This easy strawberry oatmeal bars recipe features a sweet fresh strawberry filling between layers of oat crust and crumble topping.
These strawberry crumble bars with oats are perfect for a healthier fruit dessert. The filling is made from fresh strawberries and the crust and crumble are made from the same mixture of oats, gluten-free flour, coconut oil and brown sugar.
You’ll need just a few minutes to prep the bars, 45 minutes of baking time, and then the hard part, 1 hour to cool.
These bars are perfect for an after-school snack, strawberry breakfast bar, mid-morning sweet treat…or anytime of day! They’re delicious year-round but especially during fresh strawberry season when strawberries are perfectly ripe and juicy.
- Vegan (dairy-free and no eggs) and gluten-free.
- Lower in sugar for a healthier dessert.
- Prep them in minutes.
- Perfect use for fresh juicy strawberries.
- Can be made with other fresh berries.
- Great for kids!
- Freeze well.
- Good for parties and potlucks.
The complete ingredient list with amounts and full instructions is in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. The following sections cover notes on ingredients and possible substitutions and a quick visual overview of making the recipe.
- Oats: Use rolled oats (old-fashioned oats). I would not recommed using quick oats or minute oats. Do not use steel cut oats.
- Gluten-Free Flour Mix: You can use an easy DIY blend of 3/4 cup white rice flour and 1/4 cup tapioca flour, any gluten-free baking 1:1 flour or you can substitute regular all-purpose flour.
- Brown Sugar: If you don’t have brown sugar you can use cane sugar, coconut sugar or any other granulated sugar. Light brown sugar and dark brown sugar both work.
- Coconut Oil: You can substitute melted or soft plant-based butter or regular butter.
- Vanilla: Any vanilla extract works.
- Strawberries: This recipe is best with fresh strawberries.
- Tapioca Starch: This thickens the strawberry filling. You can substitute corn starch (corn flour) or arrowroot powder (arrowroot starch).
- Lemon: You’ll need a fresh lemon to make the lemon juice for the strawberry filling.
- Sugar: You’ll need another tablespoon of sugar for the strawberries. You can use any kind of sugar or maple syrup.
Step 1: Mix Crust and Crumble
Add the dry ingredients (oats, brown sugar and flour) to a mixing bowl and mix them up. Add the vanilla extract and coconut oil and mix until you have a clumpy consistency.
Step 2: Create Crust Layer
Scoop most of the crumble mixture into the pan, reserving 3/4-1 cup in the bowl to make the topping.
Firmly press the mixture into the pan until you have a flat, even layer.
Step 3: Make Strawberry Filling
Dice the strawberries and add them to a bowl with the tapioca flour, lemon and sugar. Gently mix until the strawberries are all coated.
Dump the strawberries onto the crust layer in the pan and spread them into an even layer.
Step 4: Add Crumble Topping
Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture over the strawberries in the pan.
Step 5: Bake the Bars
Bake the bars in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes until the strawberries are bubbly and the crumble is a golden brown colour.
Step 6: Cool & Slice
Once the bars come out of the oven, let them cool for at least one hour before removing them from the pan and slicing.
This step is important for avoiding crumbly bars. They’ll be fragile when they come out of the oven but firm once they cool.
Tips for Success
- Cooling: Make sure yo let the bars cool in the pan for 1 hour to avoid crumbly bars.
- Lining the Pan: Using parchment paper that sticks out over the edges of the pan makes it super easy to lift the bars out once they’ve cooled.
No. You can substitute all-purpose flour for the gluten-free flour blend. You could also use the almond flour and oat flour crust and crumble from these blueberry oat bars.
You can use soft or melted butter or plant-based butter instead of coconut oil.
I haven’t made this recipe with frozen strawberries but you should be able to if you thaw them in the fridge and drain the excess liquid off before using them in the recipe.
Yes. To use jam or preserves in this recipe, omit the strawberry filling ingredients and use 1-2 cups of jam. You could also make this easy homemade chia jam to use for the filling.
Variations & Additions
- Drizzle with this lemon glaze for an extra treat.
- Swap the strawberries for blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. You can also do a mixture of berries.
- Add 1 tsp cinnamon to the crust and crumb mixture.
- Serve warmed and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for dessert.
- Be sure the bars are completely cooled before storing.
- At Room Temperature: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- In the Fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- In the Freezer: These bars are freezer-friendly! Let them cool completely then store them in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw briefly in the fridge, at room temperature or warm for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.
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Easy strawberry oatmeal crumble bars made with sweet fresh strawberries and layers of oat crust and crumb topping.
Crust and Crumb Layers
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, leaves removed and diced (454 g)
- 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cane sugar (15 g)
- Prepare: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
- Make Crust & Crumble: In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, brown sugar, and flour. Add vanilla extract and coconut oil. Mix until all ingredients are well combined and clumps begin to form.
- Press Crust into Pan: Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan evenly, reserving 3/4 cup for the crumble topping.
- Mix Strawberry Filling: Add the diced strawberries, tapioca starch (tapioca flour), lemon juice and sugar to a bowl and gently mix to coat the strawberries.
- Add Strawberries to Pan: Pour strawberry mixture over crust in pan and spread into an even layer.
- Sprinkle with Topping: Take the reserved 3/4 cup crust and sprinkle it over the strawberry filling.
- Bake: Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the strawberries have cooked and are bubbly. The crumble should be a light golden color.
- Cool: Let the bars cool for a minimum of one hour before removing them from the pan.
- Slice: Once cooled, slice into 16 squares and enjoy.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 152
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 1.4 mg
- Fat: 7 g
- Carbohydrates: 21 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 2 g
Keywords: strawberry oatmeal bars, strawberry crumble bars