So remember when I accidentally discovered caramel last week while making the frosting for the Paleo German Chocolate Cupcakes? Well these Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bars are what happens when you accidentally discover caramel. That and I have about 3 recipes I’m working on, all drenched in caramel. I love caramel, do you? I hadn’t realized how much I missed it until now. One of my readers suggested I make an apple pie, so I took that idea, along with my caramel recipe and got to work. Voila! I just like saying voila. I say it in a high pitched voice in my head. It makes me feel fancy. Like I’m a real chef. Speaking of real chef’s guess what I did last week? I went into Williams-Sonoma. I don’t normally like to do that sort of thing because when I see expensive kitchen gadgets it makes my dream kitchen seem so far away and my current kitchen seem that much worse. But I had to go in to visit “My Precious.” What’s “My Precious” you ask? Well it’s sure not some ring that I have to go throw in the pits of Mordor. It’s more like, remember in Wayne’s World when he goes into the guitar store to visit his white Fender Stratocaster and says, “You will be mine, oh yes, you will be mine.” Well that’s how I feel about “My Precious.” “My Precious” is a Copper Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and it’s only $899.99. That’s all. But did you see it, it’s COPPER! COPPER! You know how all I want is my big French Julia Child kitchen lined with copper pots, pans and appliances. So I went in to say hello, pet it, and whisper sweet nothings in it’s ear. Then I left deflated and with low self-esteem. Then I thought of Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bars and all was right in the Shire again.
So how was your Fourth of July!? What did you guys do with all your days off? I bought a bow tie for my cat, watched the entire first and only season of Terra Nova, went for a run, went out to brunch, had a conversation about why they are called antacids vs. anti-acids, watched This is 40, made my American flag fruit tray, ate ribs, drank wine and skinny margaritas. It was fabulous. Life is almost good enough to eat. You know what else is good enough to eat? These Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bars.
½ cup (64 g) maple sugar
¼ cup (35 g) coconut sugar
½ cup (120 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/56 g) salted butter or ¼ cup (55 g) ghee
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1. In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugars, coconut milk, and butter. Over low heat, whisk gently in one direction, so the butter doesn’t separate, until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is combined. Then turn the heat up to medium and bring to a soft boil, then add the vanilla extract and salt and whisk until combined.
2. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk gently until the mixture becomes a smooth liquid again. Place back over heat and boil for an additional 2 minutes to thicken further. Remove from the heat, whisk until mixture becomes a smooth liquid again. Repeat this process for a total of four times. The caramel should be the consistency of thick soup.
3. Cool slightly. The caramel will continue to thicken as it cools. Refrigerate to cool and thicken completely or freeze for extra-thick caramel. As the caramel comes back up to room temperature it will begin to thin slightly and return to a pourable state.
4. Set aside 1/2 a cup of caramel to drizzle on top of your Paleo Apple Pie bars.
Paleo Apple Pie Bars
*Makes 9 bars
2 cups thinly sliced apples, peeled and cored (4-5 apples)
1 & 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (sifted)
3/4 cups coconut flour
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold grass-fed butter (or ghee)
3 cage-free egg yolks
1/4 cup canned coconut milk, full fat (room temp.)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Then grease an 8×8 glass pan. Now peel, core and cut your apples into thin slices.
2. After you have set aside 1/2 cup of caramel, take a medium sized bowl and mix the sliced apples into the remaining caramel and set aside.
3. In a large bowl use a fork to mix together your dry ingredients, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Now cut your cold butter into small squares and mix into the dry ingredients using a hand mixer or whisk until pea sized balls start to form. Then set aside.
4. In a small bowl combine the 3 eggs yolks, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Make a crater in the center of the dry mix and pour the egg mixture into the center. Now stir the dry mix into the wet until combined, at this point you’ll have little dough balls. Divide the dough in half and separate it into two sections. Take one half and press evenly into the bottom of your greased 8×8 glass pan.
5. Take the caramel soaked apples and place evenly over the pressed dough at the bottom of the pan. Now use the other half of the dough and pat evenly over the sliced apples until completely covered. Using a small bowl or cup make an egg wash using the egg white and tablespoon of water, use a basting brush to brush the egg wash on top of the dough. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and you hear the apples sizzling.
6. Let cool and then slice into squares. Drizzle the 1/2 cup of remaining caramel over the top and enjoy.
For the apples I used a variety, I read somewhere that the best apple pies are made out of mixed apple types instead of just one. I used Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, and Golden. I used about 5 apples total.
When I was making the caramel I made Brad try it because it tasted ridiculously good. He liked it a lot, he even exclaimed, “Yum!” after he tried it. Before I put the bars in the oven he came over to see what I was doing and said, “I want some of that.” Then went back to watching TV. That’s a good sign right? After the bars were done I served him a piping hot Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bar drenched in caramel. He ate the whole thing and then in his, “It’s good, but…” voice said, “It’s good but…it’s too hot.” I guess I got too excited because they looked and smelled so good, so I didn’t exactly let them cool properly and I thought they tasted so good that I desperately needed a second opinion so…I also got excited because they, “didn’t taste too Paleo.” Score. So in the honor of the Fourth of July I present to you these Paleo Caramel Apple Pie Bars, because what’s more American than Apple Pie?! Go make these bars, seriously, they’re insane. You know I don’t like anything that’s not chocolate (#fact) and I LOVED these bars. This caramel discovery is a game changer. So the real question now is do I make another caramel treat next week or make a real food dish? But I don’t even like real food! Here I go, getting an attitude. Maybe we need to put it to another Facebook vote? Or maybe it’s my blog so I do what I want? I guess you’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out. It’s like LOST but it actually makes sense.
55 Comments on Caramel Apple Pie Bars
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blackbeanbrowniesJuly 8, 2013 at 10:05 am (10 years ago)
Definitely trying this! Looks great.
TerriJuly 8, 2013 at 10:28 am (10 years ago)
When you say yolks, does that mean to leave the whites out? This looks a amazing.
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 8, 2013 at 10:35 am (10 years ago)
That’s correct Terri, just be sure to save one egg white for the egg wash at the end. 🙂
RobynJuly 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm (10 years ago)
omg the copper mixer is like appliance porn, *drooling*
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm (10 years ago)
Omg I know. I die. That’s why I pay it conjugal visits. Ha! 🙂
Shannon G.July 8, 2013 at 6:34 pm (10 years ago)
OMG. We’re having a girl’s wine/app night with all the girls from my Crossfit gym next week and I’ve been looking for a tasty dessert to bring that is paleo friendly and delicious. Found it! You are a paleo-culinary genius who always quotes the best movies!
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm (10 years ago)
Omg can I come?! That sounds so fun!!! Yay I’m so happy you found a paleo treat to bring and are such a fan of the blog! 🙂
Feed The ClanJuly 9, 2013 at 10:37 am (10 years ago)
I don’t even like apple pie, but I will make the exception for this. It looks chewy and soo freakin good!
michaelawandersJuly 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm (10 years ago)
I have several paleo friends and it can be hard to make desserts for them (especially when I’m trying to please a vegan and GF crowd as well!) These look amazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm (10 years ago)
I know, gluten-free, vegan, and Paleo desserts can be so challenging. I think that’s why I like making them so much! 🙂 I’m glad you like what you see and I defiantly think you should try one of these recipes to share with your friends! 🙂
JackieNovember 24, 2015 at 9:50 pm (8 years ago)
I’ve made your German Chocolate Cupcakes a few times and they are the BOMB!
The Grandkids loved them and the adults were asking for the recipe at my Grandson’s 4th birthday party. I topped them with their names piped in chocolate. Definitely my favorite “go to” paleo chocolate cupcake.
bdelucaJuly 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm (10 years ago)
can you use coconut crystals instead of coconut palm sugar?
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 14, 2013 at 5:01 pm (10 years ago)
Absolutely! I think Coconut Crystals is just more of a brand name for coconut palm sugar. 🙂
AnnaJuly 15, 2013 at 9:45 am (10 years ago)
I am sssooo glad I found you!!!I
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 15, 2013 at 10:09 am (10 years ago)
The feeling is mutual! 🙂
MariahJuly 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm (10 years ago)
This looks delicious, but I have an egg allergy. For whole eggs, I substitute some hydrated/gelled chia seeds. What would I substitute for the separate components (whites and yolk)?
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm (10 years ago)
Oh what a great idea to use chia seeds. I would recommend trying applesauce, maybe 1/4 cup or so? I heard that works sometimes as a sub for eggs. As for the caramel the flavor and consistency should still be pretty good without the egg. Please let me know how it turns out, I would love to have an alternative for readers with egg allergies. Thanks! 🙂
GeorginaJuly 19, 2013 at 4:41 am (10 years ago)
Just made this but it appears that the mixture split & is not of pouring consistency?!! I have caramel goop & butter in the pan. Plus it’s not as deep brown like yours. Please help?
