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Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars (with Vegan and Gluten Free Suggestions)

Makes 16 bars
Storage:  In an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to three months.

  • 1 2/3 cups vanilla, white, or yellow cake mix 
  • 1 cup old fashioned whole rolled oats 
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups berries
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • optional* 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes, 
  • optional* 1 can (14-ounces) sweetened condensed milk 

  1.  Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a 9-by-9 inch pan by lining it with aluminum foil and then spraying it with cooking spray. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, oats, butter, egg, vanilla and mix either with a mixer, with a spoon, or with your hands, kneading it together. The batter will be thick, tacky, and may be difficult to combine, but keep stirring or use your fingers and knead it together, adding a splash of water if absolutely necessary in order to combine. 
  3. Press the dough it into the prepared pan. It will be tacky, sticky, and a bit tricky to work with, but keep pressing, spreading, and finessing it. 
  4.  Sprinkle the berries, then sprinkle the white chocolate chips and coconut, evenly over the top of the dough. 
  5. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top, using a spatula to gently spread and even it if necessary. 
  6. Bake for 25 to 29 minutes, or until edges of bars begin to barely brown and pull away slightly from the sides of the pan, taking care not to over bake. 
  7. Optionally, dust with confectioner’s sugar, top with whipped topping or ice cream before serving. 

The middle will not seem very well set and although it will be bubbling, the middle will be jiggly and juicy upon removing from oven and that is okay, you want to keep these gooey. They will continue to set up more after they have cooled but don’t be alarmed if you cannot get perfect squares as these are made to be soft and gooey. Allow bars to cool well before slicing and serving.

To keep vegan,
Use a vegan cake mix, a flax egg, vegan white chocolate chips, and coconut milk (full-fat), sweetened to taste with agave/maple syrup/sugar, in place of the sweetened condensed milk.

To keep gluten-free,
Use gluten free cake mix. Take care all ingredients used are suitable for your dietary needs.

If you do not like white chocolate,
You can omit entirely or use milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips. Use slivered almonds in place of the coconut flakes if you don’t like coconut. Make the dough with the oats, cake mix, egg, vanilla, and press it into the prepared pan. Top with berries (fresh or frozen, any combination and variety you like), top with white chocolate chips and coconut flakes (or other toppings such as semi-sweet chocolate chips, slivered almonds, other nuts, toffee bits, or toppings you like) And then bake them, taking care not to over bake. These will look very gooey and under baked even after the suggested baking time, but take them out of the oven anyway and let them cool. They will firm up considerably upon cooling, but they are still a very ooey, gooey, messy dessert.

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