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 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 (spoon & leveled)
  • 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!

372 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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 🙂

  4. 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! 

  5. 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!! 🙂

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

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

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

  9. 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! 

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

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

  12. Elaine Lelakowski says:

    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! 

  13. I made some salted caramel sauce a while back with plans of making these bars the next day. The sauce was amazing!! I put off making the bars for a while and the sauce mysteriously “vanished”! Now that summer is here, I’d like to try this. I’m not clear on how to drizzle the sauce? Sorry, total amateur here. Should I dip a fork in the sauce and drip it across the bars? Or use a spoon and just dribble some on?

    1. It’s ok! I just use a spoon or fork– pick up a little caramel– and drizzle it all over the top. Very easy!

  14. These bars are DELICIOUS!!! A nice alternative to apple pie and my family gobbled them up. Highly recommend!

  15. Still my all time favorite recipe from your website. So few ingredients and turns out amazing every single time. Thanks again, Sally! 🙂

  16. LOVE this recipe!!!! Just won the work “bake-off”…..I feel kind of guilty, like I should ship my prize to you! Such a great go-to recipe. Thanks again!!

  17. Those are fantastic! I just made them and taste tested! I didn’t have cream, so I melted some Kraft Caramels for on top. Will definitely make again!

  18. Sally!  It’s (almost) fall so I’m so excited to make these bars again!  This is one of my favorite recipes of yours and I made it about 6 times last fall!  I double the apples though.  Can’t have too much apple filling.  Thanks for this fantastic recipe!  🙂  Happy fall baking!

  19. Hi,
    I’m very excited to try this recipe in a few days for a fundraising bake sale. I’m trying to plan out my baking schedule and was curious if you knew if I could make these the night before? I don’t want them to get soggy. Any help on timing would be much appreciated.

    1. You can make them the night before. I would pour the caramel on top before bringing to the sale.

  20. Absolutely AMAZING!  I used half Granny Smith and half gala apples… Have never made homemade caramel before and the salted caramel is to die for.  And the apple pie bars are delicious!  Keeping this recipe for sure 🙂 thank you so much for sharing and for making the instructions easy to follow.  This stuff should be illegal it’s THAT GOOD!

  21. Decided to make these this afternoon since I had some apples that needed to be used up. These bars are really good even without the caramel. I LOVE salted caramel but heavy cream not something I normally keep in the house at all times. I can only imagine how addictive these are WITH the caramel! Next time I will plan ahead and buy the heavy cream and try this the way its supposed to be lol

  22. I made these bars for a staff meeting and as an icebreaker we all had to say what our favorite food was. Two of my coworkers said their favorite food was these bars. Enough said 😉

  23. Just wondering why these need to be refrigerated. They just came out of the oven and smell so good. I think we might enjoy them warm!

  24. Do I need to cover these when I put them in the fridge overnight?

    1. You don’t have to, but you certainly can.

  25. I made these apple bars today to take to my sons home.. they absolutely loved them!!!
    I made the caramel, so easy and definitely addictive..
    i doubled the batch, gave some to my good friends and have a few  left over for moi

  26. Oh wow, these are good. We picked apples last week and have tons, so I was on the hunt for new recipes. This is IT! Thank you. I drizzled with Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel from a jar because it’s just my favorite thing and was one less step to make. Yum!

    1. I made them again this weekend too! So glad you liked them, Krista!

  27. Making these this weekend. My whole being responded to the photo and the recipe.

    I am a caramel crazed human being. And anything caramel-apple sings to me.

  28. These are simply amazing! 

  29. i made these for a friends fall wedding and everyone loved them!

  30. Just made these now, planning on freezing, after cooling I  cut them in squares, should i remove them from pan and remove parchment before freezing or just leave in pan with parchment

    1. Either way is fine, whichever is easiest for you.

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