Apple Pecan Bars are quick and easy to make and the perfect fall dessert. These bars have a buttery shortbread crust, are filled with cinnamon apples and topped with a crunchy, sweet pecan oatmeal topping. Drizzle with caramel sauce and enjoy! By the way, have you tried my pecan bars yet?
Step-by-step video tutorial
Which apples should I use?
I recommend using apples that are not too tart (like Granny Smith) but still have a good amount of tang and hold their shape well when baked. I prefer Honeycrisp and Pink Lady apples for this recipe due to these qualities. However, any firm apple will work perfectly, such as Golden Delicious, Gala, or Fuji.
Do I have to peel the apples?
No, you don't have to. I don't peel the apples for this recipe as the apples are thinly sliced for the filling and I don't even notice it. But that's up to you. You can peel the apples before slicing them if you like.
Expert tips for success
- Don't overwork the pie crust topping or the topping becomes a paste. The texture of the baked topping is best when it is mixed until it is crumbly.
- Discard the excess liquid released by the apples to avoid a soggy crust.
How do you know when it's done?
You can tell that the apple pecan bars are done when the topping is set and lightly browned.
After the bars have cooled completely, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Once cool, cut the bars and freeze for 1 hour. Then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags or containers. They freeze well for up to 3 months. To thaw, unwrap and let sit on the counter for 1 hour.
More apple recipes to try
I've also put together a handy list of my favorite apple cakes for you!
Apple Pecan Bars Recipe
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅝ cup unsalted butter, cold (cut into a few pieces)
- 2 large apples, thinly sliced (peeled if preferred)
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup pecans
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold (cut into small pieces)
- ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 9x9" (23x23cm) baking pan with parchment paper with an overhang on two opposite sides. Set aside.
- Make the shortbread crust in a food processor: Place flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor and pulse until it starts to clump. Transfer to the prepared baking pan and press with your fingers into the bottom of the pan. Then place a piece of paper on top of the crust and even with a flat-bottomed cup. Bake for 15 minutes until crust is lightly browned.
- If you don't have a food processor, then make the shortbread crust with a pastry cutter or two forks instead: In this case mix together flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Then add butter and cut it into the mixture until it starts to clump.
- Apple filling: In a large bowl, stir together apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla just until combined. Set aside.
- Make the pecan topping in a food processor: Place pecans, flour, sugar, salt, butter, and oats in a food processor and pulse until it starts to clump. If you don't have a food processor, then make the pecan topping with a pastry cutter or two forks instead: In this case chop pecans finely. Transfer to a large bowl and add flour, sugar, salt, and oats. Then add butter and cut it into the mixture until it starts to clump.
- Remove crust from the oven and evenly arrange apples without liquid (if there is any) on top of the baked crust. Sprinkle with the pecan topping. Bake at 350°F/ 175°C for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Then lift the bars out of the pan with the paper and cut into 9 bars (or more if preferred). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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These will be added to our favs!!! I toasted the pecans first which added a lovely depth of flavour and eliminated the oats due to allergies. I was concerned that the crust was not going to be sturdy enough. It was. Excellent recipe thx!
Sabine, I will be thinking about you and Mario traveling across the ocean next Tuesday (or Wednesday). I hope you have nothing but a safe and "uneventful" flight, but a most spectacular and exciting trip to New York. May you delight in all of the delicious foods of the city and take in the sights and sounds that only NY has to offer. Take pictures! 🙂 And if I may say, I think you are incredibly brave to travel so far and go in search of adventure. You are living the life that you want--keep living the dream, Sabine.
I will take a ton of pictures 🙂 Thank you so much, we will enjoy every single minute! Take care, Amanda!