Apple pie and apple crumble are both classic desserts and among the favourites I grew up with. These Caramel Apple Pie Bars are just like those desserts but in a portable version that can be eaten hot or cold.

They still have that crunchy crumble topping of apple crumble, a buttery shortbread base and a dreamy middle layer of soft, cinnamon apples and spiced caramel. These bars though are way easier to make.

Did you see the Cinnamon Caramel Crumble Bars I made back in May? They were so delicious and I adapted elements from that recipe to suit these caramel apple pie bars.

You’ll also love this gorgeous Apple Frangipane Tart, these Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes,  and this Apple Plum Cobbler is one of my absolute favourites.

A stack of caramel apple pie bars on a white marble dish.

The crumble is similar but this time I added oats for a little chewiness amongst the crunch. I reduced and simplified the shortbread base and of course added fresh slices of cinnamon coated apples.

And that caramel layer. Oh my! I added a little more butter because seriously, life is better with more butter, then I used brown sugar instead of golden syrup. Simple.

The caramel is baked into these bars making the recipe super easy.

Cream being poured over a caramel apple pie bar.

The 3 layers of Caramel Apple Pie Bars

The shortbread base:

You’ll just beat together butter and sugar, then add dry ingredients. The shortbread dough then gets pressed into the base of a lined 8×8 inch square baking tin. Bake it for a short time while you get the other layers prepared.

The caramel cinnamon apples:

The caramel is a simple mixture of sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar and butter. After a quick cook in a saucepan to thicken,  pour it over the shortbread. Top that with fresh slices of spiced apple. I like granny smiths best for baking.

The crumble topping:

Streusel, crumble, whatever you want to call it, it’s good. Real good. It’s just a handful of ingredients mixed together until, well, crumbly 🙂 then you sprinkle it all over the top of your apples. Bake the whole lot for a bit longer and it’s done.

Don’t be scared off by the ingredient list there’s only 10 but some are repeated in each layer.

Try this in tart form as well with this apple crumble tart.

A caramel apple pie bar on a white plate with more stacked in the background.

How to serve them

Bakers tip: Let the apple pie bars cool to room temperature before cutting them into 9 slices.

These delicious dessert bars are great topped with

  • fresh cream
  • ice cream or
  • custard / creme anglais (my favourite).

When all is said and done, with their easy crumble topping and delectable soft caramel and cinnamon apple centre, these bars are simply divine and the perfect easy, comforting dessert for any time.

A caramel apple pie bar with liquid cream poured over and a forkful taken out of it.

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These Caramel Apple Bars topped with an easy crumble topping are like an apple crumble in a bar and still totally comforting.

Caramel Apple Pie Bars (with Easy Crumble Topping)

5 from 2 ratings
All the comfort of apple pie in bar form, these Caramel Apple Pie Bars have a buttery base and crumble topping and a middle layer of cinnamon apple and caramel. 

Ingredients

For the shortbread base

  • 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
  • 50 g caster (superfine) sugar (¼ cup / 1.8oz)
  • 130 g plain flour (all purp flour) (1 cup / 4.6oz)
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour (45g / 1.6oz) (notes)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

For the caramel apple filling

  • 1 tin sweetened condensed milk (395g / 14oz)
  • 50 g dark brown sugar (¼ cup packed / 1.8oz)
  • 75 g unsalted butter (⅔ stick / 2.7oz)
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon all spice

For the crumble topping

  • 130 g plain flour (all purp flour) (1 cup / 4.6oz)
  • 65 g dark brown sugar (⅓ cup packed / 2.3oz)
  • 85 g unsalted butter, chilled (¾ stick / 3oz)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • cup rolled oats

Instructions
 

For the shortbread base

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line an 8 inch square baking tin with baking paper.
  • Sift together the flours and cinnamon and set aside.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture while continuing to beat on low until it comes together.
  • Use your hands to press the shortbread mixture into an even layer over the base of the baking tin.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • For the caramel apple filling:
    Combine the condensed milk, sugar and butter in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir for around 6-7 minutes until the mixture is smooth and thickened slightly.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the apple slices, cinnamon and all spice
  • For the crumble topping:
    Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a small bowl and press together with your fingertips until combined and like breadcrumbs. Mix through the oats.
  • To finish:
    Pour the caramel over the shortbread base and scatter the apple slices evenly over the top. Finally scatter over the crumble mixture, every now and then pressing some together into clumps as you go.
  • Bake for another 30 minutes.
  • Cool in the tin for ½ an hour, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.

Notes

  1. I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
  2. For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
  3. Store these bars in the fridge in an airtight container. Take them out 1/2 an hour before serving or reheat in the oven to serve them warm.
MORE BARS AND SLICES!
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