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Super easy apple squares

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Apple squares, apple pie, apple cake, desserts and sweets

This is my second apple recipe in a row! If only I could post apple desserts every day from now on until the Fall is over …. Maybe, someday… For now I have a day job I need to attend to – which sort of prevents me from publishing posts about apples every day. 🙂 What a bummer! Which is why this recipe is so handy! These apple squares are super easy and quick to prepare on a busy weeknight! If you’re bored with making the same apple crisp (or crumble, or cobbler), try these little squares, and you’d be very happy!

Apple squares, apple pie, apple cake, desserts and sweets

These little cute apple cake bars are very moist, thanks to the oil and the plain yogurt. And they get even more moist after the first day! No dry cakes here! 🙂

Apple squares, apple pie, apple cake, desserts and sweets

In this recipe, I am using a generous amount of apples, tossed together with cinnamon and brown sugar, folded in the cake batter and baked in a 9×9 square pan. These apple squares are really just a lot of apple chunks held together by a relatively small amount of cake batter. 🙂 After all, the apple dessert recipes should be all about apples, shouldn’t they?

Apple squares

Apple squares

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small square chunks
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 square pan.

2) In a medium bowl, toss chopped apples with cinnamon and brown sugar.

3) In a mixing bowl, combine together 1 and 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

4) In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup of white sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, and vanilla until very smooth. Add eggs and whisk until smooth.

5) Add dry ingredients (flour mixture) into wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

6) Pour half of batter into the greased pan, top with half of apples, then pour the remaining half of the batter on top of the apples layer. Top with the remaining half of apples. Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7) Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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{ 90 comments… add one }
  • Ashley September 24, 2013, 7:03 am

    Yes! I love that these are packed full of apples. And that dusting of confectioners’ sugar? So pretty! What a perfect treat to go with a cup of coffee or tea!

  • Gorgeous colour and wonderful flavours..these apple bars look truly tempting!

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen September 24, 2013, 8:42 am

    Beautiful apple bars, m’lady! They look moist and scrumptious. I need to make some of these bars soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • Monique September 24, 2013, 8:55 am

    I know I would love these..have not made apple bars in so long..must check and compare..these look so good Julia~

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 2:57 am

      Monique, your alter ego is showing up in your Avatar photo again. 🙂

    • Toni March 30, 2014, 5:13 pm

      Just baked these apple squares. So good and moist.

  • Daniela September 24, 2013, 9:24 am

    In our family we are all big fans of apple dessert ad this one looks superb!
    Never tried one with the addition of yogurt but it seems a great idea and is healthy too.

  • Juliana Walters September 24, 2013, 9:25 am

    Darn those pesky day jobs! Both of these apple recipes look marvelous! What variety of apples do you like using? I am partial to Granny Smiths and Honeycrisps.

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 2:57 am

      You know, I always experiment and use all kinds of apples. I even use the apples from my mother-in-law’s apple tree that’s half wild and nobody knows what kind of apples are those. 🙂 I’ve made this recipe with very sweet apples and also with tart Granny Smiths. Both times, it came out really good, albeit with very different flavors for sure.

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com September 24, 2013, 11:41 am

    I could have this delicious squares with my afternoon tea, daily 🙂

  • Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com September 24, 2013, 11:58 am

    I am sitting here with a cup of coffee and wishing I had some of these bars! Terrific!

  • Laura Dembowski September 24, 2013, 12:47 pm

    Love that these are absolutely loaded with apples! This looks like the perfect fall dessert!

  • Natasha (@NatashasKitchen) September 24, 2013, 1:52 pm

    Those pictures are mouth watering, great job as usual Julia :). I only have 2 apples left, need to make a trip to the store :).

  • Deb September 24, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Easy to prepare fall treats are what we all need! A fabulous recipe my family would enjoy!

