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! Here's a quick breakdown with some product links to what I used in this recipe.
Almond Shortbread Crust:
- Coconut oil, melted (I prefer unrefined coconut oil for this recipe but melted vegan butter or refined coconut oil also work)
- 1 flax egg ( 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal mixed with 3 Tbsp water, can also be replaced with 1 Tbsp chia seed and water or any vegan egg replacement)
- Organic brown & white sugar
- Almond extract paste
- Gluten-free rolled oats
- Gluten-Free 1:1 All purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- Baking powder
- Slivered/sliced almonds (for the topping only!)
- Frozen blueberries (can be subbed 1:1 for fresh blueberries!)
- Organic white sugar
- Arrowroot powder (serves as the thickener!)
- Lemon juice
Tips to make vegan blueberry bars
The first bar recipe I ever made for SGTO was my fave Vegan Apricot Crumble Bars. This recipe is very loosely based on that recipe, but has three pretty distinct steps.
Step 1: Make & Cook the 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 t is COMPLETELY dissolved before adding the blueberries and sugar and turning on the heat. Otherwise, it may clump up and honestly you don't want that!
- 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: Putting it all together
- Now that the crust is par-baked (partly baked) and the filling is 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!
One last thing I want to note is to make sure to let the oatmeal blueberry squares to cool COMPLETELY before cutting them.
This allows the bubbly blueberry filling and crust enough time to firm up. If cut too soon, the bars may fall apart as they will be soft right out the oven. These bars can easily be sliced into 9 perfect squares or even into 8 longer and thinner blueberry slices!
Blueberry Bar FAQ:
Does all purpose flour work in this recipe?
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.
Can I use fresh vs. frozen blueberries?
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.
Can I make these bars refined sugar-free too?
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.
Is there a substitute for arrowroot powder in the blueberry filling?
Yep! 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.
Also please remember it's REALLY important to mix the arrowroot with the lemon juice and water before adding it to the pan as it needs to be completely dissolved before you heat it.
How do I store leftovers?
These blueberry bars store best in the fridge up to 3-4 days or in the freezer 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 make for an easy blueberry breakfast bar and are the perfect recipe to use up any frozen fruit. Enjoy!
Looking for more fruit-filled vegan recipes? Check out these SGTO favorites!
Crumble Crust and Topping:
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted (100 g)
- 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 Tbsp water)
- ¼ cup brown sugar (32 g, packed)
- ¼ cup cane sugar (54 g)
- 1 tsp almond extract paste ( or 2 tsp almond extract)
- ½ cup rolled oats (46 g)
- 1 ¼ cup Gluten-Free 1:1 baking flour (can be subbed 1:1 for all-purpose flour)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup slivered almonds (for topping only)
- 1.5 cups Stahlbush Frozen Blueberries (188 g)
- 3 Tbsp sugar (45 g)
- 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder (10 g)
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp 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 the fridge up to 3-4 days or in the freezer 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
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 278Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 168mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 4g
ShortGirlTallOrder occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although shortgirltallorder.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.