Fruit and Oat Crumble Bars

Fruit and Oat Crumble Bars are a delicious, healthy snack for when that midday hunger that hits. They're also a great addition to your kids' school lunch boxes!

When I set out to create this recipe, I wanted to make fruit bars that were more on the soft, chewy side than crunchy and dry. I knew this would be a challenge, but I think I nailed it after a couple tries! The first go, with a slightly different recipe and cooking time, the crust came out too dry, BUT on the second try, with a few tweaks, I came up with this version. These Fruit and Oat Crumble Bars are so yummy and the perfect breakfast, lunch or snack. 

When I was pretty sure I perfected these bars, I tested them out on the kids and rejoiced as they dug into square after square of this treat. I have to say, these go down as one of our family's favorite recipes because they're healthy and packed with fiber and other nutrients, as well as being sweet but not loaded with sugar and the other junk you'll find in a store bought-equivalent. 

Fruit and Oat Crumble Bars were such a big hit, I guarantee you I'll be coaxed into making them every week by one of my kids (or my husband!). I love creating bar recipes because they're easy to make and great for on the go. If I don't make the Crumble Bars I'll probably making Protein Cereal BarsChocolate Chip Granola Bars or Fruit and Seed Bars to name a few. 

Give these a try and let me know what you think! I bet you'll be making them as much as I will be this winter. Tag me on social media so I can see your creations!

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Fruit and Oat Crumble Bars (Makes 18 Bars)

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 35 mins

egg free

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups apple butter or preserves

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place all the ingredients except the apple butter or preserves in a food processor.

3. Pulse until the ingredients are combined and oats and nuts are in small pieces.

4. Press all but 1 cup of the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 9 inch pan lined with parchment paper. 

5. Cover the oat mixture with apple butter or preserves.

6. Crumble the remaining 1 cup of oat mixture over the apple butter or preserves.

7. Bake for 30- 35 minutes.

8. Cool, use parchment paper to move bars to a cutting board and cut into bars.*

*For perfectly cut bars, refrigerate for an hour before cutting into squares. 

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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32 comments

  • Emily

    Hi there,

    Just curious if this recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of butter or 10? Love the website, love your recipes, just wanted to make sure I had all the ingredients correct before I tried this one.
    Thanks!!

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  • Andrea

    These look delicious! Do they freeze well?

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  • Annie Tunheim

    What perfect timing! I bought a load of apples yesterday and was just wondering what I was going to do with our bag of oats since my husband switched to steel-cut. I can't wait to make these tonight--thanks!

    leave a comment

  • Mara

    I made these the other day in my desperate attempt to find new and healthy snacks for my kids. It came out great and the kids love it (I didn't have wheat germ though, so I substituted with ground almonds). I ended up only using 1 1/2 C. of apple butter as 2 C. seemed like a lot, and IMHO, it is. Even the amount I used made the bars a little messier than they probably should be (especially if I'm going to send them to school with them). Next time I'll only use 1 C. I'm also going to try it with lemon curd. But the bars themselves came out moist and delicious. Great recipe!!

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  • Maureen

    Can you make it without the wheat germ and using gluten-free flour instead?

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    • Catherine

      I would use oat bran instead of the wheat germ, and use the gluten free flour :) I have not tested it with gluten free flour so let me know how it goes!

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  • Sara

    I don't have wheat germ or oat bran. Do you think it would work with flax meal?

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    • Catherine

      Flax meal has a totally different flavor so I am not sure how the flavors would turn out, I would either leave it out or just use 1 tbsp of flax meal.

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  • Tessa

    I made these today with whole wheat flour. Super yummy!! Thanks for the recipe.

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  • Catherine M

    Are steel cut oats are the same thing as whole oats? I have a lot of steel cut oats on hand and would like to substitute steel cut oats in place of whole oats.

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    • Kristen

      steel cut oats are not the same thing as regular oats. I imagine this recipe probably would not turn out right with steel cut

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    • Kalie

      Whoa, whoa, get out the way with that good inrtimaofon.

      leave a comment

  • Jen

    Instead of nuts, do you think toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds would grind up nicely and taste good? Son allergic to nuts:(

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    • Catherine

      i don't see why not! :) pepitas & sunflower seeds would be great!

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  • Penny

    Made these today with Pear butter. We didnt have wheat germ so I substituted 1 tbsp of ground flax seed. Also only used 8 tbsp butter and used whole oats because thats all I had. No nuts, didnt have any on hand. :( These turned out great! Love them! :)

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  • Lauren

    These look delicious. I'd like to make them for my 11 month old and am wondering: have you tried them with another sweetener, like maple syrup, so an infant can eat them? And, what about oil instead of butter (he's got a dairy sensitivity that he'll hopefully grow out of!). Or, I'll just wait to make them till all ingredients as listed are a 'go'!

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  • Shauna Schwartz

    I recently bought a vitamix- and I love it- do u know if these can be made with the vitamix instead of a food processor?

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  • Catherine

    I love my Vitamix! You can, just do it on a low setting to ensure you don't overwork the dough! :)

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  • Jennifer

    I wonder if coconut oil would work to replace a few Tbs of the butter? Then again, everything IS better with butter! HA!

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    • Kendra

      I do this all the time! I either add a bit of both butter & coconut oil, or I've also substituted full coconut oil for butter when I didn't have any butter in the house, and my baking recipes have turned out great!

      Gotta love coconut oil!

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  • Tiffany P

    How do you store these?

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  • Ruth

    Made these this weekend w/ strawberry preserves, Like another commenter, I only used 8 Tbsp butter. It seemed to turn out just fine, but it was a little crumbly and maybe a bit too messy to send in a lunchbox. But absolutely delicious warm with some homemade vanilla ice cream on top!!

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  • Barbara

    Would love to know if these can be freezed- thanks!

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    • Catherine McCord

      They can definitely be frozen! Freeze for about 20 minutes in a single layer and then transfer to a freezer bag or other freezer container for up to 4 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge, or thaw/reheat in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.

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  • Samana Gardezi

    What is whole oats? Is it the same as old fashioned oats? Please help

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  • Sandi

    I found these to be a bit bland, I filled them with the pumpkin butter from this site. I will definitely make them again, but next time I think I'll add some spice as well as a bit of vanilla and salt to the mixture. I used white whole wheat flour. I was making these at my sister's and didn't want to drag out her food processor so I mixed them up in a bowl with a fork and it worked just fine.

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  • Clara

    big hit with the family and I had been looking for a way to use cherry preserves I get from the store which is all just naturally sweetened with cherries and grape juice! I also mixed my first batch by hand so as to have less to clean and turned out great - perhaps even prefer to using ground oats. Super excited to experiment with spelt and millet flours too as well as the coconut oil the folks below r recommending!

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  • Karen

    Maybe replace half the butter with applesauce

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  • Sam Smith

    Whoa! 10 Tablespoons of butter? For a snack for kids? Any suggestions on a substitute?

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