Dulce de Leche Apple Bars with Browned Butter Icing

Whenever I come across a recipe that includes the words “dulce de leche,” I’m immediately intrigued. I’m a caramel lover, you see, and dulce de leche puts caramel to shame. It’s infinitely more decadent and creamy, and it does magical things to baked goods too.

The latest dulce recipe that captured my full- attention: Dulce de Leche Apple Bars with Browned Butter Icing.

I’ve never made my own dulce de leche, though I’ve heard it’s quite easy to do. My fear is that I might eat it by the spoonful. For now, I’m happy to find it canned -in my grocery store’s Latin food aisle.

The dulce de leche is swirled into an appley batter. More appley batter is then spooned on top.

For the icing, butter is quickly browned in a saucepan and then mixed with powdered sugar, vanilla and cream. If you pour it on quickly, you can simply tip the pan to and fro until the bars are covered evenly. I added a teeny bit too much cream, and therefore my icing was slightly dribbly (but that just added to the drool factor needed for picture-taking purposes). If you’re careful when mixing your icing, yours will set up more firmly than mine

See that dulce de leche hidden inside? That there is pure heaven.

These cut up most easily when chilled until firm. A long, thin knife wiped off after each cut ensures clean edges.

The dulce had me so captivated that I nearly forgot to mention the fresh apple chunks. They were present throughout the bars too, but the dulce was the star of the bar.

I didn’t want these dangerous treats lying around our house, so I brought them to the teachers today. Those teachers at my son’s school get weekly treats from me, and so far… this is the treat that was most raved about. They left me a friendly note of thanks on the empty tray and pretty much demanded the recipe. “It’s all yours,” I told them, “but make at your own risk. That dulce de leche is addicting stuff.”

This recipe can be found here:  Dulce de Leche Apple Bars with Browned Butter Icing

Leave a Comment

80 Responses to “Dulce de Leche Apple Bars with Browned Butter Icing”

  1. 1

    mikky — October 9, 2008 @ 8:31 AM

    those teachers are so lucky to have your son as their student… what a treat!!! :)

  2. 2

    canarygirl — October 9, 2008 @ 10:13 AM

    Oh. My. Gawd. How am I ever going to lose any weight when there are dulce de leche bars to be had? Hmm? My mouth is totally watering right now. I think I may need a napkin even.

  3. 3

    Debbie — October 9, 2008 @ 10:56 AM

    Wow the bars looks delicious. I am going away to the mountains this weekend and going apple picking. I can see me coming back with tons of apples. I will try this recipe. Thanks so much!

  4. 4

    Mary Coleman — October 9, 2008 @ 11:26 AM

    dulce de leche and apple and browned butter icing?
    i feel my waist expanding as i write.

  5. 5

    Adam — October 9, 2008 @ 11:47 AM

    Wow, I don’t know how that many stars can live together. The apple chunks, the dulce, the icing… it’s a total harmony :) Awesome job :)

  6. 6

    Heather — October 9, 2008 @ 11:55 AM

    mmmmmmm those look delicious! and i definitely drooled over the pictures! i love the idea of brown butter. i am going to have to try it soon!!

  7. 7

    Leslie — October 9, 2008 @ 11:59 AM

    Ahhh..dulce de Leche..I DO eat it by the spoonful! Yummo.
    I printed off this recipe and I am sooo going to have to make it!

  8. 8

    April — October 9, 2008 @ 12:47 PM

    Wow! these look so good!! I would love to have one now with my coffee! or two…

  9. 9

    Katherine Aucoin — October 9, 2008 @ 12:53 PM

    You had me at dulce! I am drolling, I have to make these!

  10. 10

    Barbara Bakes — October 9, 2008 @ 12:53 PM

    I haven’t ever bought dulce de leche. I feel so behind the times. I’m going to have to try this recipe!

  11. 11

    Deborah — October 9, 2008 @ 1:56 PM

    I’m a sucker for dulce de leche as well, and I wouldn’t be able to pass up these bars!

  12. 12

    Teresa Cordero Cordell — October 9, 2008 @ 1:59 PM

    Boy oh boy, do I want a piece. Or maybe two. With a giant cup of fresh brewed coffee, my morning would be complete. Great pictures.

  13. 13

    anudivya — October 9, 2008 @ 2:24 PM

    Looks delicious… I love caramel too, but the problem is not spoonfuls in my case, it is by the jar! Terrible, ain’t I?

  14. 14

    Ashley — October 9, 2008 @ 2:37 PM

    Ooooh. That looks delicious.

  15. 15

    Sandie — October 9, 2008 @ 2:52 PM

    YUM. This post needs to come with a warning label, “May be dangerous to your hips!”

    These look delicious, of course, I’m a huge Dulce de Leche fan myself…

    ahhh…the joys/curse of having a sweet tooth…

  16. 16

    Prudy — October 9, 2008 @ 3:00 PM

    I can only imagine how quickly that flew out of the teacher’s lounge. That looks like pure delicious evil.

  17. 17

    Katy — October 9, 2008 @ 3:02 PM

    oh my gosh, these look amazing! i agree that dulce de leche is pretty much the best flavor ever.

  18. 18

    Stephanie — October 9, 2008 @ 3:22 PM

    Oh. Wow. That looks so incredible! I love caramel too, so I think I would find these absolutely irresistible! Good job taking them to your sons teachers instead of eating them all yourself. I don’t know if I could have displayed that much self control! :-)

  19. 19

    Megan — October 9, 2008 @ 3:24 PM

    Ohhh…Yummy! I’ll start the coffee, you bring the bars! :)
    I bookmarked this one for sure.

  20. 20

    Ivy — October 9, 2008 @ 3:28 PM

    Wow, these look delicious. Have you posted the dulce di leche recipe as I can’t find any at the stores.

  21. 21

    The Blonde Duck — October 9, 2008 @ 3:34 PM

    Those look positively addictive! I have to make those!

  22. 22

    Happy cook — October 9, 2008 @ 3:35 PM

    Woooooooooow They looks absloutley DELICIOUS.
    I would love to have more than one piece.

  23. 23

    Gretchen Noelle — October 9, 2008 @ 4:49 PM

    These look YUM!

  24. 24

    Sharon — October 9, 2008 @ 5:09 PM

    The drool factor is definitely high! Those are some gorgeous bars and there are some lucky teachers out there!

  25. 25

    Emily — October 9, 2008 @ 5:49 PM

    Oh I am a caramel girl too! What a great recipe!

  26. 26

    Emiline — October 9, 2008 @ 7:10 PM

    Haha, I love that you made the frosting consistency a little loose for the pictures.
    You’re absolutely right! We love the dripping of the frosting.

  27. 27

    Peter M — October 9, 2008 @ 7:45 PM

    Dulce de Leche gives me shivers…it’s that good.

    Lori, have you/do have a preferred method of make it? I want to try my hand at it.

  28. 28

    Maria — October 9, 2008 @ 8:02 PM

    These bars look fantastic and so nice of you to share!

  29. 29

    RecipeGirl — October 9, 2008 @ 8:10 PM

    Hi folks,
    A couple of you asked if I have a recipe for DDL. I do not. But you might try googling it as I’m sure you’ll get a handful of methods that pop up! Thanks :)

  30. 30

    Katrina — October 9, 2008 @ 8:30 PM

    You’ve done it again. Looks yummy!

  31. 31

    Clumbsy Cookie — October 9, 2008 @ 9:32 PM

    Oh yes, I’m a dulce de leche fan as well! They are amazing bars!

  32. 32

    Melanie — October 9, 2008 @ 10:11 PM

    Wow, those do look downright heavenly. I’m always amazed by your impressive goodies!

  33. 33

    Nicole — October 9, 2008 @ 10:12 PM

    Oh boy…. these look rich and yummy. A new twist to the caramel apple! I am like you … say caramel or dulce de leche and my ears perk up!!!

  34. 34

    chou — October 9, 2008 @ 10:36 PM

    Anything with dulce de leche is to be loved.

  35. 35

    That Girl — October 9, 2008 @ 11:21 PM

    I feel the same way as you do about dulce du leche

  36. 36

    Isa — October 10, 2008 @ 12:07 AM

    I’m a dulce de leche lover too. And dulce de leche with apples is one of the best combos… so, yeah, I’m saying that those bars look freaking good! Thanks for sharing

  37. 37

    noble pig — October 10, 2008 @ 12:09 AM

    OMG these look absolutely fabulous. What a recipe…you have here. I can only imagine the dulce de leche…wowzer.

  38. 38

    Marisa — October 10, 2008 @ 12:33 AM

    Those look absolutely amazing! I just love your blog! I know you’re probably already getting lots of awards–but check out my blog for another one :-)!

  39. 39

    Grace — October 10, 2008 @ 12:52 AM

    good googa mooga. words cannot describe the beauty of your creation, but i’m gonna try anyway. decadent, heavenly, slobber-inducing, delectable. this one’s a keeper. :)

  40. 40

    Melanie Anne — October 10, 2008 @ 1:18 AM

    These look incredible! The brown butter icing sounds amazing! I have an apple tree and will have to give this ecip a try! Thanks!

