Apple Crumb Bars are the perfect fall dessert with a tender crusty, gooey apple filling and extra thick cinnamon streusel topping.
If you are a person who likes an extra thick crumb, then you will love the cinnamon streusel topping on these apple crumb bars.
Why Make Dessert Bars
Apple crumb bars are easy to make and require minimal effort - all you need is a few ingredients and some baking time.
They can be enjoyed by the entire family, whether it's a special occasion or just an everyday treat.
Not only does the delicious apple filling taste great, but the cinnamon streusel topping adds the perfect amount of crunchy sweetness to every bite and that buttery shortbread crust is magnificent.
You can easily customize these bars to your own liking - try adding different spices or nuts for extra flavor!
These bars are also a great way to use up any leftover apples you have lying around during apple season.
The apple and cinnamon spice flavors are perfect for the colder month season.
Brown sugar- dark brown or light brown
Flour- all purpose
Apples- any sweet, semi tart variety such as gala, yellow delicious and similar
Vinegar- white or apple cider
The crust for the apple crumb bars was derived from my pie crust with added cinnamon and sugar.
It's super simple, and provides a flavorful, tender but sturdy bottom for the hand held apple bars.
Start by combining the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a stand mixer .
Add the vinegar and shortening and combine until the dough forms a smooth ball.
Roll the dough into a slab of about ¼ inch thickness and press it evenly into the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking pan.
To make the apple bar filling, stir the peeled, thinly sliced apples together with the melted butter, spices, and flour.
Mix in a large bowl well until combined.
Then, layer the mixed apple bar filling evenly over the crust as shown below.
To make the streusel topping for the apple crumb bars, cut the butter with the sugar, flour and salt in a separate medium bowl until it looks the consistency of large crumbs.
Sprinkle the cinnamon streusel topping evenly all over the apple filling layer in the pan.
Bake the apple crumb bars for 30-40 minutes, until edges become golden brown and the filling just begins to bubble out through the cinnamon streusel topping.
Cool, then slice the apple streusel bars into squares.
Choose a sweet, semi-tart apple like yellow delicious or gala.
Overly ripe apples work particularly well for this recipe, because they are already softening and at their most sweetest.
Bars can be warmed back up individually in the microwave on a plate for up to 30 seconds.
The warm apple crumb bars are very delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Don't forget to leave a recipe rating in the recipe card below, or a comment for other readers who might want to make this recipe.
Apple Crumb Bars with Cinnamon Streusel Topping
For the Crust
- 1 ¾ cups flour all purpose
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons cold water
For the Filling
- 3 honey crisp apples or similar variety (peeled, cored and sliced into very thin wedges no thicker than ⅛th inch)
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- 3 tablespoons flour all purpose
- 1 stick butter melted (½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 stick butter 8 tablespoons
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight excess on two sides for easier removal. (If you are not lining the sheet pan, lightly grease.)
- Combine the crust ingredients, and press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined half sheet.
- Combine apple pie ingredients, including melted butter, and layer evenly over crust layer.
- Cut butter into the crumb ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and sprinkle evenly over the apple filling.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until middle is set and edges are golden brown. Cool a minimum of 10 minutes before cutting into squares. If you lined the pan with parchment paper, simply lift it out of the pan, for faster cooling and easier slicing.
- Use sweet apples, with low tartness, like Honeycrisp, Gala, or Fuji.
- Wait a minimum of 10 minutes after baking to cool before slicing.
- Lining the pan with parchment paper makes for easy cleanup and slicing.