Tuesdays with Dorie: Applesauce Spice Bars


It was finally my turn to pick a recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie after joining way back in April of 2008. I had a hard time narrowing down what my choice would be in the months leading up and had about three I kept going back and forth between. However, when the time came, I decided on these Applesauce Spice Bars with no hesitation. I know they’ve always made me look twice whenever browsing through the book.

Fall Season might officially be about a month away according to the calendar, but these bars will definitely get you in the Fall mood.

They are so very easy to make. You only need a mixing bowl, a sauce pan and basic kitchen utensils. I love recipes like this… perfect for the times when you still want to bake something delicious but don’t have time for something complex and then cleaning up tons of dishes afterwards.

Buttery Brown Sugary glaze…!


They smelled wonderful while baking, the smell reminded me so much of my Grandmother’s house. The bars turned out moist and nicely spiced, chock full of apples, nuts and raisins and covered in a thin layer of buttery brown sugar glaze. Yes! I’m sure if left overnight, the flavors in the bars would have had more time to meld and the spices would become more pronounced – at least, that’s been my experiences with most of Dorie’s spiced recipes. However, these never made it to the second day taste test… the boyfriend and I ate the whole 13×9 pan in one night. Don’t tell anyone.

I liked these bars both plain and with the glaze. I really liked them with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream though.


I’m very happy with my choice, it was a total success around here. Thanks to everyone who baked along with me this week. I hope all of you that tried the Applesauce Spice Bars them were pleased. Big shout out to Laurie for creating the Tuesdays with Dorie group and being such a wonderful leader for all of the TWD bakers. And, of course, thanks to Dorie Greenspan for writing the masterpiece that is Baking: From my home to yours.

Next week, I hope to get back in the swing of things and get back to regular baking. Especially since Linda of Tender Crumb has selected Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie on pages 337-339. I had never missed a TWD since April 2008 but since getting our new puppy last month it’s like every previous routine I had flew right out the window! Things are calming down a bit now though and I’m not on a 24/7 puppy watch anymore – more like a 23.5/7 puppy watch now. :P

Dorie Greenspan’s Applesauce Spice Bars
Pages 117-118, Baking: From my home to yours

For the Bars
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon applejack, brandy or dark rum (optional)
1 baking apple, such as Rome or Cortland, peeled, cored and finely diced or chopped
1/2 cup plump, moist raisins (dark or golden)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

For the Glaze
2-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13 inch baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust the inside of the pan with flour. Tap out the excess flour and put the pan on a baking sheet.

THE BARS: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir with a whisk until it is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.

Still working in the saucepan, whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing until they are well blended. Add the applesauce, vanilla and applejack, if you’re using it, and whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is once again smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear, then mix in the apple, raisins and nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the cake just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and let the cake cool while you make the glaze.

THE GLAZE: In a small saucepan, whisk together the cream, sugar, butter and corn syrup. Put the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil, whisking frequently. Adjust the heat so that the glaze simmers, and cook, whisking frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Turn the bars out onto a rack, remove the paper and invert the bars onto another rack, so they are right side up. Slide the parchment paper under the rack to serve as a drip catcher, grab a long metal icing spatula and pour the hot glaze over the bars, using the spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Let cool to room temperature before cutting.
Cut into 32 rectangles, each about 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches.

Storing: In a covered container, the bars will keep for about 3 days at room temperature. Because of the glaze, they cannot be frozen.

August 18, 2009. Tags: , , , . Apples, Bars, TWD.


  1. Teanna replied:

    Congrats on the new puppy! And thank you for this AWESOME pick – I have been dying to make these and they didn’t disappoint! One of my favorite TWDs EVER! And yours look GREAT!

  2. pz replied:

    Look at the nice, clean slices you got. (Did you chill them first?) I’m impressed! Beautiful picture and nice post overall.

  3. Bria replied:

    Thanks for choosing this week’s recipe! Your photos are beautiful!

  4. Kayte replied:

    We loved your pick and know they will be something we make again and again…my guys like anything with baked apples in it, and you are right: these are easy! Congrats on new puppy and your photos and bars look beautiful.

  5. Amy replied:

    Great choice! I didn’t have many left the next day, but I can promise that they were just as good. Your photo with the ice cream looks especially delicious.

  6. Tuesdays with Dorie-Gluten Free Applesauce Spice Bars « Gluten Free with a Purpose replied:

    […] Karen at Something Sweet chose this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. You can find the recipe for Applesauce Spice Bars here. […]

  7. Karen replied:

    Your photos are mouthwatering! :) I was planning on baking last night but had class prep. boo. I will have them up by the weekend for sure!

  8. TWD: applesauce spice bars « The Berry Bushel replied:

    […] from Something Sweet by Karen chose this week’s recipe, and you should definitely head on over to Karen’s site where she has the recipe posted or get the book by Dorie Greenspan.  Anything […]

  9. Cakelaw replied:

    This was a great choice Karen – I am so glad that I got to make these. Your bars look delicious.

