My mom used to make these pineapple bars when I was a kid. For many years now I’ve been thinking I need to make these vegan and gluten free but kept forgetting to ask her for the recipe. She gave me a recipe that was really a mixture of two different recipes and I set about making her version gluten-free and vegan.
I have to say, we were really pleased with the results. I even sampled these to our employees and they raved on about them. Not bad for gluten-free and vegan, right? Another person fooled!
This is a simple, no-fuss, no-muss dessert bar that comes together in really little time. Because, who has time for a complicated recipe these days. Certainly not I. In fact, I made these with little Jonas strapped to me in the carrier. (Don’t worry I set him down while I cooked the filling and put the bars into the hot oven.) Side note: I am going to write a whole other post about my carrier and how much I love it later. Seriously. I get so much of real life done because of my carrier.
There’s really not much to say about this recipe other than that it is delicious. There aren’t really any unique ingredients (bonus!) and you can use pretty much any gluten-free flour blend or just brown rice flour, and I feel pretty confident that the recipe would work just fine.
The one thing to make sure you do is definitely cut the bars straight out of the oven while still warm and then leave the cut bars in the pan to cool completely. If you let the whole slab cool without cutting first you may find the bottom crust hardens up too much to cut nicely afterward. Having a hard bottom crust is good because it’s not crumbly and fall-apart-y. But, it does make it hard to cut later so do the cutting while it’s still warm, like the instructions say.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (*see notes)
- ½ cup vegan margarine
- 1½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice**
- 1 x 14 oz. can of crushed pineapple with juice
- 1 tablespoon vegan margarine
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 9x9 baking dish.
- Mix brown sugar, gluten-free flour, first amount of vegan margarine (1/2 cup) and coconut together in a bowl until crumbly.
- Press about ⅔ of the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Reserve the remaining ⅓ of the mixture for topping.
- Combine the organic cane sugar, lemon juice, crushed pineapple with juice, second amount of vegan margarine (1 tablespoon) and cornstarch in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly so as not to scorch.
- Cook until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Spread the cooked pineapple mixture gently over the pressed base.
- Cover evenly with the remaining ⅓ of the crumb mixture and press down gently with your hand.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until nice and golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cut into squares while still warm. Let cool completely before removing squares from pan and serving.