It's blueberry season and that means it's time to make one of my favorite desserts- Vegan Blueberry Almond Crumble Bars! These shortbread bars start with a buttery almond cookie layer topped with jammy blueberry compote and finished with a sweet and crunchy almond topping.
The ingredients for these blueberry almond oat bars are split into two parts, the almond shortbread crust and the blueberry filling!
- Coconut oil: I prefer unrefined coconut oil for this recipe but melted vegan butter or refined coconut oil also work
- Flax egg: Can also be replaced with a chia egg (1 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water).
- Arrowroot powder: Can be subbed 1:1 with cornstarch.
- Frozen blueberries: Can be subbed 1:1 for fresh blueberries.
Steps to make vegan blueberry bars
The first bar recipe I ever made for SGTO was my fave Vegan Apricot Bars. These blueberry squares are very loosely based on that recipe with three pretty distinct steps.
Step 1: make the vegan shortbread crust
I like to pat the shortbread dough down with my hands as I find it easier to make sure it fills up the whole 8* 8-inch pan.
It's really important to use parchment paper here. It helps when removing the bars from the pan and helps the dough cook evenly since it's in the oven for a decent amount of time.
One trick I love to share is to use metal binder clips to pin down the parchment paper. You can see how I used it in the images above, but it helps if you want those perfect bars.
Step 2: make the blueberry filling
When you are making the blueberry filling the first trick is to make sure to mix the arrowroot with the water and lemon juice until it is COMPLETELY dissolved. Then, mix it with the blueberries and sugar and turn on the heat. Mixing the arrowroot powder with the liquid ingredients helps it from clumping up too much.
It really doesn't take long for the blueberry filling to cook and thicken.
As soon as it starts to simmer, it will start to thicken and can be removed from the heat about 1 minute later. Don't keep cooking it as it will keep cooking in the oven!
Step 3: assemble the blueberry crumb bars
Once the crust is par-baked (partially baked) and the blueberry filling has thickened, pour the filling into the 8* 8-inch pan on top of the crust. Then, top with the remainder of the shortbread dough that gets mixed with slivered almonds.
Slivered almonds really do work best for this recipe. However, you can also use whole almonds and just crush them!
Pro Tip: make sure to let the oatmeal blueberry squares cool COMPLETELY before cutting them.
This allows the bubbly blueberry filling and crust enough time to firm up. If cut too soon, the blueberry bars may fall apart as they are soft when hot out of the oven.
These blueberry shortbread bars can easily be sliced into 9 perfect squares or even into 8 longer and thinner blueberry slices!
Blueberry bar FAQ:
Yes! However, it is a 1:1 substitution for volume but NOT for grams. Gluten-free Flour blends weigh different than all-purpose flour so please do not use the same amount in grams and instead replace with 1 ¼ cup flour.
Yes! I prefer frozen blueberries for this recipe as I find it makes the filling a little "juicier". However, fresh also works.
P.S- it's also really easy to make your own frozen blueberries. Just wash them, freeze them in a bag, and use them in this recipe.
Yes! I really prefer using a mix of brown sugar and white sugar for these bars. However, I totally understand that sometimes you may want to make them a bit healthier.
I recommend either maple sugar (NOT syrup) or coconut sugar aka any granulated sugar works. Maple sugar is probably my favorite sugar substitute, but it can be a little sweet so sometimes I even do a mix of both maple and coconut in recipes.
Yes! I prefer arrowroot with this recipe as I find it holds up much better when used with acidic ingredients like lemon juice and leaves the filling glossy and clear.
However, you can also use cornstarch. If using cornstarch I'd recommend using around 1 ½ Tbsp in place of 1 Tbsp arrowroot.
These blueberry bars store best in the fridge up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Just make sure to store in a closed container between layers of parchment paper so they don't stick together.
You all have been asking for more vegan AND gluten-free desserts and I know these Vegan Blueberry Almond Crumble Bars will be an instant hit! They truly make the best vegan blueberry dessert to enjoy for a sweet treat, snack, or even as a breakfast bar. Enjoy!
More fruit-filled vegan dessert recipes you will love:
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Vegan Gluten-Free Blueberry Almond Crumble Bars
Crumble Crust and Topping:
- ½ cup coconut oil melted
- 1 flax egg 1 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 Tbsp water
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract paste or 2 tsp almond extract
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 ¼ cup Gluten-Free 1:1 baking flour can be subbed 1:1 for all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sliced almonds for topping only
- 1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice fresh
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Start by making the crumble crust and topping. Add the melted coconut oil, flax egg, brown sugar, cane sugar, and almond extract to a bowl and mix together. Then add in the oats and mix to coat in the wet ingredients. Finally, add in the gluten-free flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir together until a thick somewhat crumbly dough forms.
- Line an 8*8 pan with parchment paper and press ¾ of the dough into the bottom of the pan. Then, add the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Add the ¼ cup of slivered almonds to the remaining ¼ of dough for the topping and set aside.
- While the crust is baking, make the blueberry filling. First add the arrowroot powder, water, and lemon juice to a small sauce pan and mix together to dissolve the arrowroot powder into a slurry. Then, add in the blueberries and sugar and mix together. Turn on the heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, the filling should thicken quite a bit- this takes about 5 minutes and it is best to stir frequently while it is cooking. Once you see it thickening, immediately remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Remove the pan from the oven and top with the blueberry filling. Use a spatula to evenly spread the filling out over the crust.
- Next, add the remaining ¼ of dough with the almonds on top of the blueberry filling. Then, add the pan back to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the crust is cooked and just beginning to brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing. To make slicing easier, lift the parchment paper up to easily remove the crumble bars. Then, slice into 9 even squares and serve!
- Blueberry bars store best in a closed container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
- Arrowroot can be subbed for 1 ½ Tbsp cornstarch, but the filling will not be as clear.
- Sugar can be replaced 1:1 with any granulated sugar such as coconut or maple sugar