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A stack of apple shortbread bars with apples.

Apple Crumble Shortbread Bars

Apple Crumble Shortbread Bars - deliciously buttery shortbread with sweet apple filling and oat and almond crumble topping. My twist on a traditional apple pie.
It's a no fuss easy apple traybake recipe that will soon become a favourite apple dessert. The perfect Autumn/Fall recipe, all the comfort an apple pie but in a bar.
5 from 47 votes
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Course: Afternoon Tea, Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 29 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 34 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 216kcal
Author: Sarah James


  • 1 Stand Mixer optional - I used my KitchenAid
  • 1 lined shallow baking tin 30 cm x 23 cm / 12 ins by 9 ins



  • 225 g softened butter
  • 110 g caster/superfine sugar
  • 225 g plain flour/all purpose flour
  • 110 g cornflour/cornstarch
  • A pinch of sea salt


  • 750 g apple I used 6 medium Braeburn apples
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 50 g caster sugar

Crumble Topping:

  • 140 g plain flour
  • 125 g butter at room temperature
  • 50 g caster/superfine sugar
  • 50 g Demerara sugar
  • 25 g jumbo oats/old fashioned oats 4 tablespoons
  • 25 g flaked/slithered almonds 4 tablespoons


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F / 170°C / 150°C Fan / Gas Mark 3

Make your Shortbread:

  • Add butter and sugar to the mixing bowl and beat until creamed. Depending upon the softness of your butter and your mixer speed, this should take between one and two minutes. I find a mixer speed of 4, 5 or 6 works well with my Kitchen Aid mixer.
  • Sift flour and cornflour into a separate bowl and then add half to your creamed butter and sugar.
  • Start with a slow speed on your mixer (to prevent flour flying everywhere) before mixing for a few seconds. Add the remainder of the sifted flours and combine until everything comes together around the beater – about a minute’s mixing.
  • Alternatively, cream the butter and sugar together with a hand held mixer or a wooden spoon in a large bowl. Add the flour and cornflour in 3 or 4 batches and mix until the dough comes together. Don’t overwork it.
  • Roll out your dough on a floured work surface to 30 cm x 23 cm (12 ins by 9 ins). Once placed in your tin, prick the dough all over using a fork.
  • Alternatively, press and shape the shortbread dough with your fingers, easing into a rectangle shape in your tin. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes before leaving to cool for 15 minutes.

Make your Crumble Topping:

  • Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Now stir in the jumbo oats, almonds and sugars.

Make your Apple Filling:

  • Peel, core and cut your apples into small cubes before adding to a medium saucepan.
  • Toss apples with lemon juice and sugar.
  • Cook on a gentle heat for 5 to 10 minutes until softened.

Assemble and bake:

  • Spread the shortbread with the cooked apples before evenly sprinkling crumble mixture over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.
  • Leave to cool for 15 minutes before cutting into bars. Cuts into 24 pieces.
  • Serve warm or cold with cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


  • The crumble topping can be made in advance and frozen ready to use.
  • Apple Crumble Shortbread Bars are best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Apple shortbread can be reheated in the oven. Place the bars on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 180° C until heated through.
  • Apple Crumble Shortbread Bars freeze well. Apple Crumble Shortbread Bars can be stored frozen for up to three months.
    Open freeze shortbread bars on a flat surface for two hours before transferring to a freezer bag or container.
    Defrost thoroughly at room temperature before refreshing in the oven for 10 minutes at 180° C.
  • Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 381IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg