Apple Squares Recipe: Nutritious, Versatile, and Easy to Make

Apple squares feature a few key ingredients to create their signature taste and texture. You’ll need apples, usually tart varieties like Granny Smith. These apples provide a balance of sweetness and tanginess. Flour forms the base of the crust, while butter adds richness and a flaky texture. Sugar sweetens the dish, and cinnamon complements the apples with a warm, spicy aroma. Eggs help bind the ingredients, ensuring the squares hold together. Optional add-ins include nuts like walnuts, enhancing the crunch.

The Origin of Apple Squares

Apple squares’ origin isn’t definitively documented, but they appear to be a variation of traditional apple desserts found in many cultures. These desserts, often simple and utilizing seasonal fruit, have roots in European and American baking traditions. Apple squares likely evolved as a convenient way to enjoy apples’ flavors in a portable form. This treat aligns with both historical practices of making fruit-based pastries and modern preferences for easy-to-make, versatile desserts.

How to Make Apple Squares

Choosing the Right Apples

Selecting the right apples ensures your apple squares have a balanced flavor and texture. Tart apples like Granny Smith are ideal as they retain their shape and offer a pleasant contrast to the sweetness of the crust. Fuji and Honeycrisp are other good options, bringing a unique sweetness and crunch. Always choose fresh, firm apples without bruises for the best results.

  1. Prepare Ingredients: Gather 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of unsalted butter, 1 cup of sugar, 4 tart apples, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and 2 eggs. Optionally, add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.
  2. Preheat Oven and Prep Pan: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  3. Make the Crust and Topping: Mix flour, sugar, and butter in a bowl until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture for the topping.
  4. Add Eggs: Beat 2 eggs and mix into the larger portion of the crumbly mixture to form the crust.
  5. Prepare Apples: Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Toss them in a bowl with cinnamon until evenly coated.
  6. Assemble: Press the egg mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Layer the apple slices on top. Sprinkle the reserved crumbly mixture over the apples.
  7. Bake: Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
  8. Cool and Serve: Allow the apple squares to cool in the pan. Once cooled, cut them into portions and serve.

Following these steps creates delicious apple squares with a perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors, ideal for any occasion.

Nutritional Benefits of Apple Squares

Healthy Ingredients Breakdown

Apple squares feature a variety of healthy ingredients. Apples provide fiber, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. Specifically, one medium apple offers around 4 grams of fiber, 20% of the daily vitamin C requirement, and various polyphenols which act as antioxidants.

Whole wheat flour can be used for the crust, adding more fiber and essential nutrients like B-vitamins, iron, and magnesium. Substituting refined sugar with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup enhances the nutritional profile by incorporating additional minerals and antioxidants.

Caloric Content Overview

Calories in apple squares depend on the specific recipe but typically range between 150 and 250 per serving. Here’s a rough breakdown of caloric contributions from key ingredients:

Ingredient Calories Per Serving
Apples 95
Whole Wheat Flour 50
Butter 100
Natural Sweeteners 30

By choosing natural ingredients and moderating portion sizes, you can enjoy apple squares as part of a balanced diet.

Variations of Apple Squares

Gluten-Free Apple Squares

Gluten-free apple squares cater to individuals who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. Replace the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour blends, which often include rice, almond, and coconut flours. Ensure these blends, certified as gluten-free, prevent cross-contamination. Include xanthan gum to help the batter bind and achieve the desired texture. Incorporating finely diced apples into the mix adds moisture, compensating for the dryness that gluten-free flours sometimes bring.

Vegan Alternatives

Vegan apple squares eliminate all animal products, making them suitable for vegans and those with dairy or egg allergies. Instead of butter, use coconut oil or vegan butter substitutes. Replace eggs with flaxseed meal or chia seeds soaked in water, which mimic the binding properties of eggs. Opt for plant-based milk like almond milk or oat milk to enhance the flavor. Incorporate applesauce or mashed bananas to add sweetness and moisture, while keeping the squares tender and soft.

Where to Find the Best Apple Squares

Online Resources

You can discover high-quality apple squares through various online platforms. Many bakeries and dessert shops sell apple squares on their websites, offering detailed product descriptions and customer reviews. Notable online stores include Goldbelly and Harry & David, providing delivery services across the U.S. Another option is to explore recipe-sharing platforms like AllRecipes and Food Network, where you can find top-rated apple square recipes.

Local Bakery Recommendations

Your local bakery often has the freshest and most authentic apple squares. Visit renowned bakeries like Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, Breads Bakery in New York City, and Porto’s Bakery in Los Angeles to taste exceptional apple squares. Additionally, farmers’ markets usually feature local bakeries that sell freshly baked apple squares, supporting regional businesses. Check bakery review sites such as Yelp or Google Reviews to find top-rated options in your area.


Apple squares offer a delightful blend of taste and nutrition, making them a versatile treat for any occasion. With options to cater to various dietary needs, from gluten-free to vegan, you can easily find or make a version that suits your preferences. Whether you choose to bake them at home or seek out the best from local bakeries or online stores, apple squares are a delicious and healthy addition to your culinary repertoire. Enjoy experimenting with different recipes and ingredients to find your perfect apple square.

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