July 15, 2024


Food Moments

Apple Pie Bars Recipe – Shugary Sweets

5 min read
Apple Pie Bars Recipe – Shugary Sweets

Apple Pie Bars are a portable version of the familiar autumn pie. You’ll love the pairing of sweet cinnamon apples baked with a perfect buttery crust!

If you love handheld desserts, make sure to try my Apple Hand Pies too. For an apple dessert that takes even less work, these Apple Dumplings are a winner.

Apple pie bars on a white plate.

Why These Apple Bars are Best

There’s nothing like the perfection of an old fashioned apple pie. This recipe puts a delicious and easy twist on the pie you know and love.

The shortbread cookie inspired crust is less fussy than traditional pie crust and tastes incredible with apple filling.

  • Apple pie you can eat with your hands!
  • These bars start with an easy homemade crust.
  • The apple pie filling has the perfect balance of sweet, tart and fall spice flavors.
  • A brown sugar streusel topping adds a satisfying finishing touch!

Like this Dutch Apple Pie, we topped the apple bars with a crumbly streusel instead of a second crust.

Today’s recipe is a cross between apple crisp and our easy apple slab pie.

Ingredient Notes

Apple pie bars cut into squares on a wooden cutting board.

To make apple pie bars, you’ll need most of the same ingredients you would use for a standard apple pie.

  • Crust – You will need butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour and salt. We also add vanilla extract to our crust for added flavor.
  • Apples – Granny smith, Honeycrisp or a combination of both are best for this apple pie filling!
  • Spices – Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are the perfect autumnal blend here. Or use your favorite apple pie spice mix instead.
  • Lime juice – The acid helps balance the sweetness of the apple filling for an even more appealing flavor.
  • Oats – Use whole rolled oats for the crumb topping, along with butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.

This apple pie bar recipe is easy to make, even if you’ve never made any apple dessert from scratch before.

Just make the crust and mix together the filling and topping. Assemble, bake and enjoy!

How to Assemble

How to make apple bar crust:

Step by step photos showing how to make apple bar crust.

How to make apple bar filling:

Step by step photos showing how to make apple pie bar filling.

How to make apple bar streusel:

Step by step photos showing how to make apple pie bar topping.

Press the crust into a square baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes then let it cool.

Spread the apple pie filling on top of the cooled crust.

Spoon the streusel topping over the apple layer. Try to cover the apples as evenly as possible with that delicious cinnamon sugar crumble!

Bake for 55 minutes. Let the bars cool slightly in the pan before cutting.

Tips and Tricks

  • Try these bars warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a heavenly dessert!
  • Apple pie bars are also delicious served chilled. You can enjoy them cold straight out of the fridge.
  • Store the bars tightly covered in the refrigerator. They taste best eaten within 3 days.
  • For a sweet treat, drizzle some vanilla icing on the top while warm!
Stack of two apple pie bars on a white plate.

Recipe FAQs

How can I keep the edges from overbrowning?

If you notice parts of the bars are starting to look brown before the bars are done baking, loosely cover your pan with foil. This will keep the edges and top layer from burning while the center continues to bake through.

Can I freeze apple pie bars?

Yes, apple bars keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store them in a freezer-safe container or freezer bags. If you have to place the bars on top of one another, make sure to separate them with a piece of wax paper to prevent sticking.
Let the frozen apple bars thaw overnight in the refrigerator before eating them.

Can I use lemon juice instead of lime?

You sure can. I preferred the zestier flavor of lime in the filling, but lemon juice has been the standard for apple pie recipes for generations!

What other apples can I use for pie filling besides granny smith?

Any combination of apples with a sweet and tart flavor are good alternatives. I love Honeycrisp and Pink Lady for apple pie recipes. Fuji and Golden Delicious are two more popular choices.

More Fall Desserts

Apple Pie Bars are a portable version of the familiar autumn pie. You'll love the pairing of sweet cinnamon apples baked with a perfect buttery crust!

Apple Pie Bars are a portable version of the familiar autumn pie. You’ll love the pairing of sweet cinnamon apples baked with a perfect buttery crust!


For the Crust:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling:

  • 3 ½ cups apples, cored and sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice (juice from one lime)
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed


For the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9×9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle combine butter, sugar and brown sugar. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Add flour and salt and mix until incorporated.
  3. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Poke holes into the bottom of the crust, then place into the preheated oven on the center rack. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a wire cooling rack to cool.

For the Filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine sliced apples, sugar, cornstarch, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves. Mix until the apples are well coated.
  2. Add in lime juice and mix to combine. Pour the apple mixture onto the pre-baked crust (it can still be warm).

For the Topping:

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add butter and mix in using a fork until crumbly in texture. (hands work well too)
  2. Spoon the topping mixture evenly over the apple filling. Place into the preheated oven on the center rack and bake for 55 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a wire cooling rack.
  3. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes before serving. Or serve chilled for a delicious twist.


  • STORAGE: Store apple pie bars in refrigerator for best flavor and texture for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Store in airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.
  • For the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in the filling, you can swap out for 3 teaspoons apple pie spice.
  • Lemon juice can be used instead of lime, if desired.
  • APPLES- I suggest honeycrisp or granny smith (or a combination of both).
  • If mixture begins to burn or brown too quickly along the edges, loosely cover the pan with foil.
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 378Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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These Apple Pie Bars have a buttery sweet crust, a spiced apple filling and the perfect streusel crumb!

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