It feels like I’ve been waiting an eternity to share this gorgeous recipe for my Apple Crumble Bars with you. Even though in reality it’s only been a matter of days. But, when a recipe is this good there is nothing I want more than to shout it from the rooftop! So here it goes..
These Apple Crumble Bars have got to be my favourite dessert recipe I’ve made to date! Halelujah! And trust me, I don’t give away this title so easily. But these Apple Crumble Bars take the title in full glory.
warm and comforting
They are an absolutely dream dessert for autumn if I ever tasted one – and perfect for those of you celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. No better way to celebrate than to tuck into a perfectly spiced apple dessert with a sweet crunchy topping. Time to end the evening with a bang!
If I were to explain this type of recipe I would say it’s like apple crumble, but in bar form (hence the name, Apple Crumble Bars). Unlike crumble however, these bars have a base. Which consists of ground walnuts, oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and vegan butter. Some is used for the crust of these bars, while the rest is saved for the golden crumble on top. In-between is a thick layer of apple butter (I used store-bought, because I’m no Martha Stewart), followed by a layer of thinly sliced and spiced apples. Finally, it’s topped with that gorgeous nutty oat crumble blend and popped in the oven to bake until gooey and bubbling. The outcome is a gorgeously golden, sweet and caramelized apple crumble dish.
It’s the spices in this dish that celebrate fall vibes in all it’s glory – combining cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg with vanilla, maple syrup and apple. It’s fall flavours at its finest. Not to mention it leaves your house smelling so sweet and inviting.
The key to making the inner apple layer perfect is to slice them thinly. Then, to decorate them in an even layer overtop of the apple butter. Cutting them thinly will allow them to bake quicker, so the end result is soft and jammy. I also like to keep a handful of apple slices to the side while decorating, and use them to top the dish before popping in the oven. I’ll fan a few slices out and tuck them into the crumble topping so they’re slightly exposed. (Although not a necessary step, it certainly is picturesque. And who doesn’t want those #mythanksgivingisbetterthanyourthanksgiving photos for instagram?)
To cut the crumble into bars, you want to make sure the dish is completely cooled. Otherwise the bars will fall apart and you’ll end up with a literal apple crumble. (I suppose I can think of worse things?). I like to let the dish cool for 20-30 minutes before removing the dessert from the baking tray (grabbing onto the parchment paper on either side, and placing on a cooling rack).
Then, I let the dessert cool on the rack for at least one hour. When cooled, use a sharp knife to slice the dessert into squares. Mine made 12 squares in total using an 8×11 inch baking dish. The fact that we don’t want the dish warm makes it a perfect “do-ahead” Thanksgiving dessert. (A godsend when it comes to Thanksgiving meal prep!). You can make these bars up to a wee in advance and keep stored in the fridge. Take out before dinner if you prefer them at room temperature, or enjoy them chilled.
If you’re looking for a crowd pleasing dessert to feast on this Thanksgiving than this Apple Crumble Bar recipe is for you. Or, you could even serve this as breakfast bars, or with homemade almond milk at snack time. With a crispy golden outer, and sweet supple interior, these bars are fall comfort food at its finest. From the vegan skeptics to the vegan veterans, I’ve no doubt everyone will be falling head over heels for this dish. Now that’s something to be thankful for! And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
Apple Crumble Bars
For the crust/crumble topping
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 2 cups gluten-free oats
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup vegan butter
- In a food processor pulse walnuts, oats, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt until well ground. Add vegan butter, and pulse again until dough like in texture.
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Line a baking dish with parchment paper (I used an 8x11 inch baking dish). Add 1/3 of the dough mixture to the bottom of the dish and push to make an even layer. Reserve other 2/3rds of dough for the crumble topping. Place baking dish in the oven and cook base for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- While you're waiting for the base to cook, prepare your apple layer. Thinly slice apples and toss into mixing bowl with maple syrup, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and vanilla extract. Toss gently to combine.
- Spread apple butter in an even layer over pre-cooked base, then arrange spiced apple slices overtop in an even layer. Sprinkle remaining dough overtop of apple slices in clumps. Place back in the oven to bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
- Allow crumble to cool entirely (approx. 1 hour) before cutting into bars. (I cut mine into 12 squares).
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – WHEAT-FREE – GLUTEN-FREE – DAIRY-FREE – SOY-FREE