Caramel Apple Bars

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Caramel Apple Bars — Super soft, moist, chewy, and all the flavor of caramel apples minus the stick! You’re going to love these apple caramel bars!

Caramel Apple Blondies — Super soft, moist, chewy and all the flavor of caramel apples minus the stick! You're going to love these apple blondies!

Caramel apples are so good, but they’re kind of a pain. The big stick, the messy factor, no thanks. I put the flavor of caramel apples into soft, chewy bars. No sticks necessary.

These apple caramel bars are super soft, moist, dense and remind me of an apple version of Soft Carrot Cake Bars but use grated apples rather than grated carrots.

I used my go-to blondies base recipe as the jumping off point. 30+ versions of blondies later, it’s a keeper.

There are three apples in the 8×8-inch pan. It’s always nice to work in some extra fruits or veggies by way of dessert.

Caramel Apple Blondies — Super soft, moist, chewy and all the flavor of caramel apples minus the stick! You're going to love these apple blondies!

The bars are portable and make a great addition to lunch boxes. Now that back-to-school season is upon us, the challenge of finding things that are a hit with kids but that moms can live with is a daily exercise in creativity and resourcefulness. The bars are a slam dunk.

They’re comforting, homey, packed with flavor, the apples add so much chewy texture, and the homemade salted caramel drizzle complements the sweet apples perfectly.

Many of my desserts I donate to friends, my daughter’s teachers, or people in my building after we have a piece or two. When you bake six days a week and have cakes, cookies, bars, and pie coming out of the ying-yang you just have to.

However, I happily hoarded the caramel apple bars and they got softer and tasted even better a couple days after I baked them as the flavors married. I’d sure like to open my lunchbox and have one of these staring back at me!

Caramel Apple Blondies — Super soft, moist, chewy and all the flavor of caramel apples minus the stick! You're going to love these apple blondies!

Ingredients in Caramel Apple Bars

This apple bars recipe is quick and easy, and it calls for just a handful of basic ingredients. 

To make the easy apple bars, you’ll need: 

What Kind of Apples Are Best? 

I used Fuji apples and recommend a firm apple that’s not too tart. However, any baking apple should work. 

Caramel Apple Blondies — Super soft, moist, chewy and all the flavor of caramel apples minus the stick! You're going to love these apple blondies!

How to Make Caramel Apple Bars

The apple caramel bars are simple to prepare and there’s minimal cleanup afterwards. Win! Here’s an overview of the baking process:  

  1. To make the bars, melt 1 stick of Horizon Organic Butter. 
  2. Then, whisk in one Horizon Organic Egg followed by the brown sugar, spices, vanilla, flour, and grated apples. 
  3. Turn the batter into a greased 8×8-inch baking dish. Top with apple slices and sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired. 
  4. Bake the blondies until the center is set and springy to the touch.
  5. Let them cool for about 30 minutes before drizzling with caramel sauce and serving. 

Can I Double This Recipe? 

Yes, you can double this recipe and bake it in a 9×13-inch pan. The bake time should remain roughly the same.

How to Store Leftovers  

The caramel apple bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Bars get softer on days 2 and 3 and the flavors marry; I think the taste peaks 1-2 days after baking.

Caramel Apple Blondies — Super soft, moist, chewy and all the flavor of caramel apples minus the stick! You're going to love these apple blondies!

Tips for Making the Caramel Apple Bars

I recommend lining your pan with foil before turning the batter into it. This step isn’t necessary, but it makes cleanup so much easier. 

You need to let the blondies cool for 30 minutes before topping with caramel sauce. If you add the caramel sauce to the piping hot blondies, it will just soak straight into the bars. 

If desired, you can omit the caramel sauce to make classic apple bars. However, we love salted caramel sauce in our house and I can’t make these bars without it! 

Caramel Apple Bars — Super soft, moist, chewy, and all the flavor of caramel apples minus the stick! You're going to love these apple caramel bars!

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 12

Caramel Apple Bars

Caramel Apple Bars

Super soft, moist, chewy and all the flavor of caramel apples minus the stick! You're going to love these apple blondies!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Bars

  • 1/2 cup unsalted Horizon Organic Butter, melted
  • 1 large Horizon Organic Egg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (not teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium/large apples, grated (about 1 1/2 cups grated apples measured loosely, not packed. I used 2 unpeeled Fuji, or try Braeburn or Gala)

Topping

  • 1 medium/large apple, sliced into 1/8-inch slices, about 12 to 15 thin slices (I used 1 unpeeled Fuji)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • about 1/4 cup caramel sauce or salted caramel sauce, drizzled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Bars – In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, optional salt, and whisk until combined.
  4. Add the flour and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
  5. Add the grated apples and stir to combine.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  7. Topping – Arrange apple slices by making 3 rows with 4 or 5 slices per row.
  8. Evenly sprinkle with cinnamon.
  9. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until center is set, and is firm and springy to the touch. Start checking at 35 minutes and in some ovens with some apples, bars may take 60 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Baking time will vary widely based on moisture content of apples, climate and oven variances; bake until bars are set and done. If the top is browning more than is desired before center is cooking through, tent pan by loosing laying a sheet of foil over pan.
  10. Allow bars to cool in pan for about 30 minutes before drizzling with caramel and serving.

Notes

Storage: Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Bars get softer on days 2 and 3 and the flavors marry; I think the taste peaks 1-2 days after baking.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 2g

More Easy Apple Desserts:

ALL OF MY APPLE RECIPES

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars — The soft yet dense apple cheesecake layer tops a crisp, brown sugar-graham cracker crust, while gooey, salted caramel drenches the top. 

Cinnamon Spice Applesauce Bread with Honey Butter — Applesauce keeps this bread so soft and moist! It’s like apple spice cake, disguised as ‘bread’ so you can have extra.

Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — An EASY, one-bowl, no-mixer apple cake that’s to-die-for!! Loaded with juicy apples in every bite, perfectly spiced, and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting! So DELISH!!

Apple Fritter Bread — Soft, fluffy bread that’s stuffed AND topped with apples, cinnamon, and sugar!! Like apple fritters in bread form!! Best apple bread EVER!

Cinnamon Roll Apple Bake — A layer of cinnamon rolls topped with apples and a crunchy oatmeal crumble makes this the ULTIMATE apple crisp!! EASY, ready in 40 minutes, and tastes AMAZING!!

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Cake — If you like carrot cake, you’re going to LOVE this version that includes apples and a tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center!! EASY, amazing, and a MUST-MAKE!!

Apple Pie Bread with Streusel Topping — If you like apple crumble pie, you’re going to love this EASY no-mixer apple pie bread!! Soft, tender, moist bread with the contrast of the slightly crunchy crumble topping is PERFECT!

Apple Crumble Pie Bread - If you like apple crumble pie, you're going to love this EASY no-mixer apple pie bread!! Soft, tender, moist bread with the contrast of the slightly crunchy crumble topping is PERFECT! Great for breakfast, brunch, snacks, or dessert!!

Post is brought to you by Horizon Organic. Recipe, images, and opinions expressed are my own. Follow @Horizon_Organic #HorizonB2S to exchange great parenting tips.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.



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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Comments

  1. Just the thought of caramel apples turns me off because of the stick factor. This is such a creative solution, pinned!

  2. I’ve just made these bars and they taste great, just like a caramel apple, I loved all of your recipes that I’ve tried. Thanks Averie!

  3. Averie, you are beyond brilliant!! I hate the sticky factor of caramel apples (although I always cave and buy one at Disneyland; it’s basically required). And making them is even harder. A friend of mine and I tried one summer in high school for our Halloween-in-August party (yes, we were a crazy bunch — the summer before, we had Easter-in-July!), and we basically gave up and just ate the caramels. Turning them into bars instead = pure bliss.

    1. I hate making them too! So messy! So…just…difficult. The caramel drips off the super slick apple skin and you end up with a mostly bald apple if the consistency isn’t *just right*!

