Apple crisp bars

These apple crisp bars are like the apple pie version of date squares with a buttery oat crumb base, an apple sauce layer in the middle, and topped with more of that buttery oat crumble on top. 

I have been holding on to this recipe for apple squares for many months. These are very much like date squares with their crumbly oat base and topping, but instead of a date filling, they have an applesauce filling. Apples, brown sugar and oats are a killer combination and so, I do declare these bars fabulous.

These apple crisp bars are easy to make but there are two components to this recipe, so it takes a little time.

The apple filling is thickened with cornstarch which helps to gel the extra water/juice in commercial apple sauce, which is sometimes quite “loose,” and too wet for a filling like this. The cornstarch helps the filling set so that you can cut these bars once they’ve cooled.

In case you are wondering how to check if the apple squares are done c: the edges of the topping begin to separate from the pan (a telltale sign when most baked goods are done baking) and the topping was golden brown.

Apple crisp bars

You are going to love these apple crisp bars, which are like the apple pie version of date squares but better: an apple sauce filling between layers of oat crumble. These apple squares make an excellent dessert or snack.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple crisp bars, apple crumble bars, apple squares
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 9 squares
Calories 313kcal
Author Janice


8x8 pan
GIR spatula


Crumble ingredients

  • 125 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 115 grams (1 ¼ cups) rolled oats (or large flake oats)
  • 100 grams (½ cup) light brown sugar
  • 115 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter melted

Apple filling ingredients

  • 100 grams (½ cup) light brown sugar
  • 45 mL (3 tbsp) cornstarch
  • 2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 500 grams (2 cups) unsweetened applesauce


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare an 8×8-inch square pan by lightly greasing it, and lining the base and sides with parchment paper. Set aside.


  • To prepare the crumble mixture: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, and light brown sugar. Add the melted butter and continue stirring until the mixture is evenly moistened with the wet ingredients and begins to clump. Set aside.

Apple filling

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the light brown sugar, the cornstarch and the cinnamon. Add the apple sauce and whisk well to combine and to be sure there are no lumps of cornstarch. Put the saucepan on a burner and heat over medium, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, thickens and turns very glossy. Take the saucepan off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Assembly & baking

  • Sprinkle half the crumble mixture in the base of the lined pan, and using a flat-bottomed glass, press it firmly so that the crust is even. Be sure to get into the corners too. Top the crust with the apple mixture, smooth it out evenly, then sprinkle the rest of the crumble over top, patting it in gently just to secure it.
  • Bake the squares for about 40 minutes or until the edges begin to recede and the top is golden.
  • Let cool before cutting or it might be a little messy (but oh so good!).


For this recipe, I used:
  • large flake or rolled oats, which you can find on Amazon
  • Mott's apple sauce which you can also find on Amazon
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenhealssoul or tag #kitchenhealssoul!


Calories: 313kcal

apple sauce, apples, cinnamon, crumble, fall, oats

2 Responses to Apple crisp bars

  1. Medeja September 23, 2012 at 11:13 PM #

    I guess it was one of those days..but still you managed pretty well! Those squares look yummy!

  2. [email protected] September 27, 2012 at 3:41 AM #

    Is it possible we’re related? Cuz this sounds like my life. Even replying to this post was hindered by much spazziness. Anywho… Despite all that chaos these look amazing. I love squares 🙂 such a good fall treat

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