These bars are a more grown-up take on the classic combination of peanut butter and jelly. A jammy blackberry filling sandwich between peanut butter and cardamom-spiced pastry makes these bars feel both familiar and indulgent. This recipe for blackberry, cardamom and peanut butter crumble bars is vegan, gluten-free and a must-make! If you don’t like cardamom or are making these for kids, you can always leave it out or replace with cinnamon.
Don’t forget to check out the notes below for tips and ingredient recommendations.
For the filling
300g blackberries, frozen or fresh
75g caster sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch plus 2 Tbsp. water
For the pastry
250g plain gluten-free flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. xanthan
¼ tsp. ground cardamom, optional
130g muscovado sugar
100g non-dairy butter/margarine, cut into cubes if using butter
65g peanut butter, unsweetened
2 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
30g salted peanuts
Icing sugar, for dusting
Add the blackberries and caster sugar to a small pot and place on the hob at medium heat. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 to 10mins, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl combine the corn starch and two tablespoons of water, mix until the corn starch has completely dissolved. Add the cornstarch slurry to the pot and mix well to incorporate. Continue to simmer until the blackberry filling has thickened to a jammy consistency. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum and cardamom into a large bowl. Add the muscovado sugar and use a whisk to combine.
Add the butter to the flour. Mix briefly with a butter knife, using the knife to cut through the butter at the same time as mixing. Add the peanut butter and repeat. Add the milk and use your hands to bring the mixture together into a dough.
Line a 22cm by 28cm baking tray with baking paper. Evenly press two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of the tray for the base. Place the tray and the bowl of remaining dough in the fridge for 30mins.
Preheat the oven to 160C. Spread the blackberry filling over the pastry base and crumble the remaining dough over the top. Sprinkle with peanuts and bake for 30mins.
Allow to fully cool before slicing and dusting with icing sugar.
Xanthan Gum – is a binder that helps gluten-free baked goods hold their shape and prevents them from excessively crumbling (especially useful in vegan baking in the absence of eggs). You can find xanthan gum in most supermarkets in the baking aisle. You can, of course, leave the xanthan gum out but I haven’t tested the recipe without xanthan so I can’t guarantee it’ll work.
Flour – I used the plain flour from Dove’s farm.
Fruit – you can easily replace the blackberries with another berry of your choice.
Nut butter – not a fan of peanut butter? Replace it with almond or hazelnut butter.
Cardamom – I ground cardamon seeds from the pods for this recipe for a more intense flavour. If you’re not the biggest fan of the spice try already ground (for less intensity), replace with cinnamon or leave out entirely.
Find more gluten-free vegan baking tips here.