Soft, apple-cinnamon-spiced, grain-free and no-bake bars sandwich a thick layer of creamy vanilla nice cream, for a unique and fun dessert that’s perfect for this warm fall weather.
The idea for these bars came to me in a dream. At least I think so. I have a foggy recollection of grabbing my phone, half asleep, and typing in a note to myself along the lines of: “raw apple bars, nice cream in the middle.” Does anyone else do this? I have a ridiculous amount of random recipe ideas haphazardly hanging out in the Notes on my phone. Some of these crazy ideas have been squirreled away for almost two years. Thankfully, I didn’t waste any time in making these raw apple pie bars a reality, because they turned out super yummy!
Especially drizzled with my Easy 4 Ingredient Caramel Sauce. Which actually isn’t raw, but by golly its so delicious paired with the soft, spiced apple pie bars and cool vanilla nice cream. If you want to make a raw caramel sauce, you can try thinning out my Best Healthy Caramel Dip Ever with a little almond milk. Or you can just serve them plain. Either way, your mouth is going to thank you.
The construction of these bars was inspired by this mind blowing photo of raw cookie dough ice cream sandwiches (recipe by So Beautifully Raw). I loved the idea of a stacked-up, rectangular “block” of ice cream sandwich yumminess. I knew I wanted to go for a lower fat ice cream middle, but was a little hesitant about freezing banana nice cream. Then I remembered Natalie’s (Feasting on Fruit) Carrot Cake Ice Cream Cake and how she kept the nice cream creamy by blending in dates. Yes! It worked like a charm. I have also heard a little plant based protein powder can keep nice cream soft, so I added a little of that too, but feel free to leave it out if you don’t have it.
These bars are fun to make and even more fun to eat 🙂 Give them a try, and don’t forget to let me know how you like them!
Nearly Raw Apple Pie a la Mode Bars (vegan, gluten free, sugar free, paleo)
Makes 6 – 8 bars
- 8 medjool dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp of almond milk (plus more as needed)
- 2 tbsp raw almond butter
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp cloves and allspice
- 1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 cup almond or cashew meal/flour, I used both (I grind raw almond and cashews into a fine meal in my blender)
- 1/2 – 1 cup dried apples, cut into small chunks
- 4 large, very ripe frozen bananas
- 6 soft medjool dates, soak in hot water if they are hard
- 1 scoop of raw, plant-based protein powder, in vanilla (optional)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (if not using vanilla protein powder)
- few tablespoons of almond milk or other plant based milk
In a food processor, combine the first 10 ingredients of the bars, scraping down the sides as needed, until fairly smooth. Add the coconut flour, almond/cashew meal, and dried apples and pulse until everything is combined. Mixture should be tacky and stick together. If it seems too dry, add a splash of almond milk, if too wet, add a tablespoon at a time of coconut flour.
Press dough into a parchment paper lined bread loaf pan for thick bars, or 8×8 baking pan for thin bars. Pop in the freezer for about an hour. Remove loaf pan and cut the bars once, down the middle, doing your best to get two equal sized squares. Now you have the top and bottom layer. Set aside and make the nice cream.
Make the nice cream by blending all the ingredients, using as little almond milk as possible, in a high speed blender or food processor. Spread a thick layer of nice cream on one of the bar layers and carefully top with the other half (you will cut them into squares later). I kept the bottom apple bar layer inside the pan while adding the ice cream, then lifting the parchment paper around the entire block and using it to smooth out the nice cream on the sides. Put the pan back in the freezer and freeze for at least 6 hours.
Remove by lifting the parchment out of the pan, unwrap and then slice into 6 bars or 8 minis. Store any uneaten bars in the freezer.