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Caramel Apple Bars

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  • Prep 20 min
  • Total 50 min
  • Servings 36
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This delightful Caramel Apple Bars recipe pairs two fall favorites: it’s a combination of apple crisp and caramel apples, baked into scrumptiously shareable caramel apple crisp bars. With fresh sliced apples and melted caramel nestled between two layers of buttery brown sugar-oat streusel, it’s the perfect fall dessert.

This is one of our favorite fall baking recipes, because it features classic autumn flavors, it’s a great way to use up apples from an orchard trip and it only takes 20 minutes of hands-on time. Plus, as it’s baking, your home will smell sweet, cozy and comforting. What better way to spend an afternoon as the weather gets cooler outside?

Updated Aug 31, 2023
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What Are the Best Apples for Baking?

This recipe calls for tart apples to help balance out all the sweetness of the caramel and streusel. We also recommend firmer apples that will hold their shape, so they don’t get watery or mushy when they’re baked. Some of our favorite baking apples include Granny Smith, Braeburn, Cortland or Honeycrisp.

How Can I Serve Caramel Apple Bars?

One batch makes enough to share, and since these bars travel well, they’re terrific for bringing to fall potlucks and dinner gatherings. They’re not too fancy or fussy, either, so you can whip them up in almost no time! For an extra-special touch, you can dress your bars up with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Got leftovers? Enjoy them for breakfast the next day with a cup of coffee!


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons Gold Medal™ All Purpose Flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped peeled tart apples (3 medium)
  • 1 bag (14 oz) caramels, unwrapped
Make With
Gold Medal Flour


  • 1
    Heat oven to 400°F.
  • 2
    Mix brown sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl until smooth and well blended.
  • 3
    Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, the oats, salt and baking soda until crumbly.
  • 4
    Reserve 2 cups oat mixture; press remaining oat mixture in ungreased 13x9-inch pan.
  • 5
    In large bowl, toss apples and remaining 3 tablespoons of the flour. Top crust evenly with apple mixture.
  • 6
    In small saucepan, heat caramels over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
  • 7
    Drizzle melted caramel evenly over apples.
  • 8
    Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over caramels; press lightly.
  • 9
    Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.
  • 10
    Cool at least 20 minutes on cooling rack before serving. For 36 bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows while warm. Store covered in refrigerator.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1

    If you just want to experiment with this recipe, we’ve got a wonderful idea for you — make a date with Date Bars! Instead of the apples, flour and caramels, use 1 pound or about 3 cups of pitted Medjool dates in the recipe.

    The substitution is simple: In a medium pot, combine the dates with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 cup sugar and cook them over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Set the dates aside to cool, and then layer them over the oat mixture, just like you would have done with the apples and melted caramels.

  • tip 2
    To prevent your apples from browning, wait to chop them until after you’ve combined the streusel mixture.
  • tip 3
    Store bars covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The caramel layer will harden, so let them stand at room temperature for a few minutes to soften or warm them in a 250°F oven for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between rolled oats, instant oats and steel-cut oats?

Steel-cut oats are made by cutting whole oat groats into 3 or 4 pieces. They’re hearty and take the longest to cook.

Old-fashioned oats—also known as rolled oats—are made by steaming and rolling whole oat groats into flat flakes. Rolled oats are more shelf stable than steel-cut oats, and they cook more quickly.

Instant oats, or quick-cooking oats, are rolled oats that are steamed and flattened a second time, so they cook even faster. They’re often used in baking recipes, like crisps and these Caramel Apple Bars, because they bake up nice and tender—unlike those heartier oats, which can be pretty chewy!

What’s the Difference Between a Crisp and a Cobbler?

Since we’re on the topic, this is one of our top-asked questions! The answer is quite simple: crisps are made with an oat and streusel topping, while cobblers are typically made with a heavier biscuit topping.


145 Calories, 5 g Total Fat, 2 g Protein, 24 g Total Carbohydrate

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
5 g
Saturated Fat
3 g
10 mg
130 mg
80 mg
Total Carbohydrate
24 g
Dietary Fiber
1 g
2 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1/2 Starch; 1 Fruit; 1 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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