These homemade Apple Pie Bars begin with a shortbread crust that's filled with a generous amount of cinnamon sugar coated apple slices and topped with a buttery streusel topping. After baking them until golden, you can serve them as is or drizzled with a warm salted caramel sauce.
Easy Apple Pie Bars Recipe
This recipe for Apple Pie Bars is one that bakers of all skill levels can make. They're made with pantry ingredients and you can use whatever favorite variety of apples that you enjoy most. I find that Gala, Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples do best, but I wouldn't be upset if you used Golden Delicious. I like to drizzle these with my Salted Caramel Sauce recipe, but you can certainly enjoy them straight from the pan or chilled.
How to Make the Best Apple Pie Bars Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Apple Pie Bars: Butter, all purpose flour, powdered sugar, Gala or Granny Smith apples thinly sliced, ground cinnamon, apple pie spice and salt.
- For the Streusel Topping you'll need: Quick cooking oats, all purpose flour, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and melted butter.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: One 8x8 inch baking pan, mixing bowls, whisk, a hand mixer or a large rubber spatula, an apple peeler-corer or a vegetable peeler, parchment paper, measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife and cutting board.
- How do you make apple pie bars? First you start by making a shortbread crust. You can use a hand mixer on low speed or a large rubber spatula to mix together the flour, sugar and softened butter by hand. Next, make the apple filling tossing together sliced apples with flour, sugar, cinnamon and apple pie spice with a dash of salt. Layer the spiced apples over the crust, then top with the streusel. Bake in a square pan until golden and bubbly then cool and cut into squares.
- Granny Smith apples are the gold standard for making apple pies because they hold they're shape and the tart flavor balances the sweet. You could use another variety of apples if that's your preference, just keep in mind the texture will vary depending on the variety. Both Gala and Honey Crisp apples will also do well in this recipe.
- The streusel topping is generous by design. You can halve the amount of ingredients, if that's more suited to your taste. You can also add ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts to the mixture. I love the streusel topping so for us I make this just as it is in the recipe.
- Store Apple Pie Bars in an airtight container chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Can I freeze Apple Pie Bars? Yes, these apple bars do freeze well. Store them in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator or allow some stand time on the counter just before serving.
More Southern Style Apple Desserts to Make
There's no wrong time of year to enjoy apples but they do seem even more special during apple harvest season. More apple dessert recipes you may also like to try:
- Easy Fried Apple Pies dusted with powdered sugar.
- Cinnamon Apple Fritters are a true fall treat served with a cup of warm cider.
- Start your morning with homemade Apple Muffins.
- Apple Butter Pie features a warm and spicy flavored filling.
- Caramel Apple Poke Cake is a fun dessert that any baker can make.
- Apple Cider Glazed Doughnuts are a fun family project.
- Green Apple Salsa from Lemon Tree Dwelling.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Apple Pie Bars
- 1 cup salted butter (very soft)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Apple Pie Filling
- 4-5 medium Gala or Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and sliced
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Streusel Topping:
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ cup old fashioned or quick cooking oats (not instant)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Crust: In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. Use a hand mixer on low or a large silicone spatula to mix in the softened butter until a soft dough forms. Press evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Apple Filling: Meanwhile, In the same bowl, toss together apple slices with flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, apple pie spice, ground cinnamon and salt until the apples are evenly coated.
- Topping: In a separate bowl toss together flour, oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt with melted butter.
- Remove crust from oven and arrange apple pie filling evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with the streusel topping.
- Place pan back into the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until lightly golden and the apples are fork tender.
- Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 2 hours or chill to speed up the process.
- Cut into squares and serve drizzled with salted caramel sauce, if desired.