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Ina’s Apple Pie Bars – Easier Than Apple Pie!

Ina Garten's Apple Pie Bars - EASIER than apple pie!

I baked Ina Garten’s Apple Pie Bars on Sunday afternoon and it’s safe to say that it’s the best baking recipe that I’ve tried in a long time. Ina + Apple Pie = two things you just can’t go wrong with.

Ina Garten's Apple Pie Bars - EASIER than apple pie!

I inadvertently messed up on the recipe but I think that made the bars even better. Also, I was heavy handed with the spices, changed the type of apples and added more apples than called for so I decided to share my take on the recipe with you.

Ina Garten's Apple Pie Bars - EASIER than apple pie and just as delicious!

I personally think these bars are JUST as good as a big slice of apple pie, if not better. They’re definitely easier than apple pie due to the ease of making the pastry crust. (I don’t agree with that whole “easy as apple pie” quote when it comes to making pie crust.) The pastry crust here is made in a mixer and then pressed into the bottom of a parchment paper-lined pan. You reserve about a third of it for sprinkling on top. No rolling or cutting required and it tastes incredible. So buttery and delicious with just the right balance of sweetness.

Ina Garten's Apple Pie Bars - EASIER than apple pie and just as delicious!

The apple pie bars are also extremely easy to lift out of the pan thanks to the parchment paper and the pastry crust holds up well to being sliced into squares and doesn’t crumble.

Ina Garten's Apple Pie Bars - EASIER than apple pie and just as delicious!

Speaking of sweetness, these apple pie bars aren’t hurt your teeth sweet. There’s no denying that they’re heavy on the butter and have their fair share of sugar but it all seems just right for a perfect homemade dessert.

I can confidently say that these bars are great on their own but you’re in for a treat if you serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream.

Ina's Apple Pie Bars

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 9 barsTotal:

Ina Garten's Apple Pie Bars - EASIER than apple pie and just as delicious!

You'll Need...

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 lbs apples or about 4 medium apples (gala, braeburn, golden delicious, pink lady, etc), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a non-stick 8x8 square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper cut 8 inches wide but long enough to hang over two edges of the pan. This will make removing the bars from the pan very easy!
  2. For the crust, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, place butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, or until lightened in color and creamy. Whisk together flour, kosher salt, cinnamon and walnuts and slowly add to the butter-sugar mixture, with the mixer on low speed. Beat until just combined. Scatter two-thirds of the dough into prepared baking pan and press down lightly so that it covers the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides. Reserve the remaining 1/3 dough for topping. Refrigerate pan for 20 minutes and then remove from fridge and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. While crust refrigeration and cooking is happening, prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot and then add the apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. The apples will be tender and most of the liquid will have evaporated. Add the cornstarch in the last minute of cooking and stir until thickened. Remove apples from heat and spread evenly over the baked crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
  4. Smush pieces of the remaining dough with your fingers and scatter evenly on top of the apples (they will not be covered completely). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is browned. Cool, lift out of pan using parchment handles and cut into bars.

Additional Notes

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network.

Other favorite apple recipes…

Maple Apple Spice Cake 

Cranberry Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Carrot Apple Ginger Soup

Cranberry, Apple and Walnut Quinoa

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • julie @ peanut butter fingers September 27, 2017, 1:47 pm

    these sound amazing! we’re hoping to go apple picking in the next week or two, so i’m saving this one!!

    • Jen September 28, 2017, 1:23 pm

      I know you’ll love these Julie!

  • Melissa September 27, 2017, 3:02 pm

    OK, this may be a dumb question, but I assume you’re supposed to core and slice the apples before cooking them with the butter. Seems obvious, but probably needs to be included. Do you recommend peeling them or not peeling them? Traditional apple pie has peeled apples…

    • Jen September 27, 2017, 3:05 pm

      I’ll update the recipe! That was a complete oversight on my part. Thank you! 🙂

  • Lesq September 28, 2017, 7:31 am

    I live in NYC and met Ina Garten Park Avenue and 62nd street yesterday. She is very lovely just as I would have been expected. It was funny that u mentioned her this morning as I read your witty, insightful, awesome blog everyday. Recipe is 👌🏻

    • Teri || a foodie stays fit September 28, 2017, 10:18 am

      You met Ina?!?!?! That’s amazing. And that makes me SO happy to hear she is really is lovely!!

    • Jen September 28, 2017, 1:22 pm

      How AMAZING that you met Ina yesterday! I can’t imagine her being anything other than warm and lovely. She just seems to radiate that. I appreciate your kind words about my blog. xoxo

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt September 28, 2017, 8:58 am

    How delicious is this??? Love the extra apples and slices!

    • Jen September 28, 2017, 1:22 pm

      Thank you! They are delicious!

  • Teri || a foodie stays fit September 28, 2017, 10:17 am

    OMG that looks amazing. Now that we have a house (i.e. bigger kitchen), I have SO many things I want to bake. I’m adding these to the list! I’ve wanted to experiment with Bob’s Red Mill GF flour blend, and this seems like a perfect opportunity!


    • Jen September 28, 2017, 1:21 pm

      Thank you! And yes, you must break in that new kitchen with lots of yummy homemade food!

  • Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy September 28, 2017, 12:58 pm

    These sound delicious! I like your substitutions. I still have so many apples from apple picking so adding this to the list!

    • Jen September 28, 2017, 1:21 pm

      I think you’ll love them!

  • Jojo October 2, 2017, 12:47 pm

    I made these to celebrate the October 1 yesterday 🍂🍁Do you think I could cut these up, individually wrap them, and freeze them? Then heat them up when wanted?

    • Jen October 9, 2017, 3:22 pm

      Hi – I’m sorry for the late response but yes, I think you could. Most baked goods tend to freeze quite well. I would say they’d probably keep okay in the freezer if they’re individually tightly wrapped for 2-3 months.

  • Erin October 16, 2017, 6:32 am

    oh my gosh! those are so beautiful.

  • Jennifer October 17, 2017, 11:23 am

    Do you think you could be lazy ,if at a loss for time, and use pie filling?

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