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Apple Cake Bars

Apple Cake Bars

I was recently sent some of the best vanilla extract I have ever had before. It is seriously great! Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract from Nielsen-Massey, is made from premium, hand-selected beans cultivated on the Bourbon Island of Madagascar, this extract boasts a sweet, creamy flavor that is perfect for cooking and baking both sweet and savory dishes. I could absolutely tell the difference in quality when baking with this new vanilla against my regular vanilla. It smells heavenly and made these apple cake bars taste amazing. Make sure you check out their website and give this amazing vanilla extract a try! Thank you again for the sample!!

Apple Cake Bars

I made these apple cake bars for my kids’ treat in their lunch boxes for the week. There is something so comforting about smelling apples and cinnamon baking together.  They truly smelled amazing while they baked in the oven. These apple cake bars turned out moist and delicious. I’m glad the frosting is lightly drizzled on top of the bars instead of thickly frosted because they don’t get soggy and they pack well for school lunches. My kids LOVED this cake and so did my husband.

Apple Cake Bars

How to Make Apple Cake Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8×8 glass baking dish with coconut oil cooking spray.

Peel and finely dice the apple. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter over medium heat in a small skillet. Add the apple and cook for one minute, tossing to coat evenly with the butter. Sprinkle with ½ tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon flour then cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook until the butter turns golden brown in color and starts smelling like nuts. Whisk in 3/4 cup brown sugar and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Gently mix the flour together with the whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, until well combined.

Once the butter/sugar mixture has cooled to room temperature, whisk in the oil, vanilla extract, and the eggs, one at a time. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture until just combined. Fold in the finely diced apples.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish then sprinkle the top with chopped pecans.

Apple Cake Bars

Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before slicing and placing the pieces on a wire cooling rack.

Apple Cake Bars

Make the glaze by sifting the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Gradually stir in the apple juice, one teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency of a thick glaze. It should be pourable, but not liquid.

Drizzle over the cooled cake bars at an angle. Serve and enjoy.

Apple Cake Bars

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Apple Cake Bars

 

Yield: 9-12 bars 

Total Time: 35-40 minutes +/-

Ingredients:

Apples:

1 medium Honeycrisp apple, peeled & finely diced
1 tsp  butter
½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp flour

Cake:

6 tbsp butter
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1-2 tbsp pecans, roughly chopped

Glaze:

½ cup powdered sugar
a few teaspoons apple juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8×8 glass baking dish with coconut oil cooking spray.

Peel and finely dice the apple. Melt 1 teaspoon of butter over medium heat in a small skillet. Add the apple and cook for one minute, tossing to coat evenly with the butter. Sprinkle with ½ tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon flour then cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook until the butter turns golden brown in color and starts smelling like nuts. Whisk in 3/4 cup brown sugar and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Gently mix the flour together with the whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, until well combined.

Once the butter/sugar mixture has cooled to room temperature, whisk in the oil, vanilla extract, and the eggs, one at a time. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture until just combined. Fold in the finely diced apples.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish then sprinkle the top with chopped pecans.

Place into the oven and bake at for 25-30 minutes or until and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before slicing and placing the pieces on a wire cooling rack.

Make the glaze by sifting the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Gradually stir in the apple juice, one teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency of a thick glaze. It should be pourable, but not liquid. Drizzle over the cooled cake bars. Serve and enjoy.

Adapted recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
Original recipe by Savory Nothings

 

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16 Comments

  1. I got some really good vanilla a few years ago as a gift, and it was a huge difference!

    The apple bars sound great – apple, cinnamon, vanilla – perfect combo!

  2. this looks deliciously moist and is a great and seasonal way to make use of some high quality vanilla!

  3. They look wonderful! I love apple cakes, and I”m certain these are great.

  4. I’m keeping this recipe. Always on the look out for apple recipes since I always seem to have so many on hand!

  5. If we don’t like pecans, can we substitute with another nut or make without?? These look delicious…

    1. Susan,

      I am sure any nut you like would be nice. You can make it without the nuts but I do think they give the cake bars a nice texture, taste, and look.

      Pam

    2. I tried half pecans and half almonds and both were delicious!!! I have made 3 batches of this in the past 2 days from requests for more… it’s delicious!!! Great warmed up days later… just a great recipe! It is now being permanently added to our holiday menu!

  6. Do those apple bars ever look delicious. I bet the house was filled with a wonderful aroma.

  7. hummm must be goog, very good!! Pecans are delicious and with apple hummm!
    Kisses

  8. That is my FAVORITE EVER vanilla! I buy it in major bulk…like HUGE containers. I bet it really makes these lovely apple bars shine!

  9. This looked like a homey thing to make on a cold winter’s day. It seems there are a couple of “lost” ingredients on you ingredient lists that were not included in your directions: Apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, and part of the brown sugar (3/4 cup vs. 2/3 cup.) I had the cake in the oven and didn’t discover this until I was putting always the assembled ingredients. I imagine the vinegar should have been added to the apples (for tartness) the oil to the brown butter mixture (for richness) and the extra brown sugar?? Cake is finished and tasty, but you may want to post corrections.

    1. What a mess! Thank you so much for letting me know. This is what happens when I type a recipe in a rush. I have corrected it. I am so glad you apple bars turned out delicious anyway.

      Pam