Apple pie bars are a delicious (and quick and easy!) alternative to classic apple pie. Made from scratch with a brown sugar shortbread crust, cinnamon apple filling, and streusel topping (plus a drizzle of salted caramel), this easy dessert recipe is simple enough for weeknight baking yet impressive enough to serve at your Thanksgiving feast.
Even though I'm on a bit of a pie kick right now, and even though I know that you can tackle homemade pie crust to bake a delicious and beautiful pie from scratch, I did promise that I would be sharing more quick scratch baking recipes in time for the holidays. So today I have a real winner for you! Apple Pie Bars with Salted Caramel Drizzle!
This quick and easy dessert recipe has all the flavor of apple pie broken down into four mouth-watering layers:
- Brown sugar shortbread crust. Replacing pie crust with shortbread means that we still have all the delicious buttery flavor we expect from our pie crust, but we can make these bars in way less time! Plus the shortbread gives these bars a more solid base, so you could eat them with your hands and without a plate - like a true bar - if you wanted to. Brown sugar gives this shortbread crust a little extra something.
- Apple pie filling. Sliced apples, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and a bit of all-purpose flour (to help with thickening) are all you need to create an apple-forward filling with a hint of cinnamon flavor. I recommend using firm apples for this recipe and choosing one sweet and one tart apple (I used Honeycrisp and Granny Smith).
- Streusel topping. The classic streusel topping - made with flour, brown sugar, butter, plus a dash of cinnamon and salt - is for all you crumb pie lovers out there. And because I have a 'go big or go home' philosophy when it comes to crumb toppings, there is seriously thick layer of streusel on top of these bars.
- Salted caramel sauce. No explanation needed. Technically this layer is optional, but I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to add it! You can find my recipe for salted caramel sauce right here.
Now unlike apple pie, these apple pie bars take just 60 minutes to make from start to finish! I love that this recipe is quick, easy, and stress-free, so you could bake them for fun on a random weeknight, but that the bars are 100% tasty and impressive enough to be served as a Thanksgiving dessert! Bonus: They can easily be made a day ahead, freeing up your oven on Thanksgiving day for the turkey and all those sides!
When a dessert is this simple and delicious, you really have no reason not to make it!Print