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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 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.

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 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.

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

 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Print Recipe

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

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 (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

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 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.

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. 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.

© 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

Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins – amazing, amazing!

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!

 

 

 

 

   

275 Responses to “Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars.”

  1. #
    161
    Danaposted November 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    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). 

    Reply

  2. #
    162
    chrisposted November 10, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    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 🙂

    Reply

  3. #
    163
    Amyposted November 12, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    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? 

    Reply

  4. #
    164
    Jenniferposted November 13, 2015 at 9:01 am

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

    Reply

  5. #
    165
    Sandiposted November 15, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    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!

    Reply

  6. #
    166
    Sarah Tposted November 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    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?

    Reply

  7. #
    167
    Danielleposted November 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    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!

    Reply

  8. #
    168
    Natalieposted November 23, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    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!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 23rd, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      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.

      Reply

      • Nataliereplied on November 25th, 2015 at 10:06 pm

        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. #
    169
    Michelleposted November 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

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

    Thanks!

    Reply

  10. #
    170
    Joliposted November 26, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    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! 

    Reply

  11. #
    171
    Jeanineposted November 27, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    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!! 🙂

    Reply

  12. #
    172
    Anastaciaposted November 29, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    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!

    Reply

  13. #
    173
    Judyposted December 2, 2015 at 12:20 am

    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!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on December 2nd, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Good thinking doubling the recipe– these always disappear! Thanks Judy.

      Reply

  14. #
    174
    Mary Beth Hawkinsposted December 3, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    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.

    Reply

  15. #
    175
    Tinaposted December 8, 2015 at 4:50 am

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

    Reply

  16. #
    176
    Ashleyposted December 16, 2015 at 2:48 am

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

    Reply

  17. #
    177
    Nellieposted December 18, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    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! 

    Reply

  18. #
    178
    Janisposted February 14, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    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!

    Reply

  19. #
    179
    TwirlyGirlyposted February 22, 2016 at 8:14 am

    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!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 22nd, 2016 at 10:20 am

      Thank you for sharing your methods! So happy you made and loved these apple pie bars.

      Reply

  20. #
    180
    Elaine Lelakowskiposted February 23, 2016 at 11:20 am

    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! 

    Reply

  21. #
    181
    Xin HYiposted March 27, 2016 at 5:45 am

    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?? 

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 27th, 2016 at 10:54 am

      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.

      Reply

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