These blueberry bars are soft, and chewy, and have a gorgeous crumb topping! They come together in minutes.
Our family loves crumbles. They are old-fashioned yet so fuss-free and hearty. And what’s best, they can be made with any fruit. Berry crumbles are what we like most in our family. These fruits are juicy and flavorful enough to create the perfect layer between the crumb base and topping.
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Why you’ll love these blueberry bars
This blueberry crumb bar recipe is my take on a classic blueberry crumb pie. Similar to my raspberry bars, It takes a few minutes to make and the bars last long enough to have them throughout the week. And because I make these bars so often, I like to keep them free of wheat flour and refined sugar.
- It’s vegan and gluten-free. I don’t use any dairy or gluten-derived ingredients for this recipe so that everyone in the family can enjoy this blueberry goodness.
- You don’t need any special equipment. You don’t even need a hand mixer for this recipe. A bowl and a whisk are all you need to mix all ingredients and whip up this delicious blueberry bar.
- It’s ready in 30 minutes. Layer the crumb batter, blueberry jam, and crumb topping. Bake for only 20 minutes and your fruity and sugar-free treat is ready. While I do recommend you wait for it to cool before you slice it, I won’t blame you if you dive right in while the crumb bar is still warm.
These berry crumb bars are made with all healthy ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need to make them.
- Oats. I use gluten-free rolled oats for this recipe.
- Peanut butter. Peanut butter is my favorite for this recipe. Feel free to use any nut butter of your choice. If you are allergic to nuts, use any seed butter you like.
If you don’t want to use peanut butter, try almond butter or tahini.
- Bananas. They replace eggs in this recipe and provide moisture and structure. Use ripe bananas if you want the bars to be sweeter.
Bananas act as a binder and also add some sweetness. If you’d prefer sweeter bars, add some maple syrup or sugar.
- Blueberry jam. I use sugar-free blueberry jam to avoid making these bars extra sweet and to keep them free of refined sugar. You can use any blueberry jam you like.
- Blueberries. Fresh blueberries help add a fruity freshness to the crumb bar and enhance the blueberry flavor.
For the crumb topping:
- Almond flour. I use blanched almond flour as it has a smoother and more delicate flavor. You can make it yourself following this recipe.
- Coconut flour. Aside from being high in fiber and protein, coconut flour also helps give the crumb topping a light cakelike texture. Just like almond flour, you can make coconut flour at home too.
- Sweetener. Use any granulated sweetener you like. I like using brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- Coconut oil. Melt the coconut oil in advance. You can also use butter.
- Maple syrup. Honey and agave nectar can also be used.
- Vanilla extract. Helps give the crumb topping a balanced flavor and depth.
How to make blueberry bars
This crumb bar recipe is inherently easy. Here is how you make it.
- Make the crumb batter. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl except for the blueberry jam and berries. Mix well. Pour the batter into an 8×8-inch pan lined with parchment paper and spread it out evenly.
- Add the jam and berries. Spread the blueberry jam over the first layer of the crumb bar followed by the fresh blueberries.
- Make the crumb topping. Mix the almond flour and coconut flour and add the wet ingredients. Whisk until a crumbly mixture remains. Pour the crumble topping over the blueberry layer.
- Bake. Bake the crumb bar in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the crumb topping is crispy and golden brown.
- Cool and slice. Allow the bars to cool completely before you slice them.
This crumb bar recipe is perfect as it is. But you can make some flavor twists to it to switch things up.
- Use raspberries. Swapping part of the blueberries with fresh raspberries will create a brighter mixed berry flavor (like we did in vegan baked oatmeal).
- Add lemon zest. Blueberries and lemons are a match made in heaven. Add some lemon zest over the blueberry topping to bring some citrusy freshness to the crumb bar and enhance its berry flavor.
- Use your favorite jam. While these crumb bars turn out super tasty when made with blueberry jam, any jam you like will work.
- Add cinnamon. It is a good idea to add some cinnamon to the crumb topping, especially when making the bar on colder days. The warm and woody flavor of cinnamon pairs surprisingly well with blueberries.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Avoid using instant oats to make this crumb bar. Due to their soft texture, quick or instant oats prevent you from achieving the needed chewy texture.
- Make sure to press the crumb batter really well into the pan to ensure a firm base for the bars once you cut them.
- If you can’t wait for the crumb bars to cool or will be enjoying them for dessert, serve them with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
To store. Place leftover crumb bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
To freeze. Wrap the bars with food wrap or parchment paper, put them in an airtight bag, and freeze them for up to 6 months. Bring the bars to room temperature before eating them. You can also warm them up in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
More blueberry desserts to try
Yes, you can use frozen blueberries for this recipe. Defrost and pat dry the blueberries before using them.
The blueberries don’t really sink in this crumb bar recipe as they go over the layer of blueberry jam. For other recipes where the blueberries do sink, toss them in cornstarch to prevent it from happening.
The main reason why the crumble top doesn’t get crispy is over-mixing it. Another thing that causes the topping to remain soft is mixing the flour with batter or oil that is too hot.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients, except for the blueberries and blueberry jam, and mix well.
- Make the crumb topping. In a small mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate small bowl, add your vanilla extract, coconut oil, and maple syrup and whisk together. Combine your wet and dry ingredients and mix very well, until small crumbles remain.
- Pour the blueberry crumb bar batter into the lined pan. Firstly, spread the blueberry jam over it, followed by the fresh blueberries. Finally, pour the crumble over the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the center and the crumb topping has become golden brown.
- Allow the blueberry bars to cool in the pan completely, before slicing them into 8 bars.
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