Make salted caramel apple bars with cake mix, oatmeal, and fresh apples for a delicious apple dessert.
One of the best parts of fall is baking and cooking with apples. Sure pumpkin is great, but apples are so versatile and inexpensive to cook with. Then you add caramel and sea salt and apples are just divine. These salted caramel apple bars are pretty easy to make. They’re great for a potluck or an afternoon snack. And if you have leftover apples and caramel sauce, you can easily whip up some Caramel Apple Pie Egg Rolls, too.
Salted Caramel Apple Bar Ingredients:
The base of these apple bars is a cake mix. We used a caramel apple cake mix that is out for the fall. A spice cake mix would work great, too. In fact, it may taste better. The caramel apple cake mix was lacking in flavor. You will also need dry oats (normal not quick cooking), butter, an egg, cinnamon, coarse sea salt, and caramel ice cream topping.
There is always the great debate about what apples to use in baking. We love gala apples for baking. But really just use whatever is on sale or you prefer to eat at home.
How to Make Salted Caramel Apple Bars:
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 9 baking pan. We used a 7 x 11 baking pan. A 9 x 13 would also work but your bars will be thinner and you will bake it less time. Grease the pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil. Butter is our favorite.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, oats and cinnamon and mix well. A whisk works great for this.
Next, add the softened butter and egg. Make sure the butter is soft or this will be nearly impossible to mix together.
Mix with a fork or a pastry cutter to create a crumbly dough. Reserve 1 cup of mixture and set aside. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the diced apples on top of crust.
Top the apples with the remaining dough you set aside. Crumble it on top of the apples.
Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes. When finished cooking, remove from oven.
Drizzle caramel on top of bars and top with coarse sea salt.
We cut these into 8 squares, but they were pretty big. You could easily cut them smaller and eat with your hands on the go.
You can eat these after they have cooled the day you make them, but they are so much better the day after. Initially the crust is pretty crunch, but after you pour on the caramel and cover it overnight with saran wrap, it is softer but not too soft, the perfect bar!
- 1 box, 15.25 oz, cake mix (look for Caramel Apple in the fall or use a spice cake cake mix)
- 1 cup dry oats
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick, 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 egg
- 2 cups peeled and diced apples
- Caramel ice cream topping
- coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x9 or 7x11 baking pan. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cake mix, oats and cinnamon. Mix well.
- Add butter and egg and mix with a fork to create a crumbly dough. Reserve 1 cup of mixture and set aside.
- Press remaining mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle apples on top of crust.
- Top with remaining dough, crumbling it on top of the apples.
- Return to oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes. When finished cooking, remove from oven.
- Drizzle caramel on top of bars and top with coarse sea salt. Cut into 8 squares and serve.