You guys, I can't get over these gluten-free cherry oatmeal bars! I love them SO MUCH! After making this recipe twice in two days, I've come to the realization that this is exactly what my favorite dessert tastes like.
I've never really asked myself what it was before – probably because I don't have much of a sweet tooth – but now that I think about it...it's the one.
Or something like this one.
The components of my perfect oatmeal bars are:
1. A crispy oat topping.
Proof = I have 5 crisp recipes on this blog and considering that I don't post a lot of desserts, it's quite a lot.
The crispy oat clusters are my favorite part, and it's no exception for these cherry oatmeal bars. Buttery, lightly salty and...crispy of course.
I totally picked some clusters with my fingers and left a few bars naked. Sorry, not sorry.
Usually something around the berry line. I don't discriminate. Be it cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry...I love them all. Ok technically, cherries are not berries. But they're red, so I've just decided they're gonna be Marie-berries.
I made a version of this very same recipe with a mix of raspberries and blueberries and...OMG it was so delicious! I swear I couldn't stop eating it.
I didn't even wait for the oatmeal bars to cool down, so it was basically more like a double oat crisp. So, so good!
3. Sweet but not too sweet. And without refined sugar, please. Oh, and if it's gluten-free, then even better.
As you can see, these Cherry Oatmeal Bars tick all the boxes, while still tasting every bit as rich and buttery as the ones from the coffee shop!
If the description above ↑↑↑ fits your criteria then...I don't know how to say this politely but I really really urge you to try this recipe for Cherry Oatmeal Bars. Because, really, there is NO WAY you would not love it.
If by any chance, you're more a chocolate kind of gal, please know that you're still welcome on this blog (and I'm even going to link to chocolate recipes)
If you tried this Gluten-free Cherry Oatmeal Bars recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!
Cherry Oatmeal Bars (Refined Sugar Free and Gluten Free)
These streusel-topped Cherry Oatmeal Bars taste every bit as yummy as the ones from the coffee shop but are made without refined sugar and are gluten-free.
- 12 oz frozen cherries 350 g, pitted (about 2 ½ cups) - you can also use berries like raspberries and blueberries
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup honey or rice malt syrup or pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350F - 175C. Line a 2 quart (18x28 cm) rectangular baking dish (like this one) with parchment paper for easy unmolding. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine coconut sugar, oats, flour, salt, and baking powder. Add butter and mix until crumbly and butter is incorporated. You can use a pastry cutter for that. I don't own one so I just used my fingertips.
Add half of the mixture in the prepared baking dish and press it down firmly on the bottom with the palm of your hands. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
Add cherries, water, and honey in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Transfer to a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. If using a blender, cool for a few minutes before blending. You can also use an immersion blender. Transfer back into the saucepan.
In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch with ½ cup of water and pour into cherry filling. Heat over medium-high heat and whisk constantly until it thickens, about 1 minute. The mixture will be very thick.
Turn off the heat and while it's still hot, spread the filling over the first layer of the oat mixture. Make sure all the oats are covered. Cool slightly then top with remaining oats and press lightly with your hands.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely (at least 2 hours - you can pop them in the fridge to speed up the process) before cutting into squares with a knife. They will be too fragile to cut when hot. After two days, the topping will start to soften.
I also tried this recipe with a combo of raspberries and blueberries and it was to die for!
If you don't have the patience to wait, you can serve it warm as a crisp/crumble!
Recipe inspired by this recipe