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Apple Chunkies - A vintage recipe for sweet little bars stuffed with chunks of apples and walnuts.

Among the stash of old recipes I was fortunate enough to inherit from my mother, we found a little pink notebook with – you guessed it – even more recipes that my mother had written down!

The notebook contained mostly dessert recipes (my mom had quite the sweet tooth!) and this recipe called Apple Chunkies immediately caught our eye!

Apple Chunkies - A vintage recipe for sweet little bars stuffed with chunks of apples and walnuts.

Apple Chunkies are super simple to make and are great when you need a quick and easy dessert! A sweet butter and vanilla batter is mixed up with chunks of apples and chopped walnuts – then baked. (How easy is that!?)


Apple Chunkies - A vintage recipe for sweet little bars stuffed with chunks of apples and walnuts.

These Apple Chunkies are sweet and dense and served cut into small little squares for serving and nibbling! And although the original recipe in my mother’s notebook did not include this – we added a simple caramel glaze to the top of the squares – but that is totally optional!

So – if you’re going apple picking this season – be sure to add these sweet little Apple Chunkies to your baking schedule! Enjoy!

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Apple Chunkies

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 pieces


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 peeled and cored Gala apple, cut into ½ inch chunks (or any hard baking apple will also work)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

For the Glaze (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium pan melt butter and remove from heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in sugar to dissolve. Add vanilla and stir again.
  3. In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Once the sugar mixture is cool, blend in the egg and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the dry mix to the sugar mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Add the apples and nuts and stir.
  7. Butter an 8X8 pan and spread batter in evenly.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  9. While the pan bakes, place glaze mixture in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil on medium and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Once the pan comes out of the oven, let sit for five minutes then spread the glaze over the top. If the glaze tightened up while the pan baked, heat slightly to a spreadable consistency. The glaze should be the consistency of a soft jam or spread and not runny.
  11. With a sharp knife, cut rows 4 x 4 into 16 pieces.
  12. With a spatula, remove each piece to a platter and cool, or serve slightly warm.

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Apple Chunkies - A vintage recipe for sweet little bars stuffed with chunks of apples and walnuts.


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  • Donna Levy wrote:

    I made the apple chunkies today. They are delicious and easy to make. I used gala apples but mine didn’t bake as high as the photo and not as cake like, more of a chewy texture, but delicious none the less. Thank you for this and all of your other wonderful recipes.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Donna! Did you happen to use a larger pan (maybe 9×9 instead of 8×8)? That will definitely cause a flatter result.

  • Julie Mandel wrote:

    How long ahead can you make these and they be fresh to serve?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Julie – I would probably bake them no more than a day ahead of serving.

  • Annie wrote:

    Delicious, simple-to-make dessert. Because I am lazy, I didn’t make the sauce – just served it with vanilla ice cream. A perfect fall dessert. Next time I will add a couple of minutes to the bake time for extra browning.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Annie!

  • Tammy wrote:

    This was a very easy delicious cake. The caramel topping makes it.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Tammy!

  • Claudia Deary wrote:

    When freezing this do you freeze with the glaze on or without and then glaze later?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Claudia – I’d suggest freezing it without the glaze, and then when you’r ready to serve, thaw and glaze at that time.

  • Sabrina wrote:

    So easy and delicious! My family loved it!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Sabrina! Glad you are enjoying the recipe as much as we do!

  • Jan wrote:

    Totally Perfect! Just the apple dessert I was looking for. I am tired of cinnamon in every apple dessert you can think of so this totally fit the bill – simple, caramel-y and chock full of tart apples ( I used Gravensteins) and walnuts – and no cinnamon! This recipe is a keeper, thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jan – glad you liked the recipe!

  • 2pots2cook wrote:

    Martha, you really do great dishes ! Thank you very much !

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you!

  • Sunny wrote:

    Great recipe! Can I double the recipe and bake in 9×13 pan? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Sunny – the baking time will probably differ a bit but a double recipe should fill a 9×13 pan. Enjoy!

  • Dainette wrote:

    I made the best apple cake and it was very good

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Hannah wrote:

    These look delicious. Do they freeze well?

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Hannah – Yes – you can freeze these (just wrap tightly before doing so!).

  • Dawn Taylor wrote:

    Can you double the recipe for a 9×13 pan?

    Looks delish! 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Dawn – My apologies for the delay in responding – we just turned from a family vacation last night. Sure – you can double the recipe and a 9 x 13-inch pan should be about right. The cooking time may vary so just watch it as it bakes!

