Chai Spiced Apple Butter Crumble Bars(Vegan)

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on November 7, 2012

I hope you’re looking forward to these wonderful bars!  I mentioned them in my pumpkin hot chocolate post because they were in the background.  Although I changed the recipe a little bit before sharing it with you, so they look a little different.  I wanted them a little more oaty, not to mention I wanted more apple butter to cakey bar so I had to test that first before sharing it with you!

I have to be honest, I took waaaaaay more pictures than what are just in this post.  I had to cut things down considerably.  That speaks to how much I like these bars 😀

They’re dense and crumbly with the perfect creamy, sweet and tangy apple butter center.  Yummy!  Oh, and I made the apple butter with chai spice.  You don’t have to.  Just plain cinnamon would be awesome too I’m sure.  But when the leaves start falling I get chai fever.  I seriously drink bowl-fulls of chai tea every day.  I can’t help myself.

I obviously couldn’t help myself when it came to flavoring this apple butter either.  There’s a vendor at our local farmers market that grinds his own spices and makes his own spice mixes.  I had bought some chai spice from him so I used that in my apple butter and it was an awesome decision.  The spice mix was super fresh and flavorful though so you may need to use more of a commercial brand to get the same effect.

Honestly, take a look at this amazing apple butter!  I didn’t even use an amazing food processor or blender or anything, just my immersion blender.  I seriously love that thing.  What would I do without my immersion blender?

Anyways… Look at how smooth and silky that apple butter is!  It is incredibly delicious!  I have to stop myself from going in the fridge with a spoon looking for this stuff.  I got the idea to cook this in the crockpot from Angela of Oh She Glows.  It’s a genius idea that takes a lot of the hassle out of making apple butter,  I’ll be doing this again soon!


Chai Spiced Apple Butter
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 hrs
Total Time
5 hrs 10 mins
Author: Heidi @ Food Doodles
  • 6 lbs mixed apples cored with skin on
  • 1-2 tsp chai spice
  • 2 tbsp real maple syrup optional, more if needed
  1. Core the apples and add them to the crockpot. Cook on high for at least 4 hours, or until the apples are falling apart, stirring occasionally.
  2. Give the apples a good stir to break them up. Using a blender or food processor, transfer the mixture(in batches if needed) and blend until completely smooth before returning it to the crockpot. Using an immersion blender just blend the apples(skin and all) in the crockpot until completely smooth.
  3. Add the chai spice(or just cinnamon to taste). Continue to cook the apple butter on high in the crockpot without a lid until it reaches the desired consistency, about an hour, depending on the type of apples used. Stir occasionally so that the bottom doesn’t scorch.
  4. Once the apple butter has reached the desired consistency, taste and add maple syrup as needed.
  5. Cool and store in a sealed container in the fridge.

And next up, these wonderful bars 🙂  Enjoy!


Chai Spiced Apple Butter Crumble Bars
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Whole grain apple butter crumble bars. Perfect to keep on hand in the freezer - these are better than any bars from a box.
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Servings: 8 -12 bars
Author: Heidi @ Food Doodles
  • 1 C +2 tbsp old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 C walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or chai spice
  • 1/4 C coconut oil melted
  • 1/4 C almond milk plus 1 tbsp extra milk if needed
  • 1/3 C coconut sugar or sucanat
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C apple butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 pan by lining with parchment paper(so that the bars can be lifted out) sprayed or brushed lightly with oil. Set aside
  2. In a small bowl combine the oats, flour, walnuts, baking soda and baking powder, sea salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a larger bowl, stir together the oil, milk, sugar and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the oil and milk mixture. Stir well until completely incorporated.
  5. Pour slightly more than half of the batter into the prepared 8×8 pan. Spread out so that the mixture covers the bottom of the pan.
  6. Place pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes until partially cooked.
  7. Remove from the oven, spread the apple butter evenly almost to the edges of the pan. Using a spoon, drop small amounts of the remaining batter over the top of the apple butter as evenly as possible.
  8. Return to the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool 15 minutes before lifting the edges of the parchment paper to remove the bars from the baking dish. Place the bars(and the paper) directly on a wire rack and cool completely before cutting and serving.
Recipe Notes

I used coconut oil and almond milk to keep these bars vegan, but butter and any dairy milk could be used in these if desired.