  10. TWD: Applesauce Spice Bars « Honey Muffin replied:

    […] Many thanks to Karen for a most spectacular selection. You can find the recipe and some lovely pics (wow, hers look so perfect!) here. […]

  11. sarah replied:

    thanks for picking a GREAT recipe!

  12. erin replied:

    luv, luv, luv this recipe! thanks karen :)

  13. Whitney replied:

    Thanks for choosing this one! I really enjoyed these cookies.

  14. girlichef replied:

    Oh, they’re gorgeous! Fall is my favorite time of the year…and I’m ready for it…perhaps I’ll bake a batch of these beauties :D

  15. Steph replied:

    Thanks for choosing this recipe! I’ve never had the chance to bake with applesauce before and I don’t think I would have tried it myself. It looks so good with the icecream.

  16. Tuesdays with Dorie – Applesauce Spice Bars « Carmen Cooks replied:

    […] For more Applesauce Spice Bars, please visit the Tuesdays with Dorie page, and for the recipe, click to this week’s host, Something Sweet by Karen, for the recipe! […]

  17. carolina replied:

    Your site is lovely. Great job with your pick. I loved this recipe. Your bars are beauties. Nice pictures of your great work!

  18. Michelle replied:

    Im glad you picked this recipe cus it was super easy to make and super good! It’s a recipe that reminds me fall is justr around the corner. YOur pictures are so good looking! I love the glaze on your bars!

  19. tianne replied:

    they look wonderful! thanks for a great choice.

  20. Ulrike replied:

    Great choice, thanks, we liked it very much. Next time I should add some ice cream.

  21. ostwestwind.twoday.net replied:

    Tuesdays with Dorie: Applesauce Spice Bars…

    … were this week’s pick for TWD by Karen of Something Sweet by Karen – spicy bars with a yummy glaze on top, easy to prepare, quickly disappeared, were made and enjoyed by other members of Tuesday’s with Dorie, especially by Karen

  22. Amber Marie replied:

    Thanks for a great pick this week! The vanilla ice cream looks good on top.

  23. Erin replied:

    Thanks for a great pick! These were delicious! I know what you mean about puppies. We got a puppy in June and I am constantly watching her!

  24. Jules replied:

    Thanks for choosing this one! My kids really enjoyed it!

  25. natalia replied:

    Ciao Karen ! Thank you so much for these bars they are a tresor I’ll make again and again ! Lovely pictures , of course…but where is the puppy ??

  26. Cecille replied:

    Loved them! Awesome choice!

  27. elra replied:

    Achingly good Karen! Love anything that has apple in it!

  28. Kim replied:

    These were wonderful. Great pick. Love the pictures.

  29. TWD #33: Applesauce Spice Bars « Keep Passing the Open Windows replied:

    […] #33: Applesauce Spice Bars By jenjw4 I made some variations to this recipe, chosen by Something Sweet by Karen, partly due to necessity, mostly due to an urge to […]

  30. Melissa replied:

    Great pick! Yours look better than the ones in the book!

  31. Applesauce Spice Bars « LA's In The Kitchen replied:

    […] TWD bakers to whip up. Please visit Karen at Something Sweet to see her yummy results and for the recipe, because it’s a really good one to try […]

  32. isa replied:

    Yours bars look delicious! Thanks so much for choosing this recipe.

  33. I Dream In Buttercream » Blog Archive » TWD-Applesauce Spice Bars replied:

    […] For this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection, you can find the recipe on Karen’s blog: Something Sweet by Karen or look on page 117 of Dorie’s book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. This entry was posted […]

  34. Charli replied:

    Amazing choice this week! And I couldn’t agree with you more–this is a desert best consumed with ice cream :)

  35. Leslie replied:

    This was a fantastic pick! Yours look amazing!

  36. Jen @ MaplenCornbread replied:

    Yours are absolutly amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love these bars and will make again and again! Thanks for hosting this week and chosing such a great recipe!!! :)

  37. les gourmandises d'Isa replied:

    Merci Karen pour le choix de cette recette ! ta photo est magnifique :)

  38. pamela replied:

    Congrats to you on the newest addition to your family! This was a yummy little treat. I am not normally ga-ga for apple desserts, but I thought the pic in Dorie’s book was really gorgeous and tempting. Thanks for choosing it. And how pretty is your picture of the bars with the ice cream? Wonderful.

  39. bridget replied:

    Wow, your bars looks so perfect. I can never get my bar cookies to look like that. Thanks for a fun choice! I enjoyed them even though I’m definitely not ready for fall.

  40. delightfullysweet replied:

    Your photos are amazing!

  41. Rhiani replied:

    Thanks for hosting this week and what a great choice – these were a hit at my house.

