Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars.

Apple pie is my favorite dessert, but baking this classic dessert as bars is so much easier! 

These Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars are mind-blowing delicious! So much easier to make than an entire apple pie, too. Recipe by

Happy 4th of July weekend! It’s officially been one year since I posted my most favorite dessert on the planet. If I had every single dessert on my blog on the table in front of me (can you imagine?! gluttony.) and could only choose one… this dessert would win. By a landslide.

Apple pie is my favorite dessert; it’s also an American classic. And to celebrate our country’s independence, I vow to make an apple pie recipe on the 4th of July every year. A new tradition to celebrate this patriotic holiday. And my excuse to eat apple pie things.

These Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars are mind-blowing delicious! So much easier to make than an entire apple pie, too. Recipe by

I have a confession. I made and shot these salted caramel apple pie bars 2 weeks ago and have made them 3 more times since. They are THAT good. Imagine a slice of apple pie, but better. A buttery shortbread crust. A brown sugary oat streusel. Gooey cinnamon apples. And silky smooth salted caramel.

…all in one.

By the way, I didn’t eat all three batches. Though after running 7 miles one day, I definitely wanted to. One batch was a hit at a book signing, another batch went to Kevin’s friends, and I froze the 3rd batch for a party tomorrow.

These Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars are mind-blowing delicious! So much easier to make than an entire apple pie, too. Recipe by

(I am so excited to dig into these.)

These apple pie bars are a cinch to make. A few steps and you’ll be ready to go. First, make a simple shortbread crust. Nothing fancy here! Butter, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt. Nothing more, nothing less. Simplicity is key when you are making shortbread.

The buttery shortbread crust is just like my favorite pie crust recipe, only easier. And perfect as the base layer for all your favorite bar desserts. I use this shortbread crust in a few of my cookbook recipes – I’ve heard nothing but great feedback. Plus, it’s easy.

Next, add the apples. Tons and tons and tons of ’em. Use your favorite variety. I like to use two different kinds for more depth of flavor. Think… a tart Granny Smith and a sweet Pink Lady. You’ll need two apples for the filling.

STREUSEL. Yes, I am a streusel cheerleader. I’m also a huge nerd for just typing streusel that way, but whatever. It’s a holiday, forgive my silliness. Brown sugar cinnamon oat streusel is the third layer on top of the apple pie bars. It’s a heavy layer.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the more streusel, the better.

Delicious Homemade Salted Caramel by

Salted caramel is my love language. It also takes these incredible apple pie bars to a whole other level. Have you ever made salted caramel before? You must.

Make my recipe for simple salted caramel sauce and you will be a super hero in your family’s eyes. Seriously. This stuff is liquid gold. Dangerously good.

Be warned: your loved ones will have to pry the spoon from your hand. My good friend Megan made it about 5 times during the holidays last year. She gave it to friends and family as gifts. Wouldn’t YOU like to receive a jar of this stuff?

Pour it generously over the apple pie bars and get ready to dig in.

These Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars are mind-blowing delicious! So much easier to make than an entire apple pie, too. Recipe by

There is so much going on in these salty ‘n sweet caramel apple pie bars, that you will HAVE go back for seconds. But who’s complaining?! Happy 4th, everyone.

*Don’t be overwhelmed by the ingredient list. A lot of the ingredients are repeated in each layer.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 


Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Apple pie is my favorite dessert, but baking it as bars is so much easier! Load these apple pie bars with cinnamon brown sugar streusel and lots of salted caramel on top for a crowd-pleasing treat.

Yield: 12-16 bars


Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)

Apple Filling

  • 2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)1
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • 1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup (70g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • homemade salted caramel sauce (step-by-step photos included)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel.
  3. Make the apple filling: Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
  4. Make the streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350°F (177°C). Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. It will look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30–35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Lift the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. I usually cut them into 16 smaller bars, but you can cut them into 12 larger bars. Once cut, drizzle some salted caramel sauce on top of each. These apple pie bars can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or even cold.
  7. Make ahead tip: The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. You can freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Then, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving and drizzling with caramel.

Recipe Notes:

  1. I like to use two different kinds of apples for a more complex flavor. I typically use 1 tart apple variety such as Granny Smith, and 1 sweeter apple variety such as Pink Lady. You'll end up with about 3-4 cups. A little more or less is OK, based on your preference of filling.

Larger batch: Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9x13 pan. Bake for 45 minutes and cool completely as directed in this recipe.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


Try these similar recipes next…

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

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Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes

See more recipes with apples.

See more caramel recipes.

See more salty/sweet recipes.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars - click through for the recipe!






  1. I made these last night as a “test batch” for next week’s office holiday bakeoff. I’m TOTALLY going to win. They were a HUGE hit with my friends. I followed the recipe for both the bars and the caramel almost exactly. I used 2 fuji apples because they were the freshest at the market, but when I make my “official” batch next week,I’ll follow one of the suggestions to do 1 sweet + 1 tart apple (like granny smith). 

