Bite-size dessert bars that taste just like apple pie? What more could you want! These baked apple pie dessert bars are full of cinnamon-spiced sliced apples, and topped with with a crunchy, sweet streusel topping. The best part is that they are easily made in a 9×13 pan—a terrific no-stress apple dessert!
These apple pie bars are the perfect shortcut to a delicious apple pie. They are stuffed with thin slices of apple and then topped with a crunchy streusel topping. I love making this baked apple dessert recipe because it’s easily made inside a 9×13″ pan. There is no need to worry about making and decorating a pie crust here!
As a trained pastry chef I am all about making delicious homemade dessert bar and brownie recipes. That doesn’t mean though that I don’t like to use shortcuts! Especially if that shortcut is in the form of apple pie bars.
These bars are stuffed with thin slices of cinnamon spiced apples that are spread all over a store bought pie crust. Then it’s topped it with a homemade super quick cinnamon streusel. Every bite is seriously heavenly! It’s one of my favorite apple dessert recipe ideas!
If you love apple recipes (who doesn’t!) make sure to try this apple coffee cake, this apple bundt cake, or if you’re up for making pie, this caramel apple pie. You can also make your own crust for this recipe if you want. Lean how to make a flaky pie crust.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s easier to make in a 9×13 pan and feeds 12-16, more people than a 9″ round apple pie.
- You can top them with a salted bourbon caramel sauce.
- There is absolutely zero pressure to make a pretty pie crust top because of the crunchy crumb topping.
- This apple dessert bar recipe takes only 30 minutes to bake and is delicious to make all year long!
Ingredients you need:
For the Pie bars:
- Store bought or homemade pie crust- defrosted (buy 2 if you want a thicker crust)
- Apples– Use Honeycrisp or Braeburn, they will hold up the best.
- All Purpose Flour– This will help solidify the bars and soak up some of the juice.
- Brown sugar– For extra sweetness.
- Cinnamon– For delicious Fall cinnamon flavor.
- Kosher salt– To enhance the flavor.
For the Crumb Topping:
- All Purpose flour- This is the bulk of the crumb topping.
- Brown sugar– Adds a caramel flavor to the crumb topping.
- White sugar– Provides sweetness.
- Cinnamon– Adds flavor.
- Unsalted butter– You will need to use this diced small and cold to help bind the topping.
Best Apples to use for Baking
My favorite apples to use for baking are Honeycrisp and Braeburn apples. They are sweet and juicy and can hold up to the heat. Granny Smith apples are great too if you like it more on the tart side.
Gala and Macintosh apples are not the best for baking because they can get mushy in the oven.
How to make Apple Pie Bars
Spread and bake the crust: First take the crust and spread it onto the bottom of the pan, pressing lightly with your fingers to get to the edges. Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes until its golden brown. It is a thin layer so it won’t take long. Cool.
Prepare the apples: Slice the apples thinly (do not cube them) and add them to a bowl with the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix to coat the apples well. Pour the apples on top of the pie crust and set aside.
Make the crumb topping:Combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add diced cold butter and use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut in the butter. When the mixture resembles wet sand with small pea sized pieces, you know it’s ready.
Sprinkle the crumbs and bake: Sprinkle the crumb topping all over the apple slices and bake for 30 mins at 350° F. Cool the bars before cutting in to them.
Tips for recipe success
- Cut the apple slices about 1/4 inch thick. Use a mandolin- it creates uniform slices and cuts down on time
- If you want to cut the bars cleanly– do not cut them right away! When the bars cool down, put them in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight so they really solidify into their shape. Then cut them into squares. Reheat them at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
- Use butter straight from the fridge. It has to be cold. Cut the butter into small cubes and pinch together the topping ingredients with the butter until it resembles a sand like texture.
Storing and freezing
Storage: Store the apple pie bars in the fridge, reheat in the oven or eat them cold! They will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days
Freezing: To freeze the apple pie bars let them cool completely. Then cover them with tin foil and freezer safe plastic wrap as well if possible. Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge and warm up in the oven for 10-15 minutes (if still frozen) at 350 degrees F.
Can I make this in an 8×8 pan? Yes you can but you will have to extend the baking time since the apple layer will be thicker. Check after 40 minutes.
Can I make these ahead of time? Sure thing! You can make these bars and keep them in the fridge before you need them. Heat them up in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes before serving.
What is the best temperature to serve these bars? These bars are best served warm or at room temperature but are good cold too!
Do apple pie bars need to be refrigerated? Yes, keep the bars in the fridge and either eat them cold or warm them up for 10 mins at 350°.
Is it better to cube or slice apples for apple pie bars? It is much better to slice the apples rathe than cube them because the apples will bake quicker and create even layers in the bars.
You can either serve this warm straight from the pan or you can cut them into individual squares first. If you want to cut them into squares, the best way to do that is to chill the pan in the fridge for 2 hours, then cut into squares. Reheat in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes.
Serve these apple pie bars solo with their crumb topping, or top with ice cream and caramel sauce.
More bar recipes:
Apple Pie Dessert Bars in a 9×13 Pan
- 1 store bought or homemade pie crust defrosted (buy 2 if you want a thicker crust)
- 6 Honeycrisp apples peeled cored, and sliced 1/4 inch
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ -½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup butter, cold diced into small cubes
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Defrost the pie dough for 15 minutes on your counter. When it is malleable, press it down into an even layer on the bottom of a 9x 13" 0r 8×8 square pan and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 350° F.
- Meanwhile, combine the apple slices, 1/4 flour, 1/4 brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt in a medium sized bowl and mix until the apples are evenly coated. Pour the apple mixture on top of the pie crust, and set aside to make the crumb topping.
- In a small bowl, combine the 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and the diced 1/2 cup butter. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, pinch the butter into the mixture until it kind of looks like wet sand, Larger chunks of butter are ok too.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the apples and bake for 30 mins until the top is golden brown.
- Cool the mixture on the counter for about 30 minutes before cutting into.
I made these for Thanksgiving this year, and they were a huge hit! I’ve never made anything in the pie family, and I’ve always wanted to try but felt they are too much of a hassle. These were really fun to make and turned out amazing and no lattice required! I actually felt quite fancy making these💁🏻♀️😂 maybe because of how beautiful they are when you cut them. Anyways, I will definitely make these again! Thanks, Sam!
YESSS Thank you Lauren!I am so happy these made you feel fancy heehee. Thank you so much for this awesome review, I am so glad you loved them!!
These look amazing! Do you think I can make them a day ahead of time? Trying to minimize my thanksgiving day chaos! Thank you!
Sam Adler says
Hey Tiffany! You totally can make them a day in advance! I would heat them up the next day for a few mins at 350 before serving, they are so good warm!! Happy thanksgiving!!
Can you tell me if a pie crust is shortcrust or puff pastry (I live in Australia)
Sam Adler says
It is a shortcrust 🙂
Simone blaine says
Omg love this. Made for my kids and was a huge hit!! So easy and soooo good
If I want to make it with caramel sauce would you put it on after it’s baked or before ( can you tell I know nothing about baking 🤣)
Thanks again for the great blog!!
Sam Adler says
Aww YAY Simone! So happy you enjoyed these! You could do it either way with the caramel. If you want to bake with it then I would drizzle about 1/3 cup onto the apples. If you want to drizzle it on top, go for as much as you want! Thank you so much for your comment and rating, it means so much!!
I’m in New England and sharp cheddar with our apple pie is traditional and definitely THE THING here. Mine has 6 oz. of shredded extra sharp Vermont cheddar spread on top after baking and popped back in the oven for a few minutes to melt. Absolutely divine!
Sam Adler says
OOHH MMM GEEEE That sounds so good, Ive got to try that! Thanks Shawne!! SO happy you enjoyed this recipe with the addition!