Old-Fashioned Spice Crumble Bars! Fall season is upon us, which means it’s the ideal time to make these delicious crumble bars brimming with rich, warm spices.
These Old-Fashioned Spice Crumble Bars are a moist and delicious treat filled with fall spices, nuts, and topped with a tasty crumble that is sure to delight your family. Pair it up with a cup of coffee or tea and you will enjoy this delicious heavenly fall-inspired bar.
Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
This treat was inspired by an Old-Fashioned Spice cake that Mom used to make. We transformed the recipe into bars and made it Whole Food Plant Based.
You gotta give this one a try!
Tips for Success:
- Flavor Profile: This recipe is for old-fashioned spice bars with a crumble topping. Chinese Five Spice has the perfect spice blend to get that old timey flavor.
- Bar Moistness: Because bananas are a major component of this recipe, the bars are very moist and dense.
- Number of Bananas Used: We used 3 medium bananas. We suggest mashing the bananas really well in a bowl, then not using more than 1 1/3 cups of mashed bananas. You can use slightly less, then no more than 1 1/3 cups.
- Crumble Topping: One thing that makes a crumble topping pretty is the dimension of the crumbles. This can be achieved by taking small amounts of the crumble topping and squeezing it in your hand to create small crumbly balls and then placing them around the surface. Make them different sizes. Sprinkle any remaining loose crumble to fill in the gaps. Very slightly and gently press the crumble into the cake batter. If your crumble is too sticky, add a Tablespoon (+) of almond flour. If you crumble does not lightly stick together, add ½ teaspoon of cashew (or almond) butter. The crumble should appear loose but should stick together when taking a small amount and squeezing it together.
- Pecans: The pecans are divided in half. Half will be mixed in, at the end of creating the Crumble Topping. The other half is simply sprinkled over the top. If you prefer, you can place all the pecans into the batter.
- Pecan Substitutions: You can leave the pecans out of the recipe. Or you can substitute with walnuts if you wish.
- Almond Flour: This recipe was specifically created to use almond flour. We do not have any substitutions to offer.
- Cashew Butter: The cashew butter can be substituted with almond butter (or other nut or seed butters) with the understanding that the flavor will change slightly.
- Sweetness: These spice crumble bars are very lightly sweet. Date sugar is not as sweet as other sugars. You can taste test the batter to get a feel for the sweetness to see if you would like to add more. If you do add more, you may need to compensate by adding more liquids.
- Date Sugar: Date sugar is dehydrated dates that have been crushed into a fine sugar. It works really well in this recipe. Date sugar is less sweet than other sugars. The date sugar can be substituted with coconut sugar or maple sugar with the understanding that the end product will be sweeter.
- Rolled Oats: Do not use quick cooking oats.
- Cinnamon: Not all cinnamon is created equal. Some brands of cinnamon are light and passively flavored while others are strong, sharp, and astringent. Use judgement and start on the low end. You can use your favorite cinnamon in this recipe; however, we strongly suggest starting on the low end until you have a strong understanding of how the cinnamon that you are using in this recipe impacts the flavor. The great news is you can actually taste the batter before you put it in the cake pan to see how the cake will taste and add more cinnamon if needed.
- Chinese Five Spice: Chinese Five Spice Powder is typically made of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger, and cloves. Feel free to use your favorite Chinese Five Spice powder. OR if you can’t locate Chinese Five Spice, you can substitute with Pumpkin Pie Spice or Apple Pie Spice.
- Food Processor: You do not have to clean and wash the food processor out after making the Crumble Topping if you simply just wipe out the food processor and wipe off the “S” blade to remove moisture before making the spice bars.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep at room temperature for 3 days. If looking for longer storage, keep in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container.
These bars can be frozen.
- Rolled Oats: We used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Whole Grain Rolled Oats, feel free to use your favorite whole grain rolled oats.
- Date Sugar: We used the Date Lady Date Sugar. Feel free to use your favorite date sugar.
- Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
- Food processor
- 8-inch cake pan
- Parchment paper
If you try this healthy sweet treat, we would love to know if you enjoy it as much as we do! Please leave us a review! Post a picture on Facebook or Instagram and tag us! We would love to hear from you.Print
These Old-Fashioned Spice Crumble Bars are a moist and delicious treat filled with fall spices, nuts, and topped with a tasty crumble that is sure to delight your family.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup almond flour, lightly packed
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup date sugar *
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon *
- 1 ½ teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice *
- ½ teaspoon sea salt *
- 3 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed *
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup rolled oats, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon *
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup almond flour, slightly packed
- 3 Tablespoons date sugar *
- 3 Tablespoons cashew (or almond) butter
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt *
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened plain plant milk
Other Optional Ingredients:
- ½ to ¾ cup pecans (or walnuts), rough chop, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the oven rack in the center
- Line the bottom of an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, set aside.
- Make the Crumble Topping– Place ½ cup oats in a food processor to break them up, about 20 seconds. Then add all the remaining Crumble Topping ingredients to the food processor and process until well combined. The Crumble Topping should be “loose” but hold together when taking a small amount and pressing it into a ball – see notes. Pulse in half of the chopped pecans. Set aside.
- Place all the Cake Ingredients into a food processor, process for one minute or until everything has been blended.
- Place the batter into the parchment-lined cake pan, smooth out evenly.
- Spread the crumble topping evenly over the top of the cake batter, press slightly to adhere the topping to the batter – see notes. Top by sprinkling the other half of the chopped pecans over top of the Topping mixture.
- Bake at 350 F for 30 to 32 minutes. Note: Place a piece of foil across the top of the cake at the 15-minute mark to prevent over-browning of the crumble.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for at least 45 minutes before serving.
- Run a thin-bladed sharp knife around the edges that were not covered by parchment paper to fully loosen the cake. Slice, serve, and enjoy.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Serving: Makes 9 bars
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