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Paleo Apple Pie Bars (Vegan)

Paleo Apple Pie Bars made with only 6 ingredients are a warmly-spiced inviting grain-free treat! Dairy-free, vegan and refined sugar-free, these super simple yet incredibly flavorful gluten-free apple pie bars feature a buttery shortbread crust, delectable crumb topping, and are the perfect fall dessert!

Paleo Apple Pie Bars made grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free and vegan! Only 6 ingredients and so easy to make!

For those of us who can’t be bothered to bake an actual pie but can totally swing an easy bar recipe…much obliged, you’re so very welcome, Apple Pie Bars are here to bring joy and peace to the household 😉

If there is one personality trait I will always openly admit to it is that I simply will not willingly bake complicated things.

Unless it’s my partner’s birthday and then I’m more than happy to bake a Paleo Triple Chocolate Cake or The BEST Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake once a year…and gloat about it for the remainder of the year.

Enter: Apple Pie Bars.

They are, without a doubt, the closest thing to apple pie you can get without being actual pie.

PLUS, they’re grain-free, paleo, refined sugar-free, dairy-free AND vegan! AND they only require 6 basic ingredients!

These healthy apple pie bars feature wholesome ingredients and boast the same flavors as the real deal. The way I see it, these apple bars are the perfect celebration of apple season and are also ideal for holiday entertaining. Toss on a caramel drizzle and now we’re talking major deliciousness!

Grain-Free Vegan Apple Pie Bars - grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free healthy pie bars that are egg-free

The concept of these healthy apple pie bars is identical to my Keto Strawberry Crumb Bars and my Paleo Blueberry Crumb Bars

We make a shortbread crust, stew up some apples with a generous amount of cinnamon, then top it off with a lovely crumble topping.

Simple, fresh, perfect for those entertaining guests with food allergies, all around good vibes.

One of my favorite parts about this recipe is that the crust and topping come from the exact same mixture, which means you only need to mix up one concoction for both parts instead of two! Glorious day!

All you need is a mixing bowl and a baking dish to make these gluten free apple pie bars – no fancy equipment or technical maneuvers needed. 

Vegan Paleo Apple Pie Bars made with only 6 ingredients! Grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free and delicious!

Let’s chat about the ingredients!

Ingredients for Paleo Apple Pie Bars:

Apples: The star of the pie bar! While granny smith apples are the typical apple used in baked apple treats, I’m a firm believer in using whichever apples you love to eat.

For this reason, I typically use sweet apples like gala apples, fuji apples, honeycrisp apples, or pink lady apples. Pick your poison 😉

If you use a sweeter apple, consider adding one tablespoon of lemon juice to the apple pie filling to give it some tang.

Pure Maple Syrup: Used to sweeten the crust, topping, and apple filling, pure maple syrup is our sweetener of choice.

The flavor brings even more fall feels to the recipe and yields the perfect texture and flavor.

Major win! If you want to go with a granulated sweetener like coconut sugar, you can do so easily in the filling but you may need to add more oil to the crust mixture if you use it in the crust too.

Pure Vanilla Extract: If you have it on hand, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the crust and topping mixture.

Cinnamon: That amazing ingredient that makes any recipe taste like fall is erupting in your mouth! I’m of the belief that apple recipes require a great deal of cinnamon, so I go fairly heavy handed with it.

If you’re like me and you love cinnamon, follow the recipe as is or even add some more! If you’re not big on cinnamon, dial it back!

Tapioca Flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour): Used to thicken the apple filling, we use tapioca flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour to give that iconic caramelized saucy texture to the apples.

While you can also use cornstarch or arrowroot flour (or arrowroot starch) as substitutes, flours like almond flour, coconut flour or cassava will not work for thickening the mixture.

Almond Flour: Used for both the shortbread crust and the crumb topping, almond flour makes for a sturdy and delicious crust and a chewy delightful topping. Plus, it has a lovely natural flavor which adds a unique essence to the bar.

