These berry bars have a thick layer of blueberries mixed with berry jam nestled between a crumble-like crust and topping! They can be made with all-purpose, gluten-free or whole wheat flour. This recipe also includes a dairy-free and vegan option.
These delightful bars are an adaption of my chocolate raspberry oat bars. In today’s all berry version, I’ve upped the amount of berries and added lemon zest.
Berries + lemon zest is the best, right? That combination always cheers me up!
I used blueberries and raspberry jam, but I think any combination of berry and jam type would work well! I can’t wait to try them with my homemade strawberry jam.
Normally I’d say no to using strawberries in a bar recipe since they’re so juicy but I know they work because I’ve made these strawberry oat bars with the same base several times.
One thing that I really love about this recipe is that it uses the same dough for the crust and the topping (like in my pumpkin pie bars). A lot of crumb bar recipes have you make a crust and a separate topping.
I’m sure they’re delicious but I can’t imagine them being more delicious than these and this way saves time and dishes!
I had posted this berry bars recipe previously with whole wheat flour and had been meaning to try these with gluten-free flour for years. I finally did.
They came out wonderfully so I thought I should post them again.
I used this 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Flour and am not sure if other brands work just as well. You can use all-purpose flour in this recipe so I’d hope that other blends that are supposed to be a 1-to-1 sub for all-purpose flour would work well here (but since I haven’t tried any other brands, I can’t say!).
Do note that if you use gluten-free flour, your berry bars won’t be as pretty. The topping doesn’t hold its shape as well as the whole wheat version, which is what’s shown. And the whole wheat version looks like the all-purpose flour version.
If you want to use whole wheat in these crumble bars, make sure to use white whole wheat, which is also called ivory whole wheat. It lets the lemony taste shine through.
Even though white whole wheat is quite mild in taste, I still like to add some flavor to the batter or dough to cover up the little whole grain taste it does have. Citrus zest and extract (like in these blueberry cookies), cocoa powder, and spices are all awesome ways to hide any whole grain taste. Or rum, as in the case of this coconut rum cake. ;)
If you use traditional whole wheat, I’m pretty sure these bars would taste whole wheaty rather than bright and lemony. What you could do is use cinnamon (I’m guessing 2 teaspoons) in the base / topping. That should cover up the whole wheat taste!
These blueberry crumb bars are also easy to make vegan. You just have to choose the coconut oil option instead of butter. Or use vegan butter if you want.
In the mood for something even more citrusy? Try these paleo vegan lemon bars! These gluten-free lemon bars also look great. And for something with a bit of protein, try these triple berry SunButter bars! They’re also gluten-free and vegan.
Questions about these berry bars?
- Can I use something instead of rolled oats / omit them?
Quicks oat likely would work but not instant oats, steel cut oats, or oat groats. You can not omit them.
- Can I use a different flour?
Those are the only ones I’ve tested. If you have another flour that’s a good direct sub for wheat flour, you could give it a try.
- Can I use a different type of sugar?
A liquid sweetener won’t work. You could use probably use granulated sugar or a sugar sub that’s meant as a 1:1 sub for brown sugar. But I don’t recommend coconut sugar. It’s a weird flavor combination with the lemon.
- Can I use something instead of coconut oil or butter?
Those are the only two I’ve tried and so the only two that I can recommend.
- Do they taste like coconut if using coconut oil?
Not if you use refined coconut oil. If you unrefined, they’ll probably have some coconut taste to them.
- Do I have to use fresh berries?
I’ve tried these with frozen blueberries and the result was a soupy mess. Some of the commenters have used frozen. Deb said she “coated the blueberries in a 1/2 tsp of sugar and a tablespoon of flour” and that they came out great.
- Do I have to use the jam?
Yes! I’ve tried making these without the jam and they just kind of fell apart. The jam holds everything together. You can use whatever flavor you’d like!
If you try these berry bars, I’d love to hear how they come out!
Berry Bars (vegan, gluten-free options)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 16 bars
- 1 1/2 cups (150 grams) rolled oats (make sure to use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free version)
- 3/4 cup (94 grams) ivory whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour or for a gluten-free version, use 3/4 cup (104 grams) Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Flour
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar or raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup (149 grams) room temperature coconut oil1 (should be as soft as room temperature butter) or 3/4 cup (168 grams) unsalted butter for a non-vegan and non-dairy-free version
- 2 1/2 cups (355 grams) fresh blueberries (do not use frozen)
- 7 tablespoons (125 grams) raspberry or another type of berry jam (make sure to use vegan jam, if necessary)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
For the crust and topping:
For the filling:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line an 8"x8" (20cmx20cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the rolled oats, flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt.
- Use your hands to incorporate the coconut oil and mix just until a dough forms. It should not be very crumbly, but should stick together.
- Gently press a little less than two-thirds of the dough onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes or until the edges have just started to brown.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, mix together the berries, jam, vanilla extract and salt. Spoon this over the still warm crust and sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the berries.
- Bake for another 22-27 minutes or until the top has lightly browned and the filling is bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and let the bars cool completely. Refrigerate for 2 hours before cutting.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. These can also be frozen.
- If you use unrefined coconut oil as opposed to refined coconut oil, these bars will likely have a coconut taste to them. If your coconut oil is liquid at room temperature, you can use melted coconut oil in these bars. Mix all the crust / topping ingredients together and then put the bowl in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes or until firm enough to be pressed onto the bottom of the pan.
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151 comments on “Berry Bars (easy recipe with GF and vegan options)” — Add one!
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Easy and delicious!! I used a mix of Saskatoon berries and strawberries and Saskatoon berry jam. Turned out great!
That sounds super delicious! So happy you liked them. :) Thanks for your comment!
I just made homemade lemon curd, I wonder if I spread a layer of this on the crust and then add the berry mixture on top, then crumbly topping, then bake… would that work? I guess wondering if you think the extra wet layer of the curd will make crust soggy? Thank you!
Hi there! So sorry for the slow reply. I haven’t tried it so I really can’t say for sure. I’m guessing it might make it soggy like you said, but it sounds so delicious that I’d be tempted to try, anyway. ;) Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you. If you do give it a try, I’d love to hear how it comes out!
Yummy! I substituted the flour with half home-ground oat flour and half Bob’s Red Mill 1×1 GF blend. Turned out perfectly crumbly yet stayed together with a great texture. I used fresh black raspberries and no sugar added black raspberry jam – delicious! The lemon adds a great flavor, too. Looking forward to using this recipe again with all sorts of fruits. Thanks, Erin! I’ll definitely try more of your recipes!
I’m so happy to hear from another person that Bob’s 1-to-1 GF mix worked well in these! Thanks for the tip and for your comment. I hope you’ll enjoy the other recipes just as much. :)
made these with coconut sugar, a splash of lemon juice instead of zest, and made a filling with frozen raspberries cooked down with cornstarch and water mixed with fresh raspberry since I didn’t have jam or blueberries :/ still turned out great tho!
Oh yum! Your filling idea sounds great. :) I’m happy that they turned our well! Thanks for your comment.
Do you have to use rolled oats?
I haven’t tried it but I think quick oats should work. Instant or steel cut would not.
My first vegan recipe (made for a friend) and I love it—vegan or not! I added 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to the crumble and 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest to the berries. Amazing base recipe that I cannot wait to play with!
You’re welcome for the recipe! That was nice of you to bake something your vegan friend could eat. :) Added cinnamon sounds yummy! Thanks a bunch for your feedback. :)
can i use some instated of coconut oil and can I use blueberrys
Hi there! Butter is listed in the recipe if you don’t want to use coconut oil and blueberries are what the recipe calls for. Did you mean a different type of fruit?
I DID make these with Bobs 1 to 1 GLUTEN FREE blend. They turned out absolutely awesome! Did not fall apart, we’re not too chewy, had a great crumb… I’m guessing because of the goal texture of these bars and the oatmeal. I was so happy to find in egg/dairy free recipe for these! I cheated and used lemon essential oil instead of lemons asked – it turned out well, but I think next time I will only use two drops instead of four.
I’m so happy to hear that it worked out well! I’ve been meaning to try it for so long. And lemon essential oil sounds great! Thanks for the tip and your comment. :)
Ok. These are the best oat bars I have ever had!! I made them for my non-vegan family members and my very picky Brother in law said he thought these were the best HE has ever had! Thanks! These will be something I make a lot.
Yay! So happy that you and your family, especially your picky brother-in-law, liked them so much! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)
Is there a substitute your could recommend for all the oil? These bars look so wonderful but I am trying not to use oil. Thank you!
Hi! I’m afraid I’ve only made these bars with coconut oil and butter. I’ve never had much luck using other things like applesauce in place of oil in other recipes (I never like the texture). Sorry about that!
Thank you for this amazing re ipe. These are truly the best bars ever! I made them for my vegan daughter and she had two large helpings! I used fresh blueberries and seedless raspberry jam. They were absolutely divine.
You’re welcome! I’m happy to hear that you and your daughter enjoyed them. :) Thanks a bunch for your comment!
Could you use coconut sugar
I don’t think it’d blend well with the lemon taste but it should technically work.
YUM YUM. Would recommend for anyone. I used strawberry preserves. Will add a touch of cinnamon next time.
Strawberries and cinnamon sound great! So happy you liked them. Thanks for your comment. :)
just made these for a Vegan friend. used the whole wheat flour with a little cinnamon and for berries went with fresh blackberries and raspberry jam. These bars are a treasure. have another friend who can’t eat dairy for health reasons and will make them for her too. Thanks for this.
Your version sounds delicious! So happy that you enjoyed them and will be making them again. Thanks for your comment. :)
My 10 year old son is making these right now. We subbed maple syrup for the sugar, strawberry jam for raspberry, and coconut flour for the flour. Also, had to use defrosted frozen blueberries. It looks really good, though, so I hope it turns out💜💜
Coconut flour isn’t at all interchangeable with any other type of flour so I really hope they came out! Maple syrup doesn’t usually sub well for sugar unless you reduce the liquid somewhere else in the recipe. Good luck with your changes! I sure hope they worked out. :)
Oops! I missed the chance to rate them. Give them 5 hearts from me.
You got in your rating the second time around so that counts! Thanks a bunch for coming back to leave a rating. :)
I made these bars with fresh blackberries for a visiting vegan. I used a GF flour and coconut oil They were great. They were so good, I’m making them again for the family, with buttter in the crust and a sugar substitute. Thanks!
Which GF flour did you use? I’d love to try it out, too! I’m so happy that they came out well for you. Thanks a bunch for your feedback! :)
I made these tonight… can’t wait to try them. Only one problem. It wasn’t enough crumble to completely cover the top (like in the picture) so next time i’ll double the recipe just for the crust/topping.
Did you use an 8×8 pan like the recipe says or a slightly larger one? I can imagine it being a problem with a 9×9 but in an 8×8, I didn’t have any issues. I’d be worried about the bars not baking properly with double the mixture. Maybe 1.5x would be better? I hope you enjoyed them! :)
I used an 8×8 square pan. But man these bars were so good! I had to re-rate them because they definitely deserve 5 stars. I look forward to making them again hopefully in the very and I mean very near future.
Made this tonight, and it was uh-mazing. Thank you so much for the awesome recipe!!!!
So happy that you liked the bars! You’re welcome and thanks for your comment! :)
Do you think cherry would work for the jam
As long as you like the cherry + berry combination, I think it’d work fine. :)
I mixed fresh blueberries with canned cherries. Fabulous!! My husband still taking about these berry bar. Thanks for sharing.
Yummy! That sounds delicious. So happy you liked them! Thanks for the cherries + blueberries tip. :)
Made these the other day, made a few adjustments due to lacking in some ingredients (used part soft brown sugar, part demerera), and a strawberry jame, with a mix of bluberries and raspberries. They turned out amazing, so good! Me and my husband ate them so fast, will make again soon!
I’m happy that they came out well with your changes! And awesome that your husband enjoyed them, too. :) Thanks a bunch for your feedback!
I love the lemon and blueberry combo! It’s one of my favourites!
Same here! It’s just such a happy combination. ;)
Yum, yum ,yum I’m in love
Did you try them? Hope you enjoyed them! :)
Thank you for this recipe. I made a batch last night. I tried a bite after they cooled but was not impressed. I tried them again this morning (berries and oatmeal is breakfast, right?) and the flavors had melded beautifully. Much better the next day! I will make these again and be more patient. :)
I’m happy you enjoyed them the next day! And that’s interesting because I didn’t notice any difference between the first and second days. Did you make any subs? And what kind of flour did you use? Thanks so much for your feedback! :)
I used white AP flour and butter. So perhaps that was the difference. The family loved them. The whole pan was gone by the next day. Thanks for the recipe and sharing your talent with world!
Hmm. I tested this recipe with that combination, too! I suppose it’s just personal preference then. :) But I’m happy that your family loved them! Thanks again for your feedback and your very nice comment. :)
These look so great. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s too…so I try to avoid using aluminum too. Be sure to check your deodorant! Most brands (even natural ones) have aluminum in them! And since you put it on everyday (hopefully lol), it can really have an effect!
So true! I found natural ones to be useless. You know what really works, though? Lemon juice! I swear. It’s amazing. :) Thanks for your comment!
These are absolute perfection, Erin, I’ve got to try them!
I hope you will! :)
My yard is filled with black raspberry, current bushes and cherry bushes. What about swapping the blueberries for black raspberries, or bush cherries?
I’m jealous of all that fruit you have growing. ;) Raspberries would be great and I think cherries would be fine, too. So far I’ve used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and they’ve all worked. If your cherries are super tart you may want to add some more jam or a little sugar to the filling. Enjoy! :)
I love white whole wheat flour, too! It has a nice taste that’s not too assertive! I also looove the looks of the berry filling in these bars! (It’s almost berry season!!! Yay!!! And, knowing me, I’ll probably end up way overbuying on berries, so this looks like a perfect recipe to use them up on!;) )
I’m super excited about berry season, too! :) And isn’t white whole wheat the best?! Thanks so much for your comment!
Aluminum is a huge concern; naturally, industry funded “sources” will tell you it’s harmless so they can continue to produce cheaply at the cost of our health. I’m glad you found a baking powder that works for you! And these berry bars — I wish I could have one right now with my sad, lonely morning coffee haha! These look fabulous, as everything you make, Erin!
Thanks so much, Rose! And I totally agree on the aluminum thing. I just didn’t want to get a bunch of argumentative comments so I wanted people to look into it on their own. ;)
These look amazing! I’m loving that berry filling in the middle!
Same here! So many berries. :D
I’ve got a bag of the Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour that is definitely destined to become these bars! They look incredible!
Thanks, Amanda! Let me know how they come out with the GF flour. :)
These look fabulous Erin! I love the berries and oats happening! I’ve actually never seen this version of whole wheat flour from Bob’s but now that I know it’s similar to white whole wheat, I’m excited to try it.
You have to! It’s such great stuff. :)
I love white whole wheat flour. I always use it in place of AP flour and you can never tell a difference! These berry bars look perfect and I love that little crunchy topping. At first I thought the little blueberries were chocolate chips…haha.
You do?! Post more whole grain goodies! I’m always so happy when you do. :)
Helllllllllllllo, summer! I love how light and flavorful these are. I will have to try that flour from Bob’s… sounds great!
Yes! You really have to get your hands on some. :)
These look amazing, I love how thick they are! And that ivory whole wheat flour sounds like an awesome addition to the pantry.
Thanks! And it is, indeed. :)
Those look simply luscious!
I have never tried the ivory whole wheat before! I need to look for it! Love your tip about the lemon flavor shining through by using this flour. Love!
You have to get some! It’s so amazing. :)
I LOVE white whole wheat, it’s my go to for all things baking these days. Haven’t tried out the Bob’s ivory whole wheat one yet but like all things Bob’s, I’m sure it’s high quality :) These bars…killing me!
Whaaat?! You need to get on that. It’s my very favorite flour. :)
I’m obsessed with how packed full of fruit these are! Need these in my life asap!
I agree! You totally do. :D
These look incredibly delicious! My stomach was literally growling when I was looking at the pictures :)
I wish we had something like white whole wheat flour here too as I am not such a fan of baked goods that taste so tough (like whole grain baked goods often do). But unfortuntly we don’t have that yet in my country.
Thanks! And where do you live? I thought it was a US-only thing but it seems that some other countries have it, too. Like most whole wheat in Australia is actually white whole wheat, even though it’s not called that. Lucky Australians! ;)
I love BRM white whole wheat too! But I’ve honestly never thought about using one baking powder over another. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. We love making “breakfast bars” on the weekends and pretending they’re healthy enough to be breakfast. Excited to add these to our queue!
Yay! I hope you’ll love the bars as much as we did. And I’m happy that you learned a little something about the baking powder issue. :)
These were in my feed earlier, and I’ve been thinking of them all day. They look absolutely scrumptious! I love Bob’s Red Mill, and I’m pinning these to make soon!
Thanks for pinning! I hope you’ll enjoy them when you get a chance to try them out. :)
These look insanely delicious – and that topping?! YES.
Thanks, Melanie! :)
Wow this looks sensational, just in time for berry season. I need to get my baking on!
Yeah, you do! ;)
I love this type bar. These look delicious. I would like to try it GF, DF for a couple people.
I do like the taste of whole wheat in cookies, muffins, and breads.
I finally make a whole wheat recipe and you want to make it GF! Haha. I hope your GF version comes out well. :)
I’ve never heard of ivory whole wheat before so now I’m excited. I do however love whole wheat flour but it’s always nice to have options! Your bars look incredibly delicious. All those berries have me swooning over here!
You have to try ivory whole wheat! It’s really amazing stuff. :)
Love the berries!! I had not heard about the aluminum thing. Having had a grandma with Alzheimers on my side and my husband’s, I will be making the switch as well!
It’s such an easy thing to change! I’m happy you saw this post. :)
These are so perfect for Spring!
Girrrrrl, these are beyond perfect! I love the ingredients and I’m drooling looking at these pictures!
Thanks so much, Lauren! :)
These berry bars look so good! Perfect with a cup of tea!
Thanks, Medeja! They definitely would be. :)