Wholesome and perfectly sweet, these flavorful crisp-style apple pie bars make a homespun dessert that’s best eaten with a fork.

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (6 cups)
  • 1¼ cup apple cider or juice
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups regular rolled oats
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 6 pitted Medjool dates


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or use a silicone baking pan.
  • For filling, in a large saucepan combine apples and ½ cup of the cider. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. of the lemon juice, cornstarch, and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.
  • In a food processor combine 1½ cups of the oats and the next four ingredients (through salt). Pulse until mixed. With processor running, add milk until mixture starts to cling together and is slightly moistened. Transfer ½ cup of the mixture to a small bowl. For crust, press remaining mixture into bottom of prepared pan. For topping, add the remaining ½ cup oats and the walnuts to mixture in bowl; toss. Spoon apple filling over crust. Crumble topping over apple filling.
  • Bake 40 minutes or until bubbly around edges. Cool at least 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make Cider Caramel Sauce: Place dates in a small bowl; add boiling water to cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain well. In a small food processor, combine dates and the remaining 4½ tsp. lemon juice and 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon. Process until smooth. Gradually add ¾ cup apple cider until sauce is pourable.
  • Cut apple bake into bars. Serve bars with Cider Caramel Sauce.

Comments (9)

(4 from 6 votes)

Recipe Rating

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These are absolutely delicious although a bit work intensive as it involves dirty ingredients a lot of things. I made the sauce because I assist wouldn't be sweet enough without it but the sauce wasn't actually necessary. I'll definitely make this again!

Susan Wright

love this it working good


Loved this. Guests enjoyed. GF and I ate over 1/2 of the entire thing one serving. It's a great, healthy replacement for regular apple pie bars loaded with sugar and butter. I'll definitely be making this again.


This was phenomenal! It stayed together well and was a big hit, even with my 5 year old, who is a tough critic. He did like the filling better than the crust, probably because the crust has zero sweetness, so next time I'll add a little date syrup or maple syrup. I used raisins instead of dates for the sauce and it was delish!


I also may have added more than 1/4 c of maple syrup in the first place. For us, it needed to be sweetened up a little. And I could tell, as the previous two reviews state, that the crust needed some help, it is dry and tasteless as is. I added spices and maple syrup to the crust and it was great.

Becki Henderson

Like the previous reviewer, I found the crust and topping dry and flavorless. However, I kept the recipe because I really liked the taste of the apple filling. I would make the filling again and top it with an alternate topping (like the toasted oats from Southern-Style Banana Parfaits) and/or toasted walnuts or pecans.

Traci Cooks Vegan

Disappointed. Did not turn out. Too dry, even with the sauce. Like eating apples coated in dry oats and flour, the date cider can't even save it. If you can't make a recipe good without a little fat or butter, don't bother posting it.


Was curious to see why this recipe had a low star comment. Yours made me laugh after I read your name, "Traci Cooks Vegan". You enjoy cooking with fat or butter. I wouldn't be interested in your recipes. The idea is to come up with healthy recipes that taste like they're loaded with fat or butter, imo. From the previoius comments, I'm going to try this recipe to use up apples that nobody wants to eat but I'll add sweetness to the crust and make extra sauce.


You didn’t read Tracy’s comment or just didn’t comprehend it. She stated that if you have to add butter or fat to make it taste edible then DONT post it. It was the exact opposite of what you claimed she said.

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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