A sweet caramel sauce filled with freshly chopped apples and surrounded by an oatmeal crumble makes these marvelous Caramel Apple Bars.
With a similar taste to an apple pie, but a fraction of the work this recipe is another fall favorite in our family!
Caramel Apple Bars Recipe
The oatmeal streusel sprinkled on top of these caramel apple bars make it the perfect dessert for cool falls days or to serve at Thanksgiving!
Almost like a caramel apple and a wonderful bowl of oatmeal had a baby this dessert is enjoyable! So easy to make with a bottle of caramel sauce from the ice cream toppings section at the store these bars only take 15 minutes to assemble.
This is another one of my mom’s recipes and she shared some with us. What a wonderful treat! She has this Wilton 9×13″ baking dish that she uses for baking cakes and making desserts like this.
Dipping freshly picked apples in caramel is one of the highlights of fall! The flavor in these bars is very similar to our Caramel Apple Pie, but these treats are easier to pick up in your hand and eat.
We love that this makes a big dish, so the dessert feeds a big group or lasts several days for a small family. Especially if you make a double batch you’ll serve as many people as our Cherry Cobbler for a Crowd and Dirt Cake for a Crowd recipes do.
- Apples – We like a slightly tart and crisp apple, the newer Envy apple works great in this recipe.
- Caramel Sauce – A small jar isn’t quite enough, so just look for a bigger 20 ounce plastic container. Using a pre-made sauce will save a lot of time and make these bars so much easier.
- Quick Oats – I absolutely love the earthy flavor and how they balance out the sweet caramel filling.
- All-Purpose Flour – Divided between the crust and helping thicken the caramel sauce.
- Brown Sugar – Adds more sweetness.
- Baking Soda – Helps the dry ingredients rise a little so the crumble isn’t too dense.
- Butter – Helps all the dry ingredients stick together and creates a richer more desirable baked good.
How to Make Caramel Apple Bars
- Grease 9 x 13″ baking dish and preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl combine all crust ingredients and mix until crumbly. Press half of crumb mixture in greased pan. Bake for 8 minutes.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine caramel topping and flour. Stir constantly and bring to a boil. Boil about 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
- Sprinkle apples (and nuts if using them) onto the warm base. Pour caramel mixture evenly over top. Sprinkle reserved crumbs evenly over the top.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting. Refrigerate to make cutting easier.
Step By Step Instructions
Combine brown sugar, two cups of flour, quick oats, baking powder and melted butter.
Stir it up until a nice, even crumble is created. If there are any clumps break them up with a fork.
Divide the crumble in half and press half into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13″ baking pan.
Press into a somewhat firm and level layer and bake for 8 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.
Then add apples and caramel sauce to a small or medium saucepan over medium heat.
Have a silicone spatula ready to help stir.
Add the flour to help thicken this mixture up.
Stir until the caramel sauce become thicker. Then pour over the bottom half of the oatmeal crumble.
The apples can be warmed with the caramel in the sauce pan or sprinkled over top of the caramel in the baking pan.
Sprinkle the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown on top.
We like to let the bars cool or even chill slightly before cutting. Enjoy!
Recipe Tips for Making Caramel Apple Bars
- For all of my fall desserts with apples, we just read the signs at a local orchard to find out what kind of apples are available and recommended for baking.
- We prefer apples with a combination of tart and sweet flavors for baking.
- Slice or chop apples into same size pieces so they cook evenly in baked desserts.
- Nuts are optional in this recipe, but we usually leave them out to make a smoother bite. If you like crunch add the nuts!
- The bars are much easier to cut when they are cool or refrigerated.
More Delicious Apple Recipes
- Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins might be the very best muffin we make!
- Apple Crisp with Peanut Butter Crumble has a wonderful twist on a classic apple crisp.
- Apple Dapple Cake has a combination of fresh apples in the cake with warm icing is hard to beat.
Caramel Apple Bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/4 cups butter melted
- 20 ounces caramel ice cream topping
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups coarsely chopped apples
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9 x 13" baking dish.
- In a large bowl combine all crust ingredients. Mix until crumbly. Press half of crumb mixture in greased pan. Bake for 8 minutes.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine caramel topping an flour. Stir constantly and bring to a boil. Boil 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring constantly.
- Sprinkle apples (and nuts if using them) onto the warm base. Pour caramel mixture evenly over top. Sprinkle reserved crumbs evenly over the top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting. Refrigerate for easier cutting.
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Originally published October 28, 2018 with pictures updated on May 5, 2023.