Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Made with a shortbread crust, spiced apple filling, streusel topping, and homemade salted caramel, apple pie bars are just as delicious as apple pie, but much simpler to make. You’ll love this fun twist on a classic dessert!

stack of apple pie bars with salted caramel sauce on top

Without a doubt, apple pie is my favorite dessert. I love the combination of sweet and tart spiced apples with the buttery, flaky pie crust. It’s cozy, comforting, and simply irresistible. I have the recipe memorized and make it year-round, not just at Thanksgiving. Today’s recipe is the bar version of my salted caramel apple pie (the first apple pie recipe I ever shared on Sally’s Baking Addiction!). While I love the pie making process, sometimes we don’t have hours to prepare a dessert– which is where apple pie BARS come in. No pie crust, but same delicious flavors.

apple pie bars with salted caramel sauce topping on a green plate

3 Layers to Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

  • Shortbread Crust: The buttery shortbread crust is just like my favorite pie crust recipe, only easier. It’s simply perfect as the base layer for all your favorite bar desserts. I actually use the same shortbread crust in my recipe for raspberry streusel bars and double the recipe for my lemon bars. It comes together quickly– no waiting for pie dough to chill.
  • Apple Pie Filling: No canned filling here. You only need 5 ingredients to make your own apple pie filling and it tastes incredible!
  • Streusel Topping: Instead of a top layer of pie crust like you see on traditional apple pies, we’re topping these apple pie bars with streusel. Lots of streusel because the more streusel the better. 🙂

Best Apples for Apple Pie Bars

Whenever I make apple pie bars or apple pie, I always use 2 different kinds of apples for more depth of flavor. (One sweet variety, one tart variety.)

Here are some I suggest:

  • Sweet apples I love: Jazz, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Gala, Fuji, and Cortland
  • Tart apples I love: Granny Smith, Braeburn, Jonathan, and Pacific Rose

stack of apple pie bars with salted caramel sauce on top

How to Make Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Homemade apple pie bars are incredibly simple to make. There’s just a few steps before you have a delicious fall dessert on your hands!

  1. Make the shortbread crust. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan.
  2. Bake the shortbread crust for 15 minutes.
  3. Make the apple pie filling.
  4. Make the streusel topping. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.
  5. Layer the apple pie filling evenly on top of the crust. It will look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit.
  6. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
  7. Bake. These bars take about 30-35 minutes, or until the streusel is golden brown.
  8. Chill the bars. Allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
  9. Cut into bars and drizzle with salted caramel.

salted caramel apple pie bars

salted caramel apple pie bars

Salted Caramel Topping

A generous drizzle of salted caramel takes these incredible apple pie bars to a whole new level. Have you ever made salted caramel before? You must. My recipe for homemade salted caramel is liquid gold and dangerously good. Besides these apple pie bars, it’s delicious on ice cream, pancakes, with apple slices, and more– find 50 ways to eat salted caramel here.

Be warned: Once you start, you won’t be able to stop. I make a batch of salted caramel almost every week and see no problem with this!

salted caramel sauce in a white bowl

salted caramel apple pie bars on a white plate

One bite of these sweet and salty apple pie bars and you’ll wonder why you haven’t made them sooner!

More Apple Desserts

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salted caramel apple pie bars

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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


Shortbread Crust

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

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


  • 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 (31g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Apples: 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.
  3. Larger Batch: Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan. Pre-bake the crust for 18 minutes, then extend the bake time in step 5 to about 45-55 minutes.

Keywords: apple pie bars, salted caramel apple pie bars

2 images of salted caramel apple pie bars


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

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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! 🙂


    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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

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

  9. Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen says:

    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!

    1. Thank you Ashley!

  10. 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!!!

  11. 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!

    1. 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.

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

  13. 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!

  14. Kitchen Supervisor says:

    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.

  15. Melanie Peterson says:

    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.

  16. 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?




  17. I just wanted to say Thank You these salted caramel bars are so delicious. And the sauce just makes them better

  18. osama suliman says:

    now that would be a mistake!! You will miss the taste in here 🙂

  19. I just made a 13×9 pan of these. Super easy recipe!! I used Jonamac apples because that’s what I had on hand. They tend to bake up softer. The Salted Caramel was also easy, and oh my gosh, it’s the best caramel I’ve ever tasted. I can’t wait for these to cool off so I can try them!! Thank you for an awesome recipe!!

  20. I just made this recipe for the first time & it came out perfect! I did make a few small changes: I baked the crust 3 to 5 minutes longer because it looked too moist after the 15min. I did two layers of apples but I had cut them pretty thin & I had used 3 apples because that’s what I had in the house. I baked for 35min and let cool for a hour before drizzling the caramel. Next time I’m going to skip the caramel, both my husband and I agree it would be way better without it! It just made it too sweet and sticky and not worth the extra time & mess. I for sure thought it was going to be my favorite part! I did however get my husband to finally like strudel topping made with oats lol. Thanks for the recipe, I’ll definitely being making it for the holiday!

  21. can I use brown sugar instead of white?

    1. In the filling, yes. But I would stick to white for the shortbread.

  22. OMG – these are TO DIE FOR!! Honestly one of the best things I’ve ever made!! THANK YOU!!! My whole family went crazy…..either with or without the salted caramel

  23. Do not hesitate to make these – they are absolutely divine! The crust, the apples, the sauce are all amazing! I will be making my second double-batch tonight for the teacher’s at my son’s elementary school tomorrow.

  24. Do you have a recipe for streusel without the oats? How would it change the measurements of the other ingredients?

    1. Yep. You can try this crumb topping recipe.

  25. Made this recipe for Thanksgiving dessert. Everyone loved it. This will definitely be a keeper!

  26. Nothing short of amazing! Bit of a process but by no means difficult to make and absorbent delicious!

  27. Carmen Wishlow says:

    These babies are chilling in the fridge and looking forward to seeing how they came out! My husband LOVES apple pie so I wanted to try something more compact than a big pie! I just love your blog and have tried so many recipes and every time they do not disappoint! Now to wait another hour! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thanks Carmen! I hope you both love these bars.

  28. Hi Sally!
    Just made these in preparation for a dinner party tomorrow night….
    I doubled the ingredients, as I was hoping to have leftovers in the freezer for Christmas, but it smells so darn good I can’t stop cutting little bits off the side!

    Luckily I just reread the method, and they are now safely in the fridge!

    I mucked up a little – didn’t make the base thin enough, and cut the apple slices too thin! Haha, but it doesn’t affect the taste.
    I baked for 45min and was perfect – if the apple slices were 1/4 inch thick, I can’t say how well they’d get cooked, but my apples are not crunchy at all so I reckon they’d be perfect.

    Great recipe, cheers 🙂

  29. I’ve made these three times in the past 2 months and they’ve come out amazing every time! Baking is one of my favorite hobbies but I’ve always come up short in the apple pie department (despite my grandmothers various attempts to teach me! Lol) This recipe is so much easier and, lucky for me, my husbands new favorite dessert! I’ve doubled the recipe every time and baked the crust for 17 min and the bars for 45 min. I also tried the glazed Apple crumb muffins recipe and they were equally delicious! Thanks for the recipe! I love your blog and that so many of your recipes only require basic ingredients. I’m currently living in a village a few hours outside of Shanghai and only have access to the basics

  30. What type of salt do you recommend for the Salted Caramel Sauce? Thank you for the recipe!

    1. I use regular table salt.

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