Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche

What a lovely weekend it was here in New York! It was extremely windy and what seemed like unseasonably cold, so Kramer and I made sure to get outside and enjoy the breeze. We couldn’t seem to get enough sleep this weekend, as we fell asleep around 10:30 PM on Friday night. I think we both slept for about 10 hours straight. I guess we’ve been pretty exhausted! On Saturday, we went to brunch with a friend from work, Lindsey, and her boyfriend, Stephen, at Landmarc in Tribeca, which was honestly really delicious. Kramer and I usually go to pretty low-key places for brunch (when we go), so it was fun to go somewhere a little fancier. They were doing a special where for $25 each, you get two courses and two Stella Artois beers, so that didn’t hurt, either. After brunch, we saw Red, which was a fun, shoot-em-up type movie that I absolutely adore. John Malkovich was phenomenal, as usual. Every time I hear him yell at someone, I can’t help but smile. He just plays a lunatic so very well. After the movie, we stopped by the Amish Market to pick up a few things and look around. I love specialty grocery stores, even if I can’t afford to buy everything in them. It’s just fun to see all of the interesting products that they carry. We slept in on Sunday morning, and I spent the whole day in the kitchen while we watched some cheesy, but classic movies, such as Hackers. When “The Plague” skateboards by and grabs that floppy disk, I die laughing every time. It’s amazing. What are your favorite cheesy movies? Kramer and I usually watch one every weekend; they’re just so comforting and easy to have as background noise while we do chores or cook or anything else.

These Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche are perfect for the chilly weather we’ve been experiencing lately. They’re great with a cup of tea at breakfast or as a seasonal dessert while at home or to share at a party. They are really loaded with apples, so you definitely get a big mouthful with every bite. I think if it has apples in it, you should be able to tell, right? I added in some cinnamon, because I think that apples and cinnamon are practically begging to be paired together, especially when you’ve got dulce de leche in there already. The dulce de leche acts as a glue, keeping the bars together, but at the same time, bringing them up to a whole new level. When looking at the bars, you’d really have no idea that the dulce de leche is in there, but believe me, it’s a welcome surprise. The oat crust cuts through the sweetness, but not too much. Each nibble of these bars will certainly put you into the spirit of the season.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Your ingredients.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Cream together the brown sugar and butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Combine 1 3/4 cup flour, oats, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Add in the flour mixture to the brown sugar and butter and mix until combined and just moistened.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de LecheApple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Reserve 2 cups of the dough and set aside. Press the rest of the dough into a greased and/or lined 9×13 dish.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Peel, core, and dice your apples. I used this handy tool to do all three.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
You want your apples to be thin and no more than an inch wide. Toss them with lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of flour.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Spread the apples over the dough pressed into the dish.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Warm up your dulce de leche in the microwave for 30 second intervals until smooth and easy to drizzle. You can buy dulce de leche in most grocery stores, or you can make your own, which I’ve shown you how to do here.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Pour the dulce de leche over the apples.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of oat mixture over the apples and dulce de leche. Press down slightly, to make sure the oat mixture sticks to the dulce de leche.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, until golden and set.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Allow to cool completely before cutting in bars.

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Happy Autumn!

Apple Oat Bars with Dulce de Leche
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 32-36 bars
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups old fashioned oats (NOT instant oats)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-4 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dulce de leche (you can buy this in the store or you can make your own, recipe can be found here)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cream together the butter and brown sugar, until fluffy, about 3 minutes. In another bowl, combine 1¾ cup all-purpose flour, the oats, the cinnamon, the salt, and the baking soda. Set 2 cups of this mixture aside and press the remainder into a greased and/or lined 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Core, peel, and dice your apples into thin, bite-sized pieces. Toss them with lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. Spread the apples over the dough pressed into the dish. Warm up your dulce de leche in the microwave in 30 second intervals, then drizzle it evenly over the apples (it doesn't have to be perfect). Sprinkle the 2 cups of flour mixture that was previously set aside over the apples and dulce de leche, then press down to be sure that everything sticks together. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and golden.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into small bars and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 32-36 bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Adapted From


32 Responses

  1. Wei-Wei says:

    Mmmm, that sounds amazing! Like caramel apples 😀

  2. Michelle says:

    This does sound like the perfect autumn dessert, and now that I can make dulce de leche so easily, I keep being drawn to recipes that use it. This is like a yummy caramel apple you can eat for breakfast!
    (I’m totally green over your cool apple peeler/corer/slicer. I hate peeling and chopping apples!)

