Great breakfast will kick start your day the right way, and these vegan apple crumble bars are perfect for it. They are healthy yet decadent, sweet and super delicious, it’s like having a dessert for breakfast. Of course, they are also great as a healthy dessert/snack, and lovely addition to a party table
*This post may contain affiliate links. For full disclosure visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.
Is it just me or anyone else like apples better when cooked than fresh? I guess many of you can agree on this! I love fresh apple slices with nice creamy peanut butter too, but when apples are cooked with sugar they turn into this super caramely and full of condensed rich apple flavour treat with soft yet still slightly crunchy texture. Isn’t this one of the world’s best combination in food? Honestly Apples cooked with sugar just alone makes great dessert.
But these apple crumble bars goes beyond that. The apples are sandwiched between sweet and crispy crumble layers, the combination of soft caramely apple and the crumble is incredible and I can’t tell you how delicious they are! Plus they are super easy to make and healthy. What more can you ask for?
I remember when I tried apples cooked with some sugar at home for the first time as a kid. I mean, I had tried store bought apple pies before so I knew how it would taste like but oh my, they tasted just out of the world!
There is something so different about home cooked apples to store bought apple pie filling, it just tastes way better when cooked at home. Maybe it’s something to do with the freshness of the store bought apple pie filling. As much as I love store bought apple pie fillings, my favourite is definitely home cooked apples.
I was also amazed by how easy and quick to cook apples in a pan. If anything I like easy and quick food more than anything especially when they are also delicious. And that’s one of the things I like about this recipe! Obviously it takes longer than just cooking apples in a pan, but these apple crumble bars are easy to make with simple steps. And of course, they are super yummy.
How to make these vegan apple crumble bars
As I said earlier, one of the things I love about this recipe is how easy it is to make them. I’m not even joking, they are super easy. And I made them with as wholesome ingredients as I could think of so these bars are great for breakfast and a healthy alternative to sugary snacks. Here are some tips.
For the apple filling
Slice apples, not dicing
Instead of dicing the apples, I sliced them into about half a centimetre to make the making of the apple filling easy. Why does this make it easy? Because this way you don’t have to precook the apples like with diced apples.
If you dice the apples you have to precook them in a sauce pan to make it a little softer before baking in the oven but it’s time consuming and I thought, why not skip the process for good!
To make the apple filling simply slice the apples and toss along with other ingredients then place it on the crumble base just as it is. Simple, no hustle.
Use brown sugar
I have been saying this quite a lot recently but I love baking with brown sugar recently. It’s wholesome, rich in taste and feels a little healthier than regular white sugar. So to make this recipe healthy, I used brown sugar in this recipe.
However, if you prefer you can also use white sugar or other sugars such as coconut sugar. If using coconut sugar, depending on the brand you use, it may add a slight coconuty flavour in the final product but other than that it should taste as delicious.
Kind of apples
I love eating apples as well as using them for baking. We have a selection of apples to choose from here in Tokyo, and here are some of my favourite apples I use for this recipe or any other apple baking or as a snack.
Jazz apple is one of my absolute favourites. They are from New Zealand and I must say apples from New Zealand are 9 out 10 super delicious. They have nice crunchy texture, lovely combination of sweet and tartness. They come in small to medium size. I love eating them fresh for a snack as well as in baking goods.
Fuji apple is one of the most popular apples in Japan. They are relatively large in size, juicy, soft and crunchy at the same time and sweet with a little bit of tanginess. They taste very good in baking.
This is one of the most common and popular apples across the world as well as in Japan. They come in medium to large size, crisp, tangy with sweet honey like flavour. I love using jonagold in my baking recipes, they give baking goods a lovely combination of sweetness and tanginess.
Gala apple is another one of my favourites from New Zealand. They are crisp and sweet with a hint of tartness, crunchy and delicious. Relatively small in size, great for a snack as well as in baking goods.
Crispin was first found in Japan as “Mutsu” in 1949. They are one of the popular apples in Japan still to this day. They have sweet honey like flavour with crisp and tangy note, large in size and versatile in any baking recipe that calls for apples.
For the crumble
Oats + oats
To your surprise, this recipe doesn’t call for regular flour. I used the same rolled oats, only they are in 2 different textures for this recipe.
