Apple Crumb Bars

an apple crumb bar

Apple Crumb Bars are an all season treat filled with layers of juicy fruit sandwiched between a light cake base and a buttery crumble topping. They bake up a little bit different every time, depending on the apples you choose. These apple bars are a joy!

stacked apple crumb bars with fork

Apple crumb bars never go out of season

As a food blogger who slavishly follows the seasons in my recipe development, it’s refreshing now and then to make something utterly timeless, like these apple bars. It’s an any time, any season recipe. You’ll never have to wonder if you can find all the ingredients, you probably have them already. These bars follow in the Great Island tradition of simple, homey, wholesome sweets that so often will work as breakfast or dessert. Coffee is a plus in either case 🙂

What you’ll need:

  • about 3 good sized apples, I use Honeycrisp
  • flour
  • sugar
  • butter
  • rolled oats
  • ground walnuts ~ you can leave these out or substitute pecans, or even hazelnuts
  • eggs
  • buttermilk  ~ substitute milk or cream
  • lemon juice
  • baking powder, salt, cardamom, cinnamon
  • powdered sugar

apple crumb bars in baking pan

The best apples for apple bars

  • I’m a recent convert to Honeycrisp apples for baking. I love the way they bake up sweet and juicy while still retaining their shape. They still have a hint of crunch in these bars, which makes a lovely textural contrast.
  • Honeycrisp apples are yellow and red streaked, with little speckles. The fruit is extra sweet with lots of acidity, and the crunch is legendary.
  • Honeycrisps are pretty well represented in all states now, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding them.
  • Good old Granny Smith’s are a good substitute.

there are no bad apples

Contrary to what you might have heard, most apples are fine for baking. Most of them will yield deliciously varied results in terms of flavor and texture, and there are really only a few varieties to avoid when baking:

  • Macintosh ~ their texture is too soft and they don’t hold up in baked goods.
  • Fuji ~ they have a tendency to become mealy when baked.
  • Red Delicious ~ they’re lacking in flavor.

apple crumb bars on a plate with an apple

what can I bring?

When you have this gem of a recipe in your back pocket you’ll never have to wonder what to bring, these apple streusel bars are always right. They can work in a coffee break setting, or they can be dressed up for dessert. People love them any old way.

To make them the day before: let them cool completely and cover loosely on the counter. Give them a fresh shower of powdered sugar before serving, if necessary.

taking a bite of an apple crumb bar

let’s hear it for apples!

apple crumb bars
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5 from 11 votes

Apple Crumb Bars

Apple Crumb Bars are an all season treat filled with layers of juicy fruit sandwiched between a light cake base and a buttery crumble topping. They bake up a little bit different every time, depending on the apples you choose.  These apple bars are a joy!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Calories 334kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • 9x9 baking pan

Ingredients

crumble

  • 3/4 cup ( 96 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 Tbsp  (85 grams) unsalted cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts (pulse in a food processor)

base

  • 3 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and thinly sliced, this will be under a pound after slicing
  • lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) milk or cream
  • 1 1/4 cups (178 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting the finished bars

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray a 9x9 baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, if you like.
    prep shot 9x9 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper
  • Put the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and blend everything together with your fingertips until there is no more raw flour.
    ingredients for crumble topping
  • Make sure to break down any large clumps of butter so there is a somewhat uniform crumbly texture. Set aside in the refrigerator.
    crumble topping for apple crumb bars
  • Toss the apple slices with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
    creaming butter and sugar together
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, along with the milk or cream.
    Mixing apple crumb bars batter in a glass bowl
  • Spoon the batter in to the pan, and smooth out evenly.
    batter spread in baking pan for apple crumb bars
  • Top with the sliced apples. There's no need to arrange them precisely, but try to get them in an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the apples.
    Crumble topped apple bars ready for the oven
  • Bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Lay a loose layer of foil over the top if the crumble is browning too quickly.
    Baked pan of apple crumb bars
  • Let cool a bit in the pan before removing the sides. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 483IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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15 Comments

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  • Reply
    joan
    March 7, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks! I had just under a pound like you said. But I will add more apples and use a 9×9 pan. When I do I will let you know the results. Have a nice day.

  • Reply
    joan
    March 7, 2021 at 10:26 am

    5 stars
    Hi, it’s me again. The only thing I did differently was use an 8.5×8.5 dish. You said use 9×9
    Hope his helps. I tried to play detective

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 7, 2021 at 10:56 am

      That’s a good thought, that would explain the crust being thick, but not sure about the apples! It is amazing what a difference a pan size can make, though.

  • Reply
    joan
    March 6, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    5 stars
    This was a wonderful success at dinner tonight. Looked like the picture when it came out of the oven. But when it was cut the crust was very thick and you couldn’t see the apples. Would like to know why, just curious. Will be making it again.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 7, 2021 at 5:14 am

      You might try using more apples Joan. And possibly the type you used disintegrated a little bit? Also some pale apples blend into the crust, color wise…mine were a little bit yellowish. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Frannie
    February 21, 2021 at 11:54 am

    5 stars
    Love your recipes. It would be helpful if you had an option to print without pix. Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 21, 2021 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Frannie ~ you can print without the images, when you click print you’ll see check boxes at the top, just un-click the ones that say “recipe image’ and ‘instruction images’ and they won’t print out.

  • Reply
    Terry White
    February 18, 2021 at 10:22 am

    5 stars
    This sounds a little like the Irish Apple cake which was delicious

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 18, 2021 at 10:33 am

      Very similar, just another way to enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Cathleen
    February 18, 2021 at 6:45 am

    5 stars
    I can’t resist a good apple dessert recipe, and this one sounds so perfect! Bookmarked to make this weekend, thanks so much for the recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    Pam
    February 18, 2021 at 6:41 am

    5 stars
    Great recipe and great tips on choosing apples for baking. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Maria
    February 18, 2021 at 6:35 am

    5 stars
    These apple crumb bars look scrumptious! I might just make a batch this weekend!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 18, 2021 at 6:50 am

      They’re the perfect weekend baking project 🙂

  • Reply
    Shanna
    February 18, 2021 at 6:35 am

    5 stars
    These had so much flavor and my family couldn’t get enough of them.

  • Reply
    Beth
    February 18, 2021 at 6:34 am

    5 stars
    Yum! These look amazing and so delicious, so excited to make these.

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