Caramel Apple Pie Bars with Cinnamon Pecan Streusel
These easy apple pie bars have a shortbread crust, rich apple layer, and a cinnamon pecan streusel topping. Drizzle with caramel for a classic treat!
All the classic flavors of a Dutch caramel apple pie, in an easy bar dessert! These apple pie bars might just be your new favorite dessert this Fall!
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Guess what today is? You guys, today is the first day of Fall!! So it’s official… we can start getting those pumpkin spice lattes, cheering on our favorite football teams, counting down the weeks until The Walking Dead comes back on, and of course, eating a bunch of apples! I’ve pretty much been doing all those things already, but now… now my friends, I feel like it’s socially acceptable for me to lol.
I LOVE apple pie, but sometimes, I just realllllly don’t want to mess with making a pie crust (mainly rolling out the dough!). That’s when I had the idea for these apple pie bars. All the great classic flavors of a Dutch apple pie, but none of the hassle! I use the shortbread crust from my Vanilla Chai Cheesecake Bars (seriously, make those!!), and it gives these bars a nice buttery chewiness.
You can eat these apple pie bars “au naturale” as shown above… and they’re delicious that way… but why not, go for some extra indulgence and drizzle some Browned Butter Salted Caramel Sauce!!
Orrrrr, you can be REALLY bad and add a scoop of ultra creamy No-Churn Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream. Go on… you know you want to!
If that doesn’t get you in the mood for Fall, I don’t know what will!
These apple pie bars are a cinch to bake, there’s just 3 separate things to make, then you combine them and bake.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Mix up shortbread dough and press into a parchment paper lined baking pan
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- While crust is baking, peel and slice apples.
- Toss sliced apples with butter, sugar, cinnamon and flour. Set aside.
- Make streusel topping (I find the food processor makes it really easy!)
- Top baked crust with sliced apples, drizzle with caramel if desired, then sprinkle with streusel.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Indulge a little this season, and do your mouth a favor… make these apple pie bars soon!
Some Helpful Tools For This Recipe:
8″x 8″ baking pan – This pan is sturdy and I use it for SO many desserts!
Cuisinart Food Processor – Forget cutting in butter by hand, try it in the food processor!
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- APPLE LAYER:
- 2 slices large Granny Smith apples peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick
- 2 1/2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- CINNAMON PECAN STREUSEL:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats divided
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup cold butter cubed
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Melt butter in microwave, then add brown sugar and whisk to combine.
Add salt and cinnamon, stir, then add flour and stir until well combined.
Press dough into prepared pan in an even layer.
Bake 15 minutes, then set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
While crust is baking, prepare apples and add to medium mixing bowl.
Toss apple slices with butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
Add flour, 1/4 cup oats, brown sugar and cinnamon to a food processor. Add cubes of cold butter and pulse until butter is cut into mixture and pea sized pieces form.
Add streusel to a small bowl and stir in chopped pecans and remaining 1/4 cup oats.
Layer apple slices over top of the shortbread crust, then top with streusel topping.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until streusel is lightly golden brown and apples are cooked through.
Drizzle with caramel and top with vanilla ice cream if desired.
1. If desired, drizzle extra caramel sauce over the top of the apples before you add the streusel.