The Perfect Fall Recipe: Caramel Apple Squares

Once upon a time, I worked as the events diva at Deseret Book. Essentially, I oversaw the promotional events at their 38 stores and corporate office. It was a dream gig and I loved interacting with many inspiring authors and church leaders.

One of my favorite events was when we launched the cookbook, Lion House Entertaining. If you’re not familiar with the Lion House and its amazing history, the next time you are in Salt Lake City you MUST stop by this historical home of Brigham Young, which has been converted into a church-run restaurant. The Lion House has the most melt-in-your-mouth rolls you’ve ever tried (or if you live close to a Deseret Book, many of them have in-house pantries).

For the book launch party, we commissioned the Lion House’s cooks to make several of the recipes from the book–everything from what to serve at brunches to formal or holiday dinners to kid’s birthday parties to dessert buffets.

My very favorite dish from that event has become my must-make treat every fall. I’ve tweaked it quite a bit and prefer to make my own caramel because, let’s face it, homemade is better than those store-bought caramels any day. Plus, there’s always plenty of caramel leftover so we like to make caramel apples and popcorn. But using store-bought is much quicker and delicious as well so you can’t go wrong.

Unless you choose not to make this recipe and that is very, very wrong.


Caramel Apple Squares

1 3/4 cup of flour
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, cold
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
2 21-ounce cans of apple pie filling

20 caramels, unwrapped
1 can sweetened condensed milk


1 cup butter
2 cups of brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk


  •  In a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of this crumb mixture, press the remaining mixture on the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking pan.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes; remove from oven. Add the nuts to the reserved mixture and set aside.

    Crumble topping

Caramel Option 1

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the caramels with the condensed milk, stirring until smooth.

Caramel Option 2

Cook the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Stir frequently and heat to a boil and soft-ball stage (usually about 5 minutes of boiling). Note: You’ll only need about half of the caramel for the recipe so feel free to use it for other treats.

  • Spoon the apple filling over the baked crust, top with the caramel mixture, then crumble the reserved crumb mixture over the top.
  • Bake approximately 30 minutes or until set. Cool and cut into squares. This may be served warm with ice cream.

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