easy apple crisp bars square on parchment paper with apple slice

Easy Apple Crisp Bars

Apple Crisp Bars are easy to make from scratch—promise. This recipe uses a basic shortbread crust topped with apple slices and a simple flavorful crisp.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Apple Crisp Bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 57 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Calories 229kcal
Author Haley D Williams


Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups (147 g) all-purpose flour

Apple Filling

  • 4 cups (500 g) apples1 peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 4-5 medium apples2)
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

Crisp Topping

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (94 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Shortbread Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a 8x8 pan with parchment paper, leaving extra hanging over the ends, spray with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Add flour and mix until combined and dough is crumbly.
  • Press dough evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until dough is slightly puffed. Remove from oven and set aside, maintain oven temperature.

Apple Filling

  • In a large bowl, combine apples, flour and sugar. Mix until apples are thoroughly coated. Arrange apples on baked crust.

Crisp Topping

  • In a medium bowl, mix together first five ingredients. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Spread topping over apples in an even layer.
  • Bake uncovered at 350º F for 45 minutes, or until topping is golden and apple mixture is bubbly. Let cool, lift apple crisp using the extra parchment paper at the ends as handles, and cut into bars.



  1. Suggested tools: Kitchen scale, apple peeler/corer, pastry cutter, 8x8 baking pan and mixing bowls.
  2. Use crisp or tart apples such as Granny Smith, Gala and Honeycrisp (or mix them!) Avoid sweeter apples (like Macintosh) as it will make the filling mushy. 
  3. Store apple crisp bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature for up to 5 days.


Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg