These delicious Dutch apple pie bars are an easy twist on the more traditional Dutch apple pies. Made with a delicious vanilla shortbread crust, a thick layer of sliced cinnamon nutmeg apples, and topped with an oat streusel that you will absolutely fall in love with.
This is the best Dutch apple pie bars with crumb topping.
I am not sure why but this year I am on a crazy apple kick. Everything from apple drinks to cheesecake and cookies is being made at my house on repeat!
After making the apple cheesecake bars with the streusel topping I thought why not try the same recipe but with a cinnamon nutmeg apple layer in the middle instead of cheesecake? Oh my goodness! Everyone loved these even more than the other desserts.
It has a butter shortbread crust, tender yet crunchy apple slices in the center, and a golden brown crunchy oat streusel to bring it all together.
Why do you need to make this recipe?
- This is a fun twist on the more traditional apple pie served for the holiday season.
- It makes it easier to serve a crow because you can slice this dessert into 9 large squares or 16 smaller ones.
- This recipe has three distinct layers that all mesh together to create the perfect fall and apple dessert.
Ingredients for this easy apple pie bars recipe
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this fall-season apple dessert staple. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed ingredient measurements.
- All-purpose flour
- Brown sugar & granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Apple slices- I love doing a combination of fresh apples. I like to do granny smith apples for something that is more on the tart side to help balance out the sweetness of these bars and the pink lady apples to add that extra sweetness!
- Cinnamon & nutmeg- The combination of cinnamon and nutmeg will create those loved apple pie spices.
How to make these delicious apple pie bars
This is how you can make this apple pie bar recipe. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed instructions!
THE crumble topping
- In a small bowl mix the cubed cold butter, brown sugar, salt, flour, oats, and cinnamon. Use either your hands or a pastry cutter or pastry blender.
- Once the mixture is combined well and has small clumps, set aside in the fridge for later.
THE SHORTBREAD CRUST
- In a medium bowl cream the flour, both sugars, vanilla extract, and salt together until soft cookie dough forms.
- Spread the cookie dough on an 8×8-inch pan lined with parchment paper.
- Press that cookie dough into an even layer at the bottom of the pan
- Bake in the oven for 13 minutes.
The gooey apple filling
- Peel, core, and slice your apples thinly.
- Add the sliced apples to a large mixing bowl with the lemon juice, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
- Pour the mixture over the shortbread crust evenly.
- Top with the coarse crumbs and bake in the preheated oven.
- Allow the bars to cool down before slicing into them to get that perfect slice every time.
Frequently asked questions – FAQ
How to store these apple pie bars?
You can store your apple pie bars in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The crust and the buttery crumb topping will lose some of their freshness the longer they sit.
Can I freeze these bars?
Definitely! I love slicing them and individually wrapping them in plastic before placing them in a freezer-safe bag and freezing them for up to 3 months.
You can also place them in an airtight container and freeze them that way. Make sure to divide each layer with parchment paper or wax paper to keep them from sticking to one another.
Whenever you are ready to enjoy them thaw in the fridge overnight.
What can I top my apple bars with?
Some of my favorite toppings for this perfect fall dessert are
- Drizzle of caramel sauce
- Dusting of powdered sugar
- A scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce
What is the difference between regular apple pie and Dutch apple pie?
The difference here is simple. The regular apple pie or the more traditional apple pie is topped with a layer of pie crust on top whilst the Dutch apple pie has a delicious crunchy crumb topping instead.
No one dessert is better than the other, they just depend on your actual preference.
The best apple pie bars
The best dutch apple pie bars
For the Streusel Topping:
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup oats
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup butter ¼ cup butter = ½ stick butter, cubed, cold.
For the apple filling
- 3 apples Large, peeled, thinly slice
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter ½ cup butter = 1 stick butter, softened
Make the streusel
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on two sides for easy removal.
- In a bowl mix the cubed cold butter, brown sugar, salt, flour, oats, and cinnamon. Use either your hands or a pastry cutter. Once the mixture is combined well and has small clumps, set aside in the fridge for later.½ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup oats, ⅓ cup brown sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup butter
Make the crust
- In a medium bowl cream the flour, both sugars, vanilla extract, and salt together until soft cookie dough forms.¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ cup butter, 1 cup all purpose flour
- Spread the cookie dough on an 8×8-inch pan lined with parchment paper. Press to form an even layer. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Make the apple mixture
- In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with ground cinnamon, granulated sugar, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Spread the apple mixture evenly over the shortbread crust.3 apples, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Sprinkle the prepared streusel topping over the apples, covering them evenly.
- Place the baking pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the apples are softened.
- Remove the apple pie bars from the oven and let them cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Top with powdered sugar, caramel, or enjoy as is!
Shop this recipe
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that at no cost to you I will get a small percentage of every purchase you make!