  • Brianna September 24, 2013, 4:10 pm

    Every year we go up to our cabin to pick apples from the orchard. I collect recipes all year for after our trip. Apple sauce! Apple pie! Apple-spice muffins! Apple! Apple! Apple! Thanks for contributing to my collection 😉

  • Julie @ Lovely Little Kitchen September 24, 2013, 6:32 pm

    These look so good. Pinning!

  • Amy September 24, 2013, 6:50 pm

    That’s exactly the way I like my desserts: chock FULL of fruit and very little else! (Well, unless chocolate is involved…) And there’s nothing wrong with posting multiple apple recipes in a row. They’re one of my favorite fruits! 🙂

  • Liz September 24, 2013, 8:29 pm

    Your apple bars look terrific…I would not be able to resist! And I’m drooling over your crepes below, too!!! I love apple treats!

  • Erin | The Emerging Foodie September 24, 2013, 9:14 pm

    Yum! These look delicious! What kind of apples did you use? My favorites are gala but I don’t think they would bake up as well as granny smith or something similar.

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 2:55 am

      I used very sweet, yellow with red type of apples 🙂 – I don’t remember the name, maybe Gala apples? I also made these with somewhat tart Granny Smith apples – and it came out really good!

      • Amanda October 21, 2013, 11:57 pm

        What flavor yogurt did you use?

        • Julia October 25, 2013, 12:23 am

          I’ve used just plain non-fat Greek yogurt. 2% plain will work too. plain vanilla flavored Greek yogurt will work too.

  • Orchidea September 25, 2013, 9:02 am

    Hi,
    I also made apple squares last week too… they were a bit different from yours but they came out really good and I will post them soon. Yours look so easy and quick to make and I love apples… I will try your recipe!
    Ciao.

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker September 25, 2013, 4:18 pm

    These look so good Julia! I’m happy to report I have some apples hanging around so these will be on my to-bake list. Pinning! 🙂

  • Simi September 25, 2013, 6:00 pm

    I love desserts that have a fruit in them, it just takes it to the next level. I will have to try these

  • It’s a bummer the way work interferes with cooking fun, isn’t it? I’m so in the mood for apple things, so this is just right for me. Good recipe, good post – thanks.

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu September 25, 2013, 6:47 pm

    Julia, these might be one of my favorite things you’ve posted! They look soooo soft, and the powdered sugar on top just does me in!

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu September 25, 2013, 6:49 pm

    PS: Are you not on twitter? I was sharing them and realized that I didn’t know your handle and it isn’t on your blog. Or I’m dumb and missed it haha.

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 2:58 am

      I am on Twitter but rarely 🙂 And, my twitter handle is not really published anywhere. 🙂

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate September 25, 2013, 7:45 pm

    Drool…

  • Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner September 25, 2013, 7:46 pm

    Apples in a cake?! Oh yea. 🙂 Looks amazingly delish!

  • Inessa @ GrabandgoRecipes.com September 26, 2013, 2:26 am

    Mmmm… Mouthwatering pictures 🙂 I love apple in cakes!!!

  • Jamie September 26, 2013, 11:00 am

    Love this !! I didn’t have plain yogurt so i use heavy whipping cream … SOOO good !

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 3:14 am

      So glad you liked them! 🙂

  • Judy September 26, 2013, 5:02 pm

    Made them last night. Even better this morning!! Delicious!!

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 2:59 am

      Thanks, Judy! 🙂 Glad you tried them!

      • david April 20, 2014, 6:07 pm

        Julia,
        My squares were a little dry. I hate yogurt! Is it a necessary ingredient?

        • elena May 18, 2014, 9:24 am

          I replaced the yogurt with buttermilk and they came out fine!

  • Winnie September 26, 2013, 5:38 pm

    These are great looking squares
    I’d love to eat one any time!!

  • Yelena September 26, 2013, 6:07 pm

    Autumn is the season for apple desserts! So don’t be sorry, we love them-)) You may post more every day!

