Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Family Favorite: Apple Pie Bars

I cannot believe that I have not yet shared this recipe!

I have made these bars probably no less than 100 times since Paul and I have been married.  They are Paul's single favorite cookie/dessert/snack/breakfast.  I have brought them to potlucks, work parties, birthday celebrations, and church functions.  They are always met with rave reviews.  

These bars are a cross between a blondie and a slice of apple pie.  A bounty of apple pieces are folded into a basic cake batter that has been spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.  After the batter has been spread into the pan, butterscotch pieces are scattered throughout, serving to intensify the apple flavors.  The aroma that fills the kitchen is warming, comforting, and mouth-watering.  The bars are delicious served warm or cold - with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or as an accompaniment with your morning coffee.

Paul and I made another batch of these babies to bring to a dinner being hosted at a friend's house tonight.  And I confess that we ate about 1/4 of the pan for "lunch."  After Paul finished his piece, he declared:  "Let's make more!"

And we will.

Apple Pie Bars
adapted from The Runaway Spoon

1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13x9 baking dish.

Using a stand mixer, beat the oil, sugar, and eggs until fully combined (about 2 minutes).  The mixture should be thick and pale yellow.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices.  Add to the sugar mixture in the mixer and beat until completely combined.  Using a sturdy spoon or spatula, fold in the apples.  The batter should be very thick.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the top with butterscotch chips.  Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few, moist crumbs attached.  Be careful not to over-bake.  Let cool slightly on a wire rack.  Serve the bars warm or at room temperature.


  1. Is it possible to swap Granny Smith for other apples? Or will it offset the taste too much?

    I want to make these and have Gala apples but no Granny Smith in the house! And I'm far to lazy to bolt out and get them!

    1. I have actually tried these with a few different varieties of apples, but the Granny Smith's are my favorite. The tartness of the Granny Smith apples helps offset the sweetness of the batter - but really, any variety of apple should work just fine! Let me know how they turn out.

    2. Thanks for the reply! I'll make some tomorrow with the Gala and let you know! :D

      Also, thanks for sharing this recipe! I am in love with all things apple and flipped when I saw this!

  2. What a great idea! Apple desserts top my favorites list...

  3. Monica, these are perhaps one of the most delicious things I have eaten!!!! I seriously could have eaten the entire pan myself, but thankfully, I was able to maintain a small measure of self-control, haha. I want to feature this for my "Recipe Monday," but unfortunately, in our zeal to consume them, I didn't take a picture! :) I'll be making this again, though! Thank you so much for sharing this! Oh, I also made your corn muffins, which were quite amazing, and plan to make one of your salads this weekend! Your blog is now officially one of my go-to blogs for new recipes! :-D

    1. Cassandra, I'm so glad you guys enjoyed the apple bars! They are incredibly addicting - Paul and I have such a hard time not eating the entire batch in one sitting. We have even tried freezing them to avoid temptation - but wouldn't you know, they taste great frozen too! :)

  4. Made these today- they are amaaazing! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you for the recipe!!! I made these today with jonagold apple. I skipped on the butterscotch chips as I'm not a butterscotch fan but it was still delicious. Very easy to make.

  6. I made these for our neighborhood picnic, and they are outstanding! I subbed coconut oil for the vegetable oil, galas and pink ladies for the granny smiths, and cinnamon chips for the butterscotch chips. I left the peels on the apples for a bit of color, and that worked just fine. I couldn't have been happier with the result, and, as a bonus, my house smells AMAZING! What a versatile recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it!