Gluten Free, Vegan and no sugar added homemade Pina Colada Crumb Bars, sounds too good to be true? The good news is, it is really true, no kidding! This crumb bar was absolutely delicious and bursting with fresh flavor from pineapple, and coconut flavor. The base crust and the toppings were made without butter, only good stuff like almond flour, oat, coconut oil and maple syrup.
This is one dessert that I love to make all year round. Yes, I make it more often during Summer but it is as equally satisfying to make it any time of the year. This vegan and gluten free version was inspired by my original Pinacolada Crumb Bar that I posted few years ago. It was that memorable and delicious that I decided to make a version for people who are in a vegan and gluten free diet. Something as good as this will have to be share with everybody, right?
One reason why I love making this during Summer is because of the abundance of Cherry. The recipe itself do not use Cherry, but I really like serving it with fresh Cherry on top, not only that they are more inviting, but its fresh Cherry, why would anyone not want that?
Crust and Crumble: First of all, it is gluten free (in case you care). I used a combination of Almond flour and gluten free rolled oats are based for the crust and the toppings. If you do not care about being gluten free, you can substitute all-purpose flour and use regular rolled oats. The texture will be slightly different as Almond flour provides a nice nutty taste which all-purpose flour cannot provide. Base made from almond flour makes a more loose crumb than when using all-purpose flour. If you have almond flour anyway, I suggest use it then just use regular oats flour.
Pineapple Filling: I used my super easy Homemade Pineapple Filling for this recipe. Because it is homemade, I was able to control the amount of sugar in the recipe. It was sweet, but sweet in just the right way.
Refined Sugar FREE
Crust and Crumble: The crust and crumble toppings do not use regular can sugar, instead I used Maple Syrup
Not that I am trying to convert myself to being Vegan, but the idea of making a crumb bar without using butter or any dairy was something that interest me. When I was first thinking about it, I find it challenging and mind boggling but later on found out a way to do without it.
Crust and Crumble: There is no butter here, not even a Vegan butter. Instead of butter, I used coconut oil and maple syrup to bind the ingredients together. The crust and crumble were more loose and light as compared to when using a butter to make the crust. This makes sense, because coconut oil and maple syrup do not harden as much as butter, but do not worry. The crust and crumble toppings were absolutely delicious! It was so tasty and with a very intense lemon and coconut flavor, I cannot even believe how good it turned out. This is definitely a way to go.
How to Make Gluten Free, Vegan and Refined Sugar Free Pina Colada Crumb Bar
There’s two parts in making this crumb bar, but they are both very simple. That is making the Pineapple filling (because I do not like using store-bought jam) and making the crust and crumble toppings. I always make this two ahead of time because both require cooling for better texture. The Pineapple Filling is super quick to make, but I like to leave it in the refrigerator overnight to give it a lot of time to thicken. The crust and crumble toppings are as easy as making the jam. It is basically just mixing everything together, it is even easier than when I use butter because I do not have to crumble the butter into small pieces. It comes together and clump together so easily by just mixing it with a spatula. I find that the texture is better when it is chilled, so I make this ahead of time too. More than half (1 1/4 cup) of the mixture goes into the pan lined with parchment paper. Then I leave it in the refrigerator to chill just the same as the Pineapple Filling. The following day or even maybe 3 days after, I’ll pre-bake the crust for 15 minutes to make it more stable then I’ll add the Pineapple filling and the crumble toppings. All this can be done in the same day, but make sure to cool the Pineapple Filling completely before adding to avoid the crust from being soggy. The same thing goes for the crust and crumble topping, have it chilled for best reult
For Non-Gluten Free and Non Vegan
Don’t run away because I am definitely not leaving you drooling over this without a chance to make it. I have a non-gluten and non-vegan Pina Colada Crumb Bar recipe that I guarantee you would love. This is one of my favorite among all my crumb bar recipe, so give it a try. Get the RECIPE HERE
- 1 cup Almond Flour
- 1 cup Gluten Free Oats Flour (make your own by processing rolled oats in a food processor until fine in texture)
- 3 tablespoon Maple Syrup (for non gluten free, use Honey)
- 4 tablespoon Coconut Oil (for non gluten free, use melted unsalted Butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoon Shredded Coconut
- 250g (approximately 3/4 cups) canned Crushed Pineapple
- 1 tablespoon granulated Sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
- 2 teaspoon White Chia Seed (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray with oil and line a 5-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Make sure to leave some overhang for easy removal. Set aside.
- Make the Pineapple Filling – Transfer crushed pineapple in a pan, then add sugar, cornstarch and salt. Cook for 10 minutes in medium heat while stirring from time to time to avoid sticking at the bottom. Transfer in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
- Make the Crust – In a large mixing bowl, mix together the almond flour, rolled oats, shredded coconut, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt. Divide the mixture into 2, one portion is 1 1 /4 cup for the base crust and 3/4 cup for the crumble toppings.
- Make the Crumble – to the 3/4 cup remaining, keep it in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes or can be left overnight in the refrigerator.
- Chill the Crust and Crumble: Transfer the 1 1 /4 cup to the prepared pan and flatten the surface using your fingers of back of a spoon. Chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes or can be left overnight in the refrigerator.
- Pre-bake the Crust – Take out the chilled crust in the pan from the refrigerator. Pre-bake the dough crust at 350°F for about 15 minutes or until the top is set and the edges are lightly golden brown. Take out from the oven and add the filling and toppings.
- Add the Filling & Toppings – Pour the pineapple filling mixture over the pre-baked dough pressed into the pan. Remove the remaining 3/4 of the dough crust from the refrigerator and sprinkle on top of pineapple filling. Return to the oven and bake at 350°F for another 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the top.
- Cool – Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing. It is best to have this chilled in the refrigerator to allow the crust and toppings to set before slicing to avoid it from breaking.
- Storage – Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Makes 4 – 6
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