Apple Cinnamon Crumb Bars

As you’ll see from my recipe index, the “Pies/Crisps” category is severely lacking. Confession: I really don’t like pie. More specifically, I don’t like fruit pies, something about warm, gooey fruit that freaks me out. But I love raw apples sprinkled with cinnamon, and the overall taste of apple pie, just with less gooey apples and more crust. So after 2 trips to apple orchards over the past few weekends, I was left with way too many apples and needed to bake something with them. Apple pie was obviously not an option for me. But when I found a recipe for Apple Crumble Bars made of a shortbread crust, a thin layer of cinnamon apples, and a brown-sugar streusel topping, I knew I had found a delicious solution.

These were a hit for apple pie lovers and haters alike, and paired unbelievably as you can imagine with ice cream. I’m not sure if it was that the apples were in a thin enough layer, or there just was enough delicious shortbread and streusel to distract me, but I may be slowly starting to like the idea of warm fruit. It could also be the fact that I opted to use some brown sugar instead of just granulated, and doubled the cinnamon in the recipe — anything overloaded with cinnamon is good with me.

These bars were easy to put together, used up some of the 20,983 apples I had in the house, and were really, really delicious. It’s a nice, easy alternative to apple pie, even if you love apple pie, so I highly recommend you try it out while the produce section and orchards are still brimming with apples. I used Golden Delicious in this recipe, which is generally a good apple to bake with since it’s a tart variety, but use whatever you have on hand. I don’t particularly like Golden Delicious apples raw, so they were a great choice for me to slather with sugar and cinnamon. Mmmm, tastes like fall!

Apple Cinnamon Crumb Bars
Adapted from My Kitchen Snippets

For the topping:
4 apples
3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp fruit jam

For the base:
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1-1/3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened

For the streusel:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp butter

– Peel, core, and thinly slice apples
– In a large skillet, combine apples, sugars, and cinnamon, and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes, until apples are tender but still firm.
– While apples are cooking, combine cornstarch and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add this mixture to the skillet and stir constantly for 3 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 with parchment paper so that there is an overhang for easy removal, and grease liberally
– In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, and salt. Cut butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter or 2 forks until it reaches the consistency of breadcrumbs
– Press into the bottom of the pan, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly brown around the edges
– Remove from oven and spread jam evenly while it’s still hot. Arrange cooked apples on top so there is an even layer.
– In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apples
– Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow bars to cool before cutting, then you can reheat them for a few minutes before serving with a generous heap of vanilla ice cream :)

Recipe yields about 12 bars

PS – I apologize for no tasty Halloween treats this week to inspire your for the upcoming holiday weekend, but it’s been super busy around here and I sadly I haven’t gotten a chance to make something distinctly Halloween-y. But check out my post from last year: Happy Halloween!

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13 Responses to “Apple Cinnamon Crumb Bars”

  1. #
    Brooke — October 25, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

    These look delicious! Really want to make some :)

  2. #
    Denise @ niecynotes — October 26, 2010 @ 2:33 am

    Looks delicious! I do have some apples in “stock”, so I may try this sometime soon :D

  3. #
    Ingrid — October 28, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    I feel the same way about fruit. I like it raw but warm and mushy? No can do! :)

  4. #
    withoutamicrowave — November 2, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

    I looove the photos in this post! Great job, E!

  5. #
    cookies and cups — November 4, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

    These bars look great. I don’t like fruit pies either..ick!

  6. #
    The Ross Family — February 27, 2011 @ 2:23 am

    i am loving looing at all of the neat and yummy looking recipies you have…MmmMMmmm!! can’t wait to try some of them!

  7. #
    Hodge Podge — June 9, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. #
    Hodge Podge — June 9, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

    I made these for my mom this past weekend and they were EXCELLENT! Since my mom doesn’t like too much sweet so I used Granny Smith apples (peeled apples for the first time ever btw) and tart cherry preserves– she LOVED it. She wanted the recipe and everything.

    And she’s hard to impress with baking since our family owns a successful bakery. Thank you!

    P.S. I also made your Mardi Gras cupcakes & Cinnamon Buttercream for my mother-in-law on Mother’s Day. My colors got a bit mess up but they tasted awesome. :)

  9. #
    Cook by Numbers — July 16, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

    These look and sound AMAZING! I’ll definitely try this recipe out sometime this week! :)

  10. #
    Corinne — April 10, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

    Made these today and it is yummy! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. #
    melissa — February 1, 2014 @ 1:58 am

    hi! these look soooo goood!!! what kind of fruit jam would you recommend??

    • Erica — February 1st, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

      Whatever you want, I think I used strawberry :)


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