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A stack of three bars with cinnamon sticks in foreground.

Apple Crumble Bars

Gluten free apple crumble bars made vegan with dates & coconut oil. These snack bars are low in added sugar, with just a little coconut sugar.
Course Breakfast, Cookies and Bars, Dessert, Snack, Snacks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 9
Calories 246kcal


Apple Filling

  • 500 grams apples 3-4 medium
  • 60 grams dates
  • 1 tablespoon water or apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Base and Crumble Topping

  • 250 grams rolled oats, ground into a coarse flour
  • 60 grams soft dates
  • 60 grams solid coconut oil, room temperature
  • 40 grams coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg fresh
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon oat milk if needed


  • Apple Filling
  • Core and dice 500 grams (3-4) apples and place them, along with 60 grams (1/4 cup) dates and 1 tablespoon water, into a small saucepan.
  • Cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the cinnamon and cool slightly before blending until smooth. I use an immersion blender, but a heat-safe standing mixer would also work.
  • Set aside to cool while you make the base mixture.

Base and Crumble Topping

  • Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a 20cm (8-in.) square baking tin with parchment paper.
  • In your food processor, grind 250 grams (2 cups) oats into flour.
  • Add 60 grams (1/4 cup) soft dates, 60 grams (1/4 cup) coconut oil, 40 grams (1/4 cup) coconut sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Mix on high speed until a slightly crumbly dough forms. You should be able to press it between your fingers have it hold its shape. If it's too dry, add 1 tablespoon milk and mix again.
  • Using your hands, press about two-thirds of the dough into the prepared baking tin and reserve the rest for the crumble topping. Try to make it as even as possible, as it will be quite thin.
  • Spread the apple filling over the base and then top with the remaining crumble mixture.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin before removing and slicing.
  • Store the bars in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days, or freeze for up to a month.


I have tried making these with pre-ground oat flour, and they always turn out too dense and dry. Blending the oats into a coarse flour is ideal, and since you need a food processor for this recipe in any case, this is fine.
Tart apples are best if you have them. I use mostly boskoop for these bars, and really only make them in October and November when we have the apples from my Omi.
If you don’t have a square tin, feel free to use a rectangular one. Note that a larger tin will make for thinner bars – slightly smaller is better than too big.
Chill the bars before slicing for the neatest cut. These freeze very well, but it’s best to freeze in a single layer (they can be stacked after freezing).
Soak the dates in very hot water for at least ten minutes before using for the crumble mixture if they’re hard. For the apple filling, it’s no problem if the dates are dry, as they’ll be cooked.
Use gluten-free rolled oats to ensure the bars are fully GF if needed.
Only add a tablespoon of milk to the crumble base at first, and really blend, to make sure you’re not adding too much liquid. If it’s still not coming together, add a teaspoon at a time, blending between each addition.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 253mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg