These apple bars are loaded with tender cinnamon-spiced apples sandwiched between a tender crust and a crunchy crumble topping.
Apple bars are an easy and delicious way to celebrate apple season. With just 7 ingredients, most of which are pantry staples, you can whip these up in no time!
Want more apple recipes? Try these!
Key Ingredient Notes
Apples – choose apples that are sweet and tart and hold up well to baking. Honey Crisp, Cosmic Crisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, and Cortland are all great choices. If you prefer a more tart apple, Granny Smith apples are the way to go.
Sugar and Brown Sugar – both add just enough sweetness to balance out the apples. White sugar allows the crumble topping to become crunchy and brown sugar adds a deeper flavor to the crust and apples.
Cinnamon – you can never go wrong when pairing cinnamon with apples.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: A complete list of ingredients, their amounts, and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper so that there is enough hangover on each side to use as handles.
Place the parchment paper under the baking dish and trace the edges of the pan lengthwise. Then, cut the parchment paper to create a thinner strip that perfectly fits in the bottom of the pan.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Pour in the melted butter and mix until well combined. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sliced apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon until the apples are fully coated. Set aside.
Crumble half of the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Then, using your hand or a flat-bottomed measuring cup, press the crumbled dough into an even layer.
Spread the apples in an even layer over the bottom crust.
Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the apples.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the top and edges are lightly browned and the apple layer is bubbling.
Cool the apple bars in the pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before removing and cutting into bars. Serve them as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Tips & Tricks
- Grease the entire pan with softened butter or baking spray before lining it with parchment. This will help keep the parchment paper in place and keep the bars from sticking.
- Be sure to leave a few inches of overhang on the parchment paper. This will make it much easier to remove the bars without them falling apart.
- Allow the bars to cool for at least 1 hour but more is better. The longer they cool, the less likely they are to fall apart when cutting.
Substitutions & Variations
- Pear would make a great substitution for the apples.
- Add a thin layer of apple butter under the apples to really bump up the apple flavor.
- Cinnamon and apples are a perfect match but feel free to add more spices. Cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg would all taste great.
Storage & Reheating
Keep the apple bars in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for 1 day but should be refrigerated for longer storage. In the fridge, they’ll last for up to 5 days.
If you would like to warm them up, either heat them in 15-second bursts in the microwave or in a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes.
Wrap individual bars in plastic wrap before freezing. Keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow them to fully thaw either in the fridge or at room temperature before serving.
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- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 4 cups apple slices peeled and cut into thin 1-inch slices
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish and then line it with parchment paper so that there are a few inches of overhang on both sides.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the melted butter until well combined.
- In a large bowl, mix the apples with the brown sugar and cinnamon until the apples are fully coated.
- Crumble half of the dough evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Then, using your hands or a flat-bottom measuring cup, press the dough into an even layer.
- Spread the apples and any released juices over the bottom crust.
- Crumble the remaining dough evenly over the top of the apples.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the top and edges are lightly browned and the apple layer is bubbling.
- Cool the bars in the baking dish on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Then, remove and cut into 16 pieces. Serve them as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- They can be warmed back up in 15-second bursts in the microwave or for 5 minutes in a 350-degree oven.