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
  • 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 can’t wait to try these but I have one question for anyone that’s made them. I bake for someone who likes the apples completely soft and is repulsed by crunchy apples in pie. Do the apples come out soft at the end or should I prebake them for a few minutes like I usually do for pie?

  2. 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!

  3. 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! 🙂

  4. OH MY GOD I AM IN LOVE

    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

    1. I made them with the caramels but didn’t like them b/c the caramel hardened. I would stick with the caramel sauce so they stays soft. I also modified the recipe by skipping the crust and making an apple crisp (saved some calories). It was delicious!!!!

  5. Making these for Johnny Appleseed Days at work on Friday. I know you say to have the apples cut 1/4 inch think. Do you think it would be okay to use a mandolin to slice them? Just trying to find a way to cut down on the prep.

    Also, in your Salted Caramel recipe (which I am really excited to make! I was worried it would be complicated, but it isn’t!), do you stir the heavy cream in? it just says to add it slowly, but not mix it while adding it in. I just want to make sure I get it right.

    Thanks so much! I will report back how they go on Friday!

    1. Hi Trisha! Yes, a mandoline slicer works well for the apples. Add the heavy cream in slowly while whisking – thank you for bringing that to my attention. I will add that in. Thank you!

      1. I made a 9×13 pan for work and only 1 (small) bar was left! Everybody raved at how good these were and loved the presentation of the caramel drizzled on top! A++++++. Now I have to make my husband his own pan this weekend (not that I am objecting!) Thank you again for the awesome recipe! Oh! And I think I found a great Christmas gift to give, Salted Caramel Sauce! YUMMY!

  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 made these Wednesday 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!

  8. Hi Sally,

    I accidentally bought steel cut oats for the crumble and baked it anyways to see what would happen. Kind of looks like little pellets. Will it alter the taste! Should I add more crumble on top with the old fashioned oats? I’m hoping I can hide it when I put on the salted caramel. Thanks!

  9. 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.

    1. So sorry for the delay responding. I was on vacation. Thank you so much for the comment, Melody. I’m so glad you are enjoying my cookbook and that you love these apple pie bars.

  10. Made these tonight- they were excellent. I used Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce and it turned out delicious. Your recipes are always the best.

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

  12. 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!

  13. 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!!!

  14. Hey Sally,

    I just wanted to thank you for this insanely good recipe. I went apple picking this week, so I quadrupled the recipe and it perfectly filled two 13 x 9 pans. So delicious, and I will definitely make again…tomorrow.

    Liv

  15. Help me someone. My streusel was too crumbly and was falling off even after the final refrigeration of 2hrs. Why? This is why even while cutting it the oats layer was falling apart

  16. 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.

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

  18. Hi, could I bake the bars tonight, refrigerate overnight and add the sauce a few hours before serving tomorrow evening? Thanks.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. Hello! I’d love to try to make these bars but I am gluten free. Would using a gluten free flour work instead of real flour? Also with gluten free oats?

    Thank you!
    Shari

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