The moist cakey layer of these applesauce bars combines deliciously with the soft creamy sour cream frosting. They are flavorful and autumnal with their cinnamon and apple notes.
If you like pumpkin bars and apples, you are going to love these applesauce bars. They are an easy fall dessert that should be added to your repertoire.
I saw a recipe for applesauce bars on Frugal Hausfrau’s site a year or two ago and I was instantly intrigued. I love trying new apple recipes and the pictures reminded me of my grandma’s pumpkin bars but with apple.
It is basically a thin apple sheet cake topped with tangy frosting. What is not to love about that?
So I put them on my ever growing list of things to try. Somehow that list keeps getting longer, there just isn’t enough time to make everything.
With fall around the corner, I figured it was time to make these apple bars. I am so glad I did.
The recipe below is a slight variation on what Molly made. It was adjusted to match our tastes and preferences.
Making These Tasty Apple Bars
Adding applesauce to the cake layer not only adds great flavor, but so much moisture as well. Add in some cinnamon and you are really in business.
The batter comes together really easily. The only key is making sure your butter is soft so that it is easily incorporated.
We prefer our bars as written. You could easily add a half cup of raisins and or walnuts if that is something your family would like.
You can also experiment with the spices if you want it to be a punchier spice cake. A little ginger or allspice would be tasty if you like those flavors.
Try making it our way first and then customize it to your heart’s content. That is one of the best parts about cooking, you get to make it yours.
The cake is done when the edges start to pull away from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly touched with a finger. Allow it to cool completely before frosting the bars.
Making Sour Cream Frosting
One of the things that intrigued me about Molly’s recipe was the sour cream frosting. It has a lovely slight acidity, similar to cream cheese frosting, but is even softer and has a different tanginess.
I adjusted the recipe to make a little more. I am the self proclaimed frosting queen after all.
Again, you want to make sure you butter is good and softened. Otherwise you will find yourself with lumps and nobody wants lumpy frosting!
This frosting would not work for piping or really even for layers, unless you put a buttercream dam around it. But it is fabulous for spreading over your apple bars or any simple sheet cake.
I can imagine it would be fabulous on a chocolate cake or of course pumpkin bars. Give it a try and see what you think.
Obviously you could use cream cheese frosting instead. Or add some caramel frosting for something different.
Should I store sour cream frosting in the refrigerator?
Yes. Due to the high dairy content, it is best if the sour cream frosting is stored in the refrigerator. This will also help it to firm up a bit allowing you to cut cleaner pieces. Allow the served cake to sit for a few minutes to come to room temperature for the best eating experience.
How long can I store my frosted apple bars?
These bars can sit on the counter for a couple of hours. More than that and they should be covered and put in the refrigerator. Chilled, they can be stored for 5-7 days.
More Recipes Using Applesauce
Slightly spiced and super moist applesauce cake goes perfectly with a soft and luscious cream cheese and caramel frosting. This layered beauty is the stuff fall dreams are made of!
Applesauce oatmeal bread is a delicious sweet quick bread that’s perfect for breakfast, tea time, snack or even a light dessert. The vanilla honey butter helps take to the next level of yumminess!
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Applesauce Bars With Sour Cream Frosting
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1½ cup all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1½ cup applesauce
Sour Cream Frosting
- ½ cup butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch pan.
- Cream together butter and sugar.
- Add egg and vanilla, mixing until combined.
- In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Mix ⅓ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Stir in ½ of the applesauce. Repeat with 1/3 of the flour, the remainder of the applesauce and finish with the rest of the flour. Each time stir until just mixed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes or until the middle bounces back when lightly touched with your finger. Allow to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, sour cream and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Spread over cooled bars and chill until set.