These easy apple cake bars are all you need for an afternoon snack or a quick dessert. They are loaded with fresh apples, cinnamon, nuts, and raisins and are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.
Apples are perfect for desserts.
I love desserts made with apples. I have many recipes on the blog that use apples, but the desserts are my favorite. Check out this German apple cake, or this apple rice pudding I used to make when my daughter was a baby, or this fantastic apple pie I sometimes make for the holidays.
Why should you make these apple squares :
- Easy recipe:
This recipe of baked apple squares is easy to make and requires just a few ingredients that most people, who like baking, have in their pantries. It doesn't require any special tools as you don't need to shred the apples or use a mixer unless you really want to.
- Moist and delicious:
The bars are moist, as the batter is made with oil. You can use melted butter instead, but I like it with oil better. These moist apple cake bars are also packed with nuts, raisins, and cinnamon, making them delicious.
- A different recipe that is good for breakfast, snack, or dessert:
If you want to try a new apple recipe besides your old same old ones, this recipe is for you. Because it is so easy to make, it is also a perfect recipe to make in the middle of the week. It could go well in a lunch box for the next day, as a dessert after dinner or as breakfast with a coffee cup.
What ingredients go into this recipe?
I used Golden Delicious apples, but you can use anything from the following list: Pink Lady, Gala, Honey Crisp, McIntosh, etc.
I like versatile recipes, and this is one of them, as you don't need to take a trip to the grocery store just to buy a particular type of apple. Use what you have. The bars will be delicious.
You will core, slice, and chop the apples. Do not peel them, as the skin has a lot of fiber and nutrients that are good for us.
Tip: Wrinkled, mushy, or bruised apples? Don't throw them away! If they sit too many days on the counter and nobody touches them anymore, use them for desserts! Older apples are great for cooking! It is a great way to save money and avoid wasting food!
I used granulated sugar.
I used large eggs, as they are the standard for baking in the US.
I used all-purpose flour.
Baking powder and salt
Baking powder is what makes the apple cake bars rise. Salt is the magic ingredient, as it enhances the flavors and pushes the ingredients to get friendly with each other. Don't skip it.
I used regular cinnamon here, but if you have only apple pie spice in the pantry, use it. Besides cinnamon, apple pie spice also has nutmeg and allspice so that the bars will be tastier.
Pure vanilla extract is always nice to have, but it is getting more and more expensive. Use the best vanilla you can find, and everything will be OK. :- )
I always have sunflower oil in the pantry. I would not go for the olive oil, as it is expensive and the flavor is strong. We need a neutral vegetable oil here, and you can use anything you have available, canola, sunflower, corn, etc.
Raisins bring texture and sweetness to the cake. You can replace them with cranberries.
I used coarsely chopped pecans. Apples pair well with walnuts, so you can safely replace the pecans with some walnuts.
What kind of tools do you need: (affiliate links)
- Bowls for mixing
- Measuring cups and teaspoons
- Whisk or a mixer
- 9x13-inch baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Cutting board
How to make these apple cinnamon cake bars:
Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside. Also, preheat the oven to 350F.
As you can see in this photo, I buttered the parchment paper just as a precaution, but it is not mandatory to do the same.
Beat sugar and eggs together until creamy and fluffy. You can use a whisk or a mixer. Add oil and vanilla and mix well.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the mixture to the wet ingredients and fold it gently.
Add chopped apples, raisins, and chopped nuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Spread the batter equally in the pan.
Bake. Allow the apple cake bars to cool.
Sprinkle the bars with powdered sugar, cut, and serve.
How to store these easy apple cake bars:
I like to store any cakes, bars, and desserts that contain fresh fruits in the refrigerator. They keep better, but you have to store them in an airtight container so the moisture doesn't get to them. These bars keep well in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Can I freeze them?
Yes, they freeze well. Keep them in the freezer for up to one month. Thaw them at room temperature before serving.
More recipes to love:
Easy Apple Pie Bars (Slab Pie Recipe)
Apple Walnuts And Raisins Red Cabbage Salad
Celeriac (Celery Root) Apple And Carrot Salad
Brown and Wild Rice Salad with Chicken, Apples and Walnuts
Apple and mushroom stuffed roasted pork tenderloin
Easy Apple Cake Bars
- 2 cups apples do not peel, sliced and chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegetable oil or butter
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped nuts pecans or walnuts
- powdered sugar
- whipped cream
- Or Vanilla ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat sugar with eggs until creamy and fluffy.
- Add oil or melted butter and vanilla. Mix well.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the mixture to sugar, eggs and oil and fold it gently.
- Fold in chopped apples, raisins and nuts.
- Pour into the prepared 9x13-inch pan and bake for 40 minutes.
- Allow it to cool, then cut in squares and serve.
Made this recipe yesterday and was disappointed in results. It was a very dry cake, almost too dry to eat. Not sure if it was my fault for substituting 1/2 cup apple sauce instead of the whole cup of oil. I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce. This substitution has worked well in other recipes. Also, my apples were not juicy.
I sprinkled sugar cinnamon mixture on batter before baking to give a little crunch while eating. Omitted the powdered sugar topping.
Will try the recipe again and follow directions as written.
Bottom line: The flavors are great together, just too dry.
The Bossy Kitchen says
Hi Cheryl, what can I say? I can vow for my recipe as I made it numerous time and never got bad results. This cake is definitely not dry if you make the recipe as written.
As far as I know, if you replace part of the oil/butter with apple sauce, you need to reduce the baking time by 25%, to avoid a dry cake. In this case, the baking time needs to be reduced from 40 minutes to 30 minutes. Also, you need to use unsweetened apple sauce, as the recipe already has enough sugar.
Overall, replacing some of the fat with applesauce WILL change the texture of the final product. As I never made this cake with apple sauce, I have no idea what actually went wrong when you made it. It could be the replacement of the ingredients, baking time or the performance of your oven.
Thank you for the speedy reply. Chalk this up to user error 🙂. Was not aware of reduction of oven temperature; that was also a major factor. Might try with the melted butter next time. This was an easy recipe to make and again, error resulted from my mistake.
The Bossy Kitchen says
No problem, you made me do some research about apple sauce and how it works in recipes. We all learned something today! I would still try the oil first before the butter. Trust me, you will not regret it. :- )
Will let you know how the next batch taste. Am sitting here now eating some of the apple bars. They are somewhat more moist than yesterday. They sat in a sealed pan overnight.