Apple Pie Bars

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These apple pie bars taste just like apple pie but are even easier to make. A from-scratch apple filling sits between a buttery shortbread crust and a delicious crumb topping for an irresistible fall dessert.

a stack of 2 Apple Pie Bars with ice cream on top


Apple pie is a true dessert classic, but can be a bit intimidating. Enter: these apple pie bars!

They taste just like apple crumble pie but are easier to make! There’s no chilling or pie dough required to make this delicious fall treat. And they are cut neatly into squares for easy serving!

The apple filling is made from scratch with simple ingredients. Sandwiched between the buttery shortbread crust and sweet crumble topping – this bakery-quality dessert will become a family favorite!

a stack of 3 Apple Pie Bars

Apple Pie Bars: Ingredients & Substitutions

overhead photo of the ingredients in this Apple Pie Bars recipe
  •  Apples. Choose your favorite apple variety! I recommend pink lady, honey crisp, gala, jazz, granny smith, McIntosh, etc. A sweet/tart mixture is my favorite. Also try raspberry bars & cherry bars for different varieties!
  • Light brown sugar. dark brown sugar works well, it imparts are bolder molasses taste.
  • All-purpose flour. to make these gluten-free, use all-purpose gluten-free baking flour.
  • Salted butter. Unsalted butter works well in this recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar. Use white granulated sugar or organic cane sugar for the best results.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract. If you’d like, you can use a combination of vanilla and another extract such as almond, lemon, etc.
7 Apple Pie Bars

How to Make Apple Pie Bars

There are three layers to make in this recipe. I suggest laying out the dry ingredients for each separately (label them to avoid confusion). They all use similar ingredients just in different amounts.

Make the Apple filling

Since we precook the apples and they need to cool, we start by making the apple filling.

So, begin by placing the peeled, cored and sliced apples in a microwave safe dish. Cover and cook for 6 minutes, until apples are slightly soft.

Once apples are finished cooking in the microwave, put them in a colander to drain excess water. Let them cool in the colander for at least 10 minutes.

peeled, diced and partially cooked apples in a glass bowl

While apples are in the microwave, mix together the sugar, flour cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.

two photos showing How to Make Apple Pie Bars - combining the dry filling ingredients

Then, transfer the cooled & drained apples to a bowl and stir in dry ingredient mixture until evenly distributed.

two photos showing How to Make Apple Pie Bars - combining apples and filling ingredients

Make the Crumb Topping

Next, prepare the crumb topping by mixing together sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.

How to Make Apple Pie Bars - mixing dry crumb topping ingredients

Then cut in butter with a fork, a pastry cutter, or your hands until large crumbs form. Set it aside.

two photos showing How to Make Apple Pie Bars - adding butter to dry ingredients to make the crumb topping

Make the Shortbread Crust

I suggest making the shortbread crust last because it’s very simple. Plus, once it’s done you can assemble and bake the apple pie bars right away.

Begin by beating the butter and sugar together for 60 seconds either in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer.

Then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated.

two photos showing How to Make Apple Pie Bars - beating butter and sugars to make the shortbread crust

Next, add the flour and salt and beat until coarse, large crumbs form (about 60-90 seconds).

two photos showing How to Make Apple Pie Bars - making the shortbread crust

Assemble & Bake

Spread the dough into the bottom of a 9×9″ baking dish, and use floured hands to press it into an even layer.

two photos showing How to Make Apple Pie Bars - pressing crust into baking pan

Then, spread the apple filling evenly over the crust, then sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples.

two photos showing How to assemble Apple Pie Bars - adding apples and crumb topping

Bake the apple pie bars at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until the stop is set and the filling is bubbly.

two photos showing apple pie bars before and after baking

Let the bars cool to room temperature before serving. The bars are best served once they are completely cool for easy cutting and serving.

Apple Pie Bars in a baking dish after baking

Serve

Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce

Apple Pie Bars cut into squares on a cutting board

Store

Store leftover apple pie bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze

 If you have leftover apple pie bars you want to freeze, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer to flash-freeze them.

Then, once the bars are frozen, wrap them in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for about 6 hours. 

an Apple Pie Bar on a plate topped with ice cream

Apple Pie Bars Recipe FAQs

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, double the ingredients and bake in a 9×13″ pan.

Should Apple Pie Bars be refrigerated?

Yes, I suggest storing them in the refrigerator so they last longer.

Can I cook the apples on the stovetop?

Yes, if you prefer to cook the apples on the stovetop instead of in the microwave, that’s a great choice. Put the peel and sliced apples in a large nonstick skillet or cast iron pan, cover and cook until soft. You may need to add a splash of water or pat of butter, but the apples should release juices and cook without it.

a stack of 2 Apple Pie Bars on a plate

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Apple Pie Bars Recipe

Laura
These apple pie bars taste just like apple pie but are even easier to make. A from-scratch apple filling is piled on a buttery shortbread crust and topped with a delicious crumb topping for an irresistible fall dessert.
5 from 6 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Bars
Calories 209
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Cooling20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Apple Filling

Shortbread Crust:

Crumble topping

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a 9×9” baking dish with parchment paper and lightly grease, set aside.

Make the Apple filling:

  • Place the peeled, cored and sliced apples in a microwave safe dish and cook for 6 minutes, until apples are slightly soft.
  • While apples are in the microwave, in a small bowl, mix together sugar, flour cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Once apples are finished cooking in the microwave, put them in a colander to drain excess water. Let them cool in the colander for at least 10 minutes.
  • Transfer cooled & drained apples to a bowl, add dry ingredient mixture and stir until it’s evenly distributed.

Make the Crumb Topping:

  • In a small bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt until combined.
  • Cut in butter with a fork, a pastry cutter, or your hands until crumbly.
  • Set aside.

Make the crust:

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat butter and sugar for 60 seconds.
  • Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  • Add flour and salt and beat until coarse, large crumbs form (about 60-90 seconds).
  • Pour the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, using lightly floured hands, press it into an even layer.

Assemble & Bake

  • Spread the apple filling evenly over the crust.
  • Then, sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until the stop is set and the filling is bubbly.
  • Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Serve

  • Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  •  Apples. Choose your favorite apple variety! I recommend pink lady, honey crisp, gala, jazz, granny smith, McIntosh, etc. A sweet/tart mixture is my favorite.
  • Light brown sugar. dark brown sugar works well, it imparts are bolder molasses taste.
  • All-purpose flour. to make these gluten-free, use all-purpose gluten-free baking flour.
  • Salted butter. Unsalted butter works well in this recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar. Use white granulated sugar or organic cane sugar for the best results.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract. If you’d like, you can use a combination of vanilla and another extract such as almond, lemon, etc.
Store
Store leftover apple pie bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze
 If you have leftover apple pie bars you want to freeze, place them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer to flash-freeze them.
Then, once the bars are frozen, wrap them in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for about 6 hours. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this the week before thanksgiving to try out as option for Thanksgiving and it was a total hit! So a week later we just made another batch of these! Making some homemade whipped cream to go with it this time but was great on its own too!

  2. Hi there! I see egg listed in the photo of the ingredients, but not in the actual recipe or the instructions. Should one be included?
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Joni! That was an accident that happened when I created the graphic with the labeled ingredients – there is no egg in this recipe. I fixed it!