    Hugs,

    Yelena

  • I absolutely adore these apple squares, the light dusting of sugar looks amazing.

  • Jilly Inspired September 29, 2013, 3:39 pm

    Making these this week. My husband will love them. He loves apple desserts and we just went apple picking. Thank you for sharing. As always, yummers!

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 3:03 am

      Jilly, let me know how they turn out!

  • Katherine September 29, 2013, 7:24 pm

    Beautiful photos! I feel like I don’t make apple desserts nearly enough even though I’m always buying apples. What type of apples did you use while baking these? I was thinking I would try honeycrisp or pink lady, but granny smith is always a classic.

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 3:02 am

      I used very sweet and crisp apples for this recipe – I don’t remember which kind, but very sweet and crisp (not soft). I also made a second version with very tart Granny Smiths – and it came out great too! After baking, the tart apples got softer and not so tart, and the combination of sweetness from the cake and slight tartness from baked and softened Granny Smiths was very tasty! So, this recipe works well with both very sweet and not so sweet apples. But they have to be crisp (not soft).

  • Aunt Clara September 29, 2013, 11:08 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous. I love apple-based desserts. Some day you can blog full time and post an apple dessert daily. 🙂

    • Julia October 3, 2013, 3:02 am

      Maybe 🙂

  • Rachel Cotterill September 30, 2013, 10:33 am

    I definitely approve of a good amount of apple in an apple cake 🙂

  • Dina October 1, 2013, 10:30 am

    they look yummy!

  • Priyanka October 3, 2013, 9:10 pm

    I just made these tonight.. they’re cooling off right now.. Can’t wait to try them out as thursday night football game desert.. 🙂

    • Julia October 4, 2013, 2:59 am

      I hope by now you’ve already tried them and liked them, too! 🙂

  • mich October 17, 2013, 9:10 am

    Hello! Thanks for your recipe! Just made this and they taste lovely :> but I think I could do with even more apples! I added cinnamon to the batter as well and swap some of the oil with apple sauce!

    • Julia October 17, 2013, 6:32 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 Very glad you liked it. I am sure you could stuff even more apples in this recipe! And a great idea to use apple sauce instead of oil! I need to try this! 🙂

  • Barbara October 26, 2013, 12:12 am

    I made these and really love them! I used Gala apples, but next time I want to use Granny Smith. They are so good with coffee or tea. I plan to make them again soon!

    • Julia November 5, 2013, 2:32 am

      Barbara, I am so glad to hear that you liked these apple squares! They are really good with both Gala and Granny Smith. The flavor will be distinctly different if you use sweeter Gala vs. tarter Granny Smiths but equally delicious! Using 2 different types of apples is like 2 different recipes really. 🙂

  • P November 8, 2013, 9:51 am

    Delicious! I was out of yogurt so used sour cream instead. When I found this recipe I was just thinking.. yea, I’m tired of apple crisp, there has to be something else. Keep up the great recipes 🙂

    • Julia November 12, 2013, 2:24 am

      P :), thank you! I am the same way – I love apple crisp, but want something different with apples, hence I make this recipe and banana breads with apples, etc.

  • Nila December 9, 2013, 4:07 pm

    Have you ever tried this recipe with other fruits such as blueberries. I think I will try it with blueberries tonight, that’s all I have in the house and the weather is terrible out.

    • Julia December 19, 2013, 2:51 pm

      Nila, I have not tried these with blueberries, but why not? I should! 🙂

  • Sana December 24, 2013, 6:30 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My family loved it and have been requesting more ever since! Am just making another batch 🙂

    • Julia December 26, 2013, 2:45 pm

      So glad you and your family liked these! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment!

  • Hannah December 28, 2013, 6:00 pm

    I made these today for company and they were a huge hit. Plus, the recipe came together really quickly, which is always a bonus when getting ready for guests to arrive. I forgot to put the powdered sugar on, but they were still so delicious. Thank you for the quick and tasty recipe!

