Gluten-Free Apple Pie Squares with Almond Butter Caramel

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If you love a good old-fashioned apple pie but want to keep it simple, try these Gluten-Free Apple Pie Squares with Almond Butter Caramel. The buttery crust is made with oats, a layer of apple cinnamon filling, a perfect crumble and creamy almond butter caramel…need I say more?

These squares truly are one of the tastiest, mouth watering, delicious apple squares I have tasted. The squares are made up of four layers, the crust, the apple pie filling, the crumble and the insanely delightful almond butter caramel. Soo good! Vegan option included.

 

apples

 

If there is one thing I love paired is, cinnamon apples with butter oats. They are meant to be together. Add a creamy almond butter caramel and the gluten-free apple pie squares with almond butter caramel are life changing.

 

apple pie squares with almond butter caramel, gluten free

 

it’s all in the details…

To start, you will need to make the apple pie filling. It’s pretty simple. Peel and chop apples, add them to a saucepan with butter, maple syrup, vanilla, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and a couple of teaspoons of starch. I used tapioca starch. Mix everything, bring to a simmer and cover. Remove the saucepan from the stove and allow the apples to soften.

 

apple pie filling

 

In this apple pie square recipe, I chopped the apples instead of slicing them thinly. The reason for this is, when you take a bite, you will taste apples and not apple sauce. Also, the crumble falls perfectly between the apple chunks.

 

apple pie filling

 

next…

Make the crust and crumble. Both are made from the same mixture. Simple, add everything in a food processor, pulse a few times and done! Most of the crust/crumble mixture is lightly pressed in the pan before adding the softened cinnamon apples.

Now that you have the crust ready spread the cinnamon apple mixture over the crust and sprinkle with the remaining crumble. Pop it in the oven for about 35 minutes and then cool.

 

almond butter caramel

 

the creamy almond butter caramel…

Yes, this is where this gluten-free apple pie square recipe shines from most. To make the almond butter caramel is sooo easy. Place the four ingredients, almond butter, butter, pure maple syrup and vanilla, in a small bowl and microwave for about 25 seconds. The creamy, butter caramel will soften so that you can drizzle it over the squares.

You may think there are so many steps, and this looks so complicated. Trust me, the recipe is super simple. It took me 15 minutes to put this apple pie square recipe together. You will love it!

apple pie squares – pros and cons…

Before I develop recipes, I always think of keeping them healthy on some level. After all…we are what we eat! So same goes for this gluten-free recipe. Using ingredients such as oats, apples, and maple syrup will give you an indication that this apple pie square recipe is on the healthier side.

 

gluten free apple dessert

 

the pros…

Oats are one of those foods that we should all include in our diet. When following a gluten-free diet, it is vital to buy certified gluten-free oats. We know that oats are naturally gluten-free, but if oats are grown next to wheat fields, they may contain gluten. When using certified gluten-free oats, they are tested and certified that they are free of gluten.

Oats are delicious, super nutritious, protein-packed, they are rich in antioxidants, and the oats can improve blood sugar control. But even more importantly, they contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. As per research, beta-glucan can slow the development of some cancers.

apples…

I don’t need to talk too much about apples. Have you heard the expression, an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, it is true. Why, you ask? First apples are delicious, and there is nothing tastier than a fresh crispy apple, like the ones I used in this apple pie square recipe.

For me, it is like candy. Have you tried to make apple cinnamon chips? They are super healthy and so addictive. YUM

Apples are highly nutritious and fiber-rich. Apples are also linked to a lower risk of diabetes, and they may help prevent some cancers, help fight asthma, and promote good gut bacteria. 

cons…

I can think of only one! You can’t stop eating them 🙂

 

apple pie squares, gluten free

 

how to serve apple pie squares with almond butter caramel…

First, they should be stored in a refrigerator for freshness. You can enjoy them straight out of the fridge or at room temperature. If you like warm apples, pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and add a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream. Yes…it doesn’t get any more delicious than this —total and complete perfection. Enjoy!

If you make these gluten-free apple pie squares, please be sure to leave a comment and or give this recipe a rating! And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram so I can see!

Ingredients

  • APPLE PIE FILLING
  • 1 Tbsp. Unsalted butter (* see below for vegan option)
  • 3 medium-large apples (granny smith, honey crisp), peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. Pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. GF cinnamon
  • Pinch of GF nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. Arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • CRUST AND CRUMBLE
  • 3/4 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • ALMOND BUTTER CARAMEL
  • 2 Tbsp. Pure creamy almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. Pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. Pure vanilla extract (use vanilla only if you are making the cream version)
  • *for vegan option substitute vegan butter (earth balance) for butter
  • *As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please check out my sponsorship and disclosure policy page for more details

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F and line a square 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper
  • Make the apple pie filling: melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the apple chunks and mix to combine. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, starch and 1 tablespoon of water. Add the mixture to the apples and cook until the sauce starts to bubble. Give it a good stir, cover the saucepan and remove it from the heat. Set aside. The apples continue to soften.
  • Make the crust and crumble: Place the rolled oats, oat flour, baking soda and salt into a food processor and pulse 7 times. Add remaining ingredients and briefly pulse until the mixture resembles crumbles.
  • Lightly press 2/3 of the mixture in the prepared baking pan and place the remaining mixture in the freezer for 5 minutes. This creates good crumble
  • Pour the apple pie mixture evenly over the crust and crumble the remaining oat mixture over the top. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the topping is golden. Cool completely in the pan
  • Make the almond butter caramel: place the almond butter, butter, maple syrup and vanilla in a medium bowl and stir until creamy. Microwave for about 25 - 35 seconds until warm
  • Drizzle almond butter caramel over cooled apple pie and cut into squares
  • *note - store the squares in the fridge. You can serve them at room temperature or straight out of the refrigerator.
  • Leave a Comment

    2 Responses to Gluten-Free Apple Pie Squares with Almond Butter Caramel

    • Mary Wahl September 9, 2021

      Sounds good. Will try soon. Is there something to
      Replace the almond butter?

      • Kristina September 9, 2021

        Mary, you can use any nut butter

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