  4. I find Apples on a stick almost impossible to eat haha!! This is a much better way! They looks so incredibly moist!

  5. I made these last night for a friend so I haven’t gotten any feedback yet. Word of advice: if your apples are extra juicy like mine were drain or squeeze out the shredded pieces; reserve the juice. I added the juice back in little by little until I felt the batter had a good brownie consistency. Only took a table spoon or so.

  6. these bars look delicious averie! love the flavour combination, you can never go wrong with apple and cinnamon.. especially when combined with sticky caramel!

  7. Best time of year! I’ve already started baking with pumpkin! :) Never too early for fall comfort foods! Can’t wait to get your new cookbook. :)

    1. Neither these bars or the carrot cake bars are doing to well virally..but honestly, it’s the best recipes that I PERSONALLY love that never seem to do as well…LOL. Seriously I hoarded these and the carrot cake bars too:)

  8. Caramel apples are for sure an enormous pain, but those flavors together are hard to beat – LOVE anything that combines them without all the sticky mess. Makes me excited for fall (or “fake fall” as we call it here in Thailand).

  9. I tried to make caramels one time and it was a disaster! After all that work, the caramel melted off the apples and I vowed never to attempt again. These are the perfect solution and they look absolutely divine:)

  10. I absolutely LOVE caramel apples but insist on having them cut into segments because A) biting into apples whole with my teeth is a huge, freaky pet peeve of mine, and B) because they’re so messy! But these bars definitely solve both of those problems. Swoon!

  11. The autumn flavours are starting to creep in!
    These look so good. I can just imagine how dense and sticky and super decadent they are from the photos. Yum!

  12. You are making me way too excited for fall! I looooove caramel apples! These bars sound amazing!

  13. I can’t believe it’s this time of year already! Time to bake with apples! Loving these bars, Averie! Pinned!

  14. Seeing this makes me SO happy…apple season!! I love caramel apples, but honestly hate eating them. Totally right Averie – it’s a sticky mess…plus the caramel isn’t in every bite lol I’m totally going to have to make these soon! It would be a total hit with my fam! Thanks for a wonderful fall recipe to try :)

  15. Ohhh gosh these look so delicious!! Thanks for helping me start to get excited about fall (as a grad student with both my own classes to take and classes to teach in the fall, I’m in full denial mode that summer is wrapping up) – I’ll just have to bake these bars whenever I start to get stressed ;)

  16. Dear Averie,
    Is it even possible that you cannot create a bar that is drool-worthy?! I mean I love you and your blog and all the recipes here. But it’s so hard to get thru a day when I can’t get instant gratification. :P

    You are an evil, but at the same time SWEET sugar genius.

    Thank you for posting this. Enjoy your day. ::)

  17. You know it’s a good one when you can’t bring yourself to share! These look fabulous!

  18. I love that you made caramel apples into an easy to hold bar treat! Those gooey apples on a stick are just way to mess! And yay for fall treats!!! My favorite time of year is almost here!

    1. I think as bakers, the fall is THE time to bake. From now til Xmas, this is our season (for baking – for everything else, I want summer!)

  19. Is it caramel apple season already??? Shoot. I still have a bunch of summer recipes on hand! These look much easier to eat than caramel apples!

  20. Beautiful bars, Averie! It’s almost making me crave the cool, fall weather now! :) Can’t wait to try these out!

  21. I love your generous use of apples in these bars–and I like the blondie recipe as a base. It was in the mid 50’s last night and some kids started school yesterday so seeing this recipe is making me realize fall is just around the corner. You have so many incredible apple recipes!

    1. Thanks for the compliments on my apple recipes and yes, kids went back to school here in many schools and for me, it’s the shorter days I notice that means fall is creeping up. The only thing I like about fall is…baking in it. That’s it. Otherwise, I want summer year round!

  22. Ooooh these look fabulous! A perfect fall treat. :) I am not accepting that fall is coming just yet though. :) I’ll have to pin these for later!