If you're anything like me, you're always on the lookout for easy, delicious, fruit-filled plant-based treats like my apple crumble that satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing flavor. Well, my friends, I've got good news for you: these Strawberry Crumble Bars are the perfect solution!
If you're a fan of sweet, tangy berries, and crave dessert that's both bright and satisfying, then you're in for a treat.
They’re vegan-friendly, bursting with juicy in-season strawberries, and topped with a sweet, buttery crumble that will have you coming back for seconds.
📖 Recipe Overview
- Quick & Easy - You only need to spend about 20 minutes of active time to make these strawberry crumb bars – the oven does all the heavy lifting!
- Made With Only 10 Simple Ingredients - This strawberry oat bar recipe uses just a few fresh ingredients and a handful of vegan pantry staples.
- All-Natural & Delicious - While they’re definitely a dessert in my book, these strawberry bars are made with fresh fruit, and only real, easy-to-pronounce ingredients you can feel good about feeding your family.
- Versatile - I love how flexible this recipe is! You can make them more gooey by serving them at room temp, or firmer by refrigerating them. Make them gluten-free, or swap in different berries. What I’m trying to say is, there’s plenty you can do to make these strawberry shortcake bars work for you and your family.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
As promised, you only need a handful of fresh ingredients plus a few pantry staples to make these handheld strawberry crumbles. Here’s everything to grab:
When shopping for your berry crumble bars, keep these few things in mind:
- Strawberries - You can use fresh or frozen berries, but make sure if you use frozen that they are cut down into manageable pieces. Depending on the brand you purchase, you may need to chop them yourself, so defrost them first. Otherwise, you can use them straight from frozen!
- Granulated Sugar - Make sure you use organic if you’re in the US to ensure it’s vegan-friendly.
- Cornstarch - Also known as cornflour in some countries, this is used as a thickener to capture all the juicy goodness of the strawberries in a jammy, syrupy suspension. If corn is a no-go in your household, feel free to swap in an equal amount of potato starch or tapioca starch instead.
- Lemon - You’ll want both the zest and juice for optimal flavor, so definitely reach for fresh fruit here. If you don’t have a fresh lemon on hand, consider using bottled lemon juice and ground sumac in place of the zest.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - Feel free to use an equal amount of vanilla extract instead!
- All-Purpose Flour - Also known as “plain flour,” this is used to bind the crumble together. If needed, you can use a gluten-free flour blend instead.
- Rolled Oats - Also known as “old-fashioned oats,” these delectable whole grains add gorgeous texture and a nutty flavor to the crust and crumble.
- Brown Sugar - You can use either light or dark brown sugar, or swap in less-refined versions like muscovado sugar or grated jaggery.
🥣 How To Make Strawberry Crumble Bars
This strawberry bars recipe comes together in just a few simple steps:
Prep. Preheat the oven and line your baking tin with parchment paper.
Step 1: Make the Filling. Toss all the filling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, then set aside.
Step 2: Make the Crust/Crumble. Mix the dry ingredients together thoroughly, then drizzle in the melted vegan butter. Mix to combine.
Step 3: Press-In Crust. Remove a cup of the crust/crumble mixture and set it aside. Use the remaining mix to line the base of your baking tin, pressing the mixture into the pan to form a crust.
Step 4: Add Filling. Spread the strawberry filling mixture evenly over the unbaked oat crust.
Step 5: Add Crumble. Evenly scatter the cup of crumble mixture over the top of the strawberries, squeezing it between your fingers to create a variety of crumble sizes.
Step 6: Bake, Cool, & Serve! Bake in the preheated oven until the strawberries are bubbly and the crumble topping is golden. Allow to cool for a minimum of 2 hours before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
🥧 Optional Variations
As much as I love this strawberry bar recipe just the way it’s written, there are plenty of ways for you to put your own spin on things. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Gluten-Free - Instead of all-purpose flour, use a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour blend that's suitable for baking. Make sure you’re reaching for certified gluten-free oats to ensure your bars are totally celiac-friendly.
- Swap Your Berries - Substitute some or all of the strawberries with other fresh or frozen berries such as raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries.
- Go Nuts - Add chopped nuts such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts to the crumble mixture for extra flavor and texture.
- Taste of the Tropics - Swap in ¼ cup of shredded coconut for an equal amount of the oats in the crumble topping, and substitute lime juice and zest for half of the lemon for a fruity, tropical twist.
- Spice It Up - Add a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom, and/or ginger to the strawberry filling for a cozy twist.
These strawberry oatmeal bars will last for up to 5 days if kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
Sure! Just make sure they’re cut to size before adding them to the mix.
Absolutely! Feel free to mix and match to your heart’s content.
🍓 More Strawberry Recipes
- Prepare: Line the base and sides of a 9” rectangular pan with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Make the filling: Add the chopped strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla to a mixing bowl and toss until evenly coated. Set aside while you make the crumble.
- Make the crumble: Add the flour, oats, salt, and brown sugar to a separate large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Work out any large sugar lumps using your fingers.Pour the melted butter in with the ingredients and give it a quick stir to combine, it's totally fine if there are large clumps of the mixture.Separate about a cup (240g) of the mixture and set aside for the crumble topping.
- Assemble: Add the remaining crumble mixture to the base of the lined pan and use a spoon to press it down and compact it.Add the strawberry mixture on top of the base and use a spoon to spread it out evenly.Crumble the remaining crumble mixture on top of the strawberries, squeezing it between your fingers to create small and large clumps.
- Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top and the strawberry mixture is bubbling.Allow it to cool for 2 hours or so until at room temperature before serving.Use a sharp knife to cut into portions before serving.
- Storage: Store in a sealed airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- If using frozen berries, just make sure they’re cut to size before adding them to the mix.
- Wash your fruit thoroughly. I like to soak my produce in a 1:3 vinegar-to-water solution for 5-10 minutes, then rinse them thoroughly under cool water, drain them, and pat them dry.
- Don’t rush the cooling step.
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