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Buttery Berry Crumble Bars

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Yummy. Sweet.

Crumbly and Buttery.

By the way, did you know that a synonym for buttery is butyraceous? I learned quite a few new words today, thanks to pinguedinous, pomadig, sebaceous, cereous, lardacious…

Pretty sure I’ll never need to use that last one!



I initially thought to use mixed berries in my bars so they’d be patriotic: red and blue. But once they cooked, a deep purple hue (or a porphyrous hue, if we want to extend this post’s new-word trend) completely trumped red and blue. So much for trying to be patriotic!

They’re more violaceous than a Soy-Free Love Potion.

My apologies to Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross. Really, though, the color red is present in too many holidays: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, all our patriotic holidays… It’s not often one gets to celebrate purple!

crumble bars

I told you I’d only post this recipe if everyone liked it at my neighbor’s party. I even had a backup post written, just in case. Luckily, I can save that post for another day, because people went CRAZY for these crumble bars, with their sweet berry filling. They’re everything you’d want from a warm berry crumble, in the convenient form of a bar!

Buttery Berry Crumble Bars

(Makes 10-14 bars)

  • 1.5 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (or white flour, or Bob’s gluten-free)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (see notes below, for lower-sugar option)
  • pinch stevia OR another tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp cold vegan butter (See calorie link below, for fat-free option. And does anyone want to try this recipe out with coconut oil and tell me if it works?)
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen berries (8oz)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Stir together the first eight ingredients, making sure to break the butter up really well so that little crumbs form. Scoop 2/3 of the dough into a 4×7, oiled glass dish (or any small pan), and press down firmly. In a separate bowl, stir together the other ingredients. If using big berries, mash/chop them a little. Layer them into the pan, then top with the rest of the dough from the first pan and press down a bit. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 F, then cool at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Store uncovered, unless you want a soft crust (in which case, you should cover completely with saran wrap).

See the following post for the Calorie Information.

Due to the fact that I was bringing these to a party with guests accustomed to “regular” desserts, I used more sugar than I normally would (but still less than most recipes call for). If you want a subtly-sweet bar, you can scale back the sugar or try more stevia.

cobbler blur

The crumble bars are whole-grain, fruit-filled, and are made with less fat and sugar than basically every other bar recipe I saw whilst creating this. But the party-goers (none of whom are vegans or “healthy” foodies) devoured every last buttery crumb! :)

What are your favorite food textures?

Crunchy? Sticky? Buttery? Or maybe lardacious? Come on, I know you all want your food to be lardacious! My favorite textures are probably creamy, gooey, and fudgey.

Mmm fudgey, like Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Mmmm those look so GOOD!! I think I have frozen berries in my freezer…maybe I can make these tomorrow then eeeeeee!! 😀

    I love fudgey and gooey things. Obviously I have brownies on the mind right now 😉 HAHA just scrolled up and saw you wrote the same thing!! We are seriously TWINSIES I tell you!!

    P.S. BEAUTIFUL photo of you!! Your hair is getting long again! :)

  2. Hana says:

    Mmm. fudgey. I like anything that’s smooth and dense and sticks to the roof of my mouth, LOL. & These bars look delicious! And regal too, with the purple. :p I’ll be trying them soon 😀

  3. Lisa says:

    Haha not a common one for people reading healthy living blogs, huh?
    But anything fried or crispy is my favorite… like fried mozzerella sticks. Yum!

  4. Those look fabulous!! I made a gooseberry cobbler yesterday and I guarantee it was MUCH less healthy than your bars – I wish I would have made them instead!

    I totally have a food texture issue. I cannot stand anything that resembles rice pudding. There was an incident when I was 5. We’ll just leave it at that. So no cream of wheat, tapioca pudding, etc. I have other texture issues as well – I absolutely hate the sound of crayons on coloring paper. It makes me want to run away screaming.

  5. Tara says:

    I knew you were going to have to share the recipe with us!! I love when bars like these are crumbly and buttery, but I think my favorite texture is definitely creamy!!

  6. Sarahishealthy says:

    Oh my gosh, these sound SO good! I know your favorite desserts are chocolate ones, but I am so glad that you think of us readers and make fruit desserts too, because they are MY favorites. I ADORE berry crumble and will definitely be trying these soon!

    P.S. I love creamy and rich and chewy, but I hate hate hate the word moist lol!

  7. These look amazing! My favorite food texture definatly has to be creamy… or chewy…. ok, I probably like them all, but those two are my favorite!