    • Julia December 30, 2013, 3:29 pm

      Hannah, so glad you liked these apple squares! It always makes my day to read comments like that! Powdered sugar is really only for the decorating purposes, so the recipe would not suffer much if you don’t use it! 🙂

  • Lauren January 2, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Can I substituted cake flour? Would it make it taste different?

  • Joann Rosenberg March 13, 2014, 8:16 am

    I made these apple squares and they are absolutely delicious. Does anyone know how many calories are in one square?

  • elena May 31, 2014, 11:45 am

    Just made them.They are by far the best apple squares ever!

    • Julia July 8, 2014, 2:43 pm

      Elena, thank you! So glad you liked them! 🙂

  • Mafalda101 et cie June 4, 2014, 11:35 am

    Hello,
    Please, I need a little information before beginning my squares.
    I would like to know a detail for you but very important for me.
    You say “1 cup of sugar or 1 and 1/4 cup of flour”, that’s ok but I don’t know how big is your cup. ;o)
    Can you tell me if 1 cup of sugar means 200 grs or more than 6 oz ? Unfortunately, we don’t have the same units of measure. :o(
    Thank you.

    • Julia July 8, 2014, 2:43 pm

      1 cup of sugar equals 220 grams
      1 and 1/4 cup of flour equals 270 grams

  • These look so so delicious and perfect for breakfast!

  • Taylor Bishop June 7, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Do you think these would be okay if baked in a muffin tin in cupcake wrappers? They look amazing!

    • Julia July 8, 2014, 2:37 pm

      Yes, these would work great in a muffin tin in cupcake wrappers!

  • Jenn Stewart September 25, 2014, 4:38 am

    This recipe sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try. Do you think these bars would freeze well? Our parents have an apple tree and I now have a bag of 50 apples to use! Thanks. 8)

    • Julia September 25, 2014, 2:48 pm

      Yes, these will freeze well. I successfully froze this strawberry cake before http://juliasalbum.com/2014/06/strawberry-chocolate-chip-cake/
      and these apple squares are similar in structure to that cake! Just make sure to cool apple squares completely so that they don’t sweat in the freezer. And also, wrap them in airtight plastic bag.

  • Marilee November 16, 2014, 11:09 pm

    just made this in an 8″ square pan. It turned out more like cake than bars. I substituted sour cream as I had some open. The recipe seems very flexible with the yogurt/sour cream/buttermilk.
    On a whim, I sprinkled a handful of Caramel Bits over the top before baking. This is really an outstanding Apple dessert.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • bittany December 6, 2014, 7:24 pm

    Hi! I just made these tonight and they were great! I’m not a fan of yogurt so I used 2 oz of cream cheese instead. They were perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  • Mona N April 6, 2015, 9:30 pm

    I made the cinnamon apple sq. turned out goooooood thank u for the recipe

  • Jane April 21, 2015, 12:38 pm

    I just took these out of the oven and the house smells amazing! I had 6 apples that were use-eat-toss dead ripe so I decided to try this recipe and double it. I put it in a 9 x 13″ pan and what I ended up with is apple cake – it rose to the top of the pan! Not exactly what I had planned on so the next time I make this i will use a larger pan to make squa/res and the size listed if I want a cake instead. I also added some cinnamon to the batter…I just love the apple cinnamon combo!

  • Leanna June 20, 2015, 12:18 pm

    this is so good! I used pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon since I was out and it was great!

  • Angela October 2, 2015, 8:50 pm

    Great recipe…love it

  • Afrah February 16, 2016, 7:38 pm

    I made this reciepe last week, it was super yummy!!
    I just reduced the sugar and pour home made caramel on the squares, it was great!

  • Ellen September 18, 2016, 3:10 pm

    I have made this cake 3 times this month. It’s absolutely delicious & so easy to put together. Didn’t change a thing except the baking time. Mine is done at 45 minutes. Thanks for sharing this recipe

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