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corner square slice of apple crisp bar

Apple Crisp Bars

Caramelized apples made with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and apple cider on a buttery, crisp shortbread crust and topped with a walnut cinnamon oat streusel
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12 - 16 bars



  • 2 ½ cups (420g) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Walnut Oatmeal Topping

  • ¼ cup (38g) walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • ¾ cup (90g) all purpose flour
  • cup (142g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • cup (59g) old fashioned oats

Apple Filling

  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter
  • cup (142g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 8 medium baking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • cup (151g) apple cider



  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 12x9 pan with two pieces of parchment paper which extend over the sides to give you a ‘"handles" (this helps with removing the bars easily once it is set).
  • In the bowl of a food processor, place the flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine.
  • Add the butter and pulse until the mixture begins to form large clumps.
  • Press the dough into the prepared pan, then level and smooth it with a bench press or measuring cup. Chill the crust for 10 minutes.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust begins to brown. Let cool completely.

Walnut Oatmeal Topping

  • While the crust bakes, prepare the walnut oatmeal topping.
  • In the bowl of the same food processor used to make the crust, place the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pulse to mix.
  • Add the butter cubes and pulse until mixture begins to stick together and form small clumps. 
  • Add the oats and pulse to incorporate.
  • Remove the bowl from the food processor and remove the center blade. Stir in the walnuts. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Apple Filling

  • In a large skillet with deep sides, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium high heat.
  • Add the apples to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples have softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg along with apple cider.
  • Cook until the apples have caramelized, softened and the liquid has reduced, about 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Assemble Bars

  • Once cooled, spread the apple filling evenly over the crust.
  • Evenly scatter the walnut oat topping over the apples.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes until the topping has turned golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
  • Let the bars cool completely on the rack before slicing and serving.


Apple Crisp Bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They can be frozen for a month.
Keyword apple, apple crisp, apple crisp bars, apple pie, apple shortbread bars
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