Apple Streusel Bars
These Apple Streusel Bars are soft, moist, full of apples and topped with cinnamon streusel! They’re so good you’ll have a tough time not eating the whole pan!
I am a big fan of these bars. I spent quite a few rounds trying to get the balance of bar, apple and streusel just right. I wanted a moist bar that wasn’t too terribly dense, but also not cakey. The base of the bars is a little more cake-like than brownie-like in that they are less dense. But they’re also not as fluffy as a cake, which was very important to me. They are kind of right in the middle. Plus, they have plenty of apples and moisture!
To make the bars, you’ll start with melted butter. Key to any moist and chewy brownie is melted butter. Even though these bars aren’t as dense as a brownie, I started with melted butter to ensure that they weren’t far from having that moist and chewy feel. I also used brown sugar over regular white sugar – much more fun flavor with the apples.
I used some of my favorite fall flavors in the bars too – cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. You can’t go wrong with cinnamon and apples and the nutmeg and cloves give a little more fall “oomph”. 🙂
When layering the batter into the pan, I decided to do it in two parts. About half of the batter is added to the pan first, then the apples are stirred into the remaining batter and added on top. I really preferred it this way. It gives the bottom of the bar a solid base and gives strong apple flavor to the top part of the bar. It makes the bars a little easier to handle too.
On top of the batter is the streusel. I played around with the amount of streusel as well. I started with a little less and ended up with a little more. More streusel = more better. Along with the apples mixed into the top part of the bar, it adds so much flavor and moisture. So darn good!
These apple streusel bars were definitely a hit! There really wasn’t a version that wasn’t good, this was just the version that I determined to be “the best”. I could easily eat them for breakfast, snacks and dessert. 🙂
Apple Streusel Bars
Yield: 12-14 bars
3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup (216g) light brown sugar, unpacked
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (195g) all purpose flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups (272g) chopped apple (1-2 large apples)
2/3 cup (87g) all purpose flour
2/3 cup (150g) light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
3 tbsp (42g) salted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and line the bottom of a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
2. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
3. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine.
4. Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk until incorporated
5. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients until combined.
7. Spread about half of the batter evenly into the bottom of the pan.
8. Fold about 3/4 of the chopped apples into the remaining batter, then spread evenly into the pan.
9. In another bowl, combine streusel ingredients and mix together until it forms a crumbly mixture. Stir in the remaining apples.
10. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the bars.
11. Bake the bars for 33-35 minutes, then set aside to cool completely.
12. Cut into bars and serve. Bars are best stored in the fridge.
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