Paleo Crumb Bars – any flavor!

These Paleo Crumb Bars are an easy, wholesome snack that need just 5 ingredients!

A tender shortbread crust, your favorite jam and more shortbread crumbled over the top create an irresistible bar that’s not too sweet.

Plus it’s naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free.

3 different flavors of vegan crumble bars on parchment paper next to bowls of jams and a spoon

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Paleo Crumb Bars

Crumb bars. Crumble bars. Streusel bars.

Whatever you call them, they’re a fun, old-fashioned treat.

But this version swaps out the flour, white sugar and corn syrup-laden jams for less refined ingredients like ground almonds, maple syrup and fruit-sweetened jam.

So not only are they scrumptious, they’re packed with protein and healthy fats, too, which means even one bar is pretty filling.

And this basic recipe is a template for you to use whichever flavor of jam you like. Some good options are:

  1. blueberry
  2. strawberry
  3. raspberry
  4. blackberry
  5. mixed berry
  6. cherry
  7. apricot
  8. peach
  9. grape
  10. cranberry (you can even use leftover cranberry sauce!)

I like to use fruit-sweetened jams. Two of my favorite brands are St. Dalfour and Bionaturae (not ads, I just like them).

Using either of these brands keeps these crumb bars Paleo and refined sugar-free but you can use whatever jam you like.

 

What you need for Paleo crumb bars

Ingredients:

Equipment:

healthy crumble bars arranged on a white rectangular platter and one bar on a blue and white patterned napkin next to bowls of jam

How to make Paleo crumb bars

Line the baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure the paper comes enough up the sides so you can lift the bars out after they’ve baked.

Add the palm shortening to a microwave-safe medium mixing bowl and melt in the microwave (should take about 60-90 seconds). Let cool slightly.

Whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla until you have a blended mixture.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the almond flour and salt.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand and clumps easily if you squeeze it with your hand.

a clump of shortbread dough held by a hand over a glass bowl with more of the dough

Remove 1/3 cup of the mixture and set aside.

Pour the mixture (not the 1/3 cup) into the lined baking dish and use your hand to press it into an even layer.

a hand pressing shortbread into a parchment-lined baking dish

Chill both the dish and the reserved 1/3 cup mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°.

Bake the shortbread crust in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven but leave the oven on.

Carefully spread the jam evenly over the crust (no need to wait for the crust to cool so be careful, the dish will be hot). Depending on how thick the jam is, you might need a bit more to fill any gaps.

Remove the reserved 1/3 cup crust mixture from the fridge and use your hands to crumble it evenly over the jam.

Return the dish to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the crumbs on top become lightly golden.

Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board.

You can cut 2 down and 2 across to create 9 large bars.

You can then cut those bars in half to create either 2 smaller rectangles or 2 triangles for 18 pieces total.

Or instead you can cut 3 down and 3 across to create 16 smaller bars.

3 different flavors of gluten-free crumb bars stacked on top of each other on a white wooden table

Make ahead and storage

Once full cooled, you can chill the bars in the fridge for up to 5 days. The longer it sits, the more the crumb topping might start to dissolve into the jam layer.

You can also freeze the crumb bars. To freeze the whole batch before you cut it, use the parchment paper to remove it from the baking dish. Then wrap the entire bar in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or baggie. Freeze flat on a shelf so it doesn’t bend or break. Freeze for up to a month.

Or you can wrap individual bars in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or baggie and freeze for up to a month.

Thaw frozen bars overnight in the fridge.

 

Substitutions and variations

  • You can use honey instead of maple syrup (but then it won’t be completely vegan)
  • I haven’t tried using anything other than palm shortening. If you do (such as ghee or coconut oil), please let me know how it goes!
  • If you want a nuttier flavor, you can replace the vanilla extract with 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.
  • As stated above, you can use many different flavors of jam. See suggestions and my recommended brands above.

 

Other recipes you might like:

  1. Paleo Cranberry Bars (with leftover cranberry sauce)
  2. Crunchy, Chewy No-Bake Breakfast Bars (Paleo, vegan, nut-free)
  3. PB&J No-Bake Energy Bites (Paleo, vegan, nut-free)
  4. Blueberry Snack Cake (Paleo)
  5. Almond Flour Banana Bread (Paleo)
3 different flavors of vegan crumble bars on parchment paper next to bowls of jams and a spoon
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Paleo Crumb Bars - any flavor!

These Paleo Crumb Bars are a fun, wholesome treat that need just 5 ingredients! A tender shortbread crust is topped with your favorite jam and more shortbread crumbled for a scrumptious snack. Plus they're also vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
chilling time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crumb bars, crumble bars, healthy snack, paleo snack, streusel bars
Servings: 9 bars
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup palm shortening
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups superfine blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • heaping 9 tablespoons fruit-sweetened jam (about a heaping 1/2 cup), plus more if necessary, any flavor

Instructions

  • Line an 8x8" baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure the paper comes up the sides enough to help lift the bars out after they've baked.
  • In a microwave-safe medium mixing bowl, melt the palm shortening in the microwave (should take about 60-90 seconds). Let cool slightly. Whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla until blended.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the almond flour and salt.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand and clumps easily if you squeeze it with your hand.
  • Remove 1/3 cup of the mixture and set aside.
  • Pour the mixture (not the 1/3 cup) into the lined baking dish and use your hand to press it down into an even layer.
  • Chill both the dish and the reserved 1/3 cup mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°.
  • Bake the shortbread crust in the oven for 15 minutes. The crust will look maybe a shade darker but otherwise won't take on too much color. Remove the dish from the oven but leave the oven on.
  • Carefully spread the jam evenly over the crust (no need to wait for the crust to cool so be careful, the dish will be hot). Depending on how thick the jam is, you might need a bit more to cover any gaps.
  • Remove the reserved 1/3 cup crust mixture from the fridge and use your hands to crumble it evenly over the jam.
  • Return the dish to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the crumbs on top become lightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let cool completely.
  • Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board.
    You can cut 2 down and 2 across to create 9 large bars.
    You can then cut those bars in half to create either 2 smaller rectangles or 2 triangles for 18 pieces total.
    Or instead you can cut 3 down and 3 across to create 16 smaller bars.

Notes

Make ahead and storage
Once full cooled, you can chill the bars in the fridge for up to 5 days. The crumb mixture on top might start to dissolve into the jam layer the longer it sits (and depending on the jam).
You can also freeze the crumb bars for up to a month. To freeze the whole batch before you cut them, use the parchment paper to remove it from the baking dish. Then wrap the entire bar in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or baggie. Freeze flat on a shelf so it doesn't bend or break. 
Or you can wrap individual bars in plastic wrap, place in an airtight container or baggie.
Thaw frozen bars overnight in the fridge.
Substitutions and variations
  • You can use honey instead of maple syrup (but then it won't be completely vegan)
  • I haven't tried using anything other than palm shortening. If you do (such as ghee or coconut oil), please let me know how it goes!
  • If you want a nuttier flavor, you can replace the vanilla extract with 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.
  • You can use many different flavors of jam. See the blog post for suggestions and recommended brands.

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