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 19, 2013 at 8:47 am (10 years ago)
Is this for the caramel? Did you add the ingredients in the correct order? I’ve made 3 batches of it so far without a hitch, so I’m not sure what could be going on? Did you double check the measurements as well?
KristinJuly 24, 2013 at 4:36 am (10 years ago)
I want to try this recipe in the worst way (and all of your others!), but I have a tree nut allergy. Is there any good sub for almond flour in recipes like this?
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 25, 2013 at 9:38 am (10 years ago)
Hi Kristin, you could try all coconut flour but I find it tends to make recipes spongy. Also if you aren’t strict Paleo you could try maybe a general gluten-free flour, you can find those online or at most health stores. Sorry to hear you can’t have almond flour. 🙁 I would say macadamia but they are from a tree as well I believe.
carrieJuly 25, 2013 at 8:55 am (10 years ago)
This recipe was so amazing that I had to make my husband take the left overs to work with him the next day otherwise this would have been my only food source for the next 2 days. I experienced the same problem as Georgina in my caramel sauce broke (but was still more than delicious).
cleaneatingwithadirtymindJuly 25, 2013 at 9:56 am (10 years ago)
Hey Carrie! I’m SO glad you enjoyed! So weird about the caramel because I just made it again this weekend for the lava cake with no problems. I made sure to follow my recipe to be sure I wasn’t missing something and it came out great. I have no idea what could be going on!?! I omitted the arrowroot powder because I found that it thickens well on it’s own as it cools. Maybe try that? It could also be that the butter and sugar aren’t getting mixed together enough as well in the first step? I hope you try it again, it’s MY FAVORITE caramel in the world now and I plan on making tons more caramel recipes! 🙂
ReneeSeptember 3, 2013 at 9:42 am (10 years ago)
Can I just say, WOW, just wow!! You make Paleo desserts with attitude! I love it. So glad you shared and keep on cooking. 🙂
Vanessa BarajasSeptember 3, 2013 at 10:13 am (10 years ago)
I love it! What a GREAT compliment! I should make that my tagline, Paleo Desserts with Attitude! 😉 Thank you!
ReneeSeptember 9, 2013 at 8:36 am (10 years ago)
Hey Vanessa, I made the caramel sauce for Brownie Sundaes. Ridiculously delicious! OMG. Thanks so much.
Vanessa BarajasSeptember 9, 2013 at 12:22 pm (10 years ago)
Brownie Sundae!?!?! I want one!!! I’m actually working on a brownie sundae with my cute little baby skillets! 😉 I’m so happy you like the caramel too, I’m obsessed with it!
TwilaSeptember 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm (10 years ago)
I just found this recipe and it’s just what I need. I’ve been put on a sugar/gluten free diet because of auto immune issues. I don’t do a lot of sweets, but am making dessert for my daughter who is having company Sunday. One of the things I’m making is apple pie squares, and I think I’ll make these so my daughters and I can have a treat as well. One of them is watching her sugar and the other is following the THM diet. Instead of the coconut palm sugar I l will use xylitol and maybe a little NuNaturals.
Vanessa BarajasSeptember 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm (10 years ago)
Thank you! These are a treat indeed, so yummy! Enjoy yourself. 🙂
KristyOctober 7, 2013 at 8:13 am (10 years ago)
I am new to your site (found you through Paleomg) and I am so thankful for your blog! I made these last night and they were amazing! A hit with the whole family. With your caramel sauce you’ve opened a brand new world to me! I’ll blame you if I get fat ;). Thank you for sharing your talent, you’ve made this paleo gal very happy!
Vanessa BarajasOctober 7, 2013 at 9:37 am (10 years ago)
Yay! Glad to hear it was such a huge success. I know, the caramel sauce is ridiculous!
KathMarch 2, 2014 at 1:19 am (9 years ago)
This looks Devine. Can you substitute the butter with coconut oil?
Vanessa BarajasMarch 3, 2014 at 1:01 pm (9 years ago)
Yes you could, the only drawback would be it’s not going to have a buttery/cookie dough flavor. I would recommend ghee first as an alternative to butter in this recipe. 🙂
jesserosaMarch 9, 2014 at 6:45 pm (9 years ago)
Reblogged this on apple.pie.and.pumpkin.soup and commented:
I’m such a sucker for ANYTHING apple!! And caramel sauce?? hello?!! be still my heart! (I guess it’d be very still if I ate too much of this, so all things in moderation folks! lol)
MichelleSeptember 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm (9 years ago)
These are the most delicious paleofied treats I’ve ever made!!!! I was afraid about how much coconut flour was in the crust recipe, but it worked out great because if soaked up the liquid from the apples and thickened the carmel in the process. Hands down delicious! however, I’m not sure how pale these are based on the amount of sugar used in this recipe, but these are good!!!!