One is just regular rolled oats, just like the one you use to cook for your porridge. And the other one is milled finely in a food processor, which is more like oat flour.
You don’t have to buy oat flour at all for this recipe, simply process your oats in your food processor until they are super fine for about 2-3 mins. There you have freshly ground homemade oat flour!
In case you don’t have a food processor, any store bought oat flour will do a great job in this recipe too.
No need to make the base and crumble separately
To make it easy for you to make this recipe, I used exactly the same mixture for both the base and crumble on top. This way you don’t have to make the base and crumble separately, which saves you so much time and energy!
Just a little tip, when you are using the mixture for the base, make sure to press it firmly to the bottom of your baking tin with your fingers or with the flat bottom of a drinking glass so that it will have strong base and won’t go crumbly when baked. For the top crumble layer, use your fingers and sprinkle the mixture lightly press onto the apple filling.
What toppings would be good?
Really, pretty much any toppings are great for these vegan apple crumble bars. I tried some creamy icing on top, and a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream and they taste wonderful with this recipe. Other toppings that are great for this recipe are:
- Berry compote – saute some frozen berries in a saucepan, stir consistently with 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup to make berry compote. Berry compote pairs very nicely.
- Caramel sauce – Drizzle some vegan caramel sauce on top to make it extra sweet and caramelly. Caramel and apple combination can never fail. Try my vegan caramel sauce recipe if you haven’t, it’s absolutely delicious with these vegan apples crumble bars.
- Chocolate ice cream – chocolate ice cream goes very nicely as well as vanilla ice cream. Try topping with different flavours of your favourite ice creams!
- Whipping cream – whipping cream is great on anything, and these vegan apple crumble bars are no exception. Whip up with an electric mixer some coconut cream or soy cream with some sugar until soft, creamy and fluffy. It makes a great topping.
- Fresh fruits and vegan single/double cream – just fresh fruits on top would make a nice and even healthier breakfast. I love having it with fresh apple slices, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, bananas, etc. Adding some vegan single/double cream on top will make it nice and creamy.
- Nuts and seeds – you can sprinkle your favourite nuts and seeds on top for added nutrients and crunchy texture. I like pumpkin seeds(I sprinkle pumpkin seeds on everything!), sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, etc.
Q and A
Can I make this recipe into one large apple crumble traybake?
Yes, absolutely! If you want to make this recipe into one large tray of apple crumble, simply place the apple filling at the bottom of a baking tray and top with the crumble mixture, bake in the oven for the same length of time.
To prevent it from sticking to the bottom of a tray, spray some oil or spread a thin layer of vegan butter before you put the apple filling in a tray.
Can I substitute pears for apples?
Absolutely! If you want to make this vegan apple crumble bar recipe with some pears, simply replace the apple with the same amount of pears.
Slice the pears slightly thicker about 0.8 – 1 cm wide and reduce the baking time by 5 to 10 mins as pears usually have softer texture and cook fairly quick compare to apples.
Are these bars gluten-free?
I used regular rolled oats when I made these vegan apple crumble bars but if you use gluten-free rolled oats they can be gluten-free too!
One of the many brands I love to bake with is Bob’s Red Mill, and they have gluten-free rolled oats as well as regular rolled oats. The taste of their gluten-free rolled oats is as delicious as regular ones. So if you are looking to make it gluten-free I recommend using these oats.
How long can I keep these vegan apple crumble bars?
You can keep them for up to 2-3 days at room temperature or in the fridge. Once you bake them, let them cool completely and put them in an airtight container to keep them fresh and delicious.
Can I keep them in the freezer?
Yes you can. For a longer shelf life, put them in an airtight container and keep in the freezer. You can store them in your freezer for up to 2-3 months. When serving them, warm a slice up in a microwave, top with your favourite toppings and eat within the day.
You will LOVE these vegan apple crumble bars if you:
– love apples
– are vegan
– are not vegan
– are looking for easy apple crumble recipes
– want nice baking recipes with apples
– are a home baker
– have kids who love apples
– love healthy alternative to sugary snacks
Please leave a comment and rate this recipe in the comment section below if you like these vegan apple crumble bars! Let me know and tag me @thechestnutbakery on Instagram too. Thank you for making my recipe, friends!Print