Home All Thanksgiving Recipes Apple Crumble Bars

Apple crumble in bar form?? They’re all MINE! (Especially if topped with ice cream and drowned in caramel😂) Apple Bars are a simple apple recipe with a shortbread base, juicy cinnamon apple filling and crumbly topping. You’ll love how it smells when it’s in the oven!

Apple Bars

There’s no question – apple is my favourite fruit for cooking. From magic Self Saucing Caramel Baked Apples to classic Apple Crumble, Apple Cake and stay-moist Apple Muffins, it is the single most used fruit in my dessert world.

Perhaps because I always have them – an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Perhaps because apple desserts tend to be less sweet than rich chocolate desserts (not that I’ve ever been known to turn away a slice of chocolate cake).

Or perhaps simply because I just really love cooked apples, cooked until soft with a touch of sugar and hint of cinnamon so they become juicy and syrupy.

I don’t delve too deep into reasoning. I just make. And EAT!!!🤩

I use twice the amount of apples compared to similar recipes so there’s plenty of juicy apple filling!

What you need for Apple Bars

Everything I use in Apple Crumble makes an appearance in this Apple Bars recipe. It’s a simple recipe, with one mixture doing double duty as the base and crumbly topping. 

Best apples for Apple Bars?

My favourite is Granny Smith apples, same as what I use for Apple Crumble. I love the combination of slight tartness with the sweet, and also it’s a firmer apple so it holds its shape once cooked rather than collapsing into mush (though mush would still be nice 😂).

The making part

A very easy apple recipe made using cooked fresh apples, here’s how it goes down:

  1. Simple butter-sugar-flour mixture for base & topping

  2. Press some of the mixture lightly into base, bake until light golden

  3. Filling – toss loads of fresh apples, cinnamon, sugar and flour (flour thickens juices that comes out of apples to make it jammy)

  4. Top with apple filling

  5. Mix remaining mixture with oats* then crumble over top

  6. Bake until golden

* Oats – in my world, Apple Crumble isn’t a crumble unless there’s oats in the topping. But I like having a clean shortbread-like base. So I use one dough mixture but I only add oats in for the topping.

Salted Caramel Sauce for Apple Bars!

I like to make sweet treats so they’re tasty enough to eat plain – and certainly these bars are scoffable as they are.

But a little drizzle of Salted Caramel Sauce would certainly not go astray! It’s a 7 minute job, easy enough to do while the Apple Bars are in the oven. That recipe will make more than you need, but you won’t be short of things to use it for!

Hands as a treat – or plates for dessert

Like Raspberry Jam Bars, Strawberry Bars and Lemon Bars, these Apple Bars are great for eating with your hands.

But they also make a terrific dessert! There’s always a place for a rustic Apple Crumble but sometimes I’m after something a bit “neater” looking for a dinner party, something easier to make than Apple Pie {coming soon!}.

Plus, I have many people in my life who aren’t a huge fan of really sweet, rich desserts so an apple dessert is an ideal option. 

Here’s how I serve Apple Bars as a dessert

  • Warm slice in the microwave for just 30 seconds (just to get the inside going)

  • Pop under grill/broiler for 2 minutes on medium high to get the top really nice and crispy again (because the juicy apple filling underneath makes the top lose its crispy edge after ~18 hours or so. Still delish, but recrisping makes it oven-fresh again)

  • Place on plate, plonk on big scoop of ice cream and drown in Caramel Sauce.

I say “place on plate”, but to be honest, I ate that piece in the photo below with my hands 2 seconds after I snapped the photo…… 😂 – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Apple Crumble Bars

5 from 15 votes
Servings9 – 12 people
Tap or hover to scale


Recipe video above. Tastes like Apple Crumble – in bar form! Shortbread-like base, jammy apple filling and crumbly top. Take it over the top with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce – and ice cream! Great quick apple recipe ideal for a handheld snack, or transform into a dessert for dinner party.


Base & crumble topping:

  • 125g / 1 stick unsalted butter , melted
  • 2 cups (300g) flour , plain/all purpose
  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg

For crumble topping:

  • 1/3 cup (30g) rolled oats (Note 1)

Apple Filling:

  • 3 – 4 large granny smith apples , cut into 0.7cm / 1/3″ dice(~4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup (35g) plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg


  • Salted caramel sauce
  • Ice cream!


  • Preheat oven to 180C/350.
  • Grease a 20cm/8″ square pan and line with baking/parchment paper with overhang (so it can be lifted out once cooked).
  • Mix together butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until you can no longer see white bits of flour.
  • Add egg and mix.
  • Lightly press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden, then remove and cool for 5 minutes.
  • Apple Filling: While the base is cooking, mix together Apple Filling ingredients in a bowl.

Crumble Topping:

  • Add oats into reserved crumble mixture. Mix with wooden spoon / fingers until oats are mostly incorporated into the dough.


  • Spread Apple Filling on base, then use hands to crumble topping all over.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until the top is deep golden.
  • Remove and allow to cool in the tin before lifting out of the tin using the baking paper.
  • Cut and serve! Eat with hands, or serve on plates. Take it over the top with ice cream and salted caramel sauce!

Recipe Notes:

1. Oats – traditional oats, not quick, instant or steel cut.

2. Apples – I love making apple crumble with Granny Smith apples because I like the slightly tart with sweet flavour. But these bars can be made with any type of apples. If using very sweet red apples, you may wish to reduce the sugar slightly.

3. Storage – keeps for up to 4 days (even 5!) in an airtight container (fridge if hot where you are). Topping softens within 24 hours but still delish. Also easy to recrisp – just pop under grill/broiler for a few minutes!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 328cal (16%)Carbohydrates: 51g (17%)Protein: 4g (8%)Fat: 12g (18%)Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)Cholesterol: 48mg (16%)Sodium: 107mg (5%)Potassium: 140mg (4%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 23g (26%)Vitamin A: 405IU (8%)Vitamin C: 2.8mg (3%)Calcium: 29mg (3%)Iron: 1.8mg (10%)

Life of Dozer

Always very concerned when I start packing bags…until he sees his stuff being packed too!

Belated Mother’s Day weekend away with the RecipeTin Family to Rick Stein’s Bannisters in Port Stephens, a couple of hours north of Sydney. Every car is packed with more food than luggage… And Dozer’s bag is as big as mine! 😂

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