If you are a lover of fall desserts and classic apple pie, this easy Apple Pie Bars recipe will be a favorite. Apple pie filling mixed with a creamy cheesecake mixture baked between two layers of sugar cookie crust. Easy enough for a weekday, tasty enough for the holiday season.
This is a favorite of apple desserts with all ingredients easily found at the grocery store. Delicious apple pie bars are not a fussy dessert to make. They deliver the flavors of the best apple pie with a touch of cheesecake flavor and sugar cookie crust.
Because the recipe uses some prepared ingredients the preparation time is shorter. It’s a delicious fall dessert that will remind you of warm apple pie.
Why You’ll Love the recipe
- All the flavors of regular apple pie but this bar version is much easier to make
- No need to make the sugar cookie dough or apple pie filling from scratch
- The ingredients are available all year so it can be made any time
- Can be made regular or gluten-free based on the sugar cookie mix used
- No need to make a pie crust!
- Tt’s an easy dessert recipe
Key Ingredients Notes
Sugar Cookie mix. This is used both for the crust and topping. Use a 17.5 ounce package. A regular or gluten-free mix may be used.
Unsalted Butter. Start with the butter cold.
Apple pie filling. You can use a 21-ounce can or homemade filling (our recipe in the recipe card below).
Cream Cheese. Start with softened cream cheese. We recommend full fat cream cheese too.
Sweetened Condensed Milk. This is used for sweetening the filling instead of granulated sugar or brown sugar.
How to Make Apple Pie Bars – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8-inch by 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, allowing some to overhand the sides (photo 1).
Spray the top of the parchment with non-stick spray.
STEP 2. Make the crust
In a medium bowl, using a pastry blender (also called a pastry cutter) or fork, cut the butter into the sugar cookie mix until coarse crumbs form (photo 2).
Remove 1 ½ cups of the mixture and set aside.
Pour the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan and firmly press it to the edges for the bottom crust (photos 3-4). Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
STEP 3. Make the filling
While the crust is baking, mix the cinnamon into the apple pie filling (photo 5). (If using the homemade apple pie filling recipe this isn’t needed). Set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese, condensed milk, egg, and vanilla extract until most of the lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth (photo 6).
STEP 4. Assemble and Bake
Once the crust is done baking, spread the apple filling along the top and to the edges (photo 8).
Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the apple layer and spread to the edges (photos 9-10). Sprinkle the reserved cookie mixture all over to make a top crust (photo 11).
Bake in the center of the oven for 30-40 minutes cooking time, until the top starts to turn golden brown.
STEP 5. Cool
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack at room temperature for an hour (photo 12).
Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours, overnight if possible. Serve as is or with a drizzle of Salted Caramel Sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
How to Store
Store in an airtight container or tightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Use this recipe with a different pie filling. The apple pie filling can easily be swapped out with another pie filling such as cherry or peach.
Add a drizzle. If a drizzle of glaze is desired try powdered sugar glaze. Using ½ cup powdered sugar and 2-4 tablespoons of milk, slowly add the milk starting with 2 tablespoons and mix into the sugar. Continue adding milk until the desired consistency has been reached.
Chocolate chip sugar cookie cheesecake bars. Simply remove the fruit filling all together, mix mini chocolate chips into the cheesecake batter and/or in the crumble topping.
Drizzle some melted chocolate chips over the top after baking. Bake time will be closer to 30-35 minutes for this.
More recipes you’ll love!
Apple Pie Bars
- 1 17.5-ounce package Sugar Cookie Mix any sugar cookie mix will work
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cold
- 1 21-ounce can apple pie filling Homemade filling will work as well (see notes)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 ounces block cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8-inch by 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang, and spray the pan with the parchment paper for easier removal.
- In a medium bowl, using a pastry cutter, or fork cut the butter into the sugar cookie mix until well combined and crumbly. Remove 1 ½ cups of the mixture and set aside.
- Pour the remaining mixture into the pan and firmly press it to the edges. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, mix the cinnamon into the apple pie filling. (If using the homemade apple pie filling recipe this isn’t needed). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, using a hand or stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, condensed milk, egg, and vanilla extract until most of the lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth.
- Once the crust is done baking, spread the apple pie filling along the top and to the edges.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the apples and spread to the edges. Sprinkle the reserved cookie mixture all over the top.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top starts to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for an hour. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours, overnight if possible. Serve with or without a drizzle of caramel sauce. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for an hour. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours, overnight if possible. Serve with or without a drizzle of caramel sauce.
- 2 cups peeled, diced or thinly sliced apple
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup water
- In a small bowl, coat the apples with lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and water; stir well. While continuously mixing, bring mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes.
- Add the apples and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes; until apples are tender.
- Remove from the stove and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Scoop into a container, seal, and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours before using in this recipe.
We all loved these, delicious!
Allyson Zea says
These were so delicious and perfect for fall! Loved every bite!
Matt Taylor says
These apple pie bars are absolutely delicious and really do taste like apple pie. Such a great recipe and easy to make!
Real fact. I have never had an apple pie bar until now! I actually prefer this over the traditional apple pie now. Love this recipe. So easy to make and who doesn’t love cheesecake with cookie crusts?!?
These are such a delicious treat! Love the layer of chunky apples in the middle!
Amanda Wren-Grimwood says
Such a freat combination of flavours and textures and everyone will love these! Thanks for the recipe.
Apples and cheesecake together is such a perfect combination! I really love the sugar cookie surrounding these bars as well, which makes them both delicious and easy to eat.
Linda F says
These were totally delicious! Very easy to make which I loved too. Can’t wait to include them for our Thanksgiving dessert buffet. Thanks!
I am all about the apple desserts at the moment and these apple pie bars are incredible.