Apple Crisp Bars

Apple Crisp Bars taste almost better than it's namesake | @Susan Salzman |

I had a vegetable drawer filled with fuji apples that had seen better days.  They were not fit to eat for my mid morning snack.  It’s rare that I clean out my vegetable bin and throw things away.  I always try and “re purpose” neglected veggies and fruit and turn them into something delicious.

These apples were no different.  I need to turn them into something yummy and a crostata wasn’t going to cut it (my usual go to dessert when I have too much of one thing on hand).  A few weeks back I had given away a copy of The Fearless Baker on this blog post and I really wanted to bake a few more things from the book. I remembered reading about her Apple Crisp Bars and earmarked the page.  I grabbed the book and started collecting ingredients.  I already have a favorite crust for fruit type bars as well as a streusel topping.  I did, however, make her apple filling and it was good enough to eat with a spoon, all on it’s own.

I brought these to a casual lunch and both men and women devoured them.  The kids topped the ends and the leftovers with vanilla bean ice cream and said it was hands down better than any apple dessert they had ever tasted.  This gets my vote as well!


Apple Crisp Bars


for the crust:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
for the apple filling:
3 lbs. fuji apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup organic white sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
zest from half of a lemon
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
for the streusel topping
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup sucanant
7 Tbsp(3.5 oz.) unsalted butter, melted


for the crust
• preheat oven to 350*. butter a 9″x13″ metal baking pan(I used a rectangle tart pan and 6 individual 3″ tart pans).
• place flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse a few times
• add the chopped butter (i freeze it for about 45 minutes before using) and add to bowl, pulse and process it until it forms pea sized lumps
• sprinkle mixture into a 9″x 13″ baking pan, lined with foil which has been sprayed.  press mixture down, making sure to get the corners.
• bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes.  set aside to cool.
for the filling:
• turn oven up to 375*.
• place prepared apples, sugar, cinnamon, salt, water, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large skillet.
• cover apples and cook until soft, about 20 minutes.
• when apples are soft, if some liquid remains, turn up heat and cook until liquid has evaporated. let cool.
• mash apple mixture with a potato masher, leaving lots of chunks.  add 1/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour.
• pour apple mixture over cooked crust.
for the streusel topping:
• in the work bowl of a food processor, pulse the nuts, whole wheat pastry flour, and sucanat. add the melted butter and pulse to combine.
• sprinkle streusel over apple filling.
• bake 30-35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.
• let cool to room temperature before serving.
• this is great with a side of homemade caramel sauce and a scoop of ice cream!

* I like to make 2-3 batches of this and keep it in the freezer.  having streusel topping for baked apples, crisps, and crostatas helps create desserts in a snap.

The Urban Baker /

More Apple Dessert Links:
Apple Crisp – Chocolate Shavings
Apple + Cinnamon Mini Pies – Technicolor Kitchen
Traditional Apple Crisp – Simply Recipes
Apple Frangipane Galette – Delicously Organic

Showing 19 comments
  • Maria

    I want these for breakfast right now!

  • Deliciously Organic

    These look amazing!! I love the photographs too. 🙂

  • aida mollenkamp

    I love the idea of the apple crisp bars — especially as a means to use up past-prime produce!

  • Reply

    These look mouthwatering. I would love a bar or two a la mode!

  • Georgia Pellegrini

    I was just standing under the Baldwin apple tree with my brother not 5 minutes ago, trying to decide what to make this weekend. Perfect timing! ; )

    • Susan

      You have a Baldwin apple tree? How lucky are you. I am loving reading your stories about food and family. They are all so from the heart. I think a field trip to where ever you are is on my list of “places I need to visit”.

  • Reply

    With way too many over ripe apples I usually make a giant pot of apple sauce – these bars would be a great alternative.

  • Amanda

    WOW. This post is just stunning!!! I love your style and love that you put such thought and care into each recipe you share… I am dying to make this! 🙂

  • Angela

    I am Angela from Australia andI have been subscribing to your blog for a short time…and I love it. Thank you for making lives so much happier, and tastier ,by sharing your recipes and life with the world.
    I am not familiar with sucanant so what can I substitute for it.
    Thanks again,
    Regards from Australia,

    • Susan

      Hi Angela – thank you so much. It means so much to me that you are enjoying and hopefully, cooking! Sucanat is a whole sugar. You could use a white, organic cane sugar or even regular white sugar. I am trying to omit the white sugar/flour from our diet, but with baking it doesn’t always come out. But, when it works, it’s great. Also, my kids don’t even notice any difference.

      • Angela

        Thank you, I really appreciate your reply.
        Keep the wonderful recipes coming.
        Regards from Australia

  • Kim

    I really like these bars. I’m a a huge fan of apple desserts and I must say that, when the fall will be here and when we are going to pick some apples, I will prepare these!

  • Esi

    I SO want to make these. With a layer of cream cheese too!

  • Kristen

    I love your tasty, healthy twist on this yummy recipe. And your photos are fantastic too, my friend!

  • Paige


    New to your blog and not a very experienced baker. These apple crisp bars look delicious and I’d like to make them. That being said you’ll understand my confusion with the pan sizes in this recipe. The first step says to butter a 9 x 13″ inch pan, but once you make the crust it says to put it in a 10 x 15′ pan. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was misunderstanding something here…am I?

    • Susan

      Thanks, Paige. My crust is something I use for many recipes and I (pardon my faux pas), took the instructions from my master copy. Oops! Thanks for calling me out on it! Have a great day. Susan

  • Patricia Scarpin

    These are so good I almost grabbed my screen! I love anything apple and what a wonderful idea to transform apple crisp in bars. Genius! They look superb, Suz.

  • Leslie

    These look absolutely scrumptious!

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