  8. Those look yummy! I love anything chocolate, but crumbles are my SECOND fav dessert for sure 😉 with some ‘ice cream’ on top! Yummm

  9. Mmmmmm cannot wait to make these! Maybe with a chocolate syrup on top?

  10. Emma says:

    Mmmmmm fudgey! Katie, those bars sound so delicious. I love buttery things too. Maybe not lardacious though. I know fourth of July is over, but I’m going to make them today, just for me ;).

  11. Chewy gooey goodness…. like the feeling of chopped peanuts and sesame seeds mixed with maltose sugar… yummy
    These bars look amazing!! And seem to cater to my chewy-gooey-yearning-taste buds. 😀

  12. Jenny says:

    I love “crunch”! Always hated it when cereal got soggy and lost its crunch… Funny enough, though, I’ve always hated battered and fried stuff. In my opinion, the common descriptor for fried stuff — ‘crispy’ — is not at all like ‘crunchy’.

    Butter makes everything better… NUT butter does, that is. 😉 These look delicious! And obviously no one cared about the colour thing in the end, anyway~ Great job on yet another fabulous dessert recipe!

    1. Erika K says:

      I am crazy. I actually like soggy foods! Like Katie’s soggy muffin trick or even soggy cereal. Yup, I’m strange!

      1. Jenny says:

        Not crazy at all! Just different – as we all should be. 😀 When I think about it a bit more, there are definitely some foods I’d rather have as soft or soggy rather than crunchy – like gooey, fudgy brownies or soft chocolate chip cookies~

  13. Erika K says:

    I wih I’d seen these bars yesterday! They would’ve been perfect for 4th of July! Now I need to find a new excuse to make them!!!

  14. VeggieGirl says:

    I love smooth, creamy, slightly crunchy, gooey food textures.

  15. Oooh, these look delicious! They’re like hand-held berry crumbles! Yum! :-)

  16. I love the looks of these! Glad they were a hit for you. :-) I like a variety of food textures, but I agree with you that fudgey is a great one!

  17. VEGirl says:

    I love purple! Those are so pretty….

    My favorite textures are creamy, liquidy, soft, and dense. It’s no wonder my favorite foods are creamy hot cereal, dense breads, smoothies, and nut butters :). I also love popcorn for some crunch (it’s my favorite kind of crunch– not a big fan of crunchy raw veg).

  18. Jess says:

    these look great; maybe i’ll try them, amongst others, when i get back from vacation

  19. Carby-licious for me please! I like the dense but chewy and fluffy breads (like naan and english muffins.) Melty Daiya is always awesome too!

  20. Jennyb says:

    Hi from a (lurking) UK reader.

    I’m a chewy lover, that and soft. I’m a big dried fruit fan so i’d rather have a chewy fruity bar over a cupcake or cookie with fruit in it.

    However i am developing a love for peanut butter too.

    I found you looking for healthier recipes rather than Vegan, although my diet is mainly vegetarian sometimes Vegan anyway. Now i have your feed on facebook i won’t miss a post!

    1. Aww I’m so glad you found me! :) :)

  21. Leslie says:

    Making these today! Haha I feel like I say that a lot about your recipes!

  22. Michaela says:

    those bars match with your wall perfectly :)
    love those bars already! favorite texture… that is a tough question! I really like gooey, creamy and fudgey things (I love eating meals with only a spoon), but I like having something to chew on, so I would definitely add crisp to my list.

  23. Mmmm those look SO good! I love purple :)

    I love fudgey, creamy, gooey, crispy, crunchy, everything!

  24. I die. Please do a giveaway of these.

  25. Ragnhild says:

    These looks so good!! I bet oat flour would taste great in them too!
    Im like you, fudgey and gooey and creamy are my favorits!

  26. L. says:

    I really like crunchy, like potato chips. But I guess it depends on the food and what I’m eating. For example, I wouldn’t want a crunchy pudding!

  27. I LOVEEEE THESE!! i can alrdy see how the texture is just PERFECT!! GAH!! i need fudgey, creamy, and DENSe!

  28. Oh my goodness. I am making these & then I’m going to make these with APPLES! These look amazing. This recipe will go well into fall for me 😀 My favourite food textures are chewy, crunchy and creamy!

    1. Mary says:

      Oh wow, apples in these would be so good! If you make them that way, I’d love to hear how it turns out. I might just have to try it too!

      Katie, this looks so good!

  29. There are so many food textures I love — but I really like crunchy more than anything.

  30. Yum yum yum! I make a similar crumble bar with dates but yours are a prettier colour :)

    I love a fudgey texture but gooey and crunchy are good too!

  31. Emilia says:

    Way to go, Katie! Another bites the dust :-) You never cease to surprise me with your amazing and creative recipes :)
    I bet these would be yummy filled with strawberries and whipped cream (maybe some chocolate action, too?) for a more patriotic look. Purple may be the new red though :) Yum!

  32. Aja says:

    Yay purple! Agreed, there aren’t nearly enough holidays with purple in them. and blue and red makes purple, so it works.

    1. Mary says:

      I think we need to make up our own Purple Appreciation Day! :)

  33. Love creamy but I also love crunchy. Probably why I love crunchy PB.

  34. Diana says:

    Hi Katie,
    I am putting berries on my grocery list so I can make these today, because they sound awesome! One question: should I use frozen or fresh berries?

  35. These look so good!
    I’m a big fan of fudgy and gooey, with a crispy outside. I also love toothy(?) foods, like slightly undercooked grains and breakfasts.

  36. Abby says:

    I love how you made these bars healthy. I’ve seen cobbler bars or pie bars or fruit bars all over foodgawker, but of course when I click on them, they all call for tons of butter and sugar and eggs :(. Thanks for making my dreams come true with a healthier version! You rock!

  37. Those look great. I love a mix of fudgey, gooey and crunchy in desserts. Sometimes this occurs on purpose, or other times it’s a complete, delicious accident.

  38. yo,
    you make those crumble bars look even better
    i’m still half asleep…
    but seriously,
    both the bars and yourself look pretty!

  39. looks sooo good can’t wait to try them out!!!
    obsessedd with crumblessss!

  40. Elise says:

    Darn it, I was hoping to cut down on the amount of baking I do for a week (the amount of leftovers in our freezer is stupid!) but these look incredible!
    My favourite textures are creamy (porridge, polenta etc) and crunchy I like my food in opposites!

  41. Gen says:

    Yummy!!! Can’t wait to try this out! 😀

  42. omg–I cannot stop laughing at lardacious!! I think I am going to use that next time I want to describe something buttery. Nasty sounding or not, it is too funny to pass up! lol

    1. I know! I could not believe it was a real word when I saw it on I mean, when would you ever want to call your food “lard-like”? lol!

  43. CREAMY all the way! I like anything soft and pudding-like 😀 And I also love how pb sticks to your mouth…some don’t, but I think it’s the best part!

  44. Lenna says:

    I love crunchy things – crunchy apples, crunchy carrots, crunchy melons, crunchy peanut butter… everything is better crunchy :)

  45. “But the party-goers (none of whom are vegans or “healthy” foodies) devoured every last buttery crumb! “–

    I think that’s written for me. haha! I hate it when I want something rich and amazing and I end up with “health food” tasting dessert. Blech! I want all the flavor and richness, dont care about healthy :)

    I love crumbles! I have a raw/nobake vegan GF apple crumble on my site that does NOT taste healthy and it probably isnt….tons of agave and brown sugar make everything better :)

    I love bars of any kind but texture is always key! I hate mushy food and will always opt for texture rather than say pudding or a smoothie. I want to sink my teeth into something!

  46. What a magnificent question. I think my texture preferences generally relate to my mood at any given time, but for the most part I like to have a variety all at once, with mushy or creamy dominating, as in a bowl of greek yogurt with spoonfuls of oatmeal or a pancake mixed in, topped with crushed crunchy cereal and drizzled with melted nut butter. The more textures, the better!

  47. I am sooooo happy that I found your blog! I adore your ideas :) Can’t wait to try these gorgeous purpley bars!

    1. Aww I’m so glad you found me too!!

      Chocolate hugs :)

  48. Emily says:

    GOOEY. And dense. And crunchy. And cold foods. Or maybe it’s because cold foods taste better than room-temp foods? (Ice cream, watermelon, milk…)

    I’m not a vegan (just vegetarian), and really appreciate the use of butter in my baked goods. So I was wondering if I can swap in butter for the non-dairy fat used in your recipes. Today’s looks especially tempting! :)

    1. I think EB is interchangeable in recipes with butter. But obviously I can’t say this from personal experience, so you’ll have to experiment!

  49. Jessica says:

    Mmmmm they sound delish! I would have to say I love all things crispy, well for savory- but when it comes to dessert-fudgy and soft!

  50. These look absolutely ambrosial! (How’s that for use?) I’m definitely a texture girl. I want something chewy and gooey! That’s why I can’t have smoothies or juices as meals. I just don’t feel satisfied, no matter how many nutrients are present!

  51. Ahhh girl I wish you were my neighbor and could bring me treats all day!

  52. VanessaG says:

    Yummy! I want to make those. I just love your blog and all the recipes. I never comment on here so I am today. I think you should open up your own bakery or shop. You have a talent and I believe it’s your passion. What is your major anyways? Also, thanks for posting nutritional info. I’m always like to know. Anyways, to answer your question I go for creamy foods=ICE CREAM!!! :)

    1. Awww thank you, Vanessa!
      I’m actually not in college right now… I’m going to write a post about my new job soon! :)

  53. These look scrumptious! I looove crumbly, fruity, yummy thangs like this! Ha. That was a redundant statement….oh well. This desert pretty much sums up all that I love about sweet stuff!

  54. This looks fantastic. I happen to love berries and cinnamon! I wonder what that combination tastes like? I will have to try these soon!

    My favorite is crispy and gooey! I couldnt choose one :)

  55. I’m not a texture hater…. I’m a texture lover. Free love for any texture!

  56. I am making these tonight! you are sooo amazing for giving the recipe :) I am a creamy texture fan fo sure!!

    1. Oooo I hope you like them! :)

  57. BroccoliHut says:

    I’m a crunchy girl myself…hence my infatuation with wheat germ!

  58. Katherine says:

    Hmm, that is hard. I am such a major texture eater, and usually hate mixing textures, but the texture I want changes with my mood. Usually, it is creamy though!

  59. has to be one of the greatest things ever! lol. I love pretty much every texture with the exception of slimy! :)

  60. Creamy, Gooey CHOCOLATE Babah! :)

  61. Katarina says:

    What a lovely color!

  62. Jenny says:


  63. Nathalie says:

    Wowza, these look superb! I’d try doing ’em with coconut oil, but it’s so hot here my jar of coconut oil is liquid, so I can’t use it like butter (unless I make room in the fridge for it).

    Favorite texture? Well there’s nothing to hate about dense, rich, creamy, chewy or those lovely kinds of things. But honestly, I’ve always had a strange fondness for DRY food. When I perchance eat chicken, I always like the dry white meat. I like cake with some dense dry-ishness (I don’t think that’s a real word) to it. Kind of scone-ish, muffin-ish textures. Something that has presence in my mouth. Not that I would EVER turn down a piece of fudge or pudding or ice cream. But in the end I don’t feel as satisfied after I eat them as when I eat something with that “dryness” to it.

    Yeah, I know I’m weird.

  64. I don’t know if this is technically a texture, but RICH. Like chocolate ganache filling or frosting or a really thick mousse. I guess creamy? But in a very, very thick way…now I’m hungry!!

  65. Anne says:

    These bars are AWESOME!!!! To everyone who’s reading this: Make these NOW! They are sooooooo good!!!!!! :) :) :)

  66. Jess says:

    Some food I like super fudgey, while others I prefer to have a nice chew. Either way, these bars look fantastic!

  67. Amber K says:

    I hate crispy/crunchy. Creamy, gooey, fudgey, those are perfect words, especially if nothing crispy or crunchy is hiding in them. Nuts in brownies are my least favorite thing ever. No food thing is worse than biting into what should be a fudgey, ooey-gooey brownie and crunching down on a nut. Unless they are raw brownies, in which case they are ground up and are therefore, fine 😉

  68. Christena says:

    To be honest, I have always been scared to try your dessert recipes…they look so healthy and you have such a healthy diet & say that you don’t have much of a sweet tooth — I, on the other hand, am a sweets junkie and honestly my diet is really not that healthy. So I always think that these desserts might taste like dessert to you, but not to me. Well, this is the second recipe of yours I have tried (first being single lady cupcake) and it is phenomenal. These bars are soooooo good. My husband loves them. They are so dense and crumbly and buttery and amazing. I know they aren’t “healthy” b/c of the butter + sugar, but the ingredients are really wholesome & good. I’m just going to make everything you post from here on out! :)

    1. Aw Christena, your comment made me smile SO much! I taste-test all my recipes, but I also try to always test then on my friends who have “normal” tastebuds. Sometimes, they’ll tell me, “Katie, this tastes like a healthy dessert.” That’s when I know I need to keep working on the recipe! 😉

    2. Meg says:

      Hehe, just read your comment, Christena. Glad to know they are man-approved!

  69. Meg says:

    Just put mine in the oven…it might be the prettiest thing I’ve ever made! It’s my first CCK recipe and was so easy to follow! I’m making it for a boy, so I hope it’s as good as it looks 😉

    I really like how your recipes seem to use mostly stuff I have around already. I feel like so many recipes I see other places require a trip to the store, which is such a bummer when looking at the pics make me so hungry and I want it right then! I’m not vegan or GF, so I used the traditional ingredients I had in my kitchen and added peaches.

    1. Oh my gosh, peaches in this recipe sounds like SUCH a good idea! I hope you like the bars! And now I might just have to try them with peaches! :)

  70. Lisa says:

    Oh my pie, these are good! My husband keeps asking me “These are healthy? I can eat these? Really????” You have made him SO happy, and me too. I want to send you a huge hug, because my husband, especially, has had such a hard time with this new healthy lifestyle that he now is having to adhere to because of health problems. Your bars are probably the first dessert we’ve had that’s actually good and not like cardboard or worse since embarking on this new lifestyle over three months ago. Thank you thank you thank you! Will be trying many more of your recipes.

  71. Maddie says:

    My dad can’t resist these!

    1. Aww that makes me so happy!!!

  72. Kiriel says:

    I must have done something wrong. Even after letting mine cool for a long time, they fell apart when I cut them and pulled them out of the pan. And the crust was almost a grainy texture. But they tasted pretty good, so I’m not sure what I did.

    1. Hi Kiriel,
      Did you use Earth Balance? And what kind of flour did you use?

      1. Kiriel says:

        I used the Bob’s gluten-free. Well, ok, a blend I made myself out of the Bob’s flours. It’s worked wonderfully for anything else I’ve baked. And then I used a vegan butter I found at our health food store. It could honestly just be my taste buds LOL. The only reason I have GF and vegan things in the house is because of a cake order I got a few weeks ago. So it could just be that I’m not used to GF foods, but the only other flour I had was a regular unbleached all-purpose flour.

        1. The crumbly-ness was probably due to the gluten-free mix. Gluten-free flours can sometimes have a difficult time holding a recipe together (that’s why gf baking often calls for a mix of flours or binders such as xantham gum). Maybe adding some xantham gum to the recipe would help, if you still want to use gf flour? Honestly, though, I’m not an expert on gf baking… I’m still learning!

  73. Kiriel says:

    That might be an option! I’m still trying to learn about gf baking too. My first ever experience was that cake order I mentioned and it was interesting! I really didn’t like the vanilla cake recipe I tried first, but I found an awesome vanilla blueberry and my friend absolutely loved it.

  74. Desiree says:

    OH EM GEEE! Just made this and actually sitting here eating a piece, I couldn’t even wait to finish before I posted! So, I DID use coconut oil, 1/4 cup and it turned out great! I also used 1/4 C Brown sugar and one packet of stevia. Perfect amount of sweet, with agave in the blueberry mixture (which I could probably scale back to 2 T, no problem). My kiddos are eating it now and already asking for more! My camera is on the fritz to I took pictures with my phone, which didn’t turn out too bad, I will post on my blog and let you know! Again, so yummy!

    1. Awwww!!! Yay!!! :) :)
      I definitely look forward to your post!

  75. Claire says:

    I tried these last night to bring to work today and they were a hit! I used regular butter and milk tho as I don’t have vegan items on hand. Still delicious and not too sweet!

  76. stacey says:

    I made these today. So yummy!! Love your site!

  77. Anje says:

    Just wanted to post that I made these yesterday and they turned out beautiful and delicious! I used 1/4 cup coconut oil instead of butter. I also baked them in an 8×8 pan. They turned out thin and loaded with a huge layer of berries – just how I like them!

  78. Konami says:

    My friend and I made these today and they were healthily delicious! We baked them in a 7×11 pan and crumbled the last 1/3 on top. We used 1/4 cup + 1T of reg butter, 3T milk, only 2 T agave, only 1/2 cup brown sugar, and white flour. They’re not too sweet of a dessert which let’s the natural sweetness of the blueberries stand in the spotlight. Next time I’ll add more cinnamon, and a bit of nutmeg, and maybe add some oats to the top crumble

  79. Kat says:

    Katie, these are freaking amazing! I added almond extract to the dough and mmm, so good. My boyfriend basically ate 3/4 of the batch in one sitting so I actually had to make a new batch the next day :)

  80. Nicole says:

    These are GREAT!!! Being entirely without vegan butter or anything similar, I used coconut oil, as per your suggestion. They came out wonderfully rich and buttery (so much so that I will probably reduce the amount of coconut oil next time).

    I only recently discovered your site, and this is the third or fourth absolutely winner-level recipe I’ve tried–and not felt guilty about eating :) Thank you!!!