I’ve identified a new global force. It is the uncontrollable pull between these Caramel Apple Crisp Bars and my mouth.

Caramel Apple Crisp Bars. (I can't believe these are vegan!)

It’s as if these gooey, caramely, and apple-stuffed brown sugar bars know the secret melody to my heart. Every time I am within three feet of my kitchen (ahem, anytime I’m home and not dead asleep), they sing me a sweet siren love song, and I am left with no option but to sneak another bite. Their allure is unstoppable, and I have neither the will nor the desire to resist.

Caramel Apple Crisp Bars. Ooey gooey caramel apple bars with cinnamon streusel topping and crust. A healthy vegan recipe that tastes completely decadent! #apple #vegan

Gooey Caramel Apple Crisp Bars (Vegan!)

When Caramel Apple Crisp Bars are on the premises, my after-dinner scene goes something like this:

  • Gingerly lift the foil off the Caramel Apple Crisp Bars.
  • Cut off a small sliver and pop it into my mouth. This ensures the quality hasn’t slipped since my last check-in, 10 minutes prior.
  • Cut actual dessert serving and transfer it to a plate.
  • Trim away a few more slivers, until the edges of all remaining bars are at exact right angles. This level of precision requires four to five additional bites. I’m a perfectionist.

Caramel Apple Crisp Bars are just one of those desserts—the ones you can’t stay away from, spend your entire dinner dreaming about, and justify eating for breakfast. They are gooey and brown sugary and cinnamony and everything else that fall desserts can and should and must be.

Vegan Caramel Apple Crisp BarsThese Caramel Apple Crisp Bars are also vegan! No, no I’m not becoming vegan anytime soon—my attachment to dairy runs deep and true—but after nailing this Vegan Caramel Sauce, I thought I’d see if I could make a decent-tasting vegan dessert too. Ohhh. Myyyy. Worddddd. I had no idea that a vegan dessert could taste this decadent and—excuse the dietarily-inappropriate term—buttery. Dear soy margarine, I misjudged you. (Non-vegans, regular unsalted butter will work beautifully in this recipe too.)

To recap, we have 8×8-inches of: 1) a thick, buttery (sorry, I don’t know another word to describe the taste), brown sugary, oatmeal-crisp base, topped with, 2) maple caramel apple gooey goodness, followed by, 3) more cinnamony, crumby, crispy topping.

Caramel Apple Crisp Bars - Healthier vegan recipe made with whole wheat flour

Anyone else hear the singing? I think I better go check on the pan….

Caramel Apple Crisp Bars {Vegan}

Yield: 1 8x8-inch pan
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Just like caramel apple crisp, in portable bar form! A buttery, brown sugar oatmeal base, topped with maple caramel and fresh apples, finished off with even more brown sugar and oatmeal crumble topping. Made with whole wheat flour, these bars are a bit healthier, but no one will know your secret. (Use soy margarine, and the bars are 100% vegan too!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour — (plus 3 tablespoons) divided
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground all-spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 10 tablespoons soy margarine — (1/2 cup) plus 2 tablespoons such as Earth Balance, or regular unsalted butter
  • 2 cups peeled diced firm apples — such as Granny Smith (about 2 large or 3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup vegan caramel sauce — or your caramel sauce of choice

Instructions

  1. Place rack in center of your oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, 1 cup all purpose flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, all-spice, and nutmeg. Add the vegan margarine in small pieces, then quickly work it in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press 2/3 of the crumbs into prepared baking dish. Evenly arrange the sliced apples over top.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the caramel and remaining 3 tablespoons flour. Pour evenly over the top of the apples, then sprinkle with the remaining crumbs.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is lightly browned. Let the bars cool completely before cutting—or serve very messy, very delicious bars immediately.

Recipe Notes

Store leftover Caramel Apple Crisp Bars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Caramel Apple Crisp Bars {Vegan}, Healthy Vegan Dessert

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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