I haven’t tested the bars with any other flour, but in my experience, cassava flour works great most of the time as a 1:1 replacement for almond flour.

If you try it using cassava and the dough seems too crumbly, simply add a small amount of additional coconut oil until a thick (non-sticky) dough comes together.

Tigernut flour may also work as a 1:1 replacement.

Coconut Oil: The fat we use in the crust and topping to bring it all together in delicious harmony.

Coconut oil is combined with the almond flour to make the simplest perfect pie crust that you’d never guess is grain-free and dairy-free.

If you do fine with dairy, feel free to replace the coconut oil with melted butter! For an even richer grain-free crust, you can add 2 tablespoons of almond butter to the crust mixture.

Sea Salt: Expert flavor enhancer! Sea salt is needed in the crust and the apple filling to bring out all the flavors to make the bars extra palatable and addicting!

Now that we’re experts on the topic, let’s make some bars!

Vegan Paleo Apple Pie Bars made grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free with only 6 ingredients

How to Make Paleo Apple Pie Bars:

Prepare the Apple Filling:

Add all of the ingredients for the apple filling except for the tapioca flour to a small saucepan.

Cover, heat over medium-high heat on the stove top, and bring mixture to a full boil.

Stir occasionally and allow mixture to cook at a gentle boil until the apples have leached out a great deal of liquid. 

Add the tapioca flour and continue cooking and stirring, until the mixture is very thick, about 15 to 20 minutes total. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

How to make caramelized apples

While the apple filling is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 8” x 8” cake pan with parchment paper.

Prepare the Crust: 

Stir together all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Keep stirring until a thick, moist, crumbly dough forms.

There is no need to separate the wet ingredients from the dry ingredients, as all of the crust ingredients can be mixed together easily in the same bowl.

Mix the crumb topping in a mixing bowl

Measure out ½ cup of the crust mixture and place it in a bowl to use as the topping. 

Press the rest of the crust mixture into the parchment-lined cake pan until you have an even layer of crust. Poke several times with a fork to ensure even baking. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and appears as though it has set up. 

Bake the crust until golden-brown

Remove the crust from the oven.

Make the Bars:

Spread the apple filling mixture over the crust in an even layer. 

Layer the cooked apples on top of the crust

Sprinkle the reserved topping mixture over the apple layer. 

Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the apple pie bars

Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crumb bar topping is golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow crumb bars to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note: I chill the bars in the refrigerator to allow them to cool completely before slicing.

Bake until golden-brown

Serve the bars with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce for the most decadent dessert! You can make my Dairy-Free Vanilla Ice Cream or my Paleo Salted Caramel

Store leftovers in an airtight container or a zip lock bag in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can freeze gluten free apple pie bars in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

The way I see it, these bars are a fabulous alternative for folks who are like me and don’t love baking pies, and for those who are looking for a gluten free or grain free dairy free version to share with people who have food allergies.

Paleo Apple Crumb Bars made with almond flour. 6 ingredients, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and healthy

More Healthy Apple Treats:

Vegan and Paleo Apple Crumb Bars made with almond flour and pure maple syrup. Grain-free, egg-free, dairy-free.
Apple Crumb Bars - paleo, vegan, grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free

Apple Pie Bars encouraging time efficiency since circa 2021 😉

Sheet of parchment paper with gluten-free apple pie bars cut into slices. A fresh apple to the side.
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4.38 from 32 votes

Paleo Apple Pie Bars (Vegan)

A warmly-spiced paleo vegan apple pie bar recipe made grain-free and dairy-free! Easier to prepare than a full apple pie, and so delicious!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Brownies & Bars, Desserts & Treats
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9 Bars
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

Apple Filling:

Shortbread Crust and Topping:

Instructions

Prepare the Apple Filling:

  • Add all of the ingredients for the apple filling except for the tapioca flour to a small saucepan. Cover, heat over medium-high heat on the stove top, and bring mixture to a full boil. Stir occasionally and allow mixture to cook at a gentle boil until the apples have leached out a great deal of liquid. 
  • Add the tapioca flour and continue cooking and stirring, until the mixture is very thick, about 15 to 20 minutes total. Remove from heat and set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
  • While the apple filling is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 8” x 8” cake pan with parchment paper.

