These Sour Cream Apple Slice bars are filled with apples, a hint of cinnamon and have an amazing shortbread crust. Slice these bars warm or at room temperature into oversized squares and serve with whipped cream or ice cream. They are the most perfect fall dessert!
This is a recipe I found in my grandma's recipe box. The recipe card lacked most of the instructions and just had the ingredients and a few details. I had fun rewriting the recipe and adding in all the details we find in recipes on the internet these days.
I think these Sour Cream Apple Slice bars taste just like a cinnamon graham cracker. They have the most amazing crust that pairs perfectly with the soft sour cream and apple topping. While you might think these would come out creamy from the sour cream, they actually aren't creamy at all, it's more like an apple pie filling. Adding a big dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes this a favorite fall dessert!
- Flour: All-purpose flour is best for this.
- Brown sugar: You will use light brown sugar.
- Butter: Be sure to use unsalted butter. This is best for baking because then you have more control over how much salt is in your baked good.
- Walnuts: If you have whole walnuts, you will want to be sure to coarsely chop them before adding.
- Sour cream
- Baking soda
- Apple - I used Kanzi apples and thought they were a perfect choice for these bars, or any apple baking, really!
Step by Step Instructions
Prepare Your Pan
To begin you will want to preheat your oven to 350° and spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. I also lined mine with parchment paper so I could pull the bars out and cut them easily. You can do this by making a parchment paper sling. To do this use two pieces of parchment paper. One that will fit In the pan lengthwise with some excess hanging over and one that fits in the pan crosswise with excess hanging over. Spray your pan with cooking spray and press your two pieces of parchment into the bottoms and up the sides of your pan. This is optional as the squares can be cut in the pan just as easily.
Prepare the Shortbread Crust
In the bowl of your mixer, you will combine the flour, sugar and butter. Mix this at a medium speed until the mixture is crumbly. Then stir in the walnuts.
Measure 2 ¾ cups of the flour mixture into your prepared baking pan. Using your fingers or a measuring cup, press the flour mixture into the bottom of the pan. Set this aside.
Prepare Apple Topping
Add the sour cream, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda, egg, and salt to the remaining flour mixture in the bowl of your mixer. Mix on low just until it is combined, then stir in the apples.
Pour the apple mixture on top of the pressed flour mixture in the prepared pan. Spread the apple mixture in an even layer with a spoon or spatula.
Bake in the 350°F oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Let the bars cool completely in the pan.
Once they are cool, cut them into 24 squares and top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Should I use a certain kind of apple? Yes! Not all apples are created equally. When baking, you typically want your apple to maintain its shape and not turn to mush. Some great apples for baking are: Kanzi, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, and Pink Lady.
- Do I have to use walnuts? No. If you aren't a walnut fan, hazelnuts, pecans or almonds would work great too!
- How should I store left over Sour Cream Apple Slice bars? These bars should be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The are delicious cold from the fridge, at room temperature, or place them in the microwave for 20 seconds to warm them up a bit. Alternatively, store these bars in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Let them come to room temperature before serving them.
- The recipe says it makes 24, can I cut the bars differently to have larger pieces? Sure! You could cut these however you prefer. We have served them a bit larger (cut into 12 squares) but found that we preferred them a bit smaller. It's all a matter of how big of a treat you are wanting!
Using Leftover Ingredients
If you have some sour cream leftover after making these Sour Cream Apple Slice bars and need to use it up, try one of these recipes:
Sour Cream Apple Slice
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chopped apple, peeled and cored
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.
- In the bowl of your mixer, combine flour, sugar, and butter. Mix at medium speed until crumbly. Stir in walnuts.
- Measure 2 ¾ cups of flour mixture into prepared 9x13-inch pan. Press the mixture into the pan using your fingers or a small measuring cup. Set aside.
- Add the sour cream, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda, egg, and salt to the remaining flour mixture in the bowl of your mixer. Mix on low just until combined. Stir in apples.
- Pour apple mixture on top of the pressed flour mixture in your 9x13-inch pan. Spread with a spoon to create an even layer.
- Bake in 350°F oven for 35-40 minutes. Let cool in pan. Serve with whipped cream.