These vegan raspberry oatmeal bars combine a gluten-free oat and almond base and streusel ‘crumble’ topping, filled with layers of flavorful raspberry chia ‘jam’ and creamy custard. The recipe is 100% dairy-free, egg-free, oil/butter-free, and can be made refined sugar-free!
Gluten-Free Raspberry Crumble Bars with Custard
I already loved strawberry oatmeal crumble bars (and basically anything streusel-topped – like these apple muffins and cinnamon coffee cake), but I’m even more obsessed with these raspberry oatmeal bars! By adding an additional custard layer to the fruity, sweet, chewy raspberry bars, this sweet treat becomes truly indulgent.
Even better, these vegan raspberry oat bars are made with primarily pantry staples, and you can use fresh or frozen raspberries or swap them for other berries and fruits – to enjoy year-round!
They are still healthy enough to enjoy as a breakfast, snack, or dessert- perfect with a cup of tea/coffee or at potlucks and picnics!
Plus, since the dough doubles up as both the base and streusel topping, that’s fewer steps and washing up – win! With less than 30 minutes of hands-on prep time, simple ingredients, and instructions, these raspberry squares are fuss-free. And, if these crumble bars have you craving other sweet bars – why not check out my recipes for lemon cheesecake bars, chocolate streusel bars, or vegan pumpkin chocolate bars!
The Ingredients for Raspberry Oat Bars
The Dough/ Streusel:
- Rolled oats: Use gluten-free certified oats if necessary. You’ll need whole oats and oat flour.
- Almond flour: I recommend store-bought blanched almond flour. Alternatively, you could use other ground nuts OR seeds (like hazelnuts/sunflower seeds). Unsweetened shredded coconut would also work but don’t use coconut flour.
- Mashed banana: This helps to function as a binder in place of egg. Alternatively, use applesauce. For a flaky, buttery soft crust, use 40 g banana (or applesauce) and 40 g vegan butter (or margarine).
- Liquid sweetener: Like maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, etc. Use a sugar-free syrup if preferred.
- Coconut milk: Use canned coconut milk or another dairy-free cream.
- Baking powder: This will impact the rise and texture of the crust/streusel.
- Raspberries: Use fresh or frozen raspberries (or other berries) for these raspberry squares.
- Granulated sugar: Use your sugar of choice; coconut sugar, brown sugar (make sure it’s vegan), regular sugar, or even a sugar-free alternative like Erythritol.
- Citrus juice: Use lemon or lime juice to balance the raspberry ‘jam’ filling.
- Chia seeds: This will thicken the fruit into a ‘jam’ and add texture.
- Starch: A starch is also required to thicken the raspberry layer, cornstarch or tapioca starch work well. Arrowroot and rice starch may also work.
- Coconut milk: Use full-fat canned coconut milk for the best (and creamiest) vegan custard. Alternatively, you could use soy cream. I don’t recommend using oat milk/ cream, though, as the amylase in it will prevent it from thickening properly.
- Cornstarch: To help thicken the dairy-free, egg-free custard.
- Turmeric: Helps to provide a classic yellow tinge to the custard, as it is naturally white/cream otherwise.
- Granulated sugar: Same notes as the other granulated sugar in this raspberry bar’s recipe.
- Vanilla extract: Use natural pure vanilla for the best flavor.
Optional add-ins and recipe variations:
- Salt: Optionally add a pinch of salt to the crust to help enhance the flavors.
- Chocolate chips: These raspberry crumb bars are wonderfully sweet and delicious. However, feel free to sprinkle the bars with some dairy-free chocolate chips before baking for ultimate decadence.
- Custard layer: If you want to enjoy these gluten-free raspberry oatmeal bars without the custard layer, simply omit it.
- Add a glaze: Combine ¼ cup powdered sugar (or Erythritol) with just enough dairy-free milk (and optionally a few drops of vanilla or almond extract) to drizzle over the bars.
- Other fruits: This vegan raspberry bars recipe method works well for other fruits too. For example, other berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, etc.). Rhubarb would also work well, and potentially apples (using the apple layer used for this caramel apple cheesecake).
- ‘Cheat’ fruity filling: Substitute the homemade filling for your favorite fruit jam (like raspberry jam/raspberry preserves).
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
Step 1: Prepare the almond oatmeal dough/streusel
- First, preheat the oven to 360F/180C and line a baking pan with parchment paper. A 7×11-inch (18x28cm) pan or 8x 8-inch (20x20cm) square pan would work best.
- Then, combine all the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl, either using your hands or a hand mixer.
- Next, press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing it into an even layer. Reserve the rest for the streusel topping.
Step 2: Prepare the raspberry layer
- Add all the raspberry ‘jam’ layer ingredients to a saucepan and stir well (without heat). Then turn on the heat, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Cook over low heat for three minutes, stirring frequently.
- Then pour the filling over the crust and set aside.
Step 3: Prepare the custard layer
- Add all the custard ingredients to a saucepan and whisk well (without heat) until it’s lump-free.
- Then, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring/whisking constantly. Once boiling, allow the custard to simmer for 30-60 seconds, stirring frequently, until thickened. Then remove from the heat.
- Immediately pour the custard over the raspberry layer and spread/smooth out the layer with a spatula.
Step 4: Top with the streusel and bake
- Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the raspberry oat bars. Then bake in the preheated oven for between 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crispy.
- Once baked, allow the raspberry oatmeal bars to cool completely, before slicing- then enjoy!
Either enjoy the bars without toppings, or serve with a scoop of ice cream or some yogurt.
How to Store?
Store: Store any leftover raspberry crumb bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. During this time, the crumble topping/base will go from quite crisp to softer and chewy.
Freeze: Allow the raspberry bars to cool before transferring to an airtight container (with space in between to avoid sticking). Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow a bar to thaw in the fridge or on the counter before enjoying.
Recipe Notes and FAQs
- To omit the chia seeds: Increase the amount of starch by one teaspoon to thicken the raspberry filling (so the crumble bars are easily sliceable).
- When using other fruits: If you use harder fruits (that aren’t as juicy), you may require more liquid to get the soft, jammy consistency.
- Ensure you allow the raspberry oat bars to cool: The raspberry filling and custard will thicken up and become easily sliceable during the cooling time. Try to cut it too soon, and you’ll be dealing with a runny mess.
More Fruity Vegan Desserts
- Blueberry And Custard Puff Pastry Danish
- Blueberry Galette
- Apple Crisp Without Oats
- Blueberry Cream Pie
- Pineapple Bread
- Kiwi Avocado Cheesecake
- Creamy Mango Tart
If you try this vegan, gluten-free raspberry oatmeal bars recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan – I love seeing them.
Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
Dough and Streusel:
Dough and Streusel:
- You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.Preheat the oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and line a pan with parchment paper. You can use a 7 x 11 pan (18 x 28 cm) or 8 x 8 pan.
- Mix all ingredients for the dough in a bowl by either using a hand mixer or your hands.
- Press 2/3 of the dough evenly into the prepared pan, reserve the rest for later.
- Add all ingredients for the raspberry layer to a saucepan, stir thoroughly (without heat!), then turn on the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour the raspberry filling over the crust and set aside.
- Add all custard ingredients to a saucepan and whisk well (without heat!) until there are no lumps.
- Bring the mixture to a bowl, stirring constantly with a whisk or spatula.
- Let the custard simmer for about 30-60 seconds, stirring frequently, then turn off the heat.
- Immediately, pour the custard over the raspberry layer and spread it carefully with a spatula.
- Crumble the remaining 1/3 dough on top.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes and allow to cool at room temperature. Let the cake firm up in the refrigerator, before slicing. Enjoy!
- Banana: Use banana or applesauce for a low-fat version. If you prefer a flaky/buttery soft crust, I would recommend using 40 grams banana (or applesauce) and 40 grams vegan butter (margarine).
- Almond flour: You can use any ground nuts/seeds of choice (e.g. hazelnuts, shredded unsweetened coconut) instead of almond flour.
- Coconut milk: You could use soy cream instead of canned coconut milk. Please do NOT add oat milk or oat cream for the custard layer, as this will prevent the custard to thicken due to an enzyme called amylase.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically