Caramel Cookie Crumble Squares

Warm apple pie evokes so many childhood memories for me. It was my mums dessert, the pie she would bake for every family occasion. Made with crumbly buttery short crust pastry, tart stewed apples and served with vanilla ice cream…always ice cream, never cream. To this day I’m still not a cream fan. ICE CREAM all the way!

Caramel Oat Apple Squares (8) title Caramel Oat Apple Squares (7)

These squares are deliciously sweet, the stewed apple mixed up with a coconut sugar caramel, topped with a beautiful streusel like topping, on a crunchy pre baked oaty base. These are not only vegan friendly but can also be easily made nut free and once you use gluten free oats…gluten free too!!!! I’m inherently a chocolate dessert kind of girl but these are one of the exceptions. The reason I don’t usually order desserts in restaurants is because they never live up to my expectations… I set high standards in my own kitchen. At least for my own taste buds Winking smile  These did go down a treat with my taste testers, a nice change from my usual go to no bake recipes… I think they were tiring of the chocolate creations!

Caramel Oat Apple Squares (1) Caramel Oat Apple Squares (3)

The ingredient list looks long but I promise these are not at all complicated to make. If you like you can make the caramel up to a day in advance, just store it at room temperature to make mixing that bit easier. If you plan on keeping the caramel for other dessert purposes store it in the fridge for up on one week in a seal tight container.

Caramel Oat Apple Squares (5) Caramel Oat Apple Squares (7)

I served mine up with a scoop of Vanilla Coconut Nobo… but if I had my own ice cream machine I’d whip up a batch of my very own vanilla. I highly recommend these heated for just about 30 seconds just warm them through, as well as lending itself to melting that scoop of ice cream on top.

Buttery Apple Caramel Oat Squares

by Michelle Hunt

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: bake dessert snack gluten-free soy-free vegetarian vegan apple

Ingredients (12 – 16 squares)

    For the Oat Base

    • 1.5 cups (130g) cups gluten free oats
    • 1 cup (100g) walnuts (or sub gluten free oat flour to keep nut free)
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 cup (100g) coconut sugar
    • 1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds+ 4 tbsp warm water, mixed well and set aside for 5 mins)
    • 1/2 cup (110g) coconut oil, melted
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp (30ml) almond milk

    For the Apple Filling

    • 3 granny Smith Apples, peeled and chopped into small bite size pieces (makes approx 3 cups, chopped)
    • 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • Pinch sea salt

    For the Caramel

    • 1/2 cup (125ml) full fat coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup (100g) coconut sugar
    • 1 tbsp (14g) coconut oil

    For the Topping

    • 2 tbsp (25g) coconut sugar
    • 2 tbsp (28g) coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup (30g) walnuts (sub gluten free oats for nut free)
    • 1/2 cup (40g) gluten free oats
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


    Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

    Blend oats and nuts for the base in your food processor to a coarse crumb.

    Combine with melted coconut oil and all other ingredients.

    Place mixture into a 9*9 inch square tin lined with baking paper and lightly greased with coconut oil.

    Spread using the back of a spoon and press down with your finger tips. Place a piece of baking paper on top, fill with baking beans and place in the oven to bake blind for 12 minutes.

    Remove and set to one side.

    Place chopped and peeled apples into a pot with all other apple filling ingredients. Bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes until lightly stewed…softened!

    Add coconut caramel ingredients to a pot, bring the boil, leave to boil for 2 minutes, simmer for 5 minutes more.

    Mix the coconut caramel with the lightly stewed apples.

    Spread apple mixture over the pre-baked base.

    Mix together all topping ingredients and sprinkle as evenly as possibly over the top. Pat down a little.

    Bake in the oven for further 15 -20 minutes; until the apple is bubbling and the top is nicely golden brown.

    Allow to cool for one hour in the tray before slicing. For perfect slices refrigerate overnight. Store in the fridge for up one week in seal tight container or freeze for up to one month.

    Delicious lightly heated and served with a dollop of dairy free ice cream!

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