Caramel apple fans, rejoice! These Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars are utterly delicious! A spice cake base with a gooey apple butter filling and a drizzling of caramel finishes these outrageously awesome bars.
So because I need new friends, I joined that site Meet-Up.
If you don’t know, it’s kinda like a dating site but for finding hobby groups and making new friends. Totally low-pressure, easygoing stuff.
I joined a group that focuses around making new girlfriends because I desperately need more of those. (And my ‘more’, I mean any).
And you know what? It went well, even according to me, perpetual pessimist of all things.
We met at a lovely local lady’s house and played card games for a few hours, had some wine, and just chatted. I couldn’t have asked for a better, more laid-back first time hanging out with complete strangers. So if any of y’all are reading this, thanks for the good time, ladies!
Honestly? I was just glad I didn’t gravitate toward the host’s cat like I normally do at places where I don’t know anyone. I used to have this ex-boyfriend who loved to go to parties. At every party, there were throngs of people I went to high school with, but they were people I didn’t really hang out with in high school, either, so it was awkward making small talk with someone who sat behind me in math class second period for 6 months.
Anyway, whenever I’d be at these parties – and I’m not a big drinker anyway, so I’d be nursing a water bottle – I’d hang out in the corner and stalk the animal that lived there. I’d pet it and scratch it and telepathically beg said animal to stay with me and never leave my side… only to have said animal bolt the second it sensed a stage-five clinger in its presence.
But I’m happy to report I did not scare away any animals at this Meet-Up. #Firsts
I should have brought these Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars with me to the game night, but instead I brought chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were fine, of course – but there’s something so warm and fall-like about these bars. Maybe it’s the apple butter loaded inside each bite, or the buttery caramel that reminds me of apple-picking and falling leaves.
Caramel Apple Butter Gooey Bars. They make a good impression!
- FOR CRUST:
- 1 box spice cake mix
- 1 egg
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- FOR FILLING & DRIZZLE:
- 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup apple butter (homemade or prepared)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp apple pie spice
- 3 eggs
- 1 (16 oz) box powdered sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- Caramel sauce or dulce de leche for drizzling, recommended
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the spice cake mix, egg and melted butter until a thick dough forms. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, apple butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. Add in the vanilla extract, apple pie spice and eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the box of powdered sugar, mixing well, followed by the melted butter. Beat until mixed together.
- Pour the apple butter filling on top of the crust and bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until just about set. The center will be slightly jiggly - that's okay as it will continue to set up as it cools. If the center is sloshing around, bake it for a little longer using 5-minute increments.
- Cool the bars completely, then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or until set. Cut into bars and drizzle with caramel sauce or dulce de leche before serving.
Gooey, chewy, thick and perfectly spiced for fall! I can’t wait for you guys to give these a try!
Have a super sweet day!