Healthy Apple Pie Bars (gluten free!)


There’s not much to say about these apple pie bars other than the fact that they are FABULOUS and the perfect treat or breakfast snack (totally a thing) to make when you have extra apples laying around.

Plus, they’re drizzled with a 5 minute caramel sauce that’s going to BLOW YA MIND. Apple szn is just the best, isn’t it?

healthy apple pie bars on a wire rack

Ingredients in apple pie bars

These incredible healthy apple pie bars are perfectly sweet, gluten free and easily dairy free & vegan for a treat everyone will love. Here’s everything you need to make them:

  • Oat flour: make sure to use a gluten free oat flour to keep these apple pie bars gluten free, or feel free to sub all purpose flour. See below for simple instructions for making your own oat flour!
  • Rolled oats: again, be sure to use gluten free rolled oats to keep these gluten free. Do not use steel cut oats or quick oats as the texture will be much different.
  • Brown sugar: I love the molasses flavor that brown sugar give these bars but you can also sub coconut sugar if you’d like. Just note that you may not get the best ‘crumble’ with coconut sugar.
  • Spices: we’re using the coziest trio of spices: cinnamon, allspice & nutmeg.
  • Baking soda & salt: so that these bars bake up properly.
  • Butter: feel free to sub for a vegan buttery stick.
  • Vanilla: a little vanilla extract adds the perfect flavor.
  • Honeycrisp apples: I love using honeycrisp apples in these healthy apple pie bars because they’re deliciously sweet and juicy.
  • Pure maple syrup: we’re naturally sweetening these apple pie bars with maple syrup (and apples, of course!)
  • Cornstarch: a bit of cornstarch helps the apple pie filling thicken up a little. You can also use arrowroot starch if you’d like.

The BEST salted peanut butter caramel

The vegan salted peanut butter caramel is amazingly easy, customizable and so delicious drizzled over these bars, or on top of ice cream. Don’t skip it! You’ll need:

  • Peanut butter: use an all natural peanut butter for that incredible, vegan salted peanut butter caramel. To keep these nut free you could also use tahini.
  • Coconut oil: you’ll need a bit of coconut oil to create the best texture for the caramel.
  • Pure maple syrup: You’ll need a little bit of pure maple syrup to sweeten the caramel!
  • Vanilla extract: love the flavor this gives the caramel.
  • Sea salt: for that sweet and salty goodness.

stirring apples in a pan for healthy apple pie bars

How to make your own oat flour

You can easily make your own gluten free oat flour by simply placing gluten free oats into a blender and blending/pulsing until they’re smooth and resemble a fine flour. This is probably the cheapest option.

  • Tip: always measure the oat flour after you blend to ensure the proper amount called for in the recipe.

gluten free apple pie bars in a square pan

How to make gluten free apple pie bars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and generously spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the base + topping: In a large bowl, use a fork to mix together the oat flour, oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add in melted butter and vanilla extract stir until a nice crumble forms and dough begins to clump together. 
  3. Place about 1 2/3 cups of the mixture into the prepared pan and place the remaining mixture into the fridge (the remaining mixture will be used for the topping). Use your hands to evenly press the dough to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Next, make the apple pie filling: Melt butter in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the sliced apples to the pan and stir to coat the apples. Add in maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg over the apples and stir well to combine. Lower heat to medium low and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until apples begin to soften nicely. Next stir in vanilla and cornstarch, and cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes so that the sauce thickens up. Remove from heat. Pour mixture over the crust and use a spoon to evenly spread.
  5. Take the remaining topping out of the fridge. By now there should be some nice crumbles that have clumped together. Sprinkle the topping over the apple filling
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the topping is nice and golden. Allow bars to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  7. Next make your peanut butter caramel.
  8. Drizzle caramel over bars, then use a sharp knife to cut into 16 squares.

drizzling peanut butter caramel onto healthy apple pie bars

How to store these apple pie bars

In the fridge: I recommend storing these bars covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

In the freezer: yes, these apple pie bars are freezer-friendly! Once they’re complete cooled, simply place them in an airtight container and pop them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy one, just let it thaw a bit in the fridge before eating.

three healthy apple pie bars in a stack

More apple recipes you’ll love

Tony’s Very Favorite Dutch Apple Pie

Healthy Apple Pancakes (made right in the blender!)

