Salted caramel apple pie bars with a sugared crust, cinnamon apples and topped with the perfect cinnamon streusel and salted caramel. This easy apple dessert is the definition of fall and tastes absolutely delicious.
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Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars
Caramel apple pie bars are an irresistible dessert that combines the classic flavors of apple pie or apple crisp with the rich sweetness of caramel! With a buttery crust, spiced apple filling and generous drizzle of salted caramel, it’s much easier to make than pie but with all the same delicious taste!
One of my favorite traditions in the fall is going apple picking with my family. My kids always have a blast sitting on our shoulders reaching for the highest apples they can find. Once fall arrives, I start making lots of apple desserts. They are my favorite, so it’s always nice to have extra apples on hand.
If you’re planning on going apple picking this season, add these bars to your baking list! Other favorites I will be making with my apple haul include Dutch apple pie, easy apple cake and this apple fritters recipe.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Apples: I like to use two different apples, such as a granny smith and a honeycrisp or pink lady apple.
- Flour: All-purpose flour works in each layer: make the crust flakey, thicken the filling, and bind together the topping.
- Sugar: Granulated adds sweetness to the crust, while brown sugar add a sweetness to the filling and the streusel topping.
- Cinnamon: The warming spice that works so well with the apples.
- Oats: Add just the right amount of texture to the topping.
- Butter: The crust would have that creamy flavor and the topping wouldn’t hold together without butter.
- Vanilla extract: An extra depth of flavor for the crust.
- Salt: This brings out the flavors of the dessert.
3 Delicious Layers
- Crust: The shortbread crust is similar to pie crust, but even easier and quicker (no need to chill the dough). It has the same flavor as pie crust and tastes buttery and delicious.
- Apple filling: You can’t beat homemade apple pie filling. It’s made with a mixture of fresh sliced apples, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. They apples get nice and caramelized as they bake in the oven.
- Streusel topping: A simple mixture of oats, brown sugar, butter and flour to sprinkle on top of the filling layer. I love the texture the oats add, but you could make a traditional crumble topping without them if preferred.
How to Make Caramel Apple Pie Bars
- CRUST. Mix together the melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Add the flour and mix again. Then use your hands to press the mixture into a greased 9×9″ pan and bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
- FILLING. Make the filling while the crust bakes. Slice the apples, then mix them in a bowl with flour, sugar and cinnamon until coated.
- TOPPING. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Then mix in the cubed butter with your hands (or a pastry blender) until the mixture is crumbly.
- BAKE. Remove the crust from the oven, then turn the temperature up to 350°F. Pour the apple filling evenly over the warm crust, the sprinkle the crumb mixture on top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
- CHILL. Remove from oven and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Then let chill in fridge for at least 2 hours to set. Cut into bars and drizzle with caramel sauce.
- I like to use apples that have both a sweet and tart flavor, such as honey crisp, pink lady or granny smith.
- For more spice, mix in 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg to the filling.
- Let the bars chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours (or even overnight) before enjoying. This helps them form into the most perfect bar consistency.
- No apples on hand? Make salted caramel butter bars instead!
Yes! Double the ingredients and bake in a 9×13-inch baking dish for about 45 to 55 minutes.
Storing and Freezing
These bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you have extra, you can freeze them individually for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight and add desired toppings. You can eat them warm or cold – both ways taste delicious!
More Apple Desserts for Fall
Caramel Apple Pie Bars
- ½ cup unsalted butter , melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large apples , cored and thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar , packed
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar , packed
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 5 Tablespoons chilled salted butter , cubed
Optional: Salted Caramel Sauce, Maldon salt for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 300°F degrees. Spray 9×9-inch pan with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt until combined. Add flour and mix again. Using your hands, press the crust mixture into the pan until it's evenly distributed. Bake 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, place apples. Stir in flour, sugar, and cinnamon until apples are coated. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Using your hands or a pastry blender, mix in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
- Remove crust from the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the apple filling over the warm crust and use the back of a spoon to press down the apples to lay flat. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples until covered. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool 20 minutes. Chill in the fridge to set at least 2 hours. Cut into bars and serve warm or cold. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top, if desired, just before serving. Enjoy!
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction