Home > Desserts > Apple Crumble Bars Apple Crumble Bars July 1, 2020 | 13 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. Gooey Apple Crumble Bars are chewy, caramel loaded, and the perfect autumn treat! We love baking with apples; add our popular applesauce cake or apple turnovers to your list for future baking projects. Apple Crumble Bars Apple crumble meets carmelitas to create these incredible Apple Crumble Bars and I’m here for it. These bars are the perfect apple treat; they’re gooey, chewy, and have just the right amount of apple. They’re unlike any treat I’ve ever had, and I can’t get enough of them! These bars don’t have a distinct caramel layer; the caramel bakes into the apples making for an ultra-gooey center. The apples bake up super soft and create an overall chewy, gooey bar. If you love salted caramel, add a sprinkle of sea salt flakes and be prepared for a whole new dessert obsession. Apple Crumble Bar tips Use Granny Smith apples. Avoid other varieties of apples; they typically end up too soft and begin to disintegrate or become watery during baking. The other variety that works well in these bars is Honeycrisp. For a better flavor, I like to use a combination of both the Honeycrisp and Granny Smith. Dice the apples into small, even pieces. For the apples to soften in the right amount of time, they need to be chopped pretty small. Try to cut the pieces as evenly as possible so your Apple Crumble Bars aren’t left with some crunchy/firm pieces and some overly soft ones. Peel the apples. The skin doesn’t break down nicely during the baking and the apple layer will have a strange texture if you leave the peel on. For the crumble, make sure the butter has fully cooled to room temperature before adding other ingredients. If the butter is still hot, it will melt the sugars and become greasy and more prone to burning during baking. For the crumble, use old-fashioned oats. Quick oats make the crumble topping too dry and steel-cut oats won’t soften enough. Give the baked Apple Crumble Bars plenty of time to cool. Right out of the oven, these bars are a gooey mess! They need a good hour to firm up enough to cut into bars. Even after an hour, they’re still quite soft. Use good, soft caramels! More on this below. What caramels to use I’ve tried a lot of different caramels in Apple Crumble Bars and my favorite (affordable) caramels are Werther’s soft (not original) caramels. They generally come in 4.51-ounce bags so you’ll need three bags for this recipe. Here’s a visual of the bag (not sponsored). These caramels have a great flavor, melt easily, and are perfect for these bars. Apple pie spice Apple pie spice is a blend of spices (usually cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) that pairs nicely with apples. It’s widely available at most grocery stores (in the baking aisle), or you can make your own for a fraction of the cost. Here’s a recipe for homemade apple pie spice. My homemade version combines cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and ground cloves. If you don’t have apple pie spice, I recommend just using cinnamon instead. Salted Apple Crumble Bars If you love salted caramel, you’ll love Apple Crumble Bars with a sprinkle of salt. I love a sprinkle of these Maldon sea salt flakes (not sponsored) on top of the bars. QUICK TIPDon’t forget to line the pan with parchment paper; it makes a world of difference for removing Apple Crumble Bars (and later on for clean-up)! Leave an overhang of parchment paper so you can pull the bars from the tray onto a counter to cut. More dessert recipes Blueberry Crisp with lemon Caramel Apple Cheesecake with a streusel Eclair Cake no-bake icebox cake Chocolate Tart with an Oreo crust Apple Fritter Bread with a glaze FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Apple Crumble Bars 5 from 3 votes - Review this recipe Gooey Apple Crumble Bars are chewy, caramel loaded, and the perfect autumn treat! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Apple Crumble Bars 5 from 3 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Gooey Apple Crumble Bars are chewy, caramel loaded, and the perfect autumn treat! Course Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian Cuisine American Keyword Apple Crumble Bars Prep Time 40 minutes Cook Time 28 minutes Total Time 1 hour 8 minutes Servings 16 bars Calories 360kcal Cost $5.12 IngredientsCrust + Topping:1 and 1/2 cups (24 tbsp; 340g) unsalted butter1 and 1/2 cups (216g) light (or dark) brown sugar, lightly packed2 cups (264g) white, all-purpose flour2 cups (199g) old-fashioned oats1 teaspoon fine sea salt1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extractFilling3 and 1/2 cups (406g) peeled and diced apples (I use a mix of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith)1 teaspoon lemon juice1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (or extra cinnamon)2 tablespoons white, all-purpose flour1 package (13.51 oz., 396g) regular caramels unwrapped (3 bags, 4.51 oz each) (See Note 1)2 tablespoons heavy cream1/2 teaspoon vanilla extractOptional: sea salt for sprinkling InstructionsPREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the 1 and 1/2 cups butter in the microwave and the set aside to cool back to room temperature.CRUMBLE: In a large bowl, mix the melted and cooled butter (if the butter is still warm/hot it will make this crumble mixture greasy and prone to burning), brown sugar, flour, oats, baking soda, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and salt. Divide the mixture in half and press 1 half of it into the prepared 9x13-inch pan.APPLES: Peel and core the apples, and then chop into small (~1/4th inch) pieces. Place the small pieces in a bowl and toss them with the lemon juice. Coat them in the flour and apple pie spice and sprinkle coated apples over top of the (unbaked) bottom crust. CARAMELS: Place the unwrapped the caramels and the heavy cream in a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. Heat and stir until completely smooth and then set aside to slightly cool and thicken. Do not heat above medium low; be patient while melting or the caramels will get hard. Once smooth and removed from the heat, stir in the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and set aside. When slightly cooled, drizzle and gently spread caramel evenly on top of the apple layer.TOP LAYER: Crumble and sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture on top of the caramel.BAKE: Bake the bars in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and the top doesn't look wet or gooey. Remove from the oven and let stand at room temperature for at least an hour to set up. The bars are crumbly and hot straight out of the oven and they harden a bit with a gooey soft center after a few hours (Overall these bars are quite gooey/chewy).STORAGE: Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature. These bars are best used by end of the second day. After that they begin to lose texture and flavor and become mushy. These bars don't freeze/thaw well. Video Recipe NotesNote 1: I recommend Werther’s soft(not original) caramels. They generally come in 4.51-ounce bags, so you’ll need three bags for this recipe. Here’s a visual of the bag. Do not use caramel bits; they don't work well in this recipe. Nutrition FactsServing: 1bar | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.2g | Protein: 3.4g | Fat: 18.2g | Cholesterol: 47.1mg | Sodium: 19.8mg | Fiber: 2.1g | Sugar: 25.8g DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.