Quick and easy Apfelstreuselkuchen is full of apple flavor and topped with buttery streusel. These bars are perfect for fall and easy to share!
Which apples should I bake with?
Really any apples will work in this recipe. However, I do recommend picking an apple that is more likely to hold its shape such as a granny smith or honey crisp!
Is this cake or are they bars?
Well, sort of both. Kuchen technically means cake, and in Germany this recipe is often baked in a springform pan. But, I like to bake them in a 9″ x 13″ pan and cut them into bars for easy snacking.
Why add lemon juice to apple filling?
Lemon juice is added to the apples for two reasons. Number one is that it helps prevent the oxidation of the apples so it prevents them from turning brown. The second reason is that it adds a little tartness to the apples which is often nice to balance out the sweetness of the dough and streusel.
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Tips for making Apple Streusel Bars
- The dough for the base and the streusel is the same. Be sure to only run the mixer until all ingredients are just combined – you don’t want to over mix it or it will become tough. If you have a small mixer it can be helpful to mix the eggs, butter, and sugar before adding in the remaining ingredients.
- To get a nice, even base, first spread 2/3 of the crumbly dough over the base of the pan. Spread it out evenly and then start to pack it down.
- When crumbling the streusel over the apple layer, try to make sure there aren’t any huge chunks, the streusel bits should be about equal in size.
- If the top of the streusel begins to get to dark, cover it with foil and then continue baking.
- To achieve clean bar slices, let them chill fully before cutting into them.
- All Purpose Flour: Any all purpose flour will work for these! I have not yet tried any other flours with this recipe.
- Eggs: I use standard large eggs from the store. This recipe uses two eggs in the dough.
- Sugar: This recipe uses granulated sugar in the dough as well as a little mixed in with the apples.
- Butter: There is quite a bit of butter in the dough/streusel of this recipe but it combats the lack to fat in the filling. Just make sure the butter is soft before adding it in.
- Lemon juice and zest: These both add flavor to the dough and the filling.
- Apples: As mentioned in the FAQs above, any apples will work but apples that hold their shape while baking are best. Here is an article that goes into more detail about various apples: The 6 best apples for baking
How to make Apfelstreuselkuchen
Prepare the filling
- Peel, core, and chop the apples into 1/2″ chunks. Place them in a bowl and add in the lemon juice and sugar. Toss to combine and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 325 F if baking on convection and place a rack in the center of the oven.
Make the dough/streusel
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add in the flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and lemon zest. Use the paddle attachment to mix on medium low speed until all ingredients are combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. *If you have a smaller mixer, first briefly mix the sugar, butter, and eggs and then add in the flour and lemon zest.
Assemble & Bake
- Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with a piece of parchment that is 9″ x 18″.
- Pour 2/3 of the dough into the pan and spread it out into an even layer. Then press it down with the bottom of a measuring cup or and offset spatula.
- Pour the apple mixture over the base and spread it out evenly.
- Crumble the remaining 1/3 of the dough into streusel over the top of the apples.
- Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 1 hour. Rotate the pan after 30 minutes if not baking on convection.
- Check the bars after 45 minutes, if they seem to be nice and brown, cover with a sheet of foil and bake for 15 more minutes to prevent further browning.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
- To serve, use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Then cut into 24 even pieces.
Apfelstreuselkuchen | Apple Streusel Bars
- Stand Mixer
- 750 grams apple peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 40 grams granulated sugar
- 700 grams ap flour
- 2 eggs
- 400 grams granulated sugar
- 440 grams butter room temperature
- 1 lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 350 F or 325 F if baking on convection.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven.
- Peel, core and chop the apples into 1/2" chunks.
- Add apples, lemon juice, and sugar to a bowl and toss. Set aside.
- Use the paddle attachment, on medium/low speed, to mix all dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer until just combined.
- Line a 9×13 pan with a 9 x 18 piece of parchment paper.
- Spread 2/3 of the dough into the base of the pan.
- Press firmly to pack the dough into the pan and use the bottom of a measuring cup or offset spatula to smooth it out.
- Pour the apple mix over the base and spread evenly.
- Crumble the remaining dough over the apples to create the streusel.
Bake and Serve
- Bake on the middle rack for 1 hour. If not baking on convection, rotate the pan 180 degrees after 30 minutes to make sure it bakes evenly.
- Check the bars after 45 minutes, if they seem to be getting dark, cover with a piece of foil and then bake for another 15 minutes.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool fully.
- When the bars are cool, remove using the parchment paper and then slice into 24 squares.
- Optionally serve with whipped cream or dust with powdered sugar.