These Apple Fritter Bars have all the flavor of fresh apple fritters without having to turn on the deep fryer! I do not enjoy deep-frying at home because it makes a mess and can be quite dangerous working with hot oil, so I though let's make apple fritters into an easy one pan recipe that bakes in the oven and I'm so happy with how they turned out! Apple Fritter Bars are SO easy to make and they have the softest melt-in-your-mouth texture with lots of fresh apples barely held together by a buttery brown sugar cinnamon batter, then it's all topped with a vanilla glaze. These are delicious any time of year, but especially great during the Fall. If you love baking with apples and cinnamon, try my Apple Cinnamon Bread as well!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE:
- Easy recipe - this is the easiest recipe! The most work you'll do is chopping the apples. Sometimes I don't even peel them (shhhhhh!), but I do recommend it.
- Moist and soft - the texture of these bars is absolutely moreish. They are incredibly soft and moist and just holding together all of the delicious cinnamon apples.
- Cinnamon sugar - you can't have apple fritters without cinnamon sugar in my opinion! The cinnamon sugar topping is so warm and cozy.
- Fresh apples - just like classic apple fritters, we fold fresh apples right into the thick batter. They will release a lot of moisture which is why the batter needs to be thick.
- Vanilla glaze - it's non-negotiable, right?
INGREDIENTS FOR APPLE FRITTER BARS
Here are some notes about the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Unsalted butter - melted butter adds richness and tenderness and it carries the cinnamon flavor well.
- Brown sugar - brown sugar adds caramel-like flavor due to the molasses content and it really complements the apples and the spice.
- Granulated sugar - simple white sugar will add the right amount of sweetness and also keep these bars soft and moist.
- Apples - I recommend tart apples for baking, which includes these varieties: Granny Smith, Empire, Ida Red, Cortland.
- Egg - one large egg will set the structure enough to hold these bars together, yet still have a very soft and delicate texture.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla will add earthy undertones and is especially important in the glaze for apple fritters. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- Honey - a touch of honey adds subtle floral notes that complements the apples and makes these extra special. It is also the secret to keep them extra moist.
- All purpose flour - regular unbleached all-purpose flour works great for this bar recipe.
- Cinnamon - for apple fritters, I'm all about the cinnamon sugar!
- Powdered sugar - it's also called icing sugar and it makes the perfect glaze.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Make the apple fritter batter. Combine wet ingredients. Combine melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, honey and egg in a large bowl and whisk to blend well until well combined, smooth and glossy.
- STEP 2). Add dry ingredients. Mix in salt, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and baking soda. Add flour and fold it in until evenly combined.
- STEP 3). Prepare the apples. Peel, core and chop the apples to about ½-inch dice. Toss chopped apples with remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
- STEP 4). Add the apples to the batter. Gently fold the apples into the thick batter.
- STEP 5). Bake. Spread the thick batter evenly into your prepared pan and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is evenly golden brown and the edges are browned.
- STEP 6). Cool. Let cool completely then refrigerate for 2 hours.
- STEP 7). Make the glaze. Combine powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until very smooth. Drizzle over the cooled bars and enjoy!
EXPERT BAKING TIPS FOR APPLE FRITTER BARS
- Melted butter brings the flavor. Stick with butter and do not use oil for this recipe. Melted butter not only brings the flavor, but it is a hard fat rather than a liquid fat so it will create the right consistency in the batter to hold the apples and also in the finished baked bars to hold it together.
- Bake with tart apples. Although apples like Gala, Pink Lady and Honey Crisp are great for eating, they don't have a lot of malic acid (the tart/sour ingredient) so they can often taste bland in baked goods. I highly recommend using tart apples for baking, however the recipe still works with any apples.
- Sift the dry ingredients. Sifting flour removes any lumps and separates the flour particles so that they will hydrate quickly and it minimizes the amount of mixing required to achieve a homogeneous batter.
- Do not over-mix the batter. Once the flour is mostly combined (with a few light streaks), then the batter is ready for the apples since it will get mixed more once the apples get folded in. Over-mixing can sometimes cause the texture of baked goods to be gummy.
- Top generously with cinnamon sugar. You can use 1 tablespoon, or the whole amount if you like it sweeter!
Yes, any variety of apple will work in this recipe, however for the best flavor I would recommend tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Ida Red or Cortland.
Yes, you should only use fresh apples for this recipe.
I would not recommend freezing apple fritter bars since they have a high moisture content from the apples inside and they bars will be very soft once thawed.
If you love Fall baking, check out these recipes!The BEST Chewy Pumpkin CookiesCinnamon Swirl Pumpkin BreadChewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesChewy Brown Butter Snickerdoodles CookiesBrown Butter M&M Cookies RecipeLemon Blueberry Cookies with White Chocolate ChunksCoffee Pecan Chocolate Chip CookiesDouble Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk CookiesHazelnut Double Chocolate Chunk CookiesApple Cinnamon Bread with Maple GlazeMaple Pecan Banana Bread
More bars & squares recipes
Looking for more easy bar recipes? Try these:
Baking with apples...
These are a few more recipes with apples:
Honey Apple Fritter Bars
Apple Fritter Batter:
- ½ cup 113g unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup 110g packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup 50g granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon 10ml honey
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp 160g all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 ¼ cups 260g chopped tart apples, such as Granny Smith, Cortland or Ida Red
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar for topping (blend 2 tablespoon sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
- ½ cup 60g powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon 15ml milk
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang at each side.
- Make the apple fritter batter. Combine melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, honey and egg in a large bowl and whisk until well combined, smooth and glossy. Mix in salt, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and baking soda. Add flour and fold it in until evenly combined.
- Prepare the apples. Toss chopped apples with remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon then fold them into the thick batter.
- Spread the thick batter evenly into your prepared pan and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is evenly golden brown and the edges are browned.
- Let cool completely then refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Make the glaze. Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk until smooth and glossy. Add a bit more milk to thin it out if desired. Drizzle it over the cooled bars and enjoy!