Vegan no bake apple crumb bars have a soft and sweet crust and a crunchy crumble topping. They’re gluten free and fruit sweetened, and made with just 7 healthy ingredients, no oven required!
A few weeks ago Joe and I went apple picking, and got approximately 25 pounds of sweet, crisp, wonderful apples. I started with these apple pie-inspired breakfast cookies, and when I shared those, I told you guys how I don’t normally (ever) choose apple as a primary flavor for my desserts.
Well friends, today I’m eating those words, in the heavenly form of vegan no bake apple crumb bars.
Joe and I took a quick trip to Chicago a few weekends ago, and ate at a little place called Chicago Raw. They have a super diverse menu of all kinds of raw bites and entrees, and of course, sweets. Because we visited in September, I was totally getting into the start of the fall season. So instead of going with my typical choice (chocolate, always), we decided to split the raw apple pie for dessert. It was love at first bite, the flavor was SO fall, and I devoured it faster than I’d like to admit.
From the moment I had finished it, I knew I wanted to create my own version for the blog. I fully expected to have to test this recipe multiple times to get it just right, but it came out amazing on the first try! Just another sign for me to give apples a chance at dessert.
So, allow me show you how to make fall in a bar.
You’ll start with the crust, which is a simple mix of almonds, dates, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. The dates are what help the crust stick together, and the vanilla gives a lovely cookie-like flavor. And of course, where there are apples, there should be cinnamon.
Blend all that in the food processor until it’s totally incorporated. It should still be a little crumbly, but when you pour it into the pan and press with your hands, it should form and stick together into a crust (see the photo below). Press it evenly along the bottom of the pan, and freeze that while you make the crumb topping.
To make the crumb topping, start by chopping the apple into small pieces. I used 2 small Jonathan apples we got when we went apple picking, they’re the perfect mix of tart and sweet. But really, any apple variety you like is perfect. Chop the apple into little pieces, then put it in the food processor with some walnuts, a more dates, some lemon juice, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
This time, you won’t blend everything together completely – instead, pulse it 10-20 times, until everything is roughly chopped. Basically, you just want the dates and nuts cut up a bit. But we still want everything big enough to provide some incredible crunchy texture.
Pour the crumb topping on top of the crust and carefully spread it out, pressing gently so that it sticks to the crust. Freeze the completed bars for 2 hours (or longer!) to set.
After 2 hours, the vegan no bake apple crumb bars are ready to remove, cut, and enjoy! I use a silicone pan, and I HIGHLY recommend using one if you have it. It makes removing the bars much easier – if you don’t have one, use some parchment paper to easily lift them out of the pan. The bars are delicate, so you want removal to be as easy as possible so they don’t crumble all over the place.
These vegan no bake apple crumb bars BLEW ME AWAY. Seriously, guys, I am NOT typically an apple gal when it comes to desserts, but these are a game changer. Plus, they’re perfect for those days you want a treat but don’t want to bother with the oven.
Sweet, spiced, and the perfect combination of soft and crunchy textures, these are a MUST TRY. I know this won’t be the last time I make them this fall.
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!