Apple Crumb Bars

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

These Apple Crumb Bars are made with a brown butter shortbread crust, homemade apple filling and a soft cinnamon crumb topping.

Apple Crumb Bars with a brown butter shortbread crust on a wire rack

These Apple Crumb Bars have such a fun combination of textures and flavors. The homemade apple filling in these crumb bars, which gets covered in a generous layer of cinnamon crumble, is perfectly spiced and works so well with the brown butter shortbread crust. The extra step of browning the butter is so worth it because it really enhances the texture and flavor of these crumb bars!

Looking for more apple recipes? Try my Apple Oatmeal Cookies, Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes or Caramel Apple Crumb Cake!

What Is Brown Butter?

Brown butter is just regular butter that has been cooked until the water evaporates which allows the milk solids to become toasted. This process gives the butter a delicious nutty flavor (and smell) that makes any dessert extra delicious.

Stack of Apple Crumb Bars

How To Make Apple Crumb Bars

1. Brown the butter: Cut the butter into cubes and place into a small pot. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally. The butter will bubble and foam until it reaches a light brown color, has little browned bits on the bottom and smells nutty and delicious. This happens quickly so don’t walk away from it! Once browned, remove from heat and set aside.

2. Make the brown butter shortbread crust: In a medium bowl whisk all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

3. Combine melted browned butter with dry ingredients. Spread dough evenly across the bottom of a parchment lined 9×13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Brown butter shortbread crust for Apple Crumb Bars

4. Make the apple filling: place apples, sugar, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small pot. Cook on medium stirring occasionally until bubbling and the apples are tender. Add cornstarch and stir until thickened. Remove apple filling from heat and set aside.

Homemade apple filling

5. Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl combine the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Add melted butter and mix until well combined. Use clean hands to break into crumbs.

Apple filling and cinnamon crumb topping on top of a brown butter shortbread crust in a 9x13 pan

6. Assembly: Spread apple filling evenly over pre baked brown butter shortbread crust. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the layer of apple filling. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack then refrigerate for at least one hour before slicing. Store Apple Crumb Bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Pro Tips For Apple Crumb Bars

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
  • Refrigerate bars before slicing. If you try to slice them while they’re warm they will fall apart.
  • Use fresh lemon juice in the apple filling, not lemon juice from a bottle!
  • If desired, dust bars with confectioners’ sugar before serving to make them extra pretty!

more Apple Recipes

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Apple Crumb Bars

These Apple Crumb Bars are made with a brown butter shortbread crust, homemade apple filling and a soft cinnamon crumb topping.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 15 bars
Calories 397kcal
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • 9×13 pan

Ingredients

Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

  • 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 300 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt

Apple Filling

  • 6 apples peeled and diced
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) lemon juice, strained
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Crumb Topping

  • 180 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

Brown Butter Shortbread Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
  • Cut the butter into cubes and place into a small pot. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally. The butter will bubble and foam until it reaches a light brown color, has little browned bits on the bottom and smells nutty and delicious. This happens quickly so don't walk away from it! Once browned, remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Combine melted browned butter with dry ingredients. Spread dough evenly across the bottom of a parchment lined 9×13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Apple Filling

  • Place apples, sugar, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small pot. Cook on medium stirring occasionally until bubbling and the apples are tender. Add cornstarch and stir until thickened. Remove apple filling from heat and set aside.

Crumb Topping

  • In a medium bowl combine the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Add melted butter and mix until well combined. Use clean hands to break into crumbs.

Assembly

  • Spread apple filling evenly over pre baked brown butter shortbread crust.
  • Sprinkle the crumb topping over the layer of apple filling.
  • Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack then refrigerate for at least one hour before slicing.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1/4 tsp salt in the shortbread crust.
 
  • Store Apple Crumb Bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
 
  • Apples: Granny Smith is my go-to but you can whatever apples you prefer. Try mixing up different kinds for more variety in flavor and texture!
 
  • Apple filling can be made up to 2 days in advance if refrigerated in an airtight container.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Nutrition

Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 652IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

Similar Posts

2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Amazing! I made another version of these and while they weren’t bad, the flavor on these was chefs kiss 😮‍💨 thank you so much for the recipe! Everyone loved them. Will definitely be making again. I used both green apples as well as gala since it’s what I had on hand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating