Apple Shortbread Bars

Don’t let these simple Apple Shortbread Bars fool you! While they are “just a bar” they are quite possibly the most amazing apple dessert you’ll ever taste.

Stack of three squares of apple shortbread bars.

I have a feeling you guys are going to roll your eyes when I tell you these bars are in my top 10 favorite dessert recipes EVER made.

I know, I say it all the time!

“This is my favorite!” or “I love these more than anything.”

But when it comes to this Apple Crumble Bar recipe, I promise it is true. They start with an easy shortbread cookie crust that you top with a delicious cinnamon apple mixture.

Bake to perfection, add the cinnamon glaze and enjoy a delicious combination of shortbread and apple pie in bar form.

Apple Desserts

Based on the sheer number of apple recipes and pumpkin recipes on this site, you’ve probably gathered than fall is my favorite baking season. I can’t help but want to bake (and eat) when the days get cooler and the leaves start turning.

Good thing, there’s no shortage of reasons to bake this time of year.

Bake sales, Halloween parties, Mondays . .all great reasons to bake some delicious apple bars. And we all know Thanksgiving isn’t complete without at least one Apple Pie.

While I love the classic apple recipes, sometimes you need something just a little bit different.

These Apple Shortbread Bars are the perfect balance of tradition and novelty. With the familiar apple cinnamon flavor at the center, the crispy shortbread makes them different from your typical apple pie bars.

They also happen to be super easy to make!

Apple Recipes: Apple Cinnamon Bread | Apple Hand Pies

Stack of shortbread apple bars on a white doily with cup of coffee on side.

How to Make Shortbread Crust

The key to making shortbread is butter. Lots of butter. More butter than you would expect for a crust this size.

This is dessert we’re talking about, after all. Butter is what makes the firm and crispy shortbread crumble in your mouth when you take a bite. It gives it flavor, texture and substance.

Mix the butter with powdered sugar, flour, salt and vanilla, then press it into a baking dish.

Apple Crumble Bars

With your shortbread crust ready to go, it’s time to mix together the apple filling. These remind me of my favorite raspberry crumble bars!

STEP 1. Make the crumb

Use your hands to combine brown sugar with butter (yes, more butter), flour, oats and cinnamon. Add the diced apples to the crumb mixture and toss to get them coated.

STEP 2. Bake

Sprinkle the apple mixture over the shortbread crust, coating the shortbread as evenly as you can. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool on the counter, then transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.

STEP 3. Glaze

For the cinnamon glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and cinnamon in a bowl. When the bars are chilled, cut them into squares or triangles and drizzle the glaze over each one.

Enjoy right away or place them back in the fridge for a few minutes to let the glaze harden a bit.

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I found these taste best COLD. Which is odd for me, since I LOVE warm apple crumble! But, having made these a couple times, I can tell you for sure: try them cold. You won’t be sorry!

Of course, I like mine with a warm cup of dalgona coffee on the side.


These bars should be kept in the fridge loosely covered. I store mine in the pan covered with foil. They’ll keep well for about 5 days.

Make Ahead Shortbread

If you want to make it even quicker and easier to make these apple shortbread bars and all kinds of other shortbread cookie recipes, you could make a few batches of shortbread dough in advance and then freeze it.

When freezing shortbread dough, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then place inside a freezer safe bag. Let the dough thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before pressing into a pan and proceeding with the apple pie bars.

Tips & Tricks

  • I prefer using from granny smith or pink lady apples. Peel the apples completely and dice.
  • I recommend dicing your apples into VERY small pieces. The smaller pieces pick up more of that delicious brown sugar crumble and will stay on the shortbread better than larger chunks.
  • The shortbread crust will still look a little soft or under baked when you take it out of the oven. It will harden as the crust cools!
Apple Shortbread Bars on a white rectangle plate with cup of coffee on side.

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Yield: 18 bars

Apple Shortbread Bars

Prep Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes

Irresistible apple crumble meets buttery shortbread in these Apple Pie Bars. A layer of sweet cinnamon glaze on top makes these one of my favorite fall treats of all time. You're going to love these bars!



