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Welcome fall with this recipe for Apple Crumble Bars! With an oatmeal and walnut shortbread crust and heavenly spiced apple filling, this apple bars recipe will be perfect for an after-school snack or as the finish for a lovely fall dinner.

Raise your hand if the thought of the soul-warming taste of an apple pie without the hassle of making a pie crust would make your day! ✋✋✋✋✋

Then, my friends, consider your day made!

You could just as easily call this an apple pie bars recipe with the delightfully spiced apples or an apple oatmeal bars recipe given the oatmeal and walnut shortbread crust, but I'm opting for Apple Crumble Bars given the crumbly topping sprinkled over the apple filling. But whatever title we give it, you'll soon be calling it your favorite fall apple dessert recipe!

And if the allure of an easy apple dessert bar isn't quite enough, consider that this recipe is a great way to use up those slightly past-prime apples (you know, the ones with kinda wrinkly skin and maybe a tad mealier than you would like!).

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Can you Make and Freeze Apple Crumble Bars?

Absolutely! You can make parts of it ahead of time and assemble it at the last minute. Make and freeze the apple pie filling and the shortbread crust months in advance, putting the apple crumble bars together just before dinner and thrilling everyone with a delightful and aromatic dessert.

Tools I Used to Make Apple Crumble Bars:


Apple Crumble Bars

Apple Crumble Bars

Yield: 12-18 bars
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Refrigerated Time : 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Delightfully Spiced Apple Crumble Bar on Oatmeal Shortbread Crust. The crust and the bar filling can be made ahead of time and assembled at the last minute.


  • For the Crust:
  • 4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • For the Apple Filling:
  • 3 pounds apples (use a mix of apples), peeled, cored, quartered and sliced into 1/8" slices
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter


For the Crust:

  1. In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix butter, both sugars and vanilla extract on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes, until light and creamy.
  2. Combine flour and salt and slowly add to butter mixture with the mixer on low and beat until just combined
  3. Place parchment in a baking pan (see notes)
  4. Remove 1/3 of dough and place in a bowl and then put in the refrigerator.
  5. Press remaining dough into the pan, pushing lightly with floured hands to even it out.
  6. Refrigerate the crust for 20 minutes and preheat your oven to 375°
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Set crust aside

For the Apple Filling:

  1. Combine sliced apples with lemon juice, sugar, spices and mix well.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet, add the apples and simmer over medium-low heat until apples are soft and any liquid has evaporated. Slow from time to time to make sure apples are not sticking to the bottom.

To Make Bars:

  1. Spread apples evenly over the baked crust, leaving a 1/2" border on the edges.
  2. Crumble the reserved, refrigerated dough over the bars and bake for 25-30 minutes until the topping is nicely golden brown.
  3. Let cool before cutting.


You can make the crust and the apples in advance and then assemble the bars just before the final baking.

You can use a 9" by 12" baking dish or 2 smaller 9" by 9" baking dishes. If using the 2 smaller pans, know that your crust will be slightly thinner, but we thought it was just fine. Baking times were the same.

Another one of our favorite Apple Desserts are these Individual Skillet Apple Crumbles (or Crisps)

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to the recipe for these Apple Crumble Bars in the future.Pin showing Apple Crumble Bars on a Plate in front of a window


Apple Crumble Bars on a plate with a fork

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Until next time…



  1. Deb

    August 19, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Can you grease the pan if you don’t have any parchment paper to use?

    • lynn

      August 19, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Deb, You could grease it well…but the parchment also makes it easier to remove the whole crumble for easier serving. But…if you don’t have parchment and need an apple crumble fix, then by all means…get greasing my friend.

  2. Kathryn

    August 19, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Hi there! Can you please put the weights of butter in, not just ‘sticks’? In other parts of the world (like Australia), we don’t have sticks of butter, only by weight. So every time I decide to do a recipe with this in the ingredients, I have to look up how much butter is in a stick! Of course, I could just write it down somewhere so I always have it haha! But just speaking from your overseas subscribers 😊

    • lynn

      August 19, 2019 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Kathryn,

      Thanks for pointing that out to me! I did go in and make the addition and will certainly make that simple accommodation going forward because I ❤ my overseas subscribers!!!

      (p.s. 4 sticks is equal to 1 pound!)

      Many hugs…Lynn


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