These vegan Strawberry Oat Crumb Bars are made with an oat shortbread-style crust & crumble topping, and filled with ripe, juicy strawberries. Drizzle with silky vanilla glaze to make them extra special!
Baking egg-free and dairy-free can be easy and the results just as delicious as those containing butter and eggs. These strawberry crumble bars are no exception. Their bottom layer is a bit like buttery shortbread with oats in it – so good! The crumb topping is a mix of tender, soft pieces mixed with crisp, toasty oats. Just a touch of cinnamon and almond extract along with vanilla add a warm, subtle flavor. Or in other words, the perfect compliment for the fruit filling!
How to Make Vegan Strawberry Oat Bars
1) Make your Crust & Crumb Topping
The base of the bars is also the crumble topping so that simplifies things! Mix it up, put the mixture (reserving 1 cup for the topping) into a parchment lined 8 x 8 pan and press until firm.
The crumble base for this recipe is pretty dry like shortbread dough is. While mixing it in a food processor would be easier, it’ll also break down your oats which give the bars such a nice texture both on the bottom as well as in the crumb topping. You can work the coconut oil or vegan butter in with a pastry cutter or a couple of forks, but I find it faster to just do it with my hands.
2) Make the Strawberry Filling
Mix together the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. The filling is perfectly sweet enough this way – I find jam a bit too sweet in these squares. And there’s no need to cook the strawberries on the stove first, just pile them onto the crust to bake in the oven. If you think about how good the berries are in, say, a galette where fresh fruit is used, the same works in fruit squares!
3) Bake then Cool Completely…and Drizzle with Vanilla Glaze (Optional)
Let the bars cool before slicing them. This is important for two reasons: 1) molten hot strawberries are no fun to eat (first hand experience here), and 2) the bars are way easier to cut and serve once they’ve cooled and set up properly. If you can’t resist and must have them while they’re warm, enjoy but be warned it’s gunna be messy. Under a scoop of plant-based ice cream though, it won’t matter 😉
Tips for Perfect Vegan Strawberry Bars
Use ripe strawberries. We’ve all had those giant strawberries that are white on the inside that have virtually no flavor, right? We don’t want those for these bars – quality in, quality out as the old saying goes. Don’t have fresh ripe strawberries? Frozen berries work well in this recipe, too – just add a few minutes to the baking time. No need to thaw them, either, before using them. Just keep any eye on them until you can see some bubbling in the center of the pan and the top is golden.
Line the pan with parchment paper. Doing so makes removing the bars from the pan easy once they have cooled. The sides of the parchment act like handles that you can pull up, lifting the bars out easily before cutting them.
Cool completely before slicing. They will be crumbly and fall apart if you don’t wait. The cornstarch and strawberry juices in the filling needs time to set up.
How to Serve Vegan Strawberry Oat Squares
The recipe for this easy vegan dessert includes an optional vanilla glaze. It’s just enough to dress the bars up without making them too sweet. They are delicious with and without it! Other ideas for toppings if you forgo the glaze:
- Plant-based ice cream – vanilla is a classic that goes with everything. Chocolate or caramel also go really well with strawberries!
- Whipped coconut cream
- Store-bought vegan whip
- Vegan yogurt – this makes it breakfast, right? 😉
More Vegan Summer Berry Recipes:
- Strawberry Galette with Chocolate Hazelnut Cream
- Blueberry Ginger Galette
- Berry Lemon Thyme Spritzer
- Roasted Strawberry Muffins
If you make these Vegan Strawberry Oat Crumb Bars, please give it a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!
Vegan Strawberry Oat Crumb Bars
For the Base and Crumb Topping:
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup refined* coconut oil or vegan butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
For the Strawberry Filling:
- 4 cups ripe strawberries**, hulled and evenly chopped or sliced
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Glaze (optional, but recommended):
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1-2 tbsp plant-based milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8"x 8" baking pan with parchment paper (leave enough on the sides to lift the bars out once baked and cooled.)
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add in the coconut oil (or vegan butter) – work it in with a pastry cutter, pair of forks or your hands. Drizzle in the vanilla and almond extracts, and a tablespoon of milk. Mix well. The mixture will be crumbly. Once the mixture holds together a bit when you squeeze a handful, it's ready. Otherwise, mix in another tablespoon of milk.
- Dump the mixture into the prepared baking pan, reserving one cup for the topping. Press the mixture evenly into the baking pan. Flour your hands (or the back of a dry measuring cup) if the mixture is sticking.
- Combine the strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla in a medium bowl. Toss until the strawberries are coated. Spread the strawberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining 1 cup of oat topping over the berry mixture.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crumb topping is golden and the berries are a bit bubbly. Let the bars cool completely so they set up before cutting. Once cool, remove the bars from the pan by lifting up on the parchment paper. Cut into squares and enjoy! Store remaining squares in an airtight container for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to a week.
- If glazing, combine the confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk in a small bowl. Add in the vanilla once the glaze is smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add in more milk a teaspoon at a time. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars.
The Nutrition Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the Nutrition Information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.
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Monday 20th of July 2020
Sooo delicious. I did reduce the sugar content but followed the rest of the instructions exactly. Fast & easy. Topped it with yogurt for dessert.
Crumbs & Caramel
Friday 7th of August 2020
Thank you for the lovely feedback, Elissa! So glad you enjoyed them! :) ~Bronwyn