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September Gluten Free Baking Challenge 2019

Get in the kitchen and get ready to bake the September Gluten Free Baking Challenge recipe! This month, we’re baking with apples and making an easy seasonal gluten free dessert!

Gluten Free Baking Challenge image hosted by What The Fork Food Blog

Welcome back to the Gluten Free Baking Challenge! We took the summer off because honestly, summer just isn’t the best time for baking. It’s too hot and we’re way more concerned with making sure we get enough beach days and family time in!

As usual, I polled the Gluten Free Baking Club to see what recipe they wanted to make for the first baking challenge back after the break. The choices were Apple Pie Bars, Apple Pie, Apple Muffins, or Apple Cheesecake.

All really tasty options, if you ask me. SUPER hard to choose between them, right?! But there was one clear winner. I mean, it really is a win-win whichever recipe was chosen, right? 

I’m not gonna lie, the recipe the group chose took a little bit of tweaking. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be but is anything ever?? 🙈😅

This recipe took me several test batches to get right but the extra effort was worth it. It’s a total mouthwatering result that I know you’re going to love as much as I do. And I really love it because I may or may not have had a few of the the extras for breakfast a few days.


The September Gluten Free Baking Challenge Recipe is ….

Gluten Free Apple Pie Bars 🍏🍎

This Fall-forward dessert features a shortbread-like crust, apple filling, and a crumb topping. These apple pie bars taste just like apple pie but with much less work!

They’re perfect for bringing to Fall/Harvest parties or for sweet snacks to share with family, friends, or co-workers. Time to get yourself to the orchard and pick way too many apples!

These easy Gluten Free Apple Pie Bars taste just like apple pie but are less work to make! They have a shortbread-like crust, homemade apple pie filling, and crumb topping. The topping is from the same dough as the crust so they’re simple to make! For an even easier version, use a can of apple pie filling! This is a great fall dessert recipe that’s perfect for harvest parties, Halloween parties, and potlucks. Visit for more! #glutenfree #applpie #applerecipes #desserts

Tips for Making Apple Pie Bars

  • Don’t use Macintosh Apples in this recipe, they bake up too mushy for bars.
  • This recipe can be doubled. If you want a larger batch to feed a bigger crowd, you can double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13 inch pan. You may need to increase the baking time a bit.
  • Get more tips in the Gluten Free Apple Pie Bars post.

Where To Share Your Photos

Share your photos to one or more, mentioned below. Only one is required as an entry for the giveaway so don’t feel like you need to share everywhere!

  1. Instagram – Share your photo of the Gluten Free Baking Challenge recipe to your public Instagram account. (If it’s a private account, I won’t be able to see it.)
    • To qualify, you must use the #gfbakingchallenge and tag @whattheforkfoodblog
    • Then, you must enter the link to your Instagram post in the giveaway form below.
  2. Facebook Group – If you’re a member of the Gluten Free Baking Club Facebook group, you can post your image there.
    • To qualify for the prize, include the #gfbakingchallenge in your post!
    • Once your post is approved, grab the link and to the post and enter it into the giveaway form below.
    • Click here to request to join the group.
  3. Facebook Page – Share your photo to my What The Fork Food Blog Facebook page with the official baking challenge hashtag, #gfbakingchallenge then enter the link to your post into the giveaway form below.

Sliced Gluten Free Apple Pie Bars on unbleached parchment paper

The September Gluten Free Baking Challenge Prize

This month’s gluten free baking challenge prize is a $50 Amazon eGift Card. Please note, your chance of winning the challenge prize has nothing to do with photo quality. Winner will be randomly drawn from the giveaway form. There will be additional entries to increase your chances of winning.

To be eligible for the prize, you must use the entry form to enter. The giveaway form is located at the end of this post directly after the recipe. All winning entries will be verified and winners will be contacted by email.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and hashtag #whattheforkfoodblog or tag @whattheforkfoodblog – I love seeing what you make!
If you love gluten free baking recipes, be sure to follow me on social media so you never miss a post:
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Sliced Gluten Free Apple Pie Bars on unbleached parchment paper

Gluten Free Apple Pie Bars

Yield: Makes 16 Bars
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This is an easy recipe for Gluten Free Apple Pie Bars with a shortbread crust and crumb topping. They’ve got all the flavor of apple pie without the work of making a pie crust!


For the Crust/Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups (205 g) gluten free flour (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup (107 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2 g) fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, cubed + cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Apple Pie Filling

  • 4 medium apples, sliced - about 4 1/2 cups sliced apples or 550-575 g (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (21 g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2 g) ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves


    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or spray well with non-stick spray.
    2. To make the crust, add the gluten free flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, xanthan gum (if using), baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add the cold, cubed butter and vanilla extract. Pulse until the butter is incorporated with the dry ingredients and a pliable dough has formed.
    3. Transfer 2/3 of the dough to the prepared baking pan and press into the bottom of the pan making sure it’s evenly distributed. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes (or until slightly browned).
    4. While the crust is baking make the apple pie filling by mixing the sliced apples, fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, cornstarch, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and the pinch of cloves together in a large bowl. Make sure all the apples are coated with the spices!
    5. When the crust is done baking, add the apple filling to the baking pan (the crust can be warm out of the oven). Layer the apples as evenly as possible. Cover the apples with the remaining dough by crumbling it over the top of the apples. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the apple filling is bubbling around the edges of the pan and the crumb topping is beautifully browned.
    6. Cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan. Cut into 16 squares and serve at room temperature.
    7. Store leftover bars in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.


  1. I use my Nightshade-Free Gluten Free Flour Mix in this recipe. If you use a flour blend than contains xanthan gum, omit the amount called for in the recipe.
  2. I used 2 Granny Smith Apples and 2 Golden Delicious Apples in this recipe.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 91Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g

Nutrition Facts are estimated. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

September 2019 Gluten Free Baking Challenge

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Sunday 9th of October 2022

Your recipient is wrong I measured exactly what you had for ingredients following your recipe. I question dough recipe and was right to do so. There was not enough butter in this recipe to form a dough of any sort and that is exactly the way it cooked up, dust. Disgusting! Waste of time!

Karen Williams

Sunday 1st of September 2019

I always bake with McIntosh apples, even for recipes that call for another type. I just really prefer the taste and soft, mushy (when baked) texture to them. I dislike apple pies where the apples hold their shape and are firm. If I were to disregard your advice to not use McIntosh do you think it would totally ruin the bars or just require a fork to eat them?


Sunday 1st of September 2019

Can coconut sugar be substituted for the cane sugar? Thanks! I love fall baking!!!


Thursday 12th of September 2019

I haven't tried this recipe with coconut flour but if you do, let me know how it turns out for you.

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