  2. These bars are fantastic! I doubled the recipe and they turned out great. The drizzle of salted caramel really put them over the top. Perfect fall dessert 🙂

  3. Being the typical baking college student I am, my spice cabinet is fairly limited. I have apple pie spice rather than nutmeg. How much of the apple pie spice should I use in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg? 

  4. These look amazing! I just told my husband I’m making these for Thanksgiving instead of apple pie.

  5. I made these for a family gathering. My brother said to me, “You know how you never do what I tell you to do? Well you should NEVER make these again.” My nephew added, “No, NEVER. And if you do, you should give them to me so I can get rid of them.” 

    I’m not even a huge fan of apple pie and these are now one of my favorite desserts. The salted caramel is ridiculously easy to make. Thanks for the recipes!

  6. Hi! I’d love to make these for an upcoming gathering, but I know there will be someone coming with Celiac Disease. Do you think a gluten free flour blend would work?

  7. These are absolutely incredible. I made these last thanksgiving and the whole tray disappeared within several minutes of them being brought out. I’ve decided to make them for thanksgiving again this year since they were a huge hit last year; a total keeper!

  8. Hi Sally, I’m planning to make these for Thanksgiving this week! One question – can I skip the parchment paper and just serve them out of the pan? Thanks for the recipe!

    • They’re tricky to cut neatly right out of the pan. Best to use parchment to lift the entire pan of bars out all together and then simply slice into bars.

      • My goodness! I made these tonight (and had to test a corner to make sure they are okay to serve tomorrow) and they are wonderful! Thank you again for the recipe, I’ll definitely be saving these and the salted caramel sauce to make again later 🙂

  9. How big is the pan you are using?  I have an 18×13 sheet pan.


  10. This is an absolute winner. I made them, brought a pan over to my ex husband’s and he asked me to make himself, mother and brother another pan…one for each! 

  11. You were right!! These are to die for! My family had a Thanksgiving Bake-off last night and your recipe helped me win! Love this recipe! Thank you!! 🙂

  12. I have a bunch of left over apples from t he apple farm m y husband and I went to in Hendersonville, NC and I’m making these right now..they’re in the oven..cant wait to try! I opted to buy the salted caramel sauce, I tasted it as soon as I got home, and I thought that it would be just fine! I cant wait to try the finial result!

  13. Sally, I owe you an apology because I have been been enjoying your recipes for years without ever leaving a comment! I have to say, they have all been really wonderful but this is my favorite one to date. You are one talented lady! I made these for Thanksgiving and my guests would not stop raving about them! I doubled the recipe and used 2 honeycrisp and 2 granny smith apples. Excellent job and thank you!

  14. These are AMAZING!! My family and friends loved them.
    I have a question about the caramel sauce….
    I followed the directions and it tasted great but it had several sugar chunks in it.
    What did I do wrong?  Thanks.

    • I, too, had this issue. In fact, I tried 3x. Every time I ended up with big hard sugar chunks and I thought I had burned it. The third time I made it, I forgot to take it off the stove so it continued to cook (boil) for nearly 5 minutes…and VOILA! It all liquefied and turned into the most delicious buttery caramel sauce EVER. My recommendation: once you add the butter, let the sauce cook for a bit (but make sure you watch it and stir it) and eventually all of those hard sugar chunks should melt down.

  15. Hello. Loved the salted caramel sauce. Can quick rolled oats work instead of old fashioned 

  16. Just made these with your Salted Caramel recipe, they turned out absolutely amazing! I will definitely be making a larger batch soon!! xx

  17. I made these today instead of my usual apple pie and they were a huge hit with my boys and husband! I loved the caramel sauce! Yum! Glad I have found another yummy apple recipe! 

  18. These are really delicious! They were a big hit at the church potluck and I told everyone where to find the recipe. Also, the recipe was written well and very easy to follow. Thank you so much for sharing it, I’m going to check out more of your recipes. Thanks again!

  19. Made these yesterday and they are FANTASTIC. I made no changes to the ingredients/measurements but did change the techniques just a bit (I am short-statured & use a wheelchair and work in a non-adapted kitchen. The top of my shoulders is level with my kitchen counters, so I often use appliances as opposed to doing things by hand IF it won’t affect the end result). First, I made the crust in my food processor. I pulsed the dry ingredients a few times to blend, then added the butter (unmelted, cold, and cut into 1/2″ cubes). Pulsed until the butter was broken up and the mixture looked like damp sand, then poured into the pan and pressed down. Next I made the streusel topping in the processor, first by pulsing the dry ingredients (except the oats), then scattering the cubed, cold butter over it, pulsed a few more time, then added the oats and pulsed twice just to blend. Poured the streusel into a bowl and refrigerated. Lastly, I peeled and cored the apples by hand, then sliced them using the food processor, transferred them to a bowl, sprinkled the dry ingredients over and blended by hand. Using my food processor saved me quite a bit of time, and didn’t affect the final result (except that I prefer a shortbread crust made with cold butter as opposed to melted; I believe it’s flakier). Great recipe and I’m going to buy more apples today so I can make it again when I finish noshing on the first batch! Thank you!

