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!

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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 on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

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

  • 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

Description

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


Ingredients

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 Tablespoonall-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoongranulated 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)

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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. Bake for 45-55 minutes and cool completely as directed in this recipe.

Keywords: apple pie bars, salted caramel apple pie bars

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

543 Comments

  1. I love your vow to make something appley on the 4th every year! What a fun tradition!! These bars look even better than the real thing. Streusel and caramel?? I want some right now!!

  2. Ohh, I love the idea of pie in bar form. Apple pie is definitely my favorite pie flavor when it comes to fruit/berry fillings. Actually just had a slice of apple pie at a 4th of July party! Making one on the 4th every year is such a great and fun tradition! Love all the elements of these bars, and especially all that salted caramel! 🙂 Happy 4th!

  3. Making apple pie in bar form is genius Sally! These look amazing! And so fitting for the 4th- nothing is quite as American as Apple Pie 🙂

  4. I would never have thought of making apple pie in bar form but this sounds perfect! Definitely need to give this a go soon!

  5. I am totally making these. I made salted caramel sauce a few days ago using your recipe (and it’s the only salted caramel recipe I will use from now on because I scorched all the other batches), and I still have some leftover. I was considering just eating the rest with a spoon, but this is a much better idea. Thanks!!!

  6. I made these bars yesterday for a BBQ and they were an absolute hit! A few other people brought desserts, but this was by far the most popular. I forwarded your email to at least a dozen people. I just want you to know that I’ve always been a lousy cook and baker. I always brought store-bought bakery items to BBQs and pot lucks. Sally, since I’ve discovered your site, I haven’t done that since. You make it so easy and enjoyable to actually bake and I always get asked now to bring a dessert. For Father’s Day I made the lemon-blueberry cheesecake bars and knocked the socks off even my mother who is a self-proclaimed foodie. Your peanut butter cookies are a favorite monthly treat in my house too! Thank you, thank you Sally!!

    1. Oh, I finally decided to order your cookbook today too! Amazon is delivering it Tuesday. Guess I need to start hitting the gym harder in anticipation 😉

    2. You are an all-star Julie! I’m so glad that you have more confidence in the kitchen now. I’m happy these apple pie bars were a hit! Aren’t they the best? 🙂 Thanks for all the kind words. I really appreciate it! Have fun with my cookbook – let me know what you try!

  7. You’re so sweet (and definitely have tons of self-control) to make 2 batches to give away! If I had my way and calories didn’t count, I’d probably pick the streusel off of every single bar. It’s always my favorite part! 😉 Hope you, Kevin & Jude had a fun 4th of July and were able to take a break from packing to celebrate!

  8. Hi Sally,

    I made these for 4th of July. We grilled burgers and to top it off I made this.
    I have actually made the apple pie streusel bars a couple of times from your cookbook and they were loved. Of course adding salted caramel brought it to a whole new level!

    You know the coolest part of it was making the sauce. I have never “melted” sugar. Had no idea sugar could even turn into liquid. I was amazed at the science behind it. One thing though, my sauce wasn’t as light in color as yours was. (though I added the right amount of butter/cream nor was the sugar burnt in any way) Taste was completely there, but I’m just wondering why my sauce isn’t as light as yours??

    Anyway I hope you got to enjoy ur 4th of July. Was so gonna try ur tye-dye cupcakes, but when u posted this I really had no choice! Haha 😛

    1. I’m so glad you made these Iram! Perhaps it’s just the lighting of my photos? Butter can also be either really yellow or pale whitefish, which may alter the color of the caramel too. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  9. Apple pie is the epitome of the Fourth of July! And making it into bars only makes it seem more doable … which means more eatable 😉 Bars are harder to photograph, especially with all that drippy caramel, but you did a gorgeous job! Pinned!

  10. I could not stop thinking about these bars all weekend! I plan to make them to bring to a BBQ this Saturday. With that salted caramel sauce, they are just too decadent to resist! Also, I love your green wood photo board background! Did you make it yourself? Hope you had a great 4th!

    1. Hi Mercedes! I’m so excited you’ll be making these. Let me know how they turn out! I did make the green photo backdrop, yes. I have a picture of me making it (and a link to the tutorial – see June 8): https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/07/02/photo-day-june/

  11. These are AMAZING!!! I’ve already made them twice since I found the recipe on Saturday. They were a HUGE hit at church and I will be passing out the recipe to many that inquired. Thank you!!!

  12. These look absolutely amazing! I made your Salted Caramel Apple Pie a couple of weeks ago and it turned out beautifully. Thanks for always sharing such great recipes!(: I noticed that you mentioned freezing these bars, I was wondering how long you let them thaw out before serving? Thank you!

  13. Sally, you never fail to make me want to blast out the door for a supermarket run as soon as I see your droolworthy pics. We adore apple pie and these pie bars look phenomenal! What a fun twist using salted caramel. Sharing!

  14. I just made the salted caramel today. I’m a sucker for caramel. Love TJ’s salted caramel. But it’s not as rich as this that I made today. I’m SO GLAD I have this recipe! It’s just the right amount of caramel and has such a dense, wonderful flavor. A little goes a long way. Thanks Sally!!

  15. This bars are divine. So reach in taste. My family argued what was more delicious bars or caramel while devouring everything with a lightning speed. Caramel itself reminded me homemade candies my great grandma used to make. SO YUMMY!! Thanks a lot.

  16. Hi Sally! I must tell you that I made these bars (along with the coconut macaroons) for my best friend’s baby shower yesterday, and they disappeared like crazypanyts! People keep posting on my Facebook page how much they loved them and are craving them still! Your recipes continue to be my ace-in-the-hole. Not to mention the fresh jar of salted caramel left on my kitchen counter…. 🙂 Yummyness!!!

    1. mmm… leftover salted caramel never stands a chance. 😉 Thanks for all the kind words. Love the word “crazypants” lol

  17. Mmm, these look good. I love apple pie and I love salted caramel, so these seem like the perfect combination! Might just have to try them 🙂

  18. Sally, I tried them and it turned out wonderful! I used to get intimated by baking but you are great teacher and make everything so easy. I’ve also tried your pizza crust and classic chocolate cupcakes, both of them had perfect results. Thank you very much!

    Love from Pakistan! <3

  19. Hi Sally!

    My name is Tracy and I blog at Made From Pinterest with my two sisters. Would you mind sharing with us the recipe plugin you use?

    Your blog is one of our favorites, love your photography and recipes!

    Thanks,

    Tracy

  20. These were amazing! I ended up adding more flour into the crust as it seemed way too buttery and gooey (not sure if something went wrong with my measuring) but it turned out perfect in the end. I’m absolutely obsessed with salted caramel at the moment and its winter here in NZ so we have an excess of apples

  21. I made these today and brought them to the beach where they sat out in the sun and got all warm and gooey and delicious! Definitely a recipe I’ll be making again!

  22. I saw these on pinterest and made them right away. I. LOVE. THEM. They remind me of the Apple Crostata from Olive Garden. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  23. Just made these today. Wow, they are so good! Shortbread, apples, streusel & caramel! Oh.so.tasty! I love the caramel recipe. The best I’ve found and so simple. Thank you for sharing!

  24. LOVE your recipes! Speaking of love…my husband LOVES apple anything but does NOT like oats. Is there anything that can be substituted for the oats or a different top layer that can be used? Thanks!

    1. Hi Julie – I’m unsure without testing anything myself. Could you make any of my other apple recipes instead: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/tag/apples/

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