Thick, gooey vegan apple cinnamon bars are the best way to use all of your sweet apples this fall! Healthy, gluten free and naturally sweetened.
Happy Monday, friends! What’s new? Joe has been gone in Peru for work for almost a week now, and I surprisingly have been doing really well! I mean, I miss him every second of every day, but still. If you don’t know me well, I love my husband with every ounce of my being – I know, what life doesn’t love her husband?! But what I mean is I have a VERY hard time being apart for long spans of time, and I tend to get very sad/worried. I try to see the positives, because while he hates being away, he loves the traveling for work itself. Which is great! We’re hoping in the future I’ll be able to go on some of the trips with him, which his work allows.
But anyway, this trip specifically hasn’t been as bad as I anticipated. The week days at work are super easy, because I’m so busy all day and I’m so exhausted by the time I get home I usually just eat dinner, go for a walk with Rumor, then go to bed. I thought the weekend might be tougher, but I literally baked ALL DAY Saturday and most of the day Sunday. I listened to podcasts, watched youtube videos, and snuggled Rumor. It’s a relief to be back on track and ahead with recipes for the blog. I made six recipes (and tried not to drown in the mountain of dishes I was doing), and literally every single one included pumpkin. Fall baking, I love you.
BUT. Before we begin all things pumpkin, can’t we just let apple have a turn for a bit?! My answer is yes, absolutely, 100% we must. Mostly because these vegan apple cinnamon bars are too good for you to overlook in the tornado of pumpkin goodies about to hit the blog here in a few weeks.
First of all, you know where these bars begin if you’re around here often! I always use blended chickpeas as the base for my bars, because nothing matches the texture they give. Soft, ooey gooey, SO rich. Sounds weird and gross to start, but trust me. You won’t detect a trace of beans with all the caramel-y date sweetness, strong cinnamon, and apple flavor going on.
After the chickpeas have been blended, you’ll need dates as the natural, fruit sweetener, banana flour, and cinnamon, of course! I used a full tablespoon, and it definitely smelled like a freaking fall cinnamon swirly dream in my kitchen while these were baking. If you’re sensitive to spice, feel free to use as much or as little as you prefer. Apples + cinnamon is just such a dreamy combination that’s only around for such a short time each year! That’s my excuse to make about 3 more pans of these before fall is gone. Logic!
This is the point at which I meant to add nuts to the batter, but was probably too busy belting out Moana in my kitchen by myself (which may or may not be what I typically do while baking), and just totally forgot. I thought they were amazing even without the crunch, so if you hate nuts, they’re great as is! But if you like a little texture, go for it before pouring the batter into your pan and baking.
Once the batter is in a square pan, it’s time for the apples! I sliced mine pretty thin and gently pressed them on top. You definitely don’t want them thick, or they’ll still be too firm. Mine didn’t get totally cooked and mushy, but they were definitely soft enough to bite through. They take about 50 minutes in the oven, during which time you’ll wonder why you don’t constantly bake with apples/cinnamon because your house smells like a fall fantasy.
Let these cool in the pan before cutting and serving. They’ll get more firm as they cool, but they’re still super rich and gooey.
These vegan apple cinnamon bars are seriously a fall dream. Rich, gooey, perfectly spiced, and the apples are totally the star. All made with just a few healthy ingredients! Get your booty to the apple orchard (or your grocery store, no judgment), pick some gems, and immediately come home and make these. You’ll be SO glad you did.
Have a happy, healthy day 🙂
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes/what you think! Take a picture and tag me @beamingbanana on Instagram. Happy baking!