Gluten Free & Vegan: Small Batch Raspberry Lemon Crumb Bars

This simple and easy Raspberry Lemon Crumb Bar is gluten free and vegan, no kidding! So eat as much as you like, but do not forget to share so your friend and family can also experience this delicious treat filled with fresh Raspberry and homemade Raspberry Jam and flavored with fresh Lemon zest.

This recipe is a variation of the Blueberry version that I shared last year. I absolutely loved it, my friends loved it so I thought why not make it again. I used Raspberry instead of Blueberry but you can also use Strawberry or Peach which I will definitely make and share with you as well. Why limit ourselves to one when we can have different variations of this delicious crumb bar? The more the merrier.

Raspberry Lemon Bar Crumble

There is no reason (or very little reason) to avoid making this Raspberry Lemon Crumb Bars. You know why? Well, in case you care about gluten free dessert, or vegan dessert than those are good reason even more to make this crumb bar. Even if you do not care about gluten free or vegan option, you will love this crumb bar anyway. This crumb bar has a very nice citrus flavor, a nice tender crumb toppings made with almond meal, nuts, and coconut oil to bind the ingredients together. The filling is a combination of fresh Raspberry and homemade Raspberry Jam. It’s a great way to enjoy sweet treats with less guilt, but I still recommend share and do not finish the entire thing to yourself. Enjoy everything in moderation, vegan or not vegan.

Raspberry Lemon Bar

Gluten Free

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 as base 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. Also, the crumb of this bar is softer and more tender than my regular crumb bars. Almond flour makes a more loose crumb than when using all-purpose flour, so you REALLY need to chill this before slicing. Chilling is a MUST, so that you will not hate me when the bar crumble and fall apart.

Refined Sugar FREE

Crust and Crumble: The crust and crumble toppings do not use regular can sugar, instead I used Maple Syrup. You can also substitute it with honey in case you do not care about making this a vegan dessert

Vegan

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 nice lemon and coconut flavor, I cannot even believe how good it turned out. This is definitely a way to go.

How is this Different from a Regular Crumb Bar 

If you do not know that this is gluten free and vegan, you might not be able to tell. The major difference that you would notice is that the base crust and crumb toppings are slightly loose and not as compact as regular crumb bar. It also have a softer crumb. This is why I highly recommend to let this cool completely (in the refrigerator) before slicing. I often make this a day ahead and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. This gives the best texture, and the base is more stable. A softer crumb and base is expected since there is no butter in the recipe, even vegan butter replacement. This uses coconut oil to bind the ingredients, which do not harden and solidify as when butter is used. Also, another factor is the use almond flour as compared to all-purpose flour. Almond flour is more loose and grainy by nature. But even with all this, I am telling you, in terms of taste this is not far behind regular crumb bar. I might be biased, but I even prefer this than regular crumb bar, specially because I am all in for anything with almond. It made this crumb bar taste creamy even without the butter, plus I adore almond flavor always.

Small Batch Raspberry Crumble Bar

How to Make Gluten Free, Vegan Raspberry Lemon Crumb Bar

There’s two parts in making this crumb bar, but they are both very simple. That is making the Raspberry 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 Raspberry jam is a 15 minutes cooking, but I like to leave it in the refrigerator overnight to give it a lot of time to solidify. 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 Raspberry jam. 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 Raspberry filling and fresh Raspberry and the crumble toppings. All this can be done in the same day, but make sure to chill the Raspberry jam completely before adding to avoid the crust from being soggy. The same thing goes for the crust and crumble topping, have it chilled.

Small Batch Raspberry Lemon Bar

Filling Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoon Homemade or Store-Bought Raspberry Jam

Crust & Crumble Ingredients:

  • 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)
  • 2 tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped Pecans or Sliced Almonds or combination of both
  • Zest of 1 large Lemon

Instructions:

  1. 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.
  2. Make the Raspberry Filling (No refined Sugar added) – Get the FULL RECIPE HERE 
  3. Make the Crust – In a large mixing bowl, mix together the Almond flour, rolled oats, 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.
  4. Make the Crumble – to the 3/4 cup remaining, add chopped nuts. Mix and keep in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes or can be left overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. 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. Press hard to have a compact base. Chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes or can be left overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Pre-bake the Crust – Take out the chilled crust 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.
  7. Add the Filling & Toppings – Spread the Raspberry Jam over the pre-baked dough pressed into the pan. Add fresh Raspberry on top and more Raspberry jam (optional).  Remove the remaining 3/4 of the dough crust from the refrigerator and sprinkle on top of Raspberry filling. Return to the oven and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the top.
  8. Cool – Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before slicing. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow the crust to harden. This gets even better when left overnight or after few days in the refrigerator. Chilling is a MUST, so do not skip.
  9. Storage – Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Makes  4 – 6

Small Batch Vegan Raspberry Lemon Bar

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Hi, I'm Marilou. Welcome to my website SweetNSpicyLiving. My website is where I share my passion for baking, cooking, photography and traveling. It's a small piece of my Sweet & Spicy Life that I like to share with you.

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