Gluten-Free Guava Oatmeal Crumb Bars

When I was gathering supplies for my Taco Party last weekend, I stumbled on some guava paste at the Mexican grocery store and decided to grab it.  I have a habit of grabbing things without a plan when I’m grocery shopping. Sometimes it works out, sometimes they live in the cupboard way a little too long.  In this case, I needed a dessert for my Cinco de Mayo Taco Party, so I figured that it wouldn’t go to waste.

Guava Bars - Guava Paste  

I decided to go with Guava Oatmeal Crumb Bars.  I have a great crumb bar recipe that uses the same mixture for the top and bottom of the bars.  Ultimate lazy cooking!  The thing that you have to keep in mind is that they need time to cool and then refrigerate.  Not good for last minute dessert…and not good for me when I didn’t read the recipe quite all of the way through the first time that I made it.  The recipe is adapted from this Pumpkin Oatmeal Crumb bar recipe that I found.   I made them gluten-free and have been making them using a variety of fillings, but the original pumpkin filing is AMAZING!

Guava Bars - Cut  

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Melt ¾ of a cup of butter and set it aside to cool.  You also want to line a pan with parchment paper so that it hangs over the edges.  This will be useful for getting those bars out later.  I use a 10′ x 6′ pan, the original recipe calls for an 8′ x 8′ square pan…I allow you to be creative.

In a large bowl, combine:

– 1¼ cups quick oats

– ½ cup ground oats (remember that you can grind your own oats!)

– ½ cup brown rice flour

– ¼ cup cornstarch

– ½ teaspoon baking soda

– ½ teaspoon salt


Mix that up and add:

– ½ cup granulated sugar

– ½ cup brown sugar (the recipe calls for light, I use dark, but really, I use what I have on hand)

Mix again and then add in the melted butter and about 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  I admit that I almost always add more vanilla than a recipe calls for.  I consider vanilla the garlic of the baking world…you can always add more garlic to a recipe and the same applies to vanilla.

Guava Bars - Crumbs in Pan

Mix the whole thing up until you get a bowl full of delicious, buttery crumbs and them dump half of them into your lined baking pan.

Guava Bars - Bottom Crust

Now pat them down so that you have a flat even layer of crumbs.  I use the bottom of a cup to get them even, but your hands will do just fine.  Bake the bottom crust in your 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Guava Bars - Slicing Guava Paste

While the bottom crust is baking, slice up your guava paste into about ½ inch slices.  My slices were a bit messy and random, but that’s OK, you can hide the evidence with the crumb topping. 

Guava Bars - Filling

Once the bottom crust is done, take it out of the oven and line the top with your guava paste slices.  I leave about a half inch border.

Guava Bars - Topping

Now top the guava goodness with the rest of the crumb topping.  I squeeze the crumb topping together to get nice big chunks of crumble.  Yum!  Bake again for about 35 minutes, until the crumb topping starts to become golden.  Now the hard part…let it cool to room temperature.  This will take 1-2 hours.  Then chill it in the refrigerator for ANOTHER 2 hours.  

  Guava Bars - Close Up

Your patience will be rewarded.  Once cooled, remove the crumb bars from the pan, slice and devour!   My friends (who had never had guava before) loved these!  The guava paste reminded them of those pastries that we all ate in our youth.  

Hopefully you will enjoy them just as much.


  1. Mitzi

    Reminds me of Trinidad! Guava, take me away!!

    1. Thanks Bella! How did you use guava paste in Trinidad?

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