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Best Oaty Crumble Bars

15th December 2019

Apple Crumble Bars


For the apple filling

900 g – 1kg of apples (unpeeled weight)

50g of sugar – I used brown sugar but you can use what you have or prefer

1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon – I’m not an exact kind of cook, if you like it spicy use about 2!

½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg – (optional)

2 tablespoons of cornflour

A good squeeze of lemon juice

For the Crumble

370g of rolled oats

410g of plain flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

200g of sugar – I used golden castor sugar but white granulated or would do perfectly too

250g of butter cut into small pieces – we like butter in our baking but you could equally use a dairy free alternative spread here if you prefer

Pinch of salt – although if you have used salted butter leave this out!

Recipe overview

Perfect for: Breakfast and Brunch, Dessert
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins
Serves: Makes around 24 bars which can be halved!

During apple season good old Apple Crumble is our number one pudding – it never fails to please everyone in the family. This got me thinking, wouldn’t it be great to have Apple Crumble in a more portable form so that the children can eat it easily in school as part of their packed lunch? After some thought, research and trial here is the recipe for my Oaty Apple Crumble Bars. They have received 5-star reviews from everyone who has tried them, are tasty and easy to make, cheap and a reasonably healthy lunchbox treat.


Prepare your baking tin by greasing it and lining the bottom with baking parchment.

Preheat your oven to 170C (325F or Gas Mark 3).

For the apple filling

Peel and core your apples and cut the apple flesh into small dice. As for variety, I think that this will work with any apples but my favourite would be some cooking apples that will cook down rather than hold their shape

In a medium sized mixing bowl mix the chopped apple with all the other apple filling ingredients and set aside for a moment.

For the crumble

Photo 1 – The crumble has been mixed to resemble breadcrumbs

If you have a mixer put all of the ingredients into the mixer and mix until you have fine-ish breadcrumbs/ a mixture that looks like crumble topping (see photo 1). Remember to cut your butter into small pieces before mixing as this make the process much quicker and easier. 

If you don’t have a mixer rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then mix in the baking powder, sugar, oats and salt (if using).

Pack about 2/3rds of the crumble mixture into the bottom of your prepared tin. You need to make sure that its tightly packed in. I used my hands and then the back of a spoon to push it down and smooth it out (see photo 2).

Photo 2 – two-thirds of the crumble has been packed into the prepared tin

Layering the bars

Tip the prepared apple pieces over the crumble base and spread evenly. (see photo 3)

Photo 3 – The prepared apple has been spread evenly over the base

Sprinkle the remaining 1/3rd of the crumble mixture over the apple and push down lightly. If you don’t press down at all the topping will be crumbly and this will make the bars more difficult to handle when eating!


Place in the oven and bake for around 50 minutes

Remove from the oven once cooked, leave to cool in the baking pan (very important!). I found that the bars are easier to cut if you place the crumble (still in the tin) into your fridge for about 30 minutes. Once cold or chilled slice the crumble into bars. I made about 24 bars but that depends how big you make them!

Store in an airtight tin. I’ll be perfectly honest I don’t know how long these stay fresh in a tin because in my house they disappear within a couple of days. I would however guess that they would be ok for 5 days or so.

Jackie Rudge


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