spiced apple butter bars

Back a few months ago when I made these Strawberry-Lime Crumble Bars, all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait to make a fall-inspired version! The strawberry and lime ones were amazing, but when the weather turns cool, you just want something with cinnamon, vanilla and warm spices, preferably with some apples included, to ring in the season.

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These bars are just the ticket! A thick brown sugar-y crust, topped with spiced apple butter and a crumbly-sweet topping. Sprinkled with a bit of powdered sugar, it’s a pretty and sweet treat perfect for fall!

spiced apple butter bars

(makes 18 small wedges)

3 1/4 c (396 g) flour

1/2 c (106 g) granulated sugar

1/2 c (102 g) dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp (1 g) nutmeg

1/4 tsp (1 g) cloves

3/4 tsp (2 g) cinnamon

1/2 tsp (4 g) kosher salt

1 tsp (5 g) vanilla extract

2 sticks / 8 oz softened butter

1 egg

13 oz / about 1 1/3 c spiced apple butter

powdered sugar, for sprinkling

Begin by lightly greasing an 8″ x 8″ baking dish [alternately, you could assemble these bars in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, they’ll just be thinner and they’ll bake in less time] and setting it aside, and preheat your oven to 350. To get the crust mixture rollin’, stir together the flour, sugars, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the softened butter, egg and vanilla and mix by hand, squeezing the butter and egg into the dry ingredients, until it’s all mixed well and crumbly.

Reserve one packed cup of the mixture and dump the rest into your prepared pan. Smooth it out and press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan, not going up the sides.

Spread the crust with the apple butter, and crumble on the reserved cup of topping. Throw the pan into the oven and bake it for 50-60 minutes, until the top is starting to brown. Let the pan cool for about an hour, and then store it in the fridge until it’s fully chilled. It’ll make cutting the bars a lot simpler!

When the pan is cold, divide the pan into three portions lengthwise, and three portions short-wise so that you end up with 9 squares. Cut each square in half on the diagonal, and carefully lift them from the pan. Sprinkle the cut bars with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Hooray! You have apple butter bars now! They’ll keep for up to a week in the fridge if they’re in an airtight container.

With a warm cup of tea or some apple cider, these bars will make a great sweet midday snack, or a dessert after a hearty cool-weather meal. They’re one of my favorite things to come out of my kitchen recently, and I hope they’ll become favorites of yours as well! They’re the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful Fall season.

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