Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars are ooey-gooey treats that have an amazing buttery shortbread crust and a soft and sweet caramel apple center! This is one of the best desserts you will make this fall!
Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars
Salted Caramel Apple Butter bars are so insanely delicious that they are worth every bite, even if you are on a healthy eating plan. Personally, I have been watching what I eat, but I still believe in a little treat here and there. I recently started with a crossfit personal trainer and it is amazing! It is one of the hardest and most rewarding workouts that I have ever done. I can already feel a difference in the short time that I have been doing it. There really is no way to not get results with crossfit. Even when you eat dessert now and then. I made these Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars last week and that tiny square was worth every single calorie that I burned that day!
These Caramel Apple Butter Bars are adapted from the Salted Caramel Butter Bars recipe. It’s one of my favorites on the blog. I know, I know, these aren’t going to help with the weight loss plan. After all, they are called butter bars. But, oh man are they incredible! They start with a buttery shortbread crust. The center is salted caramel apple and the top is more buttery shortbread goodness. I love the hint of saltiness in these bars. Everything combined in these bars was so amazing! These are sure to be a hit with your family as well!
Ingredients in Caramel Apple Bars
Just a few easy to work with ingredients blend together flawlessly to create this family favorite dessert bar. The shortbread cookie crust is flaky and crumbly, while the center is filled with soft caramel coated apples. These family favorite flavors will have you obsessing over these Salted Caramel Apple Bars.
- Butter:Softened not melted.
- White sugar: Adds sweetness to the shortbread crust.
- Powdered sugar: Creates the melt-in-your-mouth texture in the shortbread.
- Vanilla: Added to both the shortbread and the caramel filling, this extract brings out all the flavors and adds its own buttery rich flavor.
- Apples: Medium sized Granny Smith apples work best.
- Caramels: Unwrap soft caramel candies and melt in microwave for super quick and easy caramel.
- Whipping cream: Prevents the caramels from drying out as they melt.
- Coarse sea salt: Just a pinch!
Let’s Bake Apple Butter Bars
It’s easier than you think to bake these Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars from scratch. They smell SOOO GOOD as they bake and they will get devoured right away! The hardest part is letting them cool before cutting into them!
- Prep: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Combine ingredients to form dough: In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar, and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in the flour and combine until it forms a soft dough.
- Add half of the dough to dish: Press half of the dough in the bottom of a 9×13 dish and place the other half of the dough into the refrigerator. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Mix caramel sauce: Remove the pan from the oven and melt the caramels, heavy cream and ½ tsp vanilla in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir together until smooth. Stir in the chopped apples. Pour evenly over the hot crust. Lightly sprinkle the coarse sea salt over the crust. I didn’t end up using the entire T, just lightly sprinkle evenly on top. You don’t want them too salty.
- Add top layer of dough: Take the remaining dough out of the refrigerator and crumble over the top of the caramel.
- Bake: Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until filling is bubbly and the top is firm. Let them cool completely before cutting.
Tips for the Best Butter Bars:
Keep these quick and easy tips in mind as you prepare your Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars. They will help you bake the perfect buttery shortbread crust. You will be serving a professional looking desert that people will rave about in no time!
- Crumbly dough: Shortbread dough is supposed to be a bit dry and crumbly. However, if your dough is still too crumbly even after working it for a while, you can easily adjust it by either adding more butter or more water.
- Chill your dough: Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes before baking. This will help the cookies to be firm and not spread too much while baking.
- Pierce shortbread dough with a fork: Poking holes in your shortbread dough will help it cook evenly since it is such a dry dough.
- Cream the butter and sugar together very well: The creaming process will give the shortbread great texture by adding air pockets in that will puff up when the cookies are baking in the oven.
- Do not overcook: The shortbread will still be soft when it first comes out of the oven. Do not leave it in too long. As it cools, it will harden. Look for a golden color to know when it is done.
- Storing: Once the bars have cooled completely, cover in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Perfect Fall Apple Recipes
- Caramel Apple Slab Pie
- Perfect Apple Pie
- Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
- Best Ever Dutch Apple Pie
- Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Salted Caramel Apple Butter Bars
An amazing buttery shortbread crust with a caramel apple center!
- 2 cups butter softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 and ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- 2 medium apples chopped (I used Granny Smith)
- 1 14 ounce bag caramels unwrapped or 11 oz unwrapped Caramel Bits work great
- ⅓ cup whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar, and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in the flour and combine until it forms a soft dough.
Press half of the dough in the bottom of a 9×13 dish and place the other half of the dough into the refrigerator. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and melt the caramels, heavy cream and ½ tsp vanilla in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir together until smooth. Stir in the chopped apples. Pour evenly over the hot crust. Lightly sprinkle the coarse sea salt over the crust. I didn’t end up using the entire Tablespoon, just lightly sprinkle evenly on top. You don’t want them too salty.
Take the remaining dough out of the refrigerator and crumble over the top of the caramel. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until filling is bubbly and the top is firm. Let them cool completely before cutting.
Updated on August 6, 2020
Originally Posted on October 13, 2014
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.