Apple Pie Bars with Crumble Topping
Apple Pie Bars with Crumble Topping

These apple pie bars have all the sweet cinnamon flavors of an apple pie in their hands! They’re easy to make, easy to share, and easy to turn into caramel apple pie bars if you want to make them extra special. If you need to plan ahead, these bars are even freezer friendly! Let the fall baking begin!

For me, the smell of autumn is the scent of apple pie being baked and cooled in the kitchen. And while I love making a classic apple pie, sometimes I don’t feel like making the pie crust, chilling it, and rolling it out. Apple pie bars are my easy fix!

In addition, the bars are easy to manufacture.

The dough you make for the crust doubles as the crumb topping. A small addition of optional pecans along with the oatmeal means the cake bars have texture and crunch to balance out the sweet apple filling, which is packed with all those deliciously warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Think of these bars as a great fall treat you can hold in your hand.

Which apples are best for apple pie bars?

I like to use a mix of different apples for these bars as each apple has different properties.

I recommend using Granny Smith apples, which are almost always firm and tart in the mix. They ensure your filling has some bite, firmness and texture without being completely mushy like applesauce. I also like to pick a sweeter apple.

For sweet apple options, I like:

  • Braeburn
  • Jonagold
  • Gala
  • jazz
  • Cortland
  • Honeycrisp apples are super sweet and crunchy.
  • Pink Lady and Opal apples are nicely balanced with acidity and sweetness.

And if you’re lucky enough to snag Gravenstein or Arkansas Black apples, both heirloom apples, grab a bunch. They are one of my favorite apples and I look for them every year. Their season is fleeting but they have a great intense apple flavor.

Certain apples are better suited to sauces, where they are valued for their ease of dissolving. That means they’re best avoided for an apple bar (or pie) recipe. For this recipe, stay away from:

  • Red Delicious
  • Rome
  • McIntosh

For more information on the best apples for baking, check out the apples guide.

The best nuts for sprinkles?

These bars use pecans in the topping for crunch and flavor. If you’re not a fan of pecans, you can easily swap out the same amount for a different type of nut. One of these would work:

  • walnuts
  • pistachios
  • almonds

If you are allergic to nuts or don’t like them in your desserts, just leave them out. Instead, add an additional 1/2 cup of oatmeal in place of the nuts.

To increase the “crunch” factor, try sprinkling 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar or turbinado sugar on top (sometimes sold under the Sugar in the Raw brand name). The larger sugar crystals add a sweet crunch to the top of the bars.

How to Dress Up Apple Pie Crumble Bars!

The beauty of these apple bars is how easy they are to make!

Make a crumbly batter, use half for the base, layer with some sliced ​​apples tossed in sugar and spices, then crumble the remaining batter on top with some nuts. After baking and cooling, dust with some icing sugar to spice things up a bit.

But you can take the bars in a few different directions. Try mixing the spices in the filling. I kept the filling of the bars straightforward with a strong portion of cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg. But any winterly warm spice will do!

Add an additional 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of these spices to make it even better:

  • Ground Ginger
  • cloves
  • morning star
  • pimento
  • Ground cardamom
  • Black pepper
  • coriander
  • Chinese Five Spice Blend

And if you’ve got a super stocked pantry or want to splurge on some esoteric spices, grains of paradise and long pepper add warmth and earthy depth that people can’t quite place but pair beautifully with apple.

Make Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Skip the powdered sugar step in this recipe and drizzle caramel on top of the apple bars. You can even get fancier pants and, after you drizzle the bars with caramel, sprinkle them with some finishing salt for Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars!

Make it easy on your own and use a store-bought caramel sauce or make your own homemade caramel sauce. Either way, the results will be fantastic.

How to store, freeze and reheat apple pie bars

These bars are best eaten the day they’re baked (like most desserts), but they keep surprisingly well.

Storage: Store bars sandwiched between parchment paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The longer they are in the fridge, the softer the crust and crumb will be.

Freeze: Yes, you can freeze these bars! Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen solid (about two hours).

To store frozen apple pie bars, place them in an airtight container or resealable ziplock bag, with a piece of parchment paper between layers, for up to three months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight before serving.

To warm up: You can refresh the bars by placing them on a baking sheet and reheating in a toaster oven or regular oven at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to dust the bars with more powdered sugar right before serving, as the powdered sugar tends to seep into the bar as it sits.

More delicious fall bar recipes

  • Pumpkin cheesecake bars with crumble topping
  • Pecan Pie Slices
  • 7-layer wands
  • Carmelitas
  • Fudgy Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies
  • Shauna Severs Frosted Snickerdoodle Bars

Apple pie bars with crumble topping

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
90 minutes

total time
110 minutes

16 bars

If you like a crispier crust, then enjoy these bars the day you make them. If you want a softer, more tender crust, prepare it the day before serving.


  • For the crust and topping:
  • 2 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) rolled oats

  • 1 cup (200 g) white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup (225 g) cold unsalted butter

  • 1 large egg

  • 3/4 cup (80 g) pecans, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • For the filling:
  • 2 1/2 pounds apples, about 5 medium to large apples

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup (50g) white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • End:
  • powdered sugar


  1. Prepare the oven and pan:

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking oil. Line parchment paper, leaving some parchment hanging over the sides so you can easily lift the bars out of the pan.

  2. Prepare the dough and topping:

    In a medium bowl, add flour, rolled oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

    Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces and sprinkle over the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, mash the butter into the dry ingredients, chop into small pieces, and mix the dry ingredients together. The butter should be the size of small flat peas.

    Beat the egg in a bowl, then drizzle over the mixture, whisking with a fork as you go. Once all of the egg has been added, continue whisking until the mixture has incorporated the egg and is evenly moist. Don’t worry if the dough seems crumbly.

  3. Divide the crust and topping mixture:

    Scoop out 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and place in another medium bowl. Add the chopped pecans and cinnamon to this mixture and mix everything together. Place in the fridge while you continue with the recipe.

  4. Shape crust:

    Place the remaining batter in the bottom of the lined pan and press down firmly with your hands or the flat bottom of a cup to form an even layer of batter at the bottom.

  5. Bake the crust:

    Place pan in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until edges of crust are just beginning to turn golden brown and top of crust looks dry.

  6. Prepare apples:

    While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/4 inch thick slices.

  7. make filling:

    Place the slices in the same bowl you made the crust in (no need to clean them). Drizzle the apple cider vinegar over the slices, then flip to coat. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Throw to cover.

  8. Pour the filling over the baked base:

    Once the crust is baked, remove it from the oven and pour the apple filling over the crust. Spread the apples evenly, making sure the entire pan is covered.

  9. Cover and bake the base:

    Take the crumb topping out of the fridge and sprinkle all over the apple filling. Place the pan back in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until the tops of the crumbs are golden brown.

  10. Cool and cut:

    Remove the apple pie bars from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Use the parchment overhang to lift the bars out of the pan and place them on a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars with a sharp chef’s knife.

  11. Surcharge:

    Dust with icing sugar just before serving. These bars are great straight out of the fridge, warm out of the oven, or at room temperature!

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!