Chrissy POctober 18, 2014 at 8:30 am (9 years ago)
I’m making these today and like one of your other commenters my caramel sauce is very clumpy and did not come together. I wonder if it’s the kind of coconut sugar I’m using. Here’s hoping the whole recipe comes together and is delicious. Stay tuned.
Vanessa BarajasOctober 18, 2014 at 10:23 am (9 years ago)
Try omitting the eggs in the caramel. This is a very old recipe that I need to update! Also stirring in one direction will help the butter to not separate.
LisaNovember 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm (9 years ago)
you are adorable.
Thank you for your contribution.
fondufondueMarch 4, 2016 at 1:56 pm (7 years ago)
Yummy! I love this blog, and I love that I can eat these!!!! I’m allergic to wheat, rice, and oats… My blog is all about whole foods! I hope you check out my blog, and love it enough to follow! These bars look delish….
LeahJuly 23, 2016 at 4:41 pm (7 years ago)
Are you supposed to whisk as it boils? I followed the directions to a tee and mine burned. Luckily I was making it in advance so I have time tomorrow to try again 🙁
Vanessa BarajasJuly 23, 2016 at 9:53 pm (7 years ago)
Do you have a gas stove? You may need to just simply turn the heat down. I have an electric stove so it doesn’t get nearly as hot. You just want it to be at a steady boil, nothing crazy. No need to whisk while it boils, only when removing from the heat.
KarenNovember 17, 2016 at 11:11 pm (7 years ago)
Is there any substitute for the maple sugar. I just don’t want to buy another specialized sugar…..
Vanessa BarajasNovember 20, 2016 at 3:56 pm (7 years ago)
You could just use coconut sugar in place of the maple sugar.
Cressie MaeNovember 23, 2016 at 10:38 am (7 years ago)
I misread and didn’t buy maple sugar. I wanted to make the for thanksgiving but won’t have time to pick some up. Can I replace the maple sugar with coconut sugar? Thanks!
Vanessa BarajasNovember 23, 2016 at 11:08 am (7 years ago)
Yes! You can definitely sub coconut sugar for the maple sugar. 🙂
PatriciaNovember 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm (6 years ago)
I just got your book and the first thing I made was this caramel sauce. It came out a bit thick and grainy. I thought I followed the recipe to the t. What do you think could have caused it?
Vanessa BarajasNovember 6, 2017 at 2:24 pm (6 years ago)
Hi Patricia, it could be a few things, the sugar may have either been too clumpy, in which case you just need to sift next time. The maple sugar and coconut sugar are chunky sugars by nature, definitely not fine like white sugar. Another thing that could have happened is that they weren’t mixed in enough with the liquids and therefore didn’t dissolve enough over the heat. Hope that helps! 🙂
MalloryNovember 21, 2018 at 2:21 pm (5 years ago)
First of all, I’ve made a numberrr of your recipes (including a cake from your cook book for my wedding cake!) and was so excited to make these for Thanksgiving, but let me tell youuu about my caramel graveyard. Omg. Third time was the charm, but it almost broke me (just as broken as my “sauce”). Totally worth it though! In the oven as I type this and boy does it smell delicious! Only thing I changed was I used salted grass fed butter instead of ghee (because I ran out after the first 2 attempts)… and turned down the heat on the burner. No idea what fixed it but glad it did. Happy Thanksgiving!
Vanessa BarajasNovember 28, 2018 at 1:04 pm (5 years ago)
Lol, hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! That caramel sauce can definitely freak out if the heat is too high! I think what it is, is that I have electric burners and so my temp tends to be way weaker than other’s and especially a gas flame, so it could be that you are using the correct heat setting that I recommended, but your stove gets way hotter! One day I will have a fancy gas stove and we’ll never have this problem again! haha. SO happy you were able to save the sauce and how cool are you for a. making your own wedding cake and b. making it from one of my recipes! LOVE hearing that so much!
Mallory SDecember 7, 2018 at 12:10 pm (4 years ago)
You’d think I would’ve known better after my maple syrup overflowed while making maple sugar at the recommended heat setting. lol! The joys of holiday baking! They were delicious, btw!!!
Vanessa BarajasDecember 7, 2018 at 12:47 pm (4 years ago)
Oh no! hahaha. It happens to the best of us! So happy you liked them! Happy Holidays. 🙂