  42. vibi replied:

    Of all people it could fall on, it had to be you… one of my favorites! Darn.

    My pc broke down last week and got it back only tonite, didn’t expect it actually.

    But because ot was crazy hot these last few days, I just thought it would be alright for me not to participate this Thuesday… anyways I just couldn’t bare the thought of a blazing oven… I’m even going to stretch my mini holiday until next week! LOL

    But thanks for all the others who did enjoy the bars you picked! lol

  43. Jennifer replied:

    Your pictures are beautiful and this recipe was delicious. It occurred to me to put the glaze on ice cream, but I didn’t think about putting ice cream on the whole thing!

    Adorable puppy (it’s hard to imagine an animal that big is a “puppy”) but you can totally see her puppy spirit in the other pictures of her. Dogs are simply the best friend a girl can have!

  44. Margot replied:

    These were delicious and yours look fantastic! Congratulations on the new puppy! My boyfriend and I adopted a four-year old rescue dog in December and we were sooo tired the first month, I can only imagine what it’s like with a puppy.

  45. Amanda replied:

    Thank you for hosting this week Karen! I’m not a big apple baked goods fan but these were phenomenal! I admit, I wouldn’t have chosen them on my own, so I appreciate you doing so. Yours look beautiful! I have to playfully disagree with your assessment of not too many dishes though. LOL Between whisks, measuring spoons, spatulas, and little bowls I measure in to, I had a lot. But that’s ok, it was totally worth it! :)

  46. steph (whisk/spoon) replied:

    yes, it was a great choice– i’d been eyeing these up for a long time! yours look wonderful…i would’ve eaten the whole pan, too!

  47. pam replied:

    Everything is better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

  48. dorie replied:

    I am so, so happy you liked these — the bars are one of my favorites. And, as everyone else has said, yours look beautiful and so neat and so very delicious paired with ice cream.

    Glad to hear that your puppy is calming down and that you’ll be back to baking regularly. We’re coming into the best season for baking.

  49. Lauryn replied:

    Thanks for such an awesome pick this week! I absolutely LOVED these bars!! And doesn’t vanilla ice cream make everything better!?!?

  50. Kristilyn (Domestic Goddess) replied:

    Wow – these look decadent! And I love fall, so these would be perfect for my cravings. :-)



  51. Tracey replied:

    Thanks for hosting this week Karen! I absolutely loved your selection and had to give most of my bars away so I wouldn’t eat them all :) Your bars look amazing – I especially love that last photo with the ice cream. I imagine that would have been the perfect way to enjoy them!

  52. Jessica replied:

    These were the perfect hint of fall – thank you for picking this recipe! I loved them. I’m not such a summer person, so I’m actually looking forward to cooler weather and apple desserts.

  53. Jacque replied:

    Great pick! We really enjoyed these. Yours are picture perfect :)

  54. Lynne replied:

    Great pick, thanks. How wonderful to have a new puppy! My Yorkshire terrier is nearly three now, but still very much a puppy. He keeps me busy still.

  55. Michele replied:

    Wonderful choice!

  56. Erin replied:

    I really loved this recipe! Thanks for choosing such a great one!

  57. mix, mix... stir, stir » Blog Archive Applesauce Spice Bars become Coriander Caramel Apple Cake! | TableFare replied:

    […] of Something Sweet by Karen, picked this great recipe. You can see the actual Applesauce Spice Bars that were the inspiration […]

  58. Carol Peterman replied:

    I am weeks late in getting my post up, but not because I didn’t love these. I ate half the pan myself and then proceeded to create a cake version of the bars. I made a Coriander Caramel Apple Cake. Thanks so much for the great pick!

  59. MC replied:

    Oh man, are you trying to kill us with all that goodness? Looks delicious and what a perfect little treat for the upcoming Fall!

  60. Arlene replied:

    Three words: TO DIE FOR!

  61. Tuesdays with Dorie: Applesauce Bars « my famous recipe replied:

    […] to Karen of Something Sweet for selecting these applesauce bars.  You can find the recipe on her site or on pp. 117-118 of […]

  62. RobinSue replied:

    Hi Karen,
    Thanks for the comment about the pancake squares, glad you liked them! We are digging out from 20 inches of snow here which does make for a nice time to bake!
    Robin Sue

  63. Garacon de Croissant replied:

    The spice bars with ice cream look sooooo good. That’s what I want to have for dinner tonight!

  64. tom r. replied:

    Applesauce spice bars look yummy! Thanks for choosing such a great one! ;)

  65. Tina (Tangerine Tea) replied:

    I love the first pic in this post! I’m definitely going to have to try this out. Apple and spices – so comforting during winter :)

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  67. TWD Applesauce Spice Bars | Amanda's Cookin' replied:

    […] house who accepted them with open arms.  If you would like to try making these, click on over to Something Sweet by Karen, this week’s host for Tuesdays with Dorie, as she has the recipe posted there. Or, if you […]

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