Vegan Pecan Apple Chickpea Salad Wraps

Best Healthy Apple Crisp Ever!

Homemade Slow Cooker Apple Butter (no sugar added!)

gluten free apple pie bar on parchment paper

See how to make the healthy apple pie bars

I hope you love these amazing healthy apple pie bars! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!

Healthy Apple Pie Bars with Salted Peanut Butter Caramel

Healthy apple pie bars with a delicious oat crumble topping and a drizzle of homemade salted peanut butter caramel. These gluten free apple pie bars are filled with warm, cozy spices and easily made vegan for the perfect fall dessert!

  • For the crust and crumble:
  • 1 ½
    cups
    gluten free oat flour (or sub all purpose flour)
  • 1
    cup
    old-fashioned rolled oats, gluten free if desired
  • ½
    cup
    packed brown sugar (or sub coconut sugar but you may not get the best ‘crumble’)
  • ½
    teaspoon
    ground cinnamon
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    baking soda
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    salt
  • 8
    tablespoons
    butter (or vegan buttery stick such as Earth Balance), melted
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • For the filling:
  • 1/2
    tablespoon
    melted butter (or vegan buttery stick)
  • 3
    medium to large honeycrisp apples, peeled and cut into 1/4th inch slices (about 4 1/2 cups apple slices)
  • 3
    tablespoons
    pure maple syrup
  • 2
    teaspoons
    cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • ½
    teaspoon
    cinnamon
  • Pinch
    of allspice & nutmeg
  • 1
    teaspoon
    vanilla extract
  • Pinch
    of salt
  • For the peanut butter caramel:
  • 2
    tablespoons
    creamy all natural peanut butter
  • 1
    tablespoon
    pure maple syrup
  • 1/2
    tablespoon
    coconut oil
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    vanilla
  • Pinch
    of sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and generously spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. Make the base + topping: In a large bowl, use a fork to mix together the oat flour, oats, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add in melted butter and vanilla extract stir until a nice crumble forms and dough begins to clump together.

  3. Place about 1 2/3 cups of the mixture into the prepared pan and place the remaining mixture into the fridge (the remaining mixture will be used for the topping). Use your hands to evenly press the dough to the bottom of the pan.

  4. To make the apple pie filling: Melt butter in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the sliced apples to the pan and stir to coat the apples. Add in maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg over the apples and stir well to combine. Lower heat to medium low and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until apples begin to soften nicely. Next stir in vanilla and cornstarch, and cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes so that the sauce thickens up. Remove from heat. Pour mixture over the crust and use a spoon to evenly spread.

  5. Take the remaining topping out of the fridge. By now there should be some nice crumbles that have clumped together. Sprinkle the topping over the apple filling

  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the topping is nice and golden. Allow bars to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

  7. Next make your peanut butter caramel: in a large bowl add peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Stir well to combine. Microwave for 20-30 seconds or until warm. Caramel should appear runny but will thicken up upon sitting at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.

  8. Drizzle caramel over bars, then use a sharp knife to cut into 16 squares. Bars are delicious served at room temperature or straight out of the fridge! Perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, too!

To store these apple pie bars: the bars are delicious served at room temperature or straight out of the fridge. I recommend storing in the fridge for optimal freshness. Feel free to reheat in the microwave if you love a warm apple dessert.

Nutrition

Servings: 16 bars

Serving size: 1 bar

Calories: 192kcal

Fat: 8.7g

Saturated fat: 4.3g

Carbohydrates: 29.7g

Fiber: 2.3g

Sugar: 13.9g

Protein: 2.4g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by Eat Love Eats



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