    • Sydney says:

      Michelle: Same here! Don’t be too jealous, though! I love it when I need it, but it’s also an awkward shape so it’s kind of hard to store! I mean, how often do you peel lots of apples except during this time of year, right? I’m just such a sucker for gadgets and tools!

  3. Aimee says:

    Love this! I’m going to make it tonight!!

    Question: in the picture of ingredients, what is the tablet thing on top of the Artisan Salt Fleur de Sel? I saw it in the cookie ingredients for the Salted Dulce de Leche cookie recipe as well and can’t figure it out.

  4. Sue says:

    These sound wonderful. I’m going to make them this weekend as an anniversary present for my husband. Where do you think I can buy dulce de leche? A specialty store or a regular supermarket? What area do yu think it would be in?

    • Sydney says:

      Sue: Thanks! I would look either in the baking section or in the Latin section of your grocery store. I’d think you would be able to find it at any regular supermarket!

  5. Tina from PA says:

    Oh yes ,these bars look sooo good ! I think I’ll make them for one of my many Thanksgiving desserts for the dessert buffet . We always have a big dessert buffet open house the evening of Thanksgiving for everyone and anyone who wants to stop in, that way everyone can do thier dinner thing with family and then stop in for cocktails and dessert . It’s so much fun , I also buy 3-5 newspapers and all of us girls make our plan of attack for black Fri.!

  6. ingrid says:

    Yum! Apples, oats, and dulce de leche sounds like a winning combination!

  7. Juliana says:

    Sydney, the bars look awesome and the filling sure add extra flavor to the bars…YUMMIE!

  8. Well wouldn’t you know it, I’ve got about a cup of dulce de leche that needs to be used up! This recipe is awesome, the perfect fall dessert!
    Thanks a bunch, I love your site! Been lurking around it for quite sometime now, and it’s about time I piped up.
    Cheers, Clair

  9. Mel Spinet says:

    Awesome! Dulce de Leche. I only eat Dulce de leche with some bread and this one is really new to me. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I should make this and share with the whole family.

  10. These look perfect. I love that they’re cut into bars so it’s a small serving rather than sitting down to a big dessert. Looking forward to trying this recipe out this weekend. Anything with oats, apples and caramel has gotta be good. Living here in the Southwest, Dulce de Leche should be easy to find in the grocery store.

    I can totally relate to your need to sleep, sleep, sleep lately. Our temps here in Las Vegas dropped about 30 degrees in a week. From the 90s to the 60s. It does this every year. I love the cooler weather but the body goes through a bit of an adjustment.

  11. first time visitor here….but wow, you’re site is lovely!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  12. Wow! This is so indulging. I should better try this one this weekend. This is a healthy recipe. Apple, oatmeal and dulce de leche make it so nutritious.

  13. kwanster says:

    ohhhhh that sounds so yummy!!
    do u think i can use tin apples instead?
    without a apple peeler, i think peeling the apple will take me hours! lol

  14. genevieve says:

    I love your little apple gadget, too! If only I had a million bucks, I’d have the best kitchen on the planet! 😉 I will definitely try these soon, they look like a winner!! Thanks, Sydney!

  15. Katie says:

    Oh wow, these look delicious – and because there’s oats in them, they totally count as a breakfast snack, right? =)

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  17. Trish says:

    Where did you find the cool apple peeler/corer/slicer? Would love to acquire one for the bunches of apples everyone wants in cakes and other goodies. Want to try this recipe today! Looks great. Thank you for sharing.

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