Brown sugar can also be subbed for the coconut sugar.


Leave a Comment

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joyce March 9, 2015 at 16:41

Thank you for the recipe! I thought it was simple, easy to clean, and relatively healthy.
But sorry to say, I accidentally mixed the apple butter into my wet ingredients and didn’t get to try the actual recipe.

After cooking it two/three times in my small oven, it turned out a kind of moist bready bar. Not bad anyway, although the spice (I used cinnamon) didn’t really knock the flavor out of the park yet. Since I’m not a fan of sugar I think I may have omitted it if I was aiming to make a bready snack bar like that (it wasn’t too sweet like the stuff at stores)… Pretty good place to start to adjust for different flavors. Like half pumpkin puree instead of all apple butter, or more spice?


2 Nouhad March 13, 2014 at 08:36

I absolutely loved, loved, loved your recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A piece of heaven my mouth.


3 Bea December 19, 2013 at 20:05

When you say “core apples” do you mean literally just cored or also sliced? The only tool I have in my kitchen that can core an apple is my apple slicer…


4 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 7, 2014 at 09:32

Hi Bea! Sorry it took so long for me to reply! I usually just cut my apple in quarters and cut the core out, but you can use your slicer. They apples may just cook faster, that’s all 🙂


5 Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) November 28, 2012 at 18:10

I love anything chai – such a genius idea to add it to apple butter – yum!


6 Heather November 14, 2012 at 14:11

I have been meaning to make apple butter in the crockpot- I havea bag of apples that need to be used – thanks for the extra motivation!


7 Erin @ Texanerin Baking November 11, 2012 at 13:54

Oh boy. These look fantastic! So gooey. And I love the blue tablecloth! Very pretty pictures. Oh and just read the ingredients. Perfect. Absolutely perfect!


8 Lucy November 11, 2012 at 07:53

These bars look amazing – the perfect way to use up the Autumn glut of apples. Thanks for sharing how to make apple butter too, the recipe sounds delicious.


9 Mallika November 8, 2012 at 19:40

The Apple Crumble Bars look delicious. Love its rocky look on the top. Stunning!


10 Kathryn November 8, 2012 at 14:14

I love apple crumble so much and I really like the idea of having it in a portable bar! So very delicious.


11 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies November 8, 2012 at 13:35

I am just like you–something about fall makes me want chai all the time. I have it for breakfast almost every morning (in fact, I just ran out of it–need to buy more!). And I love incorporating that flavor into my baking. I totally want to make apple butter myself now too!


12 Stephanie November 8, 2012 at 10:11

I have to say that until that photo of your apple butter I had never really been that interested in making apple butter before. But it looks so thick and smooth! like caramel. WANT!


13 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} November 8, 2012 at 09:06

Oh, these look so amazing!!! I may have to try to make these with a GF flour. I hope it works!


14 Sonia! The Healthy Foodie November 8, 2012 at 05:33

Oh my, these look so good! Did you make your own chai spice or did you find an already made spice mix? I’m trying to find a “recipe” for it, but it seems like there are as many different versions as there are people making it… so I’m not even quite certain what is supposed to go into it.

Oh, and I don’t blame you for attacking that apple butter with your spoon all the time. It looks simply decadent! Too bad I don’t have a crockpot! 🙂


15 Tamra Wilson November 7, 2012 at 23:02

These look and sound as if they’d be delicious, but the title says “chia-spiced”, which may not attract as many viewers. I hope to try these. Thank you!!


16 Heidi @ Food Doodles November 9, 2012 at 09:36

Ahh, thank you so much for letting me know. I mix chia and chai up all the time 🙁 But I’ve changed it now, thanks!


17 Ari @ Ari's Menu November 7, 2012 at 20:30

Those oat bars look sooooo yummy! I love anything with apple butter, and you go and add chai spices? YES PLEASE!


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