  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1 ½ cup Crunch Pak apple slices, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup quick cook oats


  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add 2 cup flour, salt and vanilla until combined. Press into a 13×9 baking dish.
  3. In a mixing bowl, using your hands, combine brown sugar, 2Tbsp flour, 2 Tbsp butter, cinnamon and oats. Mix until coarse crumbles. Add diced apples (you want to make sure your apples are diced very very small. Sprinkle mixture over top of crust. Bake for about 25 minutes (crust may appear to be under cooked, that’s okay).
  4. Cool on counter, then move to refrigerator for at least 2 hours until chilled.
  5. Cut bars into squares (or triangles). In a small bowl, whisk the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over cut bars. Glaze will harden slightly in fridge. Enjoy!
  6. Keep bars covered loosely in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 234Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Irresistible apple crumble meets buttery shortbread in these Apple Pie Bars. A layer of sweet cinnamon glaze on top makes these one of my favorite fall treats of all time. You’re going to love these bars!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on August 24, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. Color me confused. Again. Sigh.

    I used the link from your Apple Pie Fudge recipe to get here. In THAT recipe you said the remainder of the can of apple pie filling could be used in these bars – so I thought perfect! A 2 for 1 – so to speak. BUT – this recipe specifies FRESH apples – no mention whatsoever of the canned filling.

    I’d really like to use up the pie filling for this recipe, but know that the spice & sugar ratio in this recipe would be way off (as it’s already premixed in the filling).

    What adjustments should I make to ensure they don’t end up overly sweet /spiced? (& could you perhaps show as a variation for others wanting to use pie filling? In these “Stay home! ” days the pantry is well stocked, but…)

    And 1 last question (you’re probably saying “Finally” or “Thank God” ) by now. lol
    Why do you glaze AFTER cutting? I noticed the same thing on the Apple Pie Fudge. Wouldn’t it be easier & less messy to do it BEFORE?
    Thanks so much for listening, & for all the superb recipes!

    We finally made it above 0*C today for the 1st time in weeks. Yay! Til Tues anyways – then back to sub-zero 😕

  2. Just made these. Crust did not cook through even after 40 minutes. Recommend cooking the crust before adding the apple topping, and bake again.:)

    1. Having made these several times, I would double check the recipe ingredients you used. 40 minutes is a LONG time to bake these. Seems like maybe one of the measurements you made was off 🙂

  3. I made these on Friday…if you are on a diet, don’t make these! Haha! 😉 These are my favorite bars now! They are SO good and super easy to make! I love your recipes and they never fail. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the sweet comment. I wasn’t kidding about these bars…beware of their deliciousness 🙂

  4. I made these and brought them to snack time at church. Everyone loved them, and many came back for seconds. My only complaint is, all I got was one teensy little bite! Solution: I’m making another batch tomorrow! Thanks for this recipe.

    1. I’m so glad they were a hit, and that you’ll be making some for yourself to enjoy!!

  5. Apples and shortbread. Basically the 2 things in love that I want to eat everyday forever…and now they are one, and I kind of want to marry these bars! Pinned!

  6. Good heavens, these look fantastic! I love how gooey and apple-y they are 🙂 Pinned!!

  7. I need to make these as soon as possible! Wishing I had them right now, such a great recipe!

  8. These sound absolutely marvelous. I have not had shortbread in quite some time…wish I had one right now while I work on the computer. Pinning! xo, Catherine

      1. Any supermarket in fruit-veg area. Target and even Amazon. They are just pre sliced apples kept crisp. I’d just use favorite regular apples and same amount of 1 1/2 cups. The package just keeps you from having to slice. Still have to peel and dice, anyway.
        These look great…enjoy!

      2. Just just use any apples you like and use same amount. The paks are just for convenience…found in fruit area of markets, Target and even on Amazon. They still need to be peeled and diced anyway. Easier to peel a whole apple.


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