Apple Slice

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This refined sugar free Apple Slice recipe features soft buttery base, naturally sweetened with honey, and crisp crumble topping, sandwiching a layer of delicately spiced tart apples.

apple slice at the centre of the image with some crumbled bits around it. there are apples, a white linen napkin, a jar of oats, and a bowl of vanilla glaze in the background.

This post was originally published on 17 September 2018 and updated with new images, more information on the recipe, and minor recipe changes on 4 September 2020.

A few months ago, Chris and I went on a day trip to Southend-on-Sea and it was just the break we needed. I got to breathe in some cleaner air and enjoyed one or two of the beach-side games, including an over-competitive game of mini golf.

By early afternoon, I was craving something sweet (as I usually do on the weekends!), so we wandered down the main road until we reached a side street with a small bakery. The shop front was barely four feet square, but they still managed to pack in a host of British favourites.

As you do on holiday, I selected something I hadn’t tried before: an apple slice. Covered in sparkling sugar and bursting with juicy apples, I couldn’t pass it up. It was an absolute delight and I knew I had to recreate a refined sugar free version for you!

After three failed attempts, I managed to do that little bakery proud with this Apple Slice recipe. A soft base lightly sweetened with honey supports a mound of cinnamon streaked apples and a crisp, melt-in-your-mouth crumble topping. This is autumn baking at its best, friends.

six apple slice squares are sitting on a silver wire rack. there is a book, mug of tea, and red apple in the background

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • The flavours and textures of this Apple Slice are what all my autumn baking dreams are made of! Tart cinnamony apples, sweet and crispy crumble topping, and a soft buttery base. What more could you want in a fall dessert?!
  • This is a super easy dessert to make, coming together in under an hour. It’s perfect for a weeknight or lunchbox treat, but also completely at home in the afternoon with a mug of tea.
  • We’re using pretty basic, minimal ingredients to make this Apple Slice recipe – you should have most of them on hand in the cupboard!
  • As always, this recipe is refined sugar free. The buttery base is naturally sweetened with honey and the crumble topping features delicious, caramelly coconut sugar.
an aerial shot of a square of apple slice on a white plate. there is a white linen napkin and the platter of squares also in the image

Ingredients in this apple slice square

  • Plain flour: Provides structure to the base layer as well as helps to create the crumble topping.
  • Unsalted butter: Our main source of fat for this recipe. Unsalted is best so that we can control the amount of salt.
  • Honey: To sweeten the base of this Apple Slice naturally, we’re using an unpasteurised runny honey.
  • Egg: Helps bind the base together.
  • Sea salt: To season!
  • Baking soda: This gives the base a little lift so that it doesn’t end up completely stodgy.
  • Firm baking apples: Firm apples are a must here! I like to use a Granny Smith or Braeburn apple.
  • Cinnamon: Apples and cinnamon – is there a better autumnal pair?!
  • Arrowroot powder: Helps prevent the apples from leaking all over the place. You can also use cornflour.
  • Rolled oats: I love adding a few oats to my crumbles. Gives it a lovely texture.
  • Coconut sugar: This helps sweeten the crumble layer of the Apple Slice naturally and lends a beautiful caramel note to the square.
an aerial shot of a square of apple slice on a white circular plate. there is a white napkin underneath and a mug of tea in the upper left corner.

How to make apple slice

I know it’s three layers, but this Apple Slice is actually a very easy recipe to do. Don’t be intimidated – if you follow the recipe card below, you shouldn’t have any problems! Here’s how to make it:

  1. Mix together the batter for the base and add it to a prepared baking tin. Smooth the top.
  2. Slice and layer the cinnamony apples on top of the base.
  3. Make the crumble topping and sprinkle on top of the apples.
  4. Bake.
  5. Slice and enjoy!

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • I find it’s easiest to prep all the layers before starting to build the slice. Start with the apples, then make the crumble, and finish with mixing together the base batter. Then you’ll be ready to assemble all at once.
  • Use tart, firm baking apples and slice them thinly. A firm apple will hold up much better in the oven than a soft eating apple – the tart flavour also comes through a lot better.
  • Peeling the apples will make it easier to eat, but you lose out on the nutrients by discarding the peel. You can make it either way. I usually prefer to leave the peel on.
  • Let it cool completely before slicing! This will ensure the whole slice doesn’t completely fall apart. Letting it set is key. Also, use a very hot knife when you’re cutting to make your life easier. Simply run it under some very hot water and dry with a paper towel before slicing.
  • This Apple Slice is best eaten on the day it is made. It will keep for 4 days, but the crumble just gets a little soggy.
This refined sugar free apple slice recipe is perfect to kick of your fall baking! It features a honey-sweetened buttery base, a layer of cinnamon apples, and a crisp crumble topping. Grab the full recipe on via @naturallysweetkitchen

Looking for more naturally sweet fruit desserts?

Apple Chai Cake
Blackberry Cheesecake Bars
Apple Crumble Cookies
No Bake White Chocolate Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake
15-Minute Apple Crisp
Apricot Upside Down Cake
Mandarin Orange Cake
Apricot and Hazelnut Cookies

If you make this recipe, let me know by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @naturallysweet_kitchen. I love seeing your creations and sharing them in my Stories. Or let me know you love this Apple Slice recipe by leaving a comment and rating below!

six apple slice squares on a silver wire rack. it is sitting on a wooden background.
5 from 1 vote

Apple Slice

This refined sugar free Apple Slice recipe features soft buttery base, naturally sweetened with honey, and crisp crumble topping, sandwiching a layer of delicately spiced tart apples.

Category Bars, Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword apple cake slice, Apple Slice
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 9 squares
Author Amanda | Naturally Sweet Kitchen


Base Layer

  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g unpasteurised honey
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 125 g unbleached plain flour
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda

Apple Layer

  • 250 g peeled and thinly sliced tart baking apples (about 2 medium apples)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp arrowroot powder

Crumble Layer

  • 60 g unbleached plain flour
  • 40 g rolled oats
  • 40 g coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50 g unsalted butter, melted


Base Layer

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) and grease and line an 8 x 8 baking tin with non-stick paper. Allow a few inches of paper overhanging the sides for easy removal.
  2. Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and honey until smooth. Crack in the egg and beat to combine.

  3. Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda into the wet ingredients and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and level the top. Set aside.

Apple Layer

  1. Toss together the apples, cinnamon, and arrowroot powder until well coated.

  2. Layer the apple slices flat on top of the base batter in the baking tin. Set aside.

Crumble Layer

  1. Whisk together the flour, oats, coconut sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  2. Pour in the melted butter and mix together with a fork until the dry ingredients are coated and crumbled.

  3. Evenly cover the apple layer with the crumble mixture.
  4. Bake the apple slice for 33-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the tin from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Then lift the slice from the tin and allow to cool completely.


  • This apple slice is best consumed the day it is made to take advantage of the crisp crumble. It will stay fresh sealed in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, but it will become softer.
  • I used Granny Smith apples when testing this recipe. You could also use Bramley, Cortland, Braeburn, or any other crisp, tart apple. Don’t use juicy apples as they will create too much moisture.

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  1. I need to have a sweet treat for a dinner this weekend and this looks like just the thing to try. Good fruit is tough to find this time of year, so this apple treat is just the thing. I will let you know it goes. So excited to try it.

    1. Hi Susie! There is no vanilla in this recipe – my apologies for the typo! I’ve fixed the instructions now, so it should reflect the ingredients correctly. Sorry for the confusion!

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