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Tuck into one of these apple butter oatmeal bars for a delicious, spiced taste of fall.

Slightly tart apple butter laced with cinnamon, cloves, and allspice is sandwiched between brown sugar, cinnamon, and oatmeal streusel for an easy-to-make dessert that is not too sweet. Add in a few pecans or walnuts to elevate that streusel just a bit.

If you are looking for a delightful and easy-to-make fall treat that is perfect for after-school snacking, after-dinner dessert, or (let’s just say it) the perfect breakfast treat, then these apple butter oatmeal bars are the thing. Regarding breakfast, the bars are made with sugar-free apple butter and oatmeal, so…we don’t have to stretch too far to say that they are breakfast-worthy…right?

But the real beauty of these apple butter oatmeal bars is their simplicity. You most likely have what you need to make it in your cupboard right now! Don’t have apple butter? Well, I’ve got you covered there. Here’s my recipe for sugar-free apple butter.

Ingredients for apple butter bars.

Don’t be troubled by the fact that this apple butter is sugar-free. To begin with; there is enough sugar in the streusel. But even on its own, the apple butter is plenty sweet enough without added sugar.

easily substitute the apple butter

Don’t have apples? If you have applesauce, you can make apple butter from it. Simply put some applesauce in a heavy bottomed pot with cinnamon, cloves, and allspice (1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon each of cloves and allspice for every 16 ounces of applesauce). Cook over low heat, often stirring to ensure it doesn’t stick, for 45 minutes until you can put a dollop on a plate and a pool of liquid doesn’t separate from the dollop.

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Just not feeling apples or apple butter? No hard feelings here. Consider…

  • Pumpkin Butter I can honestly say that this is some deee-licious pumpkin butter
  • Fig Preserves
  • Plum Jam
  • Apricot Preserves
  • Pear Jam
  • Any kind of preserves, really, just consider if you are looking for a fall-ish or summer-ish feel to your oatmeal bars.

these apple butter oatmeal bars are a great make-ahead dessert or treat

You can make these apple butter oatmeal bars ahead of time and they’ll still be fantastic. You have options:

  • Prepare and bake as written. The bars will keep at room temperature for two to three days. After that, store them in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Prepare and bake as written. Let the bars cool, and then slice them. Once sliced, transfer them to an airtight container and store for up to two months. Depending on how ‘airtight’ your airtight container is, you may want to wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap prior to putting them in the container.
  • Prepare up until baking. Wrap well the baking tray with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator for twelve hours, and then let the baking dish come to room temperature before baking as instructed.

nuts or no nuts

I’ve never met a dessert not made better by adding nuts. Hubby, on the other hand, holds the entirely opposite opinion. Often I will make our baked treats half nuts and half without. I think both pecans and walnuts are equally delicious in the streusel topping.

use your hands in mixing up the crumb streusel for these apple butter oatmeal bars

Get your hands involved in mixing the crust and streusel topping. The warmth from your fingers does a great job incorporating the butter into the flour, sugar, and oats. Your goal is for all of the dry ingredients to be completely combined with butter, and your fingers do a great job at it.

Apple Butter Oatmeal Bars

Apple Butter Oatmeal Bars

Yield: 18
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Slightly tart apple butter laced with cinnamon, cloves, and allspice is sandwiched between brown sugar, cinnamon, and oatmeal streusel for an easy-to-make dessert that is not too sweet. Add in a few pecans or walnuts to elevate that streusel just a bit.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup of butter, at room temperature, cut into cubes.
  • 2 cups of apple butter
  • 3/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°

Line a 9" X 13" baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine oats, flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl.

With your fingers, work the butter into the flour and oats mixture until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the butter.

Remove and set aside two cups of the butter/flour mixture.

Press the remaining butter & flour mixture into the parchment paper-lined baking pan, working it into the corners.

Spread two cups of apple butter over the crust.

If using nuts, gently toss the nuts with the remaining streusel topping.Add nuts to streusel topping.

Spread the streusel topping over the apple butter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until streusel begins to brown.

Let cool in pan.

Remove bar by lifting parchment paper out of the pan.

Cut bars.

Serve immediately or store. See notes for make-ahead and storage tips.

Notes

You can make these apple butter oatmeal bars ahead of time and they'll still be fantastic. You have options:

  • Prepare and bake as written. The bars will keep at room temperature for two to three days. After that, store them in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Prepare and bake as written. Let the bars cool, and then slice them. Once sliced, transfer them to an airtight container and store them for up to two months. Depending on how 'airtight' your airtight container is, you may want to wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap before putting them in the container.
  • Prepare up until baking. Wrap well the baking tray with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator for twelve hours, and then let the baking dish come to room temperature before baking as instructed.

Did you make this recipe?

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Apple Butter Oatmeal bars with pecans, oats and apple butter.

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