These apple spice bars are an all-time favorite. Deliciously spiced and topped with cream cheese frosting, dried apple and walnuts, perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1 ¾ cups packed light-brown sugar
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
3 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Cream Cheese Frosting
¼ cup all purpose flour
8 oz cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
¾ apple butter
¼ brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped walnuts and dried sliced apples (optional)
Directions for Apple Spice Bars
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan well with non-stick baking spray then lightly dust with flour and shake out excess. Set pans aside.
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice and set aside.
Pour brown sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Pour in applesauce, set mixer with paddle attachment and blend until well combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl.Mix in eggs and pure vanilla extract.
Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed, then blend in buttermilk, add remaining 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, apple butter, the brown sugar and flour, beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Remove pan from oven. Pour cream cheese mixture over partially baked cake. Sprinkle walnut on top. Return to oven.
Bake for 20 minutes more. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 12 bars.