These are the best paleo apple pie bars! They have a flaky shortbread crust, a cinnamon spiced apple pie filling and are topped with a rich and creamy caramel sauce. They are the perfect fall treat that are also gluten free, dairy free and vegan!
Table of Contents
Why you will love this recipe:
- These gluten free apple pie bars are so delicious! They have a flaky shortbread crust, a cinnamon spiced apple pie layer and are then drizzled in the best rich and creamy caramel!
- These bars taste just like a classic apple pie but are so much easier to make.
- This caramel apple bars recipe makes the perfect fall dessert.
- These bars can be served warm or cold and keep really well in the fridge if you want to save some for later.
- Besides being paleo these bars are also gluten free, dairy free and vegan!
- They are healthy apple pie bars compared to other apple pie bars since these are refined sugar free.
- This almond flour apple bars recipe is great to serve anytime but it would also be perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- If you love apple pie bars you will also love apple pie overnight oats!
Taste and texture:
These apple bars have the perfect flaky shortbread crust with the most delicious melt in your mouth apple caramel topping. The bars taste like a caramel apple pie and have hints of cinnamon. The apple pieces melt in your mouth with every bite!
Key ingredients and substitutions:
- Almond flour - one of my favourite gluten free flours! You could swap this for cashew flour instead. Almond flour is great to bake with because it's high in protein, healthy fats and fiber. Be sure to use almond flour and not almond meal.
- Coconut flour - to give the crust a nice crumbly texture. I do not recommend trying to swap this for another flour.
- Coconut oil - coconut oil is my favourite dairy free oil to bake with. It gives the crust on these apple bars the perfect crunchy texture.
- Honey or maple syrup (use maple syrup for vegan) - to give these bars the perfect amount of sweetness while keeping them refined sugar free.
- Apples - the star of this recipe! I recommend using red apples such as gala, honeycrisp, pink lady or ambrosia.
- Ground cinnamon - to give these apple bars that perfect apple pie spice flavour.
- Cashew butter - this is used to make the dreamy caramel sauce that tops these bars. You can swap this for almond butter or sunflower seed butter.
How to make this recipe:
To make the shortbread layer:
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now add all the crust ingredients to a bowl and blend well with a spoon or fork.
Next line an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish with parchment paper and transfer the dough to the pan and press down with a spoon until you have an even layer.
Then place the pan in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden. While the crust is baking, move on to making the other layers.
To make the apple pie filling:
Place a pot or large pan on the stove on medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once the oil is melted, add the other ingredients.
Then cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the apples are the consistency you desire. Next make the caramel layer.
To make the caramel layer and assemble these bars:
Place all the caramel ingredients into a large bowl and stir well until it’s smooth.
Pour approximately 3/4 of the caramel over the shortbread crust, and spread evenly until smooth.
Then using a slotted spoon, spoon the apples over the caramel sauce.
Drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over the apples. Then place the pan in the freezer for 1-2 hours to let the bars harden.
Then remove the pan from the freezer and cut the bars into desired sized pieces. Then serve and enjoy!
Tips and variations:
- If you don't feel like peeling the apples you don't have to.
- Instead of cashew butter you can use almond butter or sunflower seed butter.
- These bars can be served warm or cold.
- To make these into salted caramel apple bars sprinkle the bars with a little course sea salt before placing them in the freezer to harden.
- When you take them out of the freezer to cut, let them warm up for a couple minutes to make cutting them easier.
How to serve:
These dessert bars are delicious served on their own, either warm or cold, but if you want to take them up a notch consider serving them with:
- Dairy free vanilla ice cream
- Dairy free vanilla yogurt
- Coconut whipped cream - learn how to make it here
How to store:
- I recommend storing these bars in the fridge once they’ve been cooked and cut into pieces. Store them in an air tight container for up to 7 days.
- These dairy free apple pie bars freeze really well so feel free to save and store some for later.
Frequently asked questions:
Any type of sweet red apple will do. Some of my favourites are Gala, Honey Crisp and Pink Lady.
If you can't have almond flour I would use cashew flour instead.
Yes! As long as you use maple syrup to sweeten them they are! I kept them egg free for this reason.
Other desserts you will love:
- Turtle Bars
- Paleo Blueberry Cheesecake
- Paleo Chocolate Donuts
- Paleo Lemon Cranberry Bars
- Paleo Brownies with Caramel
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Paleo Apple Pie Bars
Shortbread Crust Ingredients
Apple Layer Ingredients
Shortbread Layer Instructions
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Add all the crust ingredients to a bowl and blend well with a spoon or fork.
- Line an 8" x 8" glass baking dish with parchment paper and transfer the dough to the pan and press down with a spoon until you have an even layer.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden.
- While the crust is baking, you can start making the other layers.
Apple Layer Instructions
- Place a pot or large pan on the stove on medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once the oil is melted, add the other ingredients.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the apples are the consistency you desire.
Caramel Layer Instructions
- Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and stir well until it's smooth.
- Pour approximately 3/4 of the caramel over the shortbread crust, and spread evenly until smooth.
- Using a slotted spoon, spoon the apples over the caramel.
- Drizzle the remaining caramel sauce over the apples.
- Place the pan in the freezer for 1-2 hours, until the caramel hardens.
- Remove the pan from the freezer and cut the bars into pieces and enjoy!
- You don't have to peel the apples if you don't want to.
- If you don't have cashew butter you can use almond butter or sunflower seed butter instead.
- You can use any type of sweet red apple for this recipe. My favourites are Honey Crisp, Gala and Pink Lady.
- I recommend storing these bars in the fridge.