Most desserts baked in a 9×13 cake pan are a party hit. Fresh Apple Bars with frosting are no exception. Sprinkle with pecans and serve!

apple cake with pecans

What are the best apples for apple bars or apple cake? Granny Smiths are my usual go-to for their firmness and tart taste, but you can use any tart apples, like Gala and Honeycrisp.

Apple Bars with Frosting

For me, a “tart” apple dessert just screams fall – and is so good for the months of October and November. But we also love this Cake Pan Apple Bars with icing for any winter holiday! And if you love salted caramel, try this apple cake recipe.

serving of cake

Why we love this Cake Pan Apple Bars with Frosting

This recipe is so much easier than making a whole pie, so bring this to your next party! This easy apple squares recipe uses a basic from-scratch cake batter, mixed with apple slices, for a wonderful, moist cake.

You can use regular butter cream frosting or cream cheese frosting.

We also love this recipe, because when I don’t have time to whip up an apple pie, this cake is quick and easy! And don’t miss our homemade apple pie filling recipe!

ingredients for apple cake

Gather these ingredients for this apple cake

  • Tart apples: Use Granny Smith, Gala, or Honeycrisp
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom

cake with frosting

Buttercream Frosting

  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Salt
  • Half-and-half
  • Toasted pecans, chopped (garnish)

how to make apple pie bars

How to make Apple Bars with frosting

Here’s a summary of how to make these delicious treats. (Scroll down to the printable recipe card.)

  1. Prepare a 9×13 cake pan with either cooking spray or butter.
  2. Combine apples and sugar and mix together; set aside.
  3. Beat eggs and then add in oil and vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then sift into the egg mixture.
  4. Add apple/sugar mixture and stir until apples partially break down.
  5. Pour cake batter into the cake pan and bake. The cake will still be very moist.

9x13 baked cake

Make the frosting:

  1. Allow the cake to cool before frosting.
  2. Whip all ingredients until light and airy.
  3. Spread evenly over the cake.

white cake pan apple cake

How do you serve?

Sprinkle with chopped pecans and serve!

These bars make an excellent fall dessert. We like to cut the squares and serve on a large platter. Or, just set out the 9×13 cake on the table and let everyone serve themselves! It’s a great potluck dessert.

moist cake

How to store

Allow bars to cool completely, then store in an airtight container or wrap individually in plastic wrap.

On the counter: up to 2 days
In the fridge: up to 5 days

fork bite of cake

How to freeze

Freeze the cake up to 2 months – unfrosted. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.

a serving of apple cake

More apple desserts:

Banana Split Honeycrisp Apple Nachos

Hood River Fresh Apple Cake

Apple Pear Crumble without Oats

Caramel Ripple Apple Cake

So again, you might just enjoy these apple bars even more than a traditional slice of apple pie!

Enjoy!

apple cake with pecans
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Get the Recipe:

Cake Pan Apple Bars with frosting

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Yield: 12

Ingredients
 

  • 4 cups apples, chopped (a tart variety is best)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom

Buttercream Frosting:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ pound powdered sugar, about 2 ¾ cups
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • teaspoon salt
  • tablespoons half-and-half
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, chopped (garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9x13 cake pan with either cooking spray or butter.
  • Combine apples and sugar and mix together; set aside.
  • Beat eggs for 20 seconds, and then add in oil and vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then sift into the egg mixture.
  • Add apple/sugar mixture and stir until apples partially break down.
  • Pour cake batter into prepared 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cake will still be very moist. Allow it to cool before frosting.

Frosting:

  • Whip all ingredients until light and airy. Allow the cake to cool before applying frosting.
  • Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
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Cake Pan Apple Bars with Frosting