Apple Pie Bars (Small Batch)

I’m excited to share a recipe that has a special place in my heart and has been with me ever since I was a child. 

Where I come from, the classic Apple Pie comes in the form of bars (or more specifically squares), and it doesn’t have any crumble, but rather an apple filling sandwiched between two dough layers. 

But this recipe is nothing short of special, as I adapted it to be the easiest and most delicious apple pie you’ve ever had! Thus, the dough layers have been replaced with soft sponge cake layers. Imagine all the flavors of a classic apple pie but in a convenient and portable bar form!

These Apple Pie Bars are super delicious, decadent, and soft – they almost melt in your mouth! With their rustic charm and gooey apple filling, these bars look like they came straight out of a bakery.

This recipe is perfect for a small batch resulting in 8 servings. I used a simple loaf pan to bake it, making it a great choice for those times when you want a taste of homemade goodness without having to commit to an entire pie. Plus, the loaf pan gives the bars a charmingly rustic shape, making them even more enticing.

What do these apple pie bars taste like?

Think about a cozy autumn day, wrapped in a sweet, soft sponge cake. That’s what these Apple Pie Bars taste like! The apple filling is tender and sweet, perfectly completed by a touch of cinnamon, giving them that nostalgic apple pie taste. But wait, there’s a little twist! The apple filling incorporates orange and lemon zest, taking these Apple Pie Bars to a whole new level. 

I’d describe them as the ultimate comfort dessert, the kind that makes you close your eyes and sigh in contentment with every bite. And if you warm them up and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top—well, that’s a slice of heaven right there.

Why should you make this recipe?

  • You want to try another variation of the classic apple pie, one that is easy to make, even easier to eat, and perfect to bring to gatherings!
  • There’s something timeless and nostalgic about apple pie, and these bars encapsulate that tradition beautifully. Biting into one is like taking a delicious trip down memory lane, evoking the comforting flavors of home-baked desserts.
  • Whether you’re enjoying them as a sweet snack, a delectable dessert, or even a delightful breakfast treat alongside your morning coffee, these bars are incredibly versatile. They fit seamlessly into any part of your day.



Flour – Flour forms the structural backbone of the bars, providing the necessary body and texture. For this recipe, I used all purpose flour, but you can also use cake flour instead.

Sugar – Sugar sweetens the batter, balancing the tartness of the apples and infusing a delightful sweetness.

Eggs – Eggs contribute to the binding and leavening of the batter, ensuring a light and airy texture.

Vegetable oil– Vegetable oil adds moisture to the bars, resulting in a tender crumb and preventing them from becoming overly dry.

Milk – Milk lends a subtle creaminess to the batter while enhancing its richness.

Baking powder – Baking powder acts as a leavening agent, causing the bars to rise and become pleasantly fluffy.

Salt – Salt heightens the flavors, providing a harmonious contrast to the sweetness of the other ingredients.


Apples – Apples are the star of this recipe, lending their natural sweetness and a pleasingly soft texture to the filling. If you use sweeter apples, you can lower the amount of sugar in the filling. 

Cinnamon – Cinnamon and apple are a match made in heaven. This aromatic spice infuses the filling with warm, earthy notes, enhancing the apple’s flavor. 

Nutmeg – While cinnamon is a star in apple desserts, don’t forget the nutmeg! Just a pinch of nutmeg alongside the cinnamon adds depth and complexity to the apple filling.

Sugar – Additional sugar in the filling boosts the sweetness and helps create a luscious, syrupy texture. If you’re using very sweet apples, you can use a little less sugar. Adjust to your taste for the best results!

Butter – Butter enriches the filling, imparting a velvety consistency and a hint of nutty richness.

Lemon & Orange Zest – Lemon & orange zest are the secret ingredients to this recipe. They contribute a fragrant twist, elevating the filling’s complexity and creating a lovely citrus undertone. These two zests accentuate the apple’s natural tartness and provide a delightful citrusy aroma.

Tips for recipe success

  • Opt for a combination of sweet and tart apple varieties like Granny Smith and Honeycrisp. Their contrasting flavors and textures create a more balanced and flavorful filling.
  • After baking, allow the bars to cool completely in the pan before cutting (I know, it’s going to be hard, but you can do it!). This ensures clean, neat slices and prevents the filling from oozing out.
  • Double the ingredients if you want to make a regular-size version of these Apple Pie Bars.

Apple Pie Bars (Small Batch)

Course: DessertCuisine: RomanianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Indulge in the cozy goodness of these Homemade Apple Pie Bars! A delightful nostalgic treat, but simplified into convenient bars!! What more could you ask for?


  • Batter
  • 85g flour

  • 60g sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 25ml vegetable oil

  • 40ml milk

  • 6g baking powder

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • Filling
  • 600g sweet apples

  • 2 tsp cinnamon

  • A pinch of nutmeg (optional)

  • 70g sugar

  • 25g butter

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Zest of 1 orange


  • Grate the apples.
  • In a non-stick pan, melt the butter, then add the grated apples, cinnamon, 70g of sugar, nutmeg (if using), and the lemon and orange zest. Cook on medium heat until most of the juice is evaporated, about 20-25 min. Stir constantly so that the apples don’t stick to the pan.
  • Set the oven to 180C / 350F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg together with the sugar until the batter becomes foamy and dense (about 3 min).
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined, making sure there are no flour pockets left.
  • Add the oil and mix until just combined. The batter should be fairly liquid.
  • Divide the batter into 2 equal parts.
  • Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 15 min.
  • When the cake is ready, pour the apple filling on top in a straight layer.
  • Pour the remaining batter on top in an even layer. Bake for 20 min.
  • Allow the apple pie to cool completely before cutting.

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