Apple Crumble Bars have a shortbread crust, a tart apple filling, and a sweet crumble topping. They are perfect for any season!

Looking down on a pan of apple crumble bars

Apple Pie is a staple for summer and an American classic. These Apple Crumble bars take the epitome of apple pie and turn it into a perfect handheld treat.

The shortbread crust isn’t your typical shortbread crust. The addition of baking powder and egg make it a bit more fluffy and tender. It perfectly compliments the apple filling.

A close up of an apple crumble bar

Ingredients for Apple Crumble Bars:

Ingredients for shortbread crust:

  • All-purpose Flour. Measuring the flour correctly is very important. I suggest weighing your flour out (I use this scale). If you want to use a measuring cup, make sure you spoon the flour into the cup and level it off with a knife. Don’t use the cup to scoop directly from the flour.
  • Unsalted Butter. I always make sure to use unsalted butter when baking because there is no “standard” for the amount of salt they can add to butter. So if you add salt to a recipe and then use salted butter you could end up with a very salty end product.
  • Baking Powder. This will help the crust rise and make it a bit fluffy instead of dense.
  • Salt. Salt is a must in baked goods. It will help to balance out the sweetness and improve the overall flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar. This will sweeten the crust a bit.
  • Vanilla Extract. Vanilla is a must in baked goods just like salt. Real vanilla adds a better flavor than imitation vanilla.
  • Egg. It will be easier to incorporate the eggs into the shortbread dough if they are at room temperature.

Ingredients for apple filling:

  • Apples. I used Granny Smith apples, but you can use whatever you like the best.
  • Unsalted Butter. See above note.
  • Brown Sugar. This will help to sweeten and thicken the apple filling.
  • Cornstarch. This will thicken the filling.
  • Cinnamon or Apple Pie Spice. You can use whatever you have on hand and the flavors will still be similar.
  • Lemon. Lemon will keep the apples from getting brown and add flavor.

Ingredients for crumble topping:

  • Granulated Sugar. See above note.
  • All-purpose Flour. See above note.
  • Unsalted Butter. See above note.
  • Cinnamon or Apple Pie Spice. See above note.
All of the ingredients needed for this recipe

How to make Apple Crumble Bars:

Shortbread Crust

STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F). Prepare an 8×8 inch square pan by spraying it with non-stick spray and placing two long strips of parchment paper in a cross shape in the pan, leaving an overhang.

STEP 2: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined.

STEP 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.

STEP 4: Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.

STEP 5: Add the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.

The shortbread crust dough in a bowl

STEP 6: Pat the dough into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. If it is sticky you can dip your fingers in flour to keep it from sticking to your hands. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

STEP 7: Remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the filling.

Apple Filling

STEP 1: In a large bowl add the diced apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon or apple pie spice, and lemon juice. Toss until the apples are fully coated. Allow to sit for five minutes.

The apples before being cooked

STEP 2: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the apples and all of the juices that have released from the apples.

STEP 3: Cook the apples for about 10 minutes or until the apples are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make the crumble topping.

The apples after being cooked

Crumble Topping

STEP 1: In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon or apple pie spice. Use clean hands or a fork to mix together until the butter is broken up and the mixture has a coarse texture.

STEP 2: Place in fridge until ready to use.

the crumble topping ingredients in a bowl

Assemble Apple Crumble Bars

STEP 1: Add the apple filling to the baked shortbread crust. Spread evenly to the sides.

STEP 2: Sprinkle the cold crumble topping evenly over the apple filling.

STEP 3: Place the apple crumble bars in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting.

A closeup of a bar on a metal pan

Can I make Apple Crumble Bars ahead of time?

You can, but I wouldn’t recommend baking them until the day you are ready to serve them. You can assemble the bars, freeze everything, allow to thaw for a hour, and then bake normally.

Two apple crumble bars stacked on top of each other

More Bar Recipes

looking down on a pile of apple bars

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5 from 1 vote

Apple Crumble Bars

Apple Crumble Bars have a shortbread crust, a tart apple filling, and a sweet crumble topping.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, apple bars, apple crumble bars, shortbread crust
Servings: 16 bars
Calories: 200kcal

Ingredients

For Crust:

  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Filling:

  • 3 apples diced
  • 1/2 cup (106 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or apple pie spice
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter

For Topping:

  • 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or apple pie spice
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter cold and cubed

Instructions

For Crust:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F). Prepare an 8×8 inch square pan by spraying it with non-stick spray and placing two long strips of parchment paper in a cross shape in the pan, leaving an overhang.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. 
  • Pat the dough into an even layer in the bottom of he prepared pan. If it is sticky you can dip your fingers in flour to keep it from sticking to your hands. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the filling.

For Filling:

  • In a large bowl add the diced apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon or apple pie spice, and lemon juice. Toss until the apples are fully coated. Allow to sit for five minutes.
  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the apples and all of the juices that have released from the apples. 
  • Cook the apples for about 10 minutes or until the apples are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make the crumble topping.

For Topping:

  • In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon or apple pie spice. Use clean hands or a fork to mix together until the butter is broken up and the mixture has a coarse texture.
  • Place in fridge until ready to use.

For Assembly:

  • Add the apple filling to the baked shortbread crust. Spread evenly to the sides.
  • Sprinkle the cold crumble topping evenly over the apple filling.
  • Place the apple crumble bars in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.8g | Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 10.8g | Saturated Fat: 6.7g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 16g | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
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