Healthy Apple Crumble Bars are the best fall dessert. They taste just like apple pie in a bar! Paleo, gluten free and dairy free -a must try.
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Apple Pie is one of my favorite desserts. I’m really not even a ‘pie’ person per se.. but there’s just something about warm apple pie in a flaky crust that I love.
Apple desserts, in general, are delicious – we love these Cinnamon Apple Slices, Baked Apples and this Healthy Apple Crisp has been popular on our site for years – but we don’t have anything like an apple pie here. Enter: Paleo Apple Crumble Bars.
This apple crumble bar recipe is based on our super popular Healthy Lemon Bars. While we love lemon bars year round we wanted to share a fall recipe that you could enjoy! If you’re searching for other Holiday Recipes – check out these 50 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes or 55 Healthy Christmas Recipes!
I’m happy to say these taste just like the ‘real’ apple crumble while being totally paleo, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, and lower in sugar.
They’re seriously a DREAM dessert. You’re going to love them!
Note: This recipe is a bit more involved than compared to our other recipes – but it’s well worth the extra time! I think you’re going to love them!
Ingredients for Gluten Free Apple Pie Bars
To make these gluten free apple crumble bars you’ll need:
- coconut flour, tapioca flour
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
- lemon juice
- coconut sugar
- spices (cinnamon, nutmeg)
- If you plan to make the caramel sauce you’ll also need full fat coconut milk.
Coconut flour is perfect for baking because it’s super versatile. No matter what allergies or dietary preferences your family and friends have they can enjoy this.
It is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free, sugar free, grain free and fairly low carb when compared to white flour. You can’t substitute the flours in this recipe. See the green box below for notes on substitutions.
We recommend making these in a metal 8×8 baking pan.
How to make Healthy Apple Crumble Bars
To make these Healthy Apple Bars first we’ll make the crust.
- Mix together the ghee, egg, coconut flour, tapioca flour, egg, maple syrup vanilla, and salt.
- The crust will be a little bit soft
- Press the mixture into an 8×8 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake the crust.
- While the crust bakes – make the filling. In a small bowl mix together the tapioca flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch of salt.
- Peel and dice the apples. Over medium heat, cook the apples, until softening and bubbling at a low boil.
- While the filling cools – mix all ingredients for the crumble in a small bowl with a fork until a crumble texture forms. Set aside.
- Take the baked crust and pour in the apple mixture. Break up the crumble mix evenly over top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before cutting.
Serving Apple Crumble Bars:
These Apple Crumble Bars are best made a few hours in advance of when you have to serve them. They only need about 90 minutes to cool, but if they can set for 3-4 hours they’ll be even better!
Serving: We recommend serving these with dairy free ice cream, dairy free whipped cream or the caramel syrup (optional). You can also add all three for a delicious treat 🙂
Serving Size: I divided this into 9 apple pie bars , but you can also cut them into 16 if you’d prefer smaller apple crumble bars.
Substitutions for Healthy Apple Crumble Bars
You guys know we love to provide you with substitutions for recipes, but sadly – this just isn’t one where you can make substitutions. If you make these bars as is you’ll wind up with perfect gluten free, paleo, healthier apple pie bars – but if you make swaps you may wind up with a mess!
Baking pan: This recipe was tested in both glass and metal baking dishes. Metal conducts heat far better than glass so it got done quicker. You’ll also notice some cracking if you bake it past the just set stage. This is fine and doesn’t affect the flavor at all.
Other fruit: I haven’t tried this recipe with other fruits, but I think it might work with pears. If you try it – let us know!
Flour: I don’t recommend other flours for the crust, especially almond flour. The crust is a tried and true formula of coconut flour and tapioca. The tapioca provides a binder along with the egg. Depending on the type of coconut flour you use for your crust, you may need a bit more to get it to ‘crumble’. If your crumble is too ‘wet’ try adding an extra tablespoon of coconut sugar and a tablespoon of coconut flour.
Eggs: You can’t substitute eggs in this recipe. They are essential for the taste and texture. If you need an egg free apple bar – check out this Vegan Apple Pie Bar Recipe
Ghee: Ghee was used for flavor. Coconut oil is just too oily. We don’t recommend coconut oil for a swap for two reasons -you just don’t get that cookie flavor if you use it, and it also is really greasy. Grass fed butter, regular butter (if not paleo) are all fine subs for the ghee.
Coconut Sugar: The coconut sugar is swappable 1:1 with brown sugar if not paleo.
Doubling the recipe: I haven’t tried doubling this recipe but I’m sure it would work in a 9×13 pan.
I mean… don’t you just want to take a bite?!
Tips for these healthy apple pie bars:
Apple Mixture: The apple pie mixture is thick and syrupy- you can expect that some will seep out a bit as you cut them. These are easily pick up -able, but play like an open face pie.
Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days. If you like warm apple pie just reheat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
How to store apple crumble bars:
Healthy Apple Crumble Bars should be stored in the refrigerator. They will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. We recommend not drizzling the caramel sauce until you’re ready to eat to maintain freshness.
Reheating: If you like warm apple pie just reheat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
Freezing: I haven’t tried freezing these apple crumble bars but I think they would freeze well in an airtight container.
We hope you love these apple crumble bars just as much as we did!
Healthy Apple Crumble Bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Make the crust: With a fork, miix together the Ghee, egg, coconut flour, tapioca flour, egg, maple syrup vanilla and salt. The mixture will seem loose, but the coconut flour soaks up so much liquid it will quickly become a crust texture.
- Press the mixture into an 8×8 pan sprayed with cooking spray. You could also line a pan with parchment. Bake the crust for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Make the apple filling: While the crust bakes – make the filling. In a small bowl mix together the tapioca flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Peel and dice the apples. Over medium heat, cook the apples, lemon juice, maple syrup, water and coconut sugar until softening and bubbling at a low boil. This will take about 5-6 minutes.
- When the mixture is bubbling add in the tapioca and spices and mix together. It will dissolve and the mixture will thicken quickly. Reduce the heat to low and stir it continuously another 5 minutes. Move it off the heat. Allow to cool slightly.
- Make the crumble topping: While the filling cools – mix all ingredients for the crumble in a small bowl with a fork until a crumble texture forms. Set aside.
- To Assemble Bars: Take the baked crust (should be just cooled to the touch) and pour in the apple mixture. Break up the crumble mix evenly over top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely to room temperature before cutting. This will take about 1-2 hours.
Optional Caramel Sauce:
- Over medium high heat add the coconut milk and coconut sugar. Whisk constantly until the mixture boils. It will boil up pretty violently. This takes about 4-5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat until it’s at a low boil and continue cooking for 12-16 minutes until it’s thickened and reduced. Whisk constantly so the sugar does not burn.
- The mixture will coat the back of a spoon. When you put your finger down it the mixture will not come back together. Allow it too cool completely. Store any leftovers in the fridge for 1 -2 weeks.