Apple-Cinnamon Bars

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Apple-Cinnamon Bars

star rating (6) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This recipe comes to us from John Blair and Lucy Jane Webster of Toledo, Ohio, who swear by these rich, chewy bars. We prepared them first with apple butter and then, in order to be completely thorough, with pumpkin butter; honestly, it wasn't difficult to try them again! Finally, we went one step further and added a drizzle of cinnamon glaze. Terminal pleasure...

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
3/4 cup (5 3/4 ounces) light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
1/2 cup (4 5/8 ounces) apple or pumpkin butter*
1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) cinnamon chips
1/2 cup (2 ounces) toasted chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Cinnamon Glaze (optional)
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, melted
1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) glazing sugar or confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water

*If you don't have apple butter, cook 4 to 5 large apples until soft, run them through a food mill (or press them through a strainer), then cook them over low heat until reduced to a thick, medium-brown paste. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. You may also use prepared applesauce reduced in the same way: begin with 2 cups of applesauce, add the spices, and cook it down until it's thick and dark brown.

*To make pumpkin butter, place one 15-ounce can of pumpkin in a small saucepan or microwave-safe dish. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon allspice. Cook over low heat until the mixture is thick and dark brown. Or cook in the microwave on high heat for about 12 minutes -- turn the microwave on in 4-minute increments, stirring after each 4 minutes.

Bars: Beat together the butter and sugar until soft. Add the egg and beat until fluffy. Add the apple or pumpkin butter, beating until blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon chips and nuts. Stir these dry ingredients into the butter mixture.

Grease (or spray with non-stick pan spray) a 9-inch square pan. Spread the batter in the pan. Bake the bars in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Note: Due in part to varying amounts of liquid and sugar in each type of apple or pumpkin butter we tried, the baking time varied considerably. Also, using a dark-colored pan will decrease the baking time, while a light-colored pan will take longer.

Glaze: Stir together the melted butter, sugar and cinnamon, then add the water. Stir until smooth, adding a bit more water, if needed, to achieve a glaze that's about the consistency of heavy cream. Drizzle the glaze over the bars; let them rest for several hours for the glaze to firm up before cutting into squares. Yield: 16 bars.

Nutrition information per serving (1 bar, 55g): 227 cal, 11g fat, 2g protein, 10g complex carbohydrates, 22g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 31mg cholesterol, 93mg sodium, 105mg potassium, 67RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 27mg calcium, 40mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XII, No. 1, Holiday 2000 issue.


  • star rating 11/13/2014
  • Karen from San Carlos, CA
  • I've made the pumpkin-butter bars three times this fall for training classes at work - they get rave reviews and are so quick to put together. I didn't use the glaze - it's pretty but not essential.
  • star rating 12/01/2013
  • lomardi from KAF Community
  • Moist and tasty and so easy. I made these using Flav-R-Bites instead of cinnamon chips. Maple with the apple and cinnamon with the pumpkin. Big hit at the company Thanksgiving party.
  • star rating 06/26/2012
  • hank264 from KAF Community
  • Superb. I had to make the apple butter which added a bit of prep time and I did not see salt in the recipe so I added 1/4 tsp pink baking salt. I like cinnamon so in addition to the ground I added a few drops of cinnamon out. Could not wait for them to cool. I must say I should have shared some because this was very filling!!
  • star rating 03/27/2011
  • latte4me from KAF Community
  • These are good, but I don't know that I would call them bars. They seem to be more like a cake, I guess. Maybe I need to combine the ingredients by hand next time?
    It is important to not over-mix these especially after the eggs are added. If too much air is incorporated into the batter, the bars will turn out more cake-like. They are supposed to have a more chewy texture. ~Amy
  • star rating 10/06/2010
  • leahs1117 from KAF Community
  • These are moist and so very delicious! I didn't have apple butter on hand so instead reduced unsweetened applesauce and added a chopped granny smith apple. I also halved the glaze recipe because it seemed a bit much as is. Maybe it's the unsweetened applesauce but they are definitely not too sweet, in fact they are more like a coffee cake than a bar. Can't wait to try them with pumpkin next time, yummy!
  • star rating 02/28/2010
  • Becky from North Carolina
  • These were so delicious! The only change I made to the recipe was to replace half of the flour with Whole Wheat Pastry flour. I doubled the recipe and used a 11x18" pan. It baked for about 45 minutes. The inside of this cake is so moist and flavorful! It's quite sweet with the sugar, cinnamon drops, and icing so next time I may skip the sugar in the cake all together.
    Sugar in the cake part of this recipe helps to build the cake's structure. Maybe you can try leaving the glaze off. Joan @KAF