These strawberry oatmeal bars are a delicious combination of fresh and fruity with a decadent yet wholesome, naturally gluten-free oat-based crust and crumb topping. Best of all, this strawberry crumble cake is dairy-free, low-fat, can be made oil and butter-free, and uses unrefined sugars only!
Healthy & Vegan Strawberry Crumble Cake
Strawberry oatmeal bars are decadent enough to be served as a dessert while remaining fresh and healthy enough to enjoy as a grab n’ go breakfast – that’s enough to consider me hooked. Combine that with the fact that this recipe ditches all the fat, dairy, and regular flour found in most strawberry crumb bars (including the ones my mother made for me as a child that I loved!) – I’m obsessed!
They’re now a usual in my breakfast rotation alongside gluten-free carrot cake bars, chocolate granola bars, and vegan coffee cake (with a streusel topping!) – because who says you can’t have cake for breakfast?!
These healthy strawberry oatmeal bars combine oats and almonds to create a naturally gluten-free cookie-style dough as a crust and crumb topping, filled with a fresh strawberry, chia, and maple syrup-based filling. Not only are these bars perfect for enjoying during strawberry season, but you can also use frozen strawberries any other time of the year! The result is a treat that is soft, tender, chewy, fruity, and delicious!
Plus, all you need is just ten ingredients and 20 minutes to prepare this healthy strawberry crumble cake – no food processor/blender needed! Just one bowl, one pan, and a baking tray!
Best of all, this recipe is also ridiculously versatile. You can easily use different fruits based on what’s in season (and in your kitchen), substitute the flours, starch, chia, binding ingredient, etc. – this truly is a pantry-friendly vegan strawberry dessert/ breakfast!
The Ingredients and Substitutions
For the dough:
- Oats: I use a combination of oats and oat flour (ground oats) for this recipe. Make sure to use certified gluten-free oats if necessary.
- Almond flour: You can buy this or make it at home by grinding blanched almonds into a fine floury consistency. Substitute this with any ground nut/seed of your choice (e.g., hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.) You could even use unsweetened shredded coconut instead.
- Banana: Use an overripe banana or applesauce. For a flakier/buttery crust, you could use a combination of 40 g banana/applesauce and 40 g vegan butter (or margarine). 2 flax/chia eggs should also work.
- Maple Syrup: Or another liquid sweetener.
- Coconut Milk: I use canned coconut milk as it’s thick and creamy. Alternatively, you could use oat cream or soy cream. If you use dairy-free milk, you’d need to add 2-3 tablespoons of oil to make up for the fat and moisture.
- Baking Powder: This will help leaven and provide a little lift to the oatmeal bars crust.
For the strawberry filling:
- Strawberries: Find the ripest, juiciest strawberries that you can. I love to buy strawberries in season and store them in the freezer. Fresh or frozen strawberries will work.
- Maple syrup: Or the liquid sweetener of your choice, i.e., agave or a sugar-free option.
- Citrus: You can use lemon or lime juice based on what you have.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds will thicken and help make a jam-like consistency with the strawberries (as well as add protein!). You could alternatively use flaxseed.
- Starch: Potato starch or cornstarch will work for this recipe and is needed to help thicken the strawberry filling. Arrowroot or rice starch may also work.
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, please read the recipe card below.
How To Make Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
Step 1: Prepare the strawberry filling
- First, clean and dice the strawberries.
- Then, add all the ingredients for the strawberry filling to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow it to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once ready, set it aside for a few minutes to cool while you prepare the crust.
Step 2: Prepare the almond oatmeal crust
- If you’re using a banana, first mash that well.
- Then, combine all the dough ingredients in a bowl and mix well either with a hand mixer or spoon.
If the dough looks pretty crumbly still, add a little additional vegan butter or banana; if it seems a little too ‘wet,’ then add a little extra oat flour (just 1 tsp at a time).
Step 3: Assemble the strawberry crumble cake
- Use 2/3 of the crust dough to press into a greased baking dish and smooth down with the back of a spoon or something similar. I used one that’s 7×11-inches (18x28cm) – a 9×9-inch square dish would also work.
You can measure the amount by weighing the dough if you want accuracy. However, I usually just do this by-eye, shaping all the dough into a ball and pulling away around 1/3.
- Pour the strawberry filling over the crust and smooth it out with a spoon.
- Finally, crumble the remaining 1/3 of the crust dough over the strawberry filling to create the strawberry crumble topping.
Step 4: Bake the strawberry crumble cake
- Bake the strawberry streusel bars in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 360F/180C until golden brown on top.
- Once baked, allow it to cool (the strawberry filling will thicken up as it cools). Then slice the strawberry oatmeal bars and enjoy immediately or save for later.
Enjoy a bar alone as a breakfast, snack, or dessert. You could also serve them warm or cold with a bit of cashew or coconut whipped cream, some vegan yogurt, or even a scoop of ice cream.
How to Store?
Store: The leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Allow the strawberry oat bars to cool completely before transferring the bars to an airtight container and freezing for up to three months. To avoid the bars sticking together as one, you can freeze them laid out on a tray with space in-between, then transfer them to a container/bag once solid.
Reheat: Reheat the strawberry breakfast bars individually in the microwave for 30-40 seconds until warmed through.
Recipe Notes & FAQs
- Omit the chia seeds: If you have no chia seeds, you can omit them and increase the starch by around 1 tsp to thicken the strawberry filling.
- Using other fruits: If you don’t have enough strawberries, you can combine or substitute them with other fruits like raspberries, blueberries, cherries, apples, etc.
- Can you use coconut flour instead of almond flour? Unfortunately not as coconut flour absorbs so much moisture and so it will dry out the strawberry bars.
- Make a glaze: To serve the strawberry crumb cake bars as dessert, you could make a quick glaze with powdered sugar (or Erythritol) with a little dairy-free milk and optionally some vanilla extract.
Other Healthy Strawberry Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe for strawberry crumble cake/bars, you might also enjoy these other vegan strawberry recipes.
- Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake
- Simple Strawberry Mousse
- Strawberry Compote Or Sauce
- Strawberry Sheet Cake With Pudding
- Strawberry Coconut Cheesecake Bars
Other Oatmeal Desserts and Breakfast
- Vegan Baked Banana Oatmeal
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
- Vegan Apple Muffins With Streusel
- Homemade Nut-Free Granola
- Breakfast Granola Cups
- Oat Breakfast Bars With Chocolate
If you try this strawberry 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 and #elavegan – I love seeing them.
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
- I recommend using a kitchen scale for this recipe and measuring the ingredients in grams. The recipe has a video for visual instructions.Preheat the oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
- Put the ingredients for the strawberry filling in a saucepan, bring to a boil, let it simmer for 5-10 minutes, and stir occasionally.
- Mix all ingredients for the dough in a bowl by either using your hands or a hand mixer.
- Press 2/3 of the dough evenly into a greased or lined baking dish. My pan measures 7 x 11 inches (18 x 28 cm).
- Pour the strawberry filling over the crust.
- Crumble the remaining 1/3 dough on top.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. 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 oat cream or soy cream instead of canned coconut milk.
- The recipe serves 10. Nutrition facts are for one serving.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically