These Gluten-Free Vegan No-Bake Caramel Apple Bars are an easy and healthy recipe to make. It's the perfect plant-based no-bake dessert that gives you all the flavors of a caramel apple and can be prepared in about 15 minutes!
Here's Why This Recipe Works
My top 3 favorite reasons:
- It's A 3-Layer Vegan And Gluten-Free No-Bake Dessert
- Can Be Prepared In About 15 Minutes
- Made With Clean, Real Food Ingredients
These Gluten-Free Vegan No-Bake Caramel Apple Bars are super easy to make and need no butter, white sugar, white flour, or eggs.
And best of all...you don't have to bake them!
If you love the taste of a caramel apple but wished you could enjoy it in a bar instead of on a stick, then this recipe is for you!
I adapted it slightly from my Gluten-Free Vegan Flourless No-Bake Peanut Butter Apple Pie Bars recipe, which was mainly centered around peanut butter.
Like my other recipe, this one is also made with three delicious layers:
- Bottom Layer - a flourless, vegan shortbread-type crust
- Middle Layer - chopped apples and Medjool dates with just the right amount of vanilla bean and cinnamon spices
- Top Layer - a nice thick layer of my Vegan Caramel Sauce naturally sweetened with date nectar instead of a measly drizzle of caramel
You can make these in three quick and easy steps and only need a food processor. They can be ready in about 10-15 minutes, then need another 15 minutes or so to allow it to firm in the refrigerator.
My healthy plant-based recipe is made with clean, real food ingredients and is raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, lectin-free, egg-free, flourless, grain-free, no-bake, paleo-friendly, contains no refined sugar, and is Medical Medium® compliant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is This Recipe Healthy?
In my opinion, yes!
Homemade baked versions have the typical S.A.D (Standard American Diet) ingredients like these:
- S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) Homemade Caramel Apple Bars Typical Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups white flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white flour
- S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) Homemade Caramel Typical Ingredients: 1 cup white sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup heavy cream
And, they aren't vegan, gluten-free, paleo and you have to bake them!
Karielyn's Expert Tips + Ingredient Substitutions
Here are some of my expert tips to make this recipe perfectly:
Apples: I like to use red apples because they are sweeter than green apples, so any variety of red apples will work. You don't need to dice them because they will be added to a food processor, but cutting them into quartered pieces before adding them will help them process easier.
Maple Syrup: Can be substituted with organic date syrup or organic coconut nectar.
Coconut Oil: If you don't like the taste or flavor of coconut oil, you can use organic refined coconut oil which has zero coconut taste or flavor.
Coconut Flour: You will need just a small amount to firm up the crust mixture.
Vanilla Bean Powder: This can be substituted with organic vanilla extract or alcohol-free vanilla extract to keep the recipe 100% Medical Medium® compliant.
Medjool Dates: Make sure they are pitted before adding them to your food processor and process them only long enough to break them down into tiny pieces.
Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice will give you the best flavor and nutrients since it hasn't been pasteurized, but store-bought organic lemon juice can be substituted.
Almond Butter: Almond butter will give the closest flavor to real caramel, but you could try to substitute it with another neutral-flavored nut butter such as cashew butter or sunflower seed butter. However, I can't guarantee the flavor with a substitution.
Himalayan Pink Salt: This is my salt of preference, however, it can always be substituted with sea salt.
Serving Size: This recipe will make approximately (9) squares. Nutritional information is for (1) square which is (1) serving.
Want More Healthy Plant-Based No-Bake Desserts?
Check out these:
- Chewy Nut and Seed Bars
- Raw Apple Pie Tart
- Cinnamon Vanilla Apple Chips
- or my CLEAN DESSERTS Cookbook with 72 plant-based vegan no-bake desserts made with clean, real food ingredients just like this one that you will love!
Did You Make This Recipe?
I'd love to hear about it! Please give it a rating and leave a comment below...it would make my day! : )
Gluten-Free Vegan No-Bake Caramel Apple Bars
For the crust:
For the apple filling:
- Prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with parchment paper, then set aside.
Prepare the crust:
- Add all the ingredients for the crust to a medium-size bowl and stir until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, press it down firmly and evenly, then set aside.
Prepare the apple filling:
- Add all the ingredients for the apple filling to a food processor and process/pulse until the apples and dates are broken down into tiny pieces, taking care not to over-process.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, spread it evenly on top of the crust, press it down firmly, then set aside.
Prepare the caramel topping:
- Add all the ingredients for the caramel topping to a small mixing bowl and whisk or stir together until it's creamy and smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and spread it evenly on top of the apple filling.
- Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes for it to firm.
- Store in an air-tight BPA-free container in the refrigerator until ready to serve because they will get soft if left out at room temperature.
Hi, I'm Karielyn! I'm the published cookbook author of CLEAN DESSERTS and content creator of The Healthy Family and Home website since 2012. I specialize in creating easy, healthy plant-based recipes that are gluten-free + vegan (with a heavy focus on Medical Medium® compliant) and made with clean, real food ingredients that you can feel good about eating.