Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars.

Apple pie is my favorite dessert, but baking this classic dessert 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.

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

Happy 4th of July weekend!

It has 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?!) 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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

(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.

S-T-R-E-U-S-E-L. 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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. 

 

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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

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

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

Apple Filling

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

Streusel

  • 1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup (70g) 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)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300F degrees. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.

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.

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.

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 knives (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350F degrees. 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.

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. Lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Once cut, pour salted caramel sauce on top. These apple pie bars can be enjoyed warm or cold. The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen up to 3 months - thaw overnight in the fridge, then drizzle with salted caramel before serving.

*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.

*Recipe may easily be doubled and baked in a 9x13 pan. I'm unsure of the exact bake time, most likely around 45 minutes.

© 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

 

Apple Pie Streusel Bars from my cookbook.

Apple Pie Streusel Bars

 

Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

142 Responses to “Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars.”

  1. #
    61
    Megan Kposted August 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I can’t wait to try these but I have one question for anyone that’s made them. I bake for someone who likes the apples completely soft and is repulsed by crunchy apples in pie. Do the apples come out soft at the end or should I prebake them for a few minutes like I usually do for pie?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 25th, 2014 at 8:29 am

      I’d say they have a slight crunch. I would pre bake.

      Reply

  2. #
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    tricia dominguezposted August 26, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    hi, sally! can i make this with dulce de leche instead of caramel? or would that be too sweet?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 26th, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      I fear it would be too sweet.

      Reply

  3. #
    63
    Hannah Kposted August 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I made these yesterday. My family raved about them! They are gone already. Thanks for the great recipe! :)

    Reply

  4. #
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    Ebposted September 2, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    I made these for my family for labor day. I think these will bea main stay for every fall gathering.

    Reply

  5. #
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    Amyposted September 4, 2014 at 12:08 am

    This apple pie recipe is absolutely delicious!! As a personal preference, I always use granny smith and honeycrisp apples. The perfect combo of tart and sweet.

    Thanks Sally, your photos are stunning!

    Reply

  6. #
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    Boniposted September 10, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I made this last night for a potluck at work, they were a hit! Love that they were easy to make. So yummy. I also made the salted caramel, wow!! Thank you so much for the recipe, I just wish I had taken a picture to share and make other drool! :)

    Reply

  7. #
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    Caitlinposted September 10, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    OH MY GOD I AM IN LOVE

    The second I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. My family LOVED it. My dad is not one to give out compliments too readily but he was raving about these. I doubled the batch and used a 9×13 pan. They came out great! I think i need to mix the strudle a bit more though(I used my hands)

    I loved the salted caramel recipe as well. I’m bringing them into work tomorrow for more taste test subjects. This is definitely going to be one of my go-to recipes around the holidays especially

    Reply

  8. #
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    Dalyaposted September 14, 2014 at 3:36 am

    Do you think the plain flour could be substituted for another gluten free flour (rice, potato, buckwheat etc)?
    Thanks

    Reply

  9. #
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    pauletteposted September 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    These look sooo yummy. Can I bake and freeze a couple of weeks in advance?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 18th, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Hi Paulette- see the recipe instructions for freezing.

      Reply

  10. #
    70
    Sarahposted September 20, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Hi – would your shortbread work with brown butter? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 22nd, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Yes, absolutely.

      Reply

  11. #
    71
    Debbieposted September 21, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I have some packaged caramels. Can I melt these and use instead of the homemade sauce, do you think? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 22nd, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      That would be just fine Debbie.

      Reply

    • Debbiereplied on September 28th, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      I made them with the caramels but didn’t like them b/c the caramel hardened. I would stick with the caramel sauce so they stays soft. I also modified the recipe by skipping the crust and making an apple crisp (saved some calories). It was delicious!!!!

      Reply

  12. #
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    Trishaposted September 24, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Making these for Johnny Appleseed Days at work on Friday. I know you say to have the apples cut 1/4 inch think. Do you think it would be okay to use a mandolin to slice them? Just trying to find a way to cut down on the prep.

    Also, in your Salted Caramel recipe (which I am really excited to make! I was worried it would be complicated, but it isn’t!), do you stir the heavy cream in? it just says to add it slowly, but not mix it while adding it in. I just want to make sure I get it right.

    Thanks so much! I will report back how they go on Friday!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 24th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Trisha! Yes, a mandoline slicer works well for the apples. Add the heavy cream in slowly while whisking – thank you for bringing that to my attention. I will add that in. Thank you!

      Reply

      • Trishareplied on September 26th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

        I made a 9×13 pan for work and only 1 (small) bar was left! Everybody raved at how good these were and loved the presentation of the caramel drizzled on top! A++++++. Now I have to make my husband his own pan this weekend (not that I am objecting!) Thank you again for the awesome recipe! Oh! And I think I found a great Christmas gift to give, Salted Caramel Sauce! YUMMY!

  13. #
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    Graceposted September 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I made these last night- they were amazing! It was the first time I’ve made homemade caramel, and your step-by-step pictures were super helpful. Thank you again for another awesome recipe, and congrats on your wedding!

    Reply

  14. #
    74
    Graceposted September 26, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I made these Wednesday night- they were amazing! It was the first time I’ve made homemade caramel, and your step-by-step pictures were super helpful. Thank you again for another awesome recipe, and congrats on your wedding!

    Reply

  15. #
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    Jennyposted September 30, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I accidentally bought steel cut oats for the crumble and baked it anyways to see what would happen. Kind of looks like little pellets. Will it alter the taste! Should I add more crumble on top with the old fashioned oats? I’m hoping I can hide it when I put on the salted caramel. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 13th, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Hi Jenny. I apologize for the delay; I was on vacation. The bars should still be just fine.

      Reply

  16. #
    76
    Melodyposted October 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    I’ve tried so many recipes from both your cookbook and your website – all which are lovely and successful – but I have to say that these are hands-down phenomenal. I don’t even like desserts, but these are truly amazing. They make wonderful gifts, and I can’t resist taking a bit for myself, too.

    Thanks so much for sharing your genius with the rest of the world! This dessert is incredible. I’d highly recommend it.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 13th, 2014 at 9:00 am

      So sorry for the delay responding. I was on vacation. Thank you so much for the comment, Melody. I’m so glad you are enjoying my cookbook and that you love these apple pie bars.

      Reply

  17. #
    77
    laurenposted October 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Made these tonight- they were excellent. I used Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce and it turned out delicious. Your recipes are always the best.

    Reply

  18. #
    78
    Katieposted October 5, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Super delicious and surprisingly easy!! -melted caramel apple dip for 30 seconds in micro and it was just fine. Definitely making these again!!!!!

    Reply

  19. #
    79
    Amnaposted October 9, 2014 at 8:19 am

    Do i put the salted caramel along with streusel or only after its bakingg is done?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 12th, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Hi Amna. Drizzle with salted caramel after baking.

      Reply

  20. #
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    Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchenposted October 9, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    These were hands-down the best dessert to ever come out of my kitchen. My husband and I absolutely loved every single bite of these beauties. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe! It will be made in my house many, MANY more times in the future!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 12th, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you Ashley!

      Reply

  21. #
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    Bunnyposted October 12, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Made a double batch of these for church, everyone loved them. People were trying to get every last bit of caramel topping off the platter. I put the entire double recipe of caramel sauce on top of the cut bars while they were in the pan. Result was too much caramel sauce, tasted great, but a bit ooey/gooey. No one seemed to mind, since they tasted great. Love these, THANK YOU!!!

    Reply

  22. #
    82
    Oliviaposted October 12, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Hey Sally,

    I just wanted to thank you for this insanely good recipe. I went apple picking this week, so I quadrupled the recipe and it perfectly filled two 13 x 9 pans. So delicious, and I will definitely make again…tomorrow.

    Liv

    Reply

  23. #
    83
    Amnaposted October 14, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Help me someone. My streusel was too crumbly and was falling off even after the final refrigeration of 2hrs. Why? This is why even while cutting it the oats layer was falling apart

    Reply

  24. #
    84
    Robynposted October 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I just made these for Canadian Thanksgiving and AH-MAZING! I’m wondering if you could provide some pointers on how to cook the salted caramel for a Turtle type dessert (drop of chocolate, caramel & pecans) for Christmas. Boil longer?If so, how long? Thank you, as always for your wonderful recipes!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 15th, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Hi Robyn. This salted caramel sauce is quite thick at room temperature (as opposed to spreading all over the place when warm). So, at room temperature, I feel it would be just fine in making turtle candies.

      Reply

  25. #
    85
    Caraposted October 15, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I made these bars for my coworkers yesterday, and they were annihilated by noon that day. Thanks for the fantastic recipe, Sally!

    Reply

  26. #
    86
    Kimberly Wposted October 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Hi, could I bake the bars tonight, refrigerate overnight and add the sauce a few hours before serving tomorrow evening? Thanks.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 17th, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Yes that would work, Kimberly.

      Reply

  27. #
    87
    Kimberly Wposted October 18, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Oh yes, these bars with the sauce were a hit!! I followed the recipe exactly and both the bars & sauce turned out great. I did press the top layer a bit after reading other reviews. Will be making these again soon. Thank you Sally!

    Reply

  28. #
    88
    Kitchen Supervisorposted October 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    We have a big fundraiser every year and this year we expanded our selections. As I searched Pinterest for new ideas, the yummiest and most beautiful looking items most often were from Sallys Baking Addiction.
    Thank you.

    Reply

  29. #
    89
    Melanie Petersonposted October 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    These are delicious! I wish I had only poured half of the caramel sauce over the top of my single batch recipe. I think the amount of caramel would have been perfect had I doubled the bar recipe. As great as the caramel sauce is, it sort of overpowered the bars the way I did it.

    Reply

  30. #
    90
    Shariposted October 20, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Hello! I’d love to try to make these bars but I am gluten free. Would using a gluten free flour work instead of real flour? Also with gluten free oats?

    Thank you!
    Shari

    Reply

  31. #
    91
    Robinposted October 21, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Hi Sally,
    Is it ok to freeze these after putting the caramel sauce on them? If so, will they still freeze for 3 months?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 21st, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Robin – I note that in the recipe. Freeze without caramel and drizzle before serving.

      Reply

  32. #
    92
    Betty Epleyposted October 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Would it be OK to use canned apple pie filling in these bars?

    Reply

  33. #
    93
    Brianposted October 22, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    My friend loves caramel apples with candy…Just like wht you would find at a carnival.

    I wanted to capture the essence of this but in a bar or pie (Not a cake). I just want the ‘caramel apple’ to remain the champion of the dessert.

    I see so many recipes for spiced recipes or brown sugar-rich recipes that make the final product taste more like apple pie or allspice, etc.

    Any ideas on how to help me achieve my goal?

    :-)

    Thanks!

    -Brian

    Reply

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