When you want the taste of apple pie, but need some flexibility, this apple pie bars recipe will save the day!
Fall desserts makes me super happy. And hungry. And nothing says fall like spiced apple!
Using canned apple pie filling over a shortbread crust, this warm dessert will hit the spot.
Especially when you finish with a delicious buttery streusel crumb topping.
Y’all know busy moms don’t always have time to do things ALL the way from scratch. There’s no shame in a delicious shortcut! That said, I did add a variation below that uses fresh apples.
Be sure to check out this 5-ingredient apple cider cake for more apple-y goodness.
Ingredients for Apple Pie Bars
To make this tasty treat, make sure you have the following or grab them next time you get groceries. And if you want to try another great shortcut, you’ll love these mini pumpkin pies!
- Butter (room temperature)
- Vanilla Extract
- All Purpose Flour
- Apple Pie Filling (21 ounce can)
- Brown Sugar
You will also need the following baking supplies:
- Parchment paper or cooking oil spray
- 9×9 Baking dish
- Large bowl
- Medium bowl
- Countertop mixer (a hand mixer will work too)
- Rubber Spatula
Once you have everything you need, the rest is details! Homemade apple pie bars are a great recipe to make with kids and beginning bakers.
Or if they are old enough and want to try it on their own, that works too! Just be sure to supervise.
30-minute recipes are a great way to get started in the kitchen and this one is pretty darn close!
How to Make it
Before you start, be sure to preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper or cooking oil spray. Our recipe uses a metal pan.
If you are baking in a glass pan, heat oven temperature to 325°F and monitor for doneness toward the end of the baking time as it may cook faster.
TIP: if using parchment paper, be sure the edges of the paper are long enough to hang over the edges of the pan a little bit.
Ok let’s do this!
Because this is a one pan layered dessert, we will start by preparing the bottom layer.
Using your stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl on low speed. Then, add the eggs and vanilla and beat again until well combined.
In the same mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and mix until combined.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl with your rubber spatula into the prepared pan.
Then, using your fingertips, press into the bottom of the pan in an even layer, which creates the bottom crust.
Spread the pie filling over the top of the crust or if you made your own apple mixture, add it now.
In a small bowl, make the streusel topping by whisking together the brown sugar and flour.
Chop the butter into small pieces and using a pastry blender or fork cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
You could also use a food processor for this, but I don’t mind a little old fashioned mixing.
Sprinkle these coarse crumbs over the pie filling as evenly as you can.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until done.
You’ll know your apple pie bars are finished baking when the filling is bubbling and the streusel topping is golden brown.
Once the bars are done, remove from the oven. Gently remove from the pan by pulling the edges of the parchment paper up and and onto a wire rack for cooling.
Cut into bars before serving.
Apple Pie Filling Variations
This recipe uses canned apple filling to make life a little easier.
That said, if you like fresh sliced apples and already have some on hand, feel free to prepare the apple layer from scratch.
To use fresh apples, take 3 tart apples and thinly slice them. Then toss apples with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp apple pie spice and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
If you have some lemon juice, feel free to squeeze a little over the apple slices if you want to keep them from browning.
Set aside and add after preparing the shortbread cookie dough.
I’m on team give me the apple bars in any form. Try this or your own recipe and let me know what you think.
What to serve with Apple Pie Bars
Much like with traditional pies, I can’t think of anything better than vanilla ice cream to go with the bar version.
Delicious apple pie bars can also be served with whipped cream or if you really want to take it back, try adding a slice of cheddar cheese on top!
A glass of milk also does the trick if you prefer the bars a la carte.
Any way you slice it (see what I did there?) this delicious fall dessert will be a hit during the holiday seasons and beyond.
Print the Recipe
I hope you enjoy this tasty treat!
If you make these apple pie bars, please let me know what you think by leaving a star rating or comment in the recipe. Enjoy!
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 can apple pie filling (21 ounces)
- For the streusel topping:
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F for a metal pan or 325°F for glass.
- Line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper, making sure the edges of the paper hang over the edges of the pan.
- For the shortbread layer, beat together 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl. Add both eggs and 1 tsp vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp salt and mix until combined.
- Scrape dough into the pan and press with your fingertips in an even layer.
- Spread the pie filling over the top of the crust. (see variations for homemade apple layer)
- Make the streusel topping by whisking together the brown sugar and remaining flour.
- Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Sprinkle the topping over the pie filling.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until done. If using a glass pan, check for doneness after about 25 minutes.
- The pie bars are finished baking when the filling is bubbling and the streusel topping is golden brown.
- Allow the bars to cool completely, then remove them from the pan by pulling the edges of the parchment paper up.
- Cut into bars before serving.
If using fresh apples, see variations in post for ideas. Nutrition info below is calculated based on canned apples.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is estimated and may vary based on products used. Please verify with your ingredients.