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)1
  • 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) 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)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch 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, pour salted caramel sauce on top. 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.

Additional 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.

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.

© 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

 

 

 

 

   

197 Responses to “Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars.”

  1. #
    121
    Sonyaposted February 25, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    These were seriously SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!!! I am totally a perfectionist baker, so I was baking five similar recipes side by side, tasting along (ho hum….) until I got to yours … just PERFECT and EXACTLY what I was looking for. The apple-y cinnamon-y flavors were wonderful. I tried them with and without caramel and it’s delicious either way. This is the second recipe I’ve tried of yours (1st: butterfinger peanut butter cheesecake) and both have been just amazing. I love the gram measurements too! I have one teensy suggestion and that’s to give a visual clue about when things are done, versus just the time – the crust, I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to look like because I divided the recipe by 4. But seriously, thank-you soooooooooo much for another awesome recipe! I’m spoiled from the recipes from cook’s illustrated and cook’s country always coming out as expected, so it’s lovely to have a blogger whose recipes I can also trust 100%! Will definitely be making these bars again!!!!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 26th, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Thanks so much for reporting back, Sonya!

      Reply

  2. #
    122
    Sarahposted February 27, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    So I tried your salted caramel yesterday…I was super nervous cause I burned a batch lately. I followed your recipe exactly and I had a perfect jar of salted caramel. I just tried this and this is SO GOOD as well. Thank you Sally for sharing these wonderful and amazing recipes. You’re the best!

    Reply

  3. #
    123
    Raniaposted April 3, 2015 at 9:26 am

    is it possible to substitute the rolled oats in the streusel topping with something else?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 3rd, 2015 at 10:07 am

      You can use your favorite chopped nut or simply leave them out.

      Reply

  4. #
    124
    Mairi Watsonposted April 7, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Hello,
    Just end wanted to say I made the most amazing chocolate chip cheesecake to go along with our Easter dinner this past weekend. What made the cheesecake more of hit then usual was the addition of your salted Caramel as a topping! It was seriously delicious! Also it worked perfectly to cover the cracks which developed as my cheese cake cooled. Not sure why I get those cracks as I have tried all the tips and tricks

    Reply

  5. #
    125
    Michelleposted April 22, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I can’t wait to try this. It is so intriguing! This sounds like a fabulous apple pie for kids to make, thanks.

    Reply

  6. #
    126
    Jennyposted April 22, 2015 at 2:41 am

    Hi, I’m really looking forward to making these but I would like to make a double batch. Does the short bread need to be done for 30 minutes? I saw that you said if your doubling you should bake for 45 minutes but I was not sure if you meant for the short bread or for the whole thing.
    Thanksfor posting this recipe!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 22nd, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Bake the crust for 15 minutes as directed and then 45 minutes for the bars. Thanks Jenny and enjoy!

      Reply

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