Crumb-Topped Apple Pie Bars Recipe

crumb-topped apple pie bars

The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Freeze Time: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 12 pieces
Yield: 12 bars
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
492 Calories
21g Fat
71g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 492
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 26%
Saturated Fat 12g 61%
Cholesterol 82mg 27%
Sodium 145mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 71g 26%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 35g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 162mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A crumb-topped apple pie is just about the loveliest of fall treats. If it's part of the dessert spread come November, consider yourself lucky, but these bar versions give their pie brethren a run for their money.

Not only are pie bars super easy to assemble—the bottom crust is a riff on an easy press-in shortbread cookie dough and the top is made from the same dough—they are also spectacularly delicious. Because the filling is shallow, the bars have a magnificent crust-to-filling ratio: every single bite includes a crunchy bottom crust, soft-cooked apples, and a generous topping of lovely crumbly bits. The filling is not super sweet and allows the flavor of the apples to truly shine while pairing nicely with the shortbread cookie-like crust and topping.

Pie bars are wonderfully versatile, elevating any and all fall occasions and holidays. If you have extra apples lying around, turn them into apple pie bars.


For the Crust and Topping:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, cold

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

For the Apple Pie Filling:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 pounds Granny Smith apples, about 5 apples

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Steps to Make It

Make the Crust and Topping

  1. Gather the ingredients and grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with cooking spray or softened butter. Line the pan with parchment.

    gather the ingredients for apple pie bars
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  2. Combine the flour, salt, and sugars in a large bowl and whisk until incorporated.

    Mix the dry ingredients for the crust
     The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  3. Cube the cold butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is crumbly and pea-sized. Alternatively, you can use a pastry blender or two butter knives.

    Mix the crust and crumb topping
     The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  4. Add the yolk and the vanilla and use a fork to stir them into the crumbly mixture. Switch to your fingers and continue mixing the dough until the yolk and vanilla are fully incorporated and the dough holds together if you squeeze a bit between your fingers.

    Add the egg yolk and vanilla
     The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  5. Remove 2 2/3 cups of dough and place in a medium bowl in the refrigerator. Press the remaining dough firmly and uniformly into the prepared pan. Using a fork, dock the crust and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes.

    Freeze the prepared crust
     The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan

Make the Filling and Assemble

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

    Mix the dry ingredients
     The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan 
  2. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Place them in the bowl and toss to coat with your hands. Add the lemon juice and toss a final time.

    Slice apples and toss
     The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan 
  3. To assemble the bars, remove the crust from the freezer and bake it for about 25 minutes, rotating midway, until the base is lightly browned.

    Bake the crust
      The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  4. Remove the pan from the oven, increase the heat to 350 F, and cover the base with the apple filling, leaving behind any collected juices to avoid a soggy crust.

    Add apples to crust
      The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  5. Remove the remaining dough from the fridge and use your fingers to pinch off and create 1/2-inch crumbs to cover the bars.

    Add crumble topping
      The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  6. Place the bars in the oven and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, rotating at the midway point, until the crumb topping browns and the apples are soft when you spear them with a paring knife.

    Crumble-Top Apple Pie Bars
      The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  7. Let the bars come to room temperature before slicing and serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

    crumb-topped apple pie bars
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan

Recipe Variation

  • Swap the apples for pears.
  • Add a sprinkling of chopped toasted pecans to the crumb topping.


  • Granny Smith apples are lovely in these bars, as they are wonderfully tart and hold their shape just enough once baked. Jonagold and Honey Crisps are also nice to bake with.
  • When par-baking the bottom crust, do not let it get too brown as it will be baked again for almost an hour once the filling is added.
  • If you want to remove the bars from the pan prior to cutting them or just to make slicing easier, refrigerate them first. Run a paring knife around the edge of the bars and invert onto a cutting board.