Prepare the Crust:

  • Stir together all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Keep stirring until a thick, moist, crumbly dough forms.
  • Measure out ½ cup of the crust mixture and place it in a bowl to use as the topping. 
  • Press the rest of the crust mixture into the parchment-lined cake pan until you have an even layer of crust. Poke several times with a fork to ensure even baking. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and appears as though it has set up. 
  • Remove the crust from the oven.

Make the Bars:

  • Spread the apple filling mixture over the crust in an even layer. Sprinkle the reserved topping mixture over the apple layer. 
  • Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crumb bar topping is golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow crumb bars to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Video

Notes

*Use cassava flour as a 1:1 replacement for almond flour for a nut-free version. The dough should be thick and hold together nicely and not be sticky. If you use cassava flour and the dough is crumbly, add a small amount of coconut oil until it presses together easily.
**Use melted butter instead of coconut oil if you do dairy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 9 | Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 25g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 17g

Paleo Vegan Apple Pie Bars - egg-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, incredibly delicious healthier dessert recipe!

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Recipe Rating




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Kari

Wednesday 20th of September 2023

Hi! This sounds yummy! Can I used almond or coconut flour instead of tapioca flour? Thanks, Kari

Julia

Sunday 24th of September 2023

Hi Kari! The tapioca flour is an important ingredient because it helps to thicken the apples without adding any sort of grainy texture. You can replace it with cornstarch or arrowroot flour, but coconut flour or almond flour would give the apples some graininess. Hope this helps!! :) xo

Keri

Sunday 30th of April 2023

Hi ! This is such a great, versatile recipe. I prepared it with apples, then made blueberry and strawberry batches. Love. Is there a way to add egg (not vegan) without foregoing half of those wonderful 6 tbsp of coconut oil ?

Julia

Tuesday 2nd of May 2023

Hi Keri! I'm so happy you enjoy the recipe and have tried it using other fruit! Regarding the egg - what a great question! I would have to try it myself to know how it would turn out. If I were to test it, I would use 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. If the mixture seemed too dry, I would add another 1-2 tbsp of oil. Let me know how it turns out for ya! xo

Heidi Hernandez

Thursday 10th of November 2022

Do you have an substitute recommendations for the oil if you are baking oil free?

Mrs. Plant

Thursday 17th of November 2022

@Heidi Hernandez, How about aquafaba?

Julia

Thursday 10th of November 2022

Hi Heidi! I don't have a whole lot of experience swapping out oil in recipes like this, but I would try using full-fat canned coconut milk as the next best replacement. If you do butter or ghee, either one will work too. You want to be sure there is plenty of fat and moisture in the crust to make it taste rich and delicious. ;)

Krysten

Wednesday 9th of November 2022

Can I use oat flour instead of almond flour?

Julia

Thursday 10th of November 2022

Hi Krysten,

I haven't tested the recipe using oat flour, but I suspect it will work great. The only concern would be making sure the liquid to dry ratio is correct, so you may need to add a couple tablespoons of additional coconut oil. Let me know how they turn out! xo

LGA

Thursday 7th of October 2021

This looks so delicious. I'm doing AIP Diet, could the almond flour be subbed for Cassava or Coconut flour?

Megan

Saturday 19th of March 2022

@Julia, could I use a gluten free 1:1 all purpose flour in place of the almond flour!?

Julia

Thursday 7th of October 2021

Hi there!

I haven't tested the recipe using any flour besides almond flour but in my experience, Cassava flour can typically be used as a 1:1 replacement in most recipes :) If you used coconut flour, the whole recipe would need to change as it absorbs 4 times more liquid than all other flours. Let me know if you make them with cassava! xoxox

AF100

Thursday 7th of October 2021

@LGA, Agreed. So many recipes use almond flour which I can't have. Would love to see an alternate ingredient :)

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