  • Dana wrote:

    Hi … the flavor of these bars are delicious! Question, please … I placed the glaze over them as directed right out the oven. However, the bars came out very gooey – Im pretty sure I cooked them long enough. I used half/half instead of milk for the glaze. I don’t think that was it? Any thoughts?

    • Martha wrote:

      It’s so hard to tell what went wrong Dana without being in the kitchen with you Dana! With baked goods, sometimes it can be differences in altitude, how the flour is measured, the size of the eggs used (we use large), etc. I’m sorry you were disappointed with the results. If they were too gooey, maybe add a little more flour the next time? Or, now that I’m writing this, it could be the type of apple used. Macintosh will bake down to a very mushy consistency versus other types that stay more firm during baking. Hope that helps!

  • Jackie B wrote:

    Can these recipes be made into GF and if so what type of flour would you use . Looking forward to your response.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jackie – I’ve only made the recipe as written. I’ve heard good things about the King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour – that might be an option to try? Please let us know how it comes out!

  • Martha wrote:

    Hi Lisa – I’m sorry you had trouble getting the bars out of the pan!.I would recommend letting them cool before you try to remove them from the pan (that should help). Also, our baking pan had a non-stick coating (which also helps prevent sticking) but if yours isn’t non-stick, you could try lining the pan with foil or parchment paper – leaving the ends long enough over the edges of the pan so that it create a handle, then you could lift the baked (and cooled) dessert out of the pan before cutting it into squares. Hope that helps!

  • Marge wrote:

    On this page it says 1/4 cup butter but on the introduction page it says 3/8 cup of butter. What is correct?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Marge – My apologies for the delay in responding…we’ve been away for the week. I’m not sure which introduction page you are referring to (perhaps Pinterest?) – but I would follow the recipe card as written on our site. Butter is used in two places within the recipe. Hope that helps!

  • Lisa wrote:

    Hi, I love your blog and enjoy trying many of your recipes during the week. I am making the apple chunkies now and as I added the sugar to the butter, it absorbed the butter as I was stirring and therefore did not really dissolve. Will this still have the same texture? Should I have done something differently? Thanks so much for sharing your family’s recipes!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lisa – Thank you so much! I think you’ll be fine! As it bakes in the oven the sugar should dissolve the rest of the way. Hope you enjoy the recipe and thanks for following our blog! We appreciate it!

  • Renee – Kudos Kitchen wrote:

    What a treasure to have had written recipes from your mom! These apple chunkies look so great and I love their name. I honestly can’t wait to try these!

  • Colleen (Souffle Bombay) wrote:

    So fantastic you have hand written recipes from your mom,,,what a treasure! I’d like to peruse them while nibbling on her Apple Chunkies…Perfect with a spit of tea!

  • Marjory @ Dinner-Mom wrote:

    It’s just awesome that you found your mom’s fantastic recipe. I love the chunky apples!

  • C wrote:

    Thank You for posting Your Mother’s recipe. I never knew this could be done! I was all out of milk and used water to make the glaze and still so good. ( next time I will be sure to have milk !) This sure is a keeper!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you C! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Carolyn wrote:

    Oh yum, I’d love one right now with my coffee.

  • Linda R– wrote:

    I must tell you a short story regarding a conversation I recently had with a friend who asked why I loved A Family Feast blog. I simply stated your recipes are honest,unpretentious, with enough creativity and family heritage to take them beyond ordinary.
    To my delight, yesterday’s post proved my point, as did today’s recipe from your Mother.
    With a bag of freshly picked pears sitting on my counter, I think I might try these in your Apple Chunkies recipe. The pears, an heirloom variety from a friend’s farm, are much firmer than market ripened pears. What do you think?
    Your darling daughter is blessed to be growing up in such a loving family.
    God bless,

    • Martha wrote:

      Oh my goodness Linda – thank you! You’ve made my day and I can’t wait to show Jack your note when he gets home later today! It is exactly who we are – and I’m so glad it comes through! We just love cooking and sharing recipes (and love hearing that our readers enjoy them too!) So – yes – pears will absolutely work for this recipe! If you are worried about the pears being too firm even after baking, you could try sauteeing them in a pan with just a little bit of butter to soften them a little before adding them to the batter. Please let us know how it comes out! Thank you again for writing today! PS..We are blessed to have such a great little girl in our lives! 🙂 Have a wonderful day! Martha

  • Medeja wrote:

    I like such easy and delicious apple recipes! They look yummy!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Medeja! (Me too!) 🙂

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