I’m not usually one for elaborate, time-consuming dessert recipes. Give me a piece of fruit or healthy energy balls and I’m a happy mama. These fruit and nut cake bars are a bit more time intensive, but very worth it. They’re a delicious, portable, single serving size dessert option.
I’m frequently traveling somewhere, whether it’s to the chiropractor’s office, kid’s sports practices, or the nearby beach. Cookie bars are a nice make-ahead dessert option for these busy days. And unlike pie or pudding, they’re a less messy option for potlucks and get-togethers. Even if there’s nothing on the agenda for the day, they’re still a yummy treat.
Fruit and Nut Dessert Bars
Most cake bar recipes are made with a box of cake mix. These are the real food version! You won’t find vegetable oil, yellow cake mix, or funfetti sprinkle cake mix bars here. Not that I’m against cake, but cake mix cookie bars from a box aren’t my idea of a worthwhile dessert.
These fruit and nut cake bars are gluten-free, grain-free, and naturally sweetened with honey and coconut sugar. The jam in the middle adds a nice chewy flavor. You could easily make a chocolate chip cookie bars version and add some semi-sweet chocolate chips to the middle instead of jam. Or try a PB and J version with some peanut butter and jam in the center.
I use walnuts in these because I like their chewy, meaty flavor. You could also use pecans, almonds, or cashews if you prefer. And if you need to skip the nuts altogether then you can replace them with some seeds instead. Try sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Can’t decide? Try a blend of different nuts and/or seeds!
Prepping the Pan For Cake Bars
You can grease and flour the pan if you have some gluten-free flour on hand. Another option is coconut oil cooking spray or parchment paper. Since the crust for these cake bars has honey in it, it can stick to the bottom of the pan if there isn’t a barrier.
Fruit and Nut Cake Bars Recipe
- If you’d like to try making your own quick jam, this chia seed pudding recipe includes a simple chia seed blackberry jam recipe.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
Craving some more easy recipes or need something yummy for your next potluck? Try one of these recipes!
- Chocolate Chip Cookies (we love these with dark chocolate chips!)
- Chewy Avocado Brownies
- Butter Pecan Ice Cream (omit the butter for vanilla ice cream)
- Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars (tastes like a chocolate cookie bars recipe!)
- Berry Crisp
How will you customize your fruit and nut cake bars? What filling and topping options will you use? Leave a comment and share below!