Salted Caramel Apple Crisp Bars

Nothing makes the fat kid inside me squeal louder than Pillsbury products, I’m pretty sure the Dough Boy is my spirit animal.  That being said I found a wonderful recipe on the back of the cake box, it was for apple crumble, and Dough Boy logic says: if there are fresh apples hidden in the cake mix, it’s good for you.  Here’s the squeal inducing method for Salted Caramel Apple Crisp Bars.

  • No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 package Pillsbury® Moist Supreme® Caramel Apple Flavored Premium Cake Mix
  • 1 cup quick rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apple
  • 1/3 cup Pillsbury® Creamy Supreme® Caramel Apple Flavored Frosting
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt


  1. Gather and prepare your ingredients Rachel Ray Style (everything in tiny cups ready to be dumped together quickly), this is my favorite way to bake because I find the entire process incredibly stressful. The recipe calls for two cups of Chopped apples but I used about three( plus a pear) because that’s my favorite part.  GREASE YOUR PAN (9 inch square) and set your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your crumble! I prefer a manual potato smasher; get the cake mix, oats, cinnamon, (I added a bit of nutmeg because I’m fancy), butter and egg together. Take one cup of the mixture out and press the rest into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bake 15 minutes or until edges brown, I found at the end it was really important to make sure the base was baked properly or these won’t come out in adorable squares like they could.
  4. Add in all the apple chunks and top with the cup of crumble you reserved to the side and bake about 20 or 25 minutes, or until the top browns. I baked for extra time for two reasons, one is that I had a lot of apples in there, the second is that I forgot I was baking as I was engrossed in making some cookies as “garnish”.
    1. If you’re feeling ambitious, while everything is baking make some acorn no bake cookies! You just stick a Hershey’s Kiss to a mini ‘Nilla Wafter and top with a chocolate chip. I use peanut butter but you can totally use the leftover frosting if that floats your boat. I also took this time to make the note for my “presentation”.
  5. When the top is golden brown, take out of the oven and set on top of the stove to cool. In the couple minutes it’s cooling prepare the salted caramel topping delight.  Put 1/3 cup of the frosting into a microwave safe dish and heat it until it’s really soupy.  Drizzle over the top of the crumble cake thing and sprinkle with your coarse sea salt.
  6. Prepare your presentation, nothing says pretentious at a work meeting like an apple crumble with acorn cookies and a hand written note/drawing. I made this for one of my mom’s meetings and it was appreciated.  Once everything cools down just cut up the bars, there should be “twenty four” but let’s be real here, I made about half that.  Of course mine needed to be served and eaten with spoons because I was a little impatient with the whole baking process but it tasted good.
  7. No, that pan DOES NOT need to soak, wash it.