These vegan apple bars are healthy apple cinnamon oatmeal bars. A crunchy apple pie bar topped with soft-cooked apples, crumble topping, and peanut butter caramel sauce.
We love healthy breakfast crumble bars. This convenient on-the-go breakfast and also sweet, delicious healthy bars that almost taste like dessert.
Last time, we shared the blueberry jam crumble bars recipe with you. These healthy apple pie bars are very similar but full of Fall spices to celebrate the cold weather with a sweet healthy breakfast.
How to make healthy apple crumble bars?
These healthy apple breakfast bars are easy to make in 3 steps.
Gathering the ingredients
First, prepare all your ingredients. All you need to make healthy apple bars are:
- Oat flour. We make our own oat flour by grinding gluten-free certified rolled oat thinly into a food processor. You can replace this with all-purpose flour or almond flour.
- Rolled oats. Also known as instant oats.
- Coconut oil. Or vegan butter if preferred.
- Maple syrup. Or other vegan-friendly liquid sweeteners like agave syrup. Note that the bars will be sweeter with agave.
- Vanilla extract
- Apples. Use crunchy apple variety like jazz, honey crisp, or pink lady.
- Nutmeg. Optional, but it enhances the Fall flavor of these vegan apple oat bars.
- Cornstarch or arrowroot flour
Preparing the base and toppings
The base and crumble toppings are using the exact same recipe. First, combine all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Then stir in the wet ingredients to form a sticky oat dough mixture.
Then, reserve 1/3 cup of the mixture for your bar toppings. It doesn’t look like much but trust me, it’s enough.
Finally, press the remaining 2/3 cup of dough into an 8-inch x 8-inch square pan covered with parchment paper.
I recommend you also oil the parchment paper with a cooking spray to avoid the bar to stick to it. Set aside the base on the countertop and store the topping in the fridge to set.
Cooking the apples
Meanwhile peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Then, add the apple slices into a saucepan along with orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.
Cook the apples for 3 minutes until soft and golden brown. Then, stir in arrowroot flour or cornstarch and keep cooking for 2 minutes to slightly thicken.
Assembling the bars
Pour and spread evenly the cooked apples all over the base. Then, crumble the remaining oat mixture left in the fridge on top of the bar.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350F (180C) for 30 minutes or until crumble is golden brown and crispy.
Cooling down completely
It’s very important to cool the bar completely before slicing. I recommend cool the bars for 10 minutes in the pan then pull out the bar from the pan and cool on a cooling rack for 3 hours before slicing.
What kind of apple should you use for apple pie or bars?
Not all apples are equal when it comes to baking and creating desserts. In fact, some apples become soft and mushy in the oven and it can ruin your recipe.
The go-to apples for a sweet apple bar (or apple pie) are crunchy, firm apples that hold their shape when cooked.
The top 10 apple varieties for apple pie, bars that are sweet, firm and have a perfect balance of crunch and sweetness are:
- Granny smiths
- Honey crisp
- Pink lady
- Golden Delicious
- Northern spy
- Red delicious
How to prepare the apples?
The most important part to make a delicious apple bar is to prepare the apples. First, peel, cored, and cut into thin slices of about 1/4 inches (0.6 cm).
It’s very important to peel the apples to avoid lumps of apple skins. Also, the thickness is very important. If you slice your apples too thick they won’t cook as well and the center of your apple oat bars won’t puree and soften as well.
How to serve apple bars?
You can eat these apple oat bars plain or with some peanut butter caramel. To make the caramel combine all the ingredients below to form a sticky runny vegan caramel.
- Peanut butter or almond butter for less saturated fat.
- Maple syrup
- Coconut oil
Drizzle the caramel on top of the bar just before serving. You can also serve these bars plain or with a dollop of dairy-free yogurt like coconut yogurt.
How to store apple oat bars?
These bars must be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. They soften with time but you can rewarm the bars in a hot oven for 8-10 minutes just before serving.
You can also freeze the bars into a box and thaw on a plate the day before at room temperature.
More healthy vegan breakfast recipes
We love to start the day with healthy vegan breakfast bars or cookies made of oats. In fact, oats are fulfilling nutritious cereals full of plant-based protein perfect to start the day with energy on your vegan journey.
Below I listed some healthy vegan breakfast recipe to inspire you:
Have you made these healthy vegan apple oat bars yet? Share a comment, review, or picture with us below, or join me on Pinterest for more vegan recipes inspiration!
Your friend, Carine
Vegan Apple Oatmeal bars
- 3 1/2 cup Sliced Apples - about 3 crunchy apples like apple jazz/honey crisp 340g
- 3 tablespoons Maple syrup - or agave or date syrup
- 2 tablespoons Orange juice - or water
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch - or Arrowroot flour
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the crust ingredients: oat flour, rolled oats, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, salt, and vanilla.
- Squeeze the batter with your hands to bring all the ingredients in contact and create a dough that sticks together. If too dry (may happen if you are using a coarse oat flour), add 1-2 tablespoons of water, add 1 at a time, until the dough is soft and stick together.
- Press roughly 1 cup + 2/3 cup of the dough all over the baking dish, using a spatula to smoothen the dough and making sure there is no hole left. Set aside leftover dough in a small mixing bowl, in the fridge, it looks small but will be enough to finely crumble on top of the bar.
- Place the pan in the fridge while you make the apple filling.
- In a small saucepan, add the sliced apples, maple syrup, orange juice (or water), cinnamon, nutmeg.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat cover and stir often, bubbles should form on side of the pan.
- Stir in cornstarch and keep cooking on low heat for 2 minutes, stirring all the time to prevent the apples from burning. It should slightly thicken.
- Pour the apple filling on top of the prepared crust then use the remaining dough to crumble all other the bar.
- Bake the bar for 35 minutes or until crispy on top and golden.
Peanut butter caramel
- Meanwhile, make the caramel. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil, with maple syrup and peanut butter over low medium heat.
- Stir constantly until melted and combined and looks like a caramel sauce.
- Set aside in a bowl or jar to cool and store at room temperature for up to 1 week in a sealed glass mason jar. If it becomes too thick to your liking, rewarm in the microwave for 20 seconds or in a saucepan before serving.
Cool the bars
- Remove the bars from the oven and cool in the pan 10 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.
- Cool for 3 hours or until it reaches room temperature before slicing into 16 bars. Waiting will prevent the bar from crumbling and the filling will set perfectly.
Serve and store
- Serve bar with a drizzle of caramel
- Store the bars in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Otherwise, freeze and defrost the day before breakfast.