Filed Under: Bar Dessert | Fall

Apple Crisp Cookie Bars

Recipe By Tessa Arias
September 20th, 2018
4.72 from 7 votes
4.72 from 7 votes

Apple Crisp Cookie Bars feature a simple chewy cookie crust covered with cinnamon apples and a crispy sweet oat topping for an easy fall treat!

Yield: 9 bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 37 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like an apple pie, apple crisp, and a brown sugar snickerdoodle cookie got together and made a baby.
Texture: The cookie is thick and chewy, the apples are soft and gooey, and the topping is crisp and buttery.
Ease: So much easier than making an apple pie!
Pros: Simple and tasty fall recipe that’ll make your kitchen smell heavenly.
Cons: None, except maybe that these bars aren’t as pretty as an apple pie.
Would I make this again?  Absolutely.

Fall is just a couple days away and what better way to celebrate than with a scrumptious fresh apple recipe?

These Apple Crisp Cookie Bars take all of your favorite fall flavors and put them together in a new fun way. These bars so much easier to make than an apple pie. They’re also a little more fun and easier to transport than apple crisp. But they taste equally as amazing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Making easy apple crisp cookie bars

This recipe basically consists of a soft yet chewy brown sugar cinnamon cookie bar layered with apple pie filling and topped with crispy sweet oats. Every bite is a taste of autumn delight 🙂

It may seem like there’s a lot of ingredients when you take a peek at the recipe below, but most of them repeat themselves and it all comes together pretty quickly.

quick & simple apple crisp cookie bars, perfect for when apple crisp is too boring but apple pie is too difficult and time consuming!

Living in Phoenix, we typically don’t get much of a fall. It’s so sad! One of these years I’d love to spend a couple weeks somewhere beautiful with brilliant changing leaves, crisp mornings, and lots of cozy baking.

What’s your favorite sweet recipe to make during this time of year?

Apple Crisp Cookie Bars feature a simple chewy cookie crust covered with cinnamon apples and a crispy sweet oat topping for an easy fall treat!

More Apple Recipes:

4.72 from 7 votes

How to make
Apple Crisp Cookie Bars

Yield: 9 bars
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 37 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
Apple Crisp Cookie Bars feature a simple chewy cookie crust covered with cinnamon apples and a crispy sweet oat topping for an easy fall treat!


For the bars:

  • 1 1/2 cups (191 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the apple mixture:

  • 2 small Granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the oat topping:

  • 1/3 cup (42 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled


Make the bars:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch metal baking pan with parchment or foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a large heatproof bowl melt the butter. While the butter is still hot, add the brown sugar and stir until combined. Allow to cool slightly before adding the molasses, milk, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Gently stir in the dry ingredients.
  4. Smooth the mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 17 minutes, or until the edges are just set but the center is still undercooked.

Make the apple mixture:

  1. While the crust is baking, combine the apple ingredients a medium bowl. Carefully arrange the slices over the par-baked crust in one even layer.

Make the topping:

  1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredient mixture until a coarse meal forms. Sprinkle all over the apples.
  2. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until the topping is golden and the apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing and serving. Store covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Aly — September 20, 2018 at 10:25 am

    These look great! What kind of cream is used? Also, can you recommend a substitute for the molasses?

  2. #
    Kara — September 21, 2018 at 7:52 am

    These look delicious! If I were to double it, should I use a 9×13 pan?

    • #
      Tessa — September 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm


  3. #
    Margherita Baldini — September 21, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    What kind of molasses do you use?

  4. #
    Norton setup — September 26, 2018 at 2:51 am

    This is an awesome dish. I love to cook this for my family. Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing recipe.

  5. #
    Prim prim — October 13, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    I don’t usually make cakes like this cuz there’s not much time to spend on anything but one bowl recipes, but boy am I glad I made these!!!! They were incredible! I used Bramley apples and so had to slice them thinner and added a nut and seed mix to the crumble topping. Delish! Om Nom Nom

  6. #
    Ken — September 14, 2019 at 5:01 am

    What type of cream are you using for the apple mixture

  7. #
    Kelsey McVaugh — December 22, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Can these be made a few days in advance? Made them ahead for Christmas dessert and unsure how to store them until then…

  8. #
    Isabel — July 8, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    I made this for my family, and they all loved it!! This recipe is SOOOOOOOO good! It literally tastes like an apple pie and apple crumble had a baby. I would highly recommend this recipe! Thank you Tessa!!!!!

  9. #
    Caytea Irons — September 18, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    The taste of this dessert is phenomenal, but I had trouble getting the right texture. The bar part was just like a gooey, sticky layer on the bottom. I pre-baked the cookie. Then after the second baking, I baked it for longer when I saw that it wasn’t done when I cut into it, but only the edge pieces got a little bit more solid. I don’t have a metal baking dish that size, though, so I used a glass one. Could that have been the problem? Is there something else that I likely did wrong? Should I have pre-baked the bottom longer? The flavor is so great, I’d like to try again…

    • #
      Tessa — October 1, 2020 at 8:07 am

      Yes, the glass baking dish caused this issue unfortunately. Glass bakes much slower than metal. If you must use glass, try reducing the temperature to 325°F and baking about 20% longer at each interval.

  10. #
    Ruth — October 9, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Yum! Made exactly to recipe. Not too sweet, great flavor. Will be made again, for sure!

  11. #
    Cheryl — November 14, 2020 at 9:07 am

    So delicious!

    • #
      Tessa — November 16, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks so much!

  12. #
    Kelly — November 26, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    I made this for my family for thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit! It seems like a lot when you break it down, but it’s super simple once you’re in the process. Very glad I bought a pastry blender for the topping as I’ve never used one before; definitely made it easier on my hands. So happy with how this turned out!

    • #
      Tessa — November 27, 2020 at 12:49 pm

      Hooray! So glad you made this recipe for Thanksgiving!

  13. #
    easterbunni — April 1, 2021 at 8:52 am

    This was delicious! I loved the different textures from the cookie bar to the apples and the oat topping. I brought it to work and my co-workers loved it. Thank you for another great recipe Tessa!

    • #
      Tessa — April 1, 2021 at 9:09 am

      Hooray! I’m absolutely thrilled everyone enjoyed them 🙂

  14. #
    Margherita — September 30, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    What type of molasses do you use

  15. #
    Liz — October 5, 2021 at 8:48 am

    Hi Tessa! How are these stored?

    • #
      Emily — October 5, 2021 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Liz! Thanks for asking, I just added that to the recipe post! Store covered at room temperature for up to 2 days 🙂 Enjoy your cookie bars!

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