged up in a yummy oat bar.


Ingredients

Scale

Crust and Crumble

Apple Pie Filling

  • 3 1/2 cups diced Granny Smith apples (420 g, about 2 large or 34 small apples)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves, optional
  • 2 tbsp white granulated sugar (35 g)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (30 mL)

Instructions

  1. Prepare: Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lining an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. Be sure to leave some parchment paper sticking out to make removing the bars easier. If you don’t have parchment paper, lightly grease the pan or spray with a light coating of cooking spray.
  2. Mix Crust and Crumble: Melt the butter and combine it with the oats, flour, brown sugar, vanilla, cloves and cinnamon. Stir the mixture until a wet, sandy mixture forms. Set aside.
  3. Make Apple Pie Filling: In a medium sized saucepan, combine the apples, spices, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Stir the mixture regularly over medium-low heat until the apples soften and the mixture is gooey, about 10 minutes.
  4. Assemble Bars: While the apples are cooking, spread about 1 3/4 cups of oat mixture along the bottom of the baking dish and press it down firmly to create a crust. Once the the apples are ready, add the apple filling over the crust in an even layer and sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top to form the crumb topping. Press everything down gently using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.
  5. Bake and Cool: Bake the dish for 40 minutes until golden brown and then allow to cool in the pan for at least 1 hour or preferably until completely cool before removing from the pan. Do not skip this step as the bars need to firm as they cool. If you cut them too early, they will fall apart. If you like, you can cool for about 30 minutes then put the pan in the fridge until chilled to speed up the process. Once chilled, they’re nice and firm.
  6. Serve: Lift the bars out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper, cut into 12 pieces and enjoy! For large bars, you can slice into 9 servings. For smaller bars, slice into 16. If you didn’t use parchment paper, cut the bars directly in the pan and carefully remove one at at time. For a special dessert, serve warm in a bowl with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Notes

Granny Smith apples generally work best for apple pie type dishes, but other apples that can be used include Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp apples. You can also use a combination of different apples.

Let the bars cool completely before storing. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week. To freeze, freeze wrapped tightly in the pan or slice and transfer to a container and freeze for 3-4 months. If layering in the container, put a piece of parchment or wax paper between the layers to prevent sticking.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 179
  • Sugar: 13 g
  • Sodium: 76 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Keywords: apple crumble bars