These Apple Crisp Bars have all the flavor of our favorite fall dessert in portable form.
Once we start picking apples in the fall, I’m on the hunt for all the apple recipes I can find.
The bummer about apple crisp, though, is that it’s not portable. I can’t enjoy a big bowl of it when I’m camped along the sidelines during my kids weekend athletic events (well, not gracefully anyway).
These Apple Crisp Bars are the perfect solution: all the fall flavor of apple crisp (especially the crunchy topping everyone loves) in a go-anywhere form.
This recipe for Apple Crisp Bars is adapted from a book called One Bowl Baking by Yvonne Ruperti. Whenever I do my library run with the kids, I often spend a few moments cruising around in the cookbook section to see what catches my eye.
Yvonne’s simplified approach to baking where you mix everything in one bowl or pan was my cookbook pick during last week’s library visit, and these easy, aromatic bars are the result.
The crust and the topping are the same oat mixture, separated by a layer of sweet, seasoned apples, and the result is a double dose of the crunchy topping that everyone always fights for anyway.
What type of apples should I use to make these Apple Crisp Bars?
Some of the best baking apples are Granny Smith and Haralson. Although they are a bit more tart, they do an excellent job of retaining a firm texture when baked. You may want to taste your apples before baking and adjust the sugar as needed, especially if baking with local apples.
My friend follows a gluten-free diet. Can I make these Apple Crisp Bars for her?
Yes! I’ve had success swapping in gluten-free oats and gluten-free flour in this recipe. You get the same great flavor with just a few tweaks to accommodate dietary restrictions.
I used the following equipment to make these Apple Crisp Bars:
- This 8 x 8″ pan is a workhorse in my kitchen. You’ll see it used in a lot of our recipes. (Bonus points for made in the USA!!)
- These peelers are my go-to for apples, potatoes and any other fruit or vegetable that needs peeling. Super sharp, though, so mind your fingers if you’re not used to using a Y-peeler.
- An apple corer may seem like a frivolous tool, but you’ll be amazed at how often you reach for it when making apple recipes. Saves more time than you think!
- Parchment paper is key to lifting these bars out of the pan. Don’t skip it!
Tuck these Apple Crisp Bars in a lunch box, bring a pan to a potluck or plate them and serve with a big ol‘ scoop of ice cream. Or eat one straight up for breakfast. No judgment here.
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons flour, divided
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 6 cups peeled and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples (about 3 large apples)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment so the paper hangs over all four sides. Set aside.
- Stir together oats, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Pour melted butter into oat mixture and stir to combine. Place 1/2 cup oat mixture aside and press remaining into bottom of baking dish.
- Combine apples, granulated sugar, lemon juice, remaining 1/2 tablespoon flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cloves. Stir to evenly coat. Dump apples on top of crust in baking dish and gently even them out. Crumble remaining 1/2 cup oat mixture on top of apples. Cover foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until crumb is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- Slice bars once completely cool and cover loosely until ready to serve.