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Vegan Apple Crumble Bars

These vegan apple crumble bars consist of a crumbly shortbread base, a gooey apple filling and a sweet, crunchy crumb topping. They make the perfect bake for Autumn and Winter time, and are great served warm with ice cream.

Stack Of Apple Crumble Bars

I’m back with another Autumn bake!

I’ve probably said this a thousand times before but I just LOVE baking from September-February. There’s something about the chilly nights that make home-baked goods extra comforting. First up on my list this year are these apple crumble bars.

I had never actually thought of having an apple crumble in bar form until recently. I was browsing Pinterest and saw that Nagi from RecipeTin Eats had made some, and I just knew I had to make my own version!

For the base, I used my shortbread recipe with some small adaptions. I typically only bake shortbread in biscuit form, so I had to change the recipe a little bit to fit a large tin. I took out the cornflour because I wanted it to be slightly less crumbly and a little more sturdy.

Then for the filling and the topping, I used my Dutch apple pie recipe. I decided not to use my apple crumble topping because I needed something more stable, something that would hold together firmly when cut into.

It was quite a squeeze to get all of the mixture in my small tin but I’m so glad I didn’t use a larger tin. I love how thick and tall these bars are!

If you do want to use a smaller or larger tin, please note that the baking times will vary. I don’t have exact recommendations because I have only tested the recipe in my 8×10-inch tin.

More Autumn bakes

How to make vegan apple crumble bars

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (or 160°C/325°F if you’re using a fan or convection oven) and line an 8×10 inch tin. You’ll need to make sure your tin is at least 3-inches deep because there is a lot of mixture that needs to fit in there!

I highly recommend leaving some baking paper hanging over the edges of your tin so that the bars are easy to remove later on.

Step 2:

First, we prepare the shortbread base!

In a large bowl, mix together 250g of plain flour and 80g of caster sugar. Then add 180g of cold vegan margarine. Rub it into the mixture with your fingers then press it together into a ball of dough.

I recommend using the spreadable type of dairy-free margarine over the blocky, “butter” type. I test all of my recipes with the spreadable kind so this is what will produce the best results.

Ball Of Shortbread Dough In A Bowl

Next, press the dough into your lined tin until it’s equally spread out. Poke some small holes all over it using a fork. This process is called docking and it will help the air to escape while the shortbread bakes, preventing it from rising or becoming soggy at the bottom.

Docked Shortbread Base In Lined Tin

Bake the shortbread for 20 minutes. It will be pale with ever-so-slightly golden brown corners. Resist the urge to keep baking or it will be too crumbly.

Step 3:

While the shortbread is baking, you can prepare the apple filling.

Peel, slice and core 4 medium green apples, which should amount to 350g/12oz of slices. I used Granny Smith apples.

In a large pot or pan, mix together 330ml cold water, 2 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch), 100g of caster sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. It’s important to mix this before heating, otherwise the cornflour will go lumpy.

Once mixed, add the apples and put the pan over a medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes or so, until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy, and the apples soften slightly.

Apple Filling In A Pan

Leave the mixture to cool while you prepare the crumble topping.

Step 4:

For the crumble topping, mix together 300g of plain flour, 175g of soft light brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Then rub in 200g of cold vegan margarine with your fingers. You should end up with a mixture that looks like large breadcrumbs.

Crumb Topping In A Bowl

Step 5:

Pour the apple filling over your shortbread base then top with the crumble topping. Press it down firmly to help it stick together later on. If you don’t press it down in place, it will be too crumbly to cut into slices once cooled.

Step 6:

Bake for 40 minutes then leave it in the tin to cool at room temperature for around 1 hour.

Baked Apple Pie Bars In Tin

Once cool, transfer it to the fridge for at least 4 hours, to allow the filling to firm up. I find they are a bit easier to cut into if left in the fridge overnight.

Step 7:

Once chilled, use the baking paper to lift the whole thing out of the tin. Then all that’s left to do is cut it into square slices and enjoy! You can get 12 large slices or around 16-20 smaller ones, depending on your preference.

I love these heated up in the microwave with some dairy-free vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I use Wicked Kitchen ice cream and Food Heaven whipped cream.

FAQ:

How should I store them?

Keep them in the fridge in an airtight container. They should last for around 4 days if stored this way.

Can I freeze apple crumble bars?

I haven’t actually tried freezing them yet but I am going to say yes. The Dutch apple pie I based this recipe off of freezes very well and so does the shortbread that I used for the base.

I recommend freezing in an airtight container for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost them at room temperature on a wire rack or plate for an hour or two, then transfer any leftovers to the fridge. Do not refreeze.

Vegan Apple Crumble Bar With Cream On Top

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoy the recipe. If you make it at home yourself, please let me know how it goes by leaving a rating and/or comment below. Happy baking! xo

Apple Crumble Bars Stack Thumbnail Image
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Vegan Apple Crumble Bars

A dairy-free, egg-free shortbread base with a gooey apple filling and crumbly streusel topping.

Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword vegan apple crumble bars
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chilling time 5 hours
Servings 12
Calories 466 kcal

Ingredients

For the shortbread base:

  • 250 g Plain flour (~2 cups)
  • 80 g Caster sugar (⅜ cups)
  • 180 g Cold vegan margarine (¾ cup)

For the apple filling:

  • 330 ml Cold water (1 + ⅓ cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornflour (corn starch)
  • 100 g Caster sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 4 Medium green apples, peeled, cored and sliced (around ¼-inch thick)

For the crumb topping:

  • 300 g Plain flour (~2+⅓ cups)
  • 175 g Soft light brown sugar (¾ cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 200 g Cold vegan margarine (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (or 160°C/325°F if you're using a fan or convection oven).

  2. Line an 8x10x3-inch tin with baking paper. It's important the tin is at least 3-inches deep as there is a lot to fit in there! I recommend leaving some baking paper hanging over the edges to allow for easy removal later on.

For the shortbread base:

  1. Mix together the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Rub the margarine in with your fingers, then press it together into a firm dough. If it's too sticky, add more flour and if it's too dry, add more margarine.

  2. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of your tin. Poke small holes all over it using a fork (this will help the air to escape when baking).

  3. Bake for 20 minutes, then set aside until you're ready to add the filling.

For the apple filling:

  1. In a large pan or pot, mix together the water, cornflour, sugar and cinnamon. Mix while everything is cold to prevent the cornflour from becoming lumpy.

  2. Put the sliced apples in the pan and place over medium-high heat. Cook for around 5 minutes or so, until the mixture becomes thick and syrupy and the apples have softened slightly.

  3. Remove from the heat and set aside for now.

For the crumb topping:

  1. Mix the flour and brown sugar together in a bowl.

  2. Rub in the margarine until you have what looks like large breadcrumbs.

Assembly and baking:

  1. Pour the apple filling over your shortbread base and spread it out evenly.

  2. Add the crumb topping and press down into place. This will help it stick together once cut into later on.

  3. Bake for 40 minutes.

Chilling:

  1. Let the apple crumble bars sit in the tin for around 1 hour at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge for a further 4 hours. I like to leave them overnight!

  2. Once chilled, use the baking paper to remove it from the tin. Cut into 12 square slices and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Apple Crumble Bars
Amount Per Serving (1 slice (1/12th))
Calories 466 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Sodium 199mg9%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 5g10%
* All values are an estimate only and will vary depending on the food brands used.
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