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Vegan Berry Bars

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These delicious vegan berry bars are the perfect summer sweet treat. This is the best way to use your fresh berries from berry season. This vegan fruit bar recipe has a buttery crust, graham cracker layer, and sweet berry topping. Berry bars are a summer favorite.

vegan berry bar square on a white and blue checkered napkin.

These are the best vegan berry bars! They are the perfect way to use up summer berries, even if you have frozen them. It's made with simple ingredients you likely have on hand; if you're looking for another great way to use berries, these Vegan Hand Pies are a great option.

If you're looking for other vegan dessert bars, check out these Vegan Smores Bars that take the mess out of smores or these Vegan 7-Layer Bars.

Why you'll love this recipe

  • It's an easy recipe and uses simple ingredients.
  • You can use fresh or frozen berries
  • The crust almost tastes like shortbread
  • It's the perfect dairy-free summer treat.
  • You can serve them at room temperature or cold.

Ingredients and substitutions

All of the ingredients in the berry bars in containers on a white background.
  • Berries (I usually use frozen, thawed-out berries), But you can use fresh if you would rather.
  • White sugar- I recommend not subbing this out for anything, as its flavor pairs best with the fruit.
  • Corn starch- thickens the berries so that it's not just soup; the cornstarch will do its magic while baking.
  • Lemon zest- if you aren't a lemon fan, you can leave this out, but it only adds a subtle taste of lemon and pairs perfectly.
  • Almond extract or vanilla extract- I prefer to use a combination of the two to get the best flavor. But if you only have one or the other feel free to use either.
  • All-purpose flour- you can sub this out for gluten-free flour if you need this to be gluten-free in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Brown sugar- in the crust, you use a combination of brown and white sugar to get the correct texture and flavor. But if you're out of one or the other, you can sub just one in a pinch.
  • Non-dairy milk- this recipe isn't fussy you can use whatever your favorite may be (Soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, etc).
  • Vegan butter- I would stick with vegan butter, but you could use coconut oil in a pinch.
  • Graham crackers- these are used to layer the bottom of the crust so that the berry juices don't make the crust soggy.

Check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for full ingredient and quantity information.

Variations and Add ons

  • Instead of a mixed berry, you can make these a single flavor like vegan blueberry bars or raspberry bars.
  • You could add a crumb topping to make these more of a berry crumble bar.
  • If you need to substitute the cornstarch, you can use arrowroot powder in a 1:1 ratio.

How to make Vegan Berry Bars

an 8x8 glass pan with foil overhang on it on a marbled background.

Step 1- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees; get an 8×8 square baking pan and place foil or parchment paper with an overlap so you can pull the bars out in one piece and grease whichever you use. Set it aside.

Frozen mixed berries in a glass bowl on a white background.

Step 2-If you are using frozen berries, unthaw them in a medium bowl. It's okay if some are still frozen; you don't want them complete mush.

frozen berries in a glass bowl with a mixture of ingredients on top not mixed in.

Step 3-Add the remaining filling ingredients into the berries, stir gently, and set aside.

A glass bowl with flour, brown sugar and sugar in it not mixed.

Step 4- Now start the crust. Take a medium-sized bowl and add your dry ingredients, the flour, and sugars, and stir. 

a glass bowl with flour mixture and vegan butter with a pastry cutter in it.

Step 5- Take the vegan butter and a pastry cutter (or fork) and crumble the vegan butter into the flour mixture until it's combined well, it will be a bit crumbly, and that's okay.

a glass bowl with a ball of shaggy dough in it.

Step 6- Add your vegan milk and fold the batter until it absorbs into the dough. This is a thick, somewhat crumbly dough (kind of like making biscuits).

A 8x8 glass pan with foil and the dough on the bottom .

Step 7- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the 8×8 baking dish.  Bake this for 9 minutes.

an 8x8 glass pan with graham crackers covering on top of a crust.

Step 8- Remove from the oven and place the graham crackers on top of the dough, covering most of the crust.

a glass 8x8 pan with berries on the top before baking in the oven.
pre-baked

Step 9- Now take the prepared berries; they will be liquidy, and pour them over the crust.

Fruit baked in an 8x8 glass pan with a foil overhang.
fresh from the oven

Step 10- Bake this for 40-45 minutes.

Cooked berry bars cut into squares on a foil background.

The berries will thicken as they cool. Wait a few hours before cutting, or moving will be too hard. You can speed this up by placing them in the freezer for 30 minutes and then cutting them into squares. These taste great cold from the fridge or warmed up with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  1. Make sure to use a foil overhang in the pan so it's easy to get this out of the pan so you can cut it nicely.
  2. Don't try to cut into this before it's had time to set.
  3. Don't over-mix the crust- you treat it more like a biscuit.
  4. Make sure not to sub out the graham cracker as it gives it great flavor and helps the bottom crust not be soggy from the berries.
  5. If your berries are super sweet, you can adjust the sugar amount in the mixture as you see fit.

Recipe FAQS

How do you store this vegan berry bar recipe?

These should be in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge.
They will remain good for about five days, but the earlier you eat them, the better they taste.
These can be served cold or at room temperature.

Can you freeze them?

Yes, they can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You can defrost them in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours.

What berries should I use for vegan dessert bars?

I like the variety of having mixed berries. But you could do just one berry if you would prefer, like;
raspberry bars, blueberry bars, marionberry bars, and blackberry bars. But again, I prefer a mix of fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and any berry. The berries can be frozen as well.

Can I make these gluten-free?

You can swap out the all-purpose flour for all-purpose gluten-free flour. The recipe has a graham cracker, and I would try to replace that with a gluten-free version if you can. The graham cracker makes it so the berry juice doesn't soak through the crust easily and holds up. I would find a gluten-free graham cracker to sub out for the best results.

Can I substitute maple syrup for the sugar?

No, it will have too much liquid, and your berry mixture won't be set up correctly. You can try to use coconut sugar, but it will have a bit of a different flavor. I like the combination of white sugar and brown sugar in this recipe.

Vegan berry bar squares on a glass square dish.

Here are some vegan berry desserts...

If you loved this recipe, then give it a 5-star rating and leave a comment! I love to chat with you all. Please feel free to share on social media and tag #courtneyshomestead. I would love to see you over on Instagram or Facebook

Vegan berry bar squares on a glass square dish.

Vegan Berry Bars

These vegan berry bars are the perfect summer treat. They are bursting with flavor and a great way to use summers bounty.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 49 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 384kcal

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3-4 cups berries I usually use frozen, thawed out berries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ TB cornstarch
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

Crust

  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup 2 TB vegan milk
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • 5-6 graham cracker sheets

Instructions

  • Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and greasing an 8x8 pan or place foil with an overlap so you can pull the bars out in one piece, grease the foil.
  • If you are using frozen berries, unthaw them in a medium bowl; it's okay if some are still frozen; you don't want them complete mush. Add the remaining filling ingredients and stir gently and set aside.
  • Now start the crust. Take a medium-size bowl and add the flour and sugars; stir. Take the vegan butter and a pastry cutter (or fork) and crumble the butter into the flour mixture until it's combined well, it will be a bit crumbly, and that's okay. Add your vegan milk and fold the batter until it absorbs the dough. This is a thick, somewhat crumbly dough (kind of like making biscuits).
  • Take the dough and press it evenly into the bottom of the 8x8 pan. Bake this for 9 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and place the graham crackers on the top of the dough, covering the majority of the crust. Now take the berries they will be liquidy and pour them over the crust.
  • Bake this for 40-45 minutes. The berries will thicken as cooked.
  • Wait a few hours before cutting, or it will be too hard to move. You can speed this up by placing them in the freezer for 30 minutes and then cutting. These taste great cold from the fridge.

Notes

These can be served cold or at room temperature.
Storing- Once they are fully cooled these should be in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge. They will remain good for about five days, but the earlier you eat them, the better they taste.
Freezer- They can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You can defrost them either in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours.
Variations and Substitutions
  • Instead of a mixed berry you can make these a single flavor like vegan blueberry bars or raspberry bars.
  • You could add a crumb topping to make these more of a berry crumble bar.
  • You could use coconut oil for the vegan butter but I would stick with the vegan butter. 
  • To make gluten-free use gluten-free flour and gluten-free graham crackers. 
Expert Tips and Tricks-
    1. Make sure to use a foil overhang in the pan so it's easy to get this out of the pan so you can cut it nicely.
    2. Don't try to cut into this before it's had time to set.
    3. Don't over mix the crust- you treat it more like a biscuit.
    4. Make sure to not sub out the graham cracker as it gives it great flavor and helps the bottom not be soggy from the berries.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 120mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 37g
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @courtneyshomestead or tag #courtneyshomestead!

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Recipe Rating




Harleen

Sunday 4th of July 2021

Can these be made a day before? Should I just store in the fridge and then cut them the day I need them?

Courtneys Homestead

Sunday 4th of July 2021

Yes, that works great. They taste good cold or at room temp! Thanks so much for stopping by! ❤️