These super soft, moist, and healthy Apple Chai Bars are full of warm, cozy, and delightful fall flavors! Enjoy these soft-baked chai-infused bars full of cinnamon roasted apples as a nutritious breakfast, snack, or dessert.
The Yummiest Healthy Apple Bars
Nothing is quite as cozy as cinnamon roasted apples and a warm mug of chai tea. Combine the two and you get a hug in every bite. Apples crave warm spices so it just made sense to use chai as the carrier of those spices. If you've never had it before, chai is absolutely delicious. It's made from a base of black tea and spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper. It's the perfect flavor complement to sweet apples, especially in the fall!
The high moisture content of these Healthy Apple Chai Bars makes them incredibly soft, with cinnamon-roasted apples adding a great bite of sweetness and crunchiness. They're also made healthy with ingredients like whole wheat flour, applesauce, and coconut sugar. I love them on their own, but they'd also taste amazing with a glaze or some ice cream. They're also extremely versatile - have them for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack!
Is This Healthy?
For sure! Apples are an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. It makes this baked treat healthy enough to enjoy any time of the day. Using applesauce not only boosts the nutritional value of these bars but also makes them deliciously soft and moist.
These Apple Chai Bars have a base of whole wheat flour. It's a great source of fiber, whole grains, and has a lower glycemic index than all purpose flour. You also get three sources of apples: fresh, applesauce, and apple cider vinegar. These bars are also dairy-free and refined sugar-free. You'll love them!
Why You'll Love it
- Making the batter is so easy; it's ready to go in the oven in just 10 minutes! You'll have your hands free the rest of the time.
- This recipe uses a lot of pantry staples - and is a great way to use up all that applesauce.
- Apple Chai Bars with whole wheat flour for more fiber and heartiness.
- Cut the bars as large or as small as you'd like, depending on how you want to serve them.
- Egg: Binds the ingredients together and provides a lot of moisture.
- Coconut sugar: A plant-based sweetener. You can also substitute with an equal amount of white cane sugar.
- Applesauce: Adds a base flavor of apple while keeping it moist for days!
- Chai concentrate: Make sure it says "concentrate." I'd avoid the tea or latte mixes, or else the chai flavor will be diluted.
- Apple cider vinegar: The acid in the vinegar will react with the baking soda, giving the batter lift and volume as it bakes.
- Whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour has more nutrients and fiber with a slightly nutty flavor. It's great for batters with a lot of liquid like in this recipe.
- Baking soda and baking powder: Leavening agents to make this chai dessert fluffy.
- Salt: To enhance the flavors.
For The Roasted Apples
- Apple: Any apple will work, but I recommend using Honeycrisp, Fuji, or Pink Lady for its balanced flavor & crispy texture.
- Cinnamon and coconut sugar: A traditional cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat the apples.
How To Make It
- Preheat the oven. Grease and then line your baking dish with parchment paper. I recommend using a smaller dish if possible. I like to use an 8x8 or 7.5x10.5 dish.
- Roast the apples Toss the apple in the cinnamon sugar mixture and roast for 10 minutes. This will remove some of the liquid from the apples so the bars aren't soggy. But a short roast maintains the apple's texture for delicious, fresh crunch. Let the apples cool completely.
- Mix the dry ingredients. Combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda and powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and coconut sugar. This ensure the sugar to be more evenly distributed. Then add the remaining wet ingredients: applesauce, chai concentrate, and apple cider vinegar. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Add the apples. Fold in the roasted apples, making sure not to over-mix the batter.
- Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and let sit for 10 minutes. This allows the gluten in the flour to absorb more moisture and relax. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The bake time will depend on the size of your baking dish.
- Roasting the apples first helps to remove some moisture so the bars don't get too mushy. It also makes them sweeter while still remaining crunchy!
- Do not over mix the batter, or you will end up with dense and gummy bars instead of soft and moist ones.
- Letting the batter rest for 10 minutes before baking creates a softer, bouncier bar.
- Take note that the baking time may vary depending on the size of the pan you will be using. If you are using a wider pan, your Apple Chai Bars will need less time in the oven.
- Check for doneness by doing a toothpick test. Just poke it in the center; if the toothpick comes out with minimal or zero crumbs stuck on it, then it's done.
Substitutions & Variations
- Substitute coconut sugar with equal parts white granulated sugar.
- If you don't have apple cider vinegar, try lemon or lime juice.
- Try substituting the cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice for a seasonal twist.
- Fold in some unsalted nuts to add more flavor and texture to these soft-baked bars. Almond, walnuts, cashews, and macadamia nuts would be delicious! work.
- Instead of Honeycrisp apples, you can also use Fuji apples as they are sweet, crisp, and suitable for a quick bake. If you like it a bit of tartness, you can use a Granny Smith.
- To make this vegan, replace the egg with ¼ cup more applesauce or a flax egg (mix one tablespoon flax seeds with three tablespoon water).
- To make this gluten-free, try Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Place your leftover Apple Chai Bars in an air-tight container or zip-top bag. They'll last in a dark, cool area for about 3 days or in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Freezing: This is a great treat that you can make ahead of time! To keep them moist and void of freezer burns, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil, then place in a freezer-friendly container or zip-top bag with as much air removed as possible. They'll last for 3 months in the freezer.
Let thaw overnight for best results. You can also microwave the frozen bars in 30 second intervals until warmed through.
I love them on their own, but they'd also taste amazing with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, glaze, or some ice cream on top! Enjoy them with milk, coffee, or tea!
Chai is a Hindi word derived from the Chinese term "cha," which means tea. It is also called Chai Masala, which means tea with mixed spices.
Yes, you may. When using a convection oven, a general rule of thumb is to reduce the heat by 25°F but keep the same baking time.
Looking For More?
If you're in a baking mood, I've got you covered! Try these delicious treats and desserts:
- Strawberry Lemon Cookies
- Healthier Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies
- Hot Cocoa Cookies
- PB&J French Toast Casserole
- Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Muffins
Healthy Apple Chai Bars
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line both a sheet pan and baking dish with parchment paper. I recommend using a smaller baking dish like an 8x8.
- Add cubed apples, 1½ teaspoon coconut sugar, and cinnamon to a bowl. Toss until the apples are evenly coated. Place evenly spaced on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, shaking halfway. Let cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- To a separate larger bowl, add egg and ½ cup coconut sugar. Whisk until homogenous. Then stir in applesauce, chai concentrate, and apple cider vinegar.
- Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until well-combined. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in the roasted apples.
- Pour batter into lined baking dish and let sit for 10 minutes. Then bake for 25-35min until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly before cutting. Option to sprinkle tops with powdered sugar.
- Baking time and serving size will be determined by the size of your baking dish.
- Chai concentrate: I use the Spiced Chai Black Tea Concentrate from Trader Joe's. The ingredients are water, black tea, chai extract, and ginger flavor.
- Apple: I recommend using a Honeycrisp or Fuji apple for the best flavor, sweetness, and texture. You can use a Granny Smith if you want it more tart.
- Storing Leftovers: Place the bars in an air-tight container or zip-top bag. They'll last in a dark, cool area for about 3 days or in the fridge for 5-7 days.
- Freezing: Wrap the bars tightly in aluminum foil, then place in a freezer-friendly container or zip-top bag with as much air removed as possible. They'll last for 3 months in the freezer. When ready to eat, let thaw overnight for best results. You can also microwave the frozen bars in 30 second intervals until warmed through.
Pin It For Later
Products I Used
The following contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission if you purchase an item through these links. I only recommend the brands I know and trust. Thank you for your support!