  20. Made these and they are amazing ! Thanks, didn’t need to change anything in it,  I did add extra apples just because I love them and did take your advise and used two types as I like tart & sweet tart crispy types both & did double the recipe. definitely a hit and so easy! 

  21. Hi Sally! It’s my first time making this recipe. I doubled the recipe and made it in a 8×10 inch rectangular tray…
    My question is how to I check whether the bars are done? My streusel browned up quite fast so I covered it with a foil…is there a more accurate method for me to confirm it is done?? 

    • Was that pan big enough? You can use a toothpick to check for doneness. The apples should no longer be gooey– same with the crust.

  22. Yet another amazing recipe! Baked those today for a farewell party at work, and people actully mailed me afterwards asking for the recipe. Thank you so much!

  23. I made some salted caramel sauce a while back with plans of making these bars the next day. The sauce was amazing!! I put off making the bars for a while and the sauce mysteriously “vanished”! Now that summer is here, I’d like to try this. I’m not clear on how to drizzle the sauce? Sorry, total amateur here. Should I dip a fork in the sauce and drip it across the bars? Or use a spoon and just dribble some on?

    • It’s ok! I just use a spoon or fork– pick up a little caramel– and drizzle it all over the top. Very easy!

  24. These bars are DELICIOUS!!! A nice alternative to apple pie and my family gobbled them up. Highly recommend!

  25. I’ve made these in the past and they were a big hit- looking to make them again for a party but I know we have some GF folks that will be there. Can these be made GF by just switching to a rice flour or will that change the recipe up too much? Thanks!

    • Hi Blair- I’ve never had luck making shortbread crusts gluten free. I’d be fine with the filling and streusel topping, but the crust concerns me. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out.

  26. Still my all time favorite recipe from your website. So few ingredients and turns out amazing every single time. Thanks again, Sally! 🙂

  27. Do I need to quadruple the caramel sauce recipe if I’m quadrupling the bars or would 2 or 3x be enough?

    • 2 batches of sauce would be plenty for that many bars. Make sure you make two separate batches instead of doubling. Added volume will impact how the caramel cooks.

  28. Hi Sally! 
    So I was just making these apple pie bars. But while I was making the Apple Filling, I guess the apples released a lot of water. Will that have any bearing on the final dish? 

    Thanks. 🙂 

  29. LOVE this recipe!!!! Just won the work “bake-off”…..I feel kind of guilty, like I should ship my prize to you! Such a great go-to recipe. Thanks again!!

  30. Those are fantastic! I just made them and taste tested! I didn’t have cream, so I melted some Kraft Caramels for on top. Will definitely make again!

  31. Sally!  It’s (almost) fall so I’m so excited to make these bars again!  This is one of my favorite recipes of yours and I made it about 6 times last fall!  I double the apples though.  Can’t have too much apple filling.  Thanks for this fantastic recipe!  🙂  Happy fall baking!

  32. Hi,
    I’m very excited to try this recipe in a few days for a fundraising bake sale. I’m trying to plan out my baking schedule and was curious if you knew if I could make these the night before? I don’t want them to get soggy. Any help on timing would be much appreciated.

  33. Absolutely AMAZING!  I used half Granny Smith and half gala apples… Have never made homemade caramel before and the salted caramel is to die for.  And the apple pie bars are delicious!  Keeping this recipe for sure 🙂 thank you so much for sharing and for making the instructions easy to follow.  This stuff should be illegal it’s THAT GOOD!

  34. Is the shortbread crust supposed to be hard or soft? Mine turned out pretty soft….not sure if this is correct?

    • Hi Lia! It’s supposed to be a little soft, but not raw. It’s not a hard and crunchy crust. If it’s TOO soft, maybe it was underbaked a little. If you decide to try them again, you can bake the crust a little longer.

  35. Mine turned into a soggy mess the next day. I don’t think shortbread turned out right…it was doughy and looked like uncooked dough. Not sure if this is the expectation…It tastes great though!

  36. Decided to make these this afternoon since I had some apples that needed to be used up. These bars are really good even without the caramel. I LOVE salted caramel but heavy cream not something I normally keep in the house at all times. I can only imagine how addictive these are WITH the caramel! Next time I will plan ahead and buy the heavy cream and try this the way its supposed to be lol

  37. I made these bars for a staff meeting and as an icebreaker we all had to say what our favorite food was. Two of my coworkers said their favorite food was these bars. Enough said 😉

  38. Just wondering why these need to be refrigerated. They just came out of the oven and smell so good. I think we might enjoy them warm!

  39. Do I need to cover these when I put them in the fridge overnight?

  40. I made these apple bars today to take to my sons home.. they absolutely loved them!!!
    I made the caramel, so easy and definitely addictive..
    i doubled the batch, gave some to my good friends and have a few  left over for moi

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