  41. 41

    Stacey Snacks — October 10, 2008 @ 2:09 AM

    sinfully good looking!

  42. 42

    Sarah — October 10, 2008 @ 2:18 AM

    Wow. This looks *amazing*. I could barely take my eyes off the pictures! I think I would be completely unable to give these away..even to my closest friends! :)

  43. 43

    Bunny — October 10, 2008 @ 2:45 AM

    Oh man that’s livin !! These look so decadent!! Thanks for the recipe!

  44. 44

    CookiePie — October 10, 2008 @ 3:12 AM

    RG – now you have gone too far! Dulce de leche AND brown-butter icing?!?! Too delicious!!

  45. 45

    Alexa — October 10, 2008 @ 4:10 AM

    I am with you with dulce de leche and caramel… oh, that sweet tooth… This looks like the perfect combinations of flavors, textures and taste. What a generous treat for the teachers! :-)

  46. 46

    diva — October 10, 2008 @ 8:56 AM

    all i can say is : this is too good. the icing is crazy!! i’m in love. x

  47. 47

    VeggieGirl — October 10, 2008 @ 11:18 AM

    I too am always intrigued by dulce de leche recipes – especially since that’s one of my all-time favorite flavors!! :0)

    Those teachers better FULLY realize how spoiled they are, getting to try those sensationally decadent treats of yours!! Ahh!! ;0)

  48. 48

    Nina Timm — October 10, 2008 @ 12:12 PM

    I am speechless…I was wondering what other apple recipe you will come up with, but this exceeds my wildest expectations…..

  49. 49

    Jennifer — October 10, 2008 @ 12:59 PM

    Wow, that looks amazing!!! :)

  50. 50

    Lori — October 10, 2008 @ 2:13 PM

    These look so tasty! Great combination.

    I love Dulce de Leche. You are right it is better than caramel. It is everywhere in Brazil (called doce de leite) and they do sell it by the containers. I can’t have it in the house due to the fact that I can’t fight the desire to eat it by the spoonful!

    It is basically boiled sweetened condensed milk. Here is a recipe from one of my favorite sources for Brazilian food. It could be a bit dangerous though. You’ll see why when you read it!


  51. 51

    Kara — October 10, 2008 @ 2:19 PM

    WOW. These look amazing and perhaps just what the doctor ordered. I tried an apple bar/brownie-type recipe a while back and wasn’t as excited about it as I’d hoped, but this looks to change my fate. Dulce de leche, apple bars, and icing? Yes, please!

  52. 52

    Elle — October 10, 2008 @ 3:37 PM

    These look wonderful! I’m also a huge fan of dulce de leche, and went apple picking last weekend, so it looks like I’m in luck. I’m so excited for these…

  53. 53

    Ingrid — October 10, 2008 @ 3:41 PM

    Okay, really, you had me a browned butter. I don’t think I’ve had Dulce de Leche. Another thing to add to my must try/make list!

    I agree the slightly thin icing only added to the appeal of the bars! YUM!

  54. 54

    Brandy — October 10, 2008 @ 4:01 PM

    Check out my blog, I gave you an award! I love your recipes and think you also have great pictures.

  55. 55

    Patsyk — October 10, 2008 @ 5:02 PM

    Oh wow! I have got to make these… I’m putting dulce de leche on my list for this weekend! Yum, Yum, Yum, Yummy!

  56. 56

    Aggie — October 10, 2008 @ 5:06 PM

    Oh those lucky lucky teachers!! This looks fantastic!!!

  57. 57

    Mike of Mike's Table — October 10, 2008 @ 6:50 PM

    This looks sinful. “Apple bars” sound like a safe, healthy breakfast item, and then wammo! I would definitely eat these for breakfast everyday nonetheless…haha, this is bad though, you’ve got me seriously thinking about it…

  58. 58

    One Hot Dish — October 10, 2008 @ 6:54 PM


    Thanks for the comment. :) We did like the cornbread a lot!

    I love your blog and check it out pretty frequently. Your cooking & baking is a constant source of inspirtation.


  59. 59

    Steph — October 10, 2008 @ 7:39 PM

    Oh my these look so delicious! Must try these now!!!

  60. 60

    Dawn — October 10, 2008 @ 7:45 PM

    Oh I love the inside!! I can see all that dangerous, creamy inside. You are very creative!!!

  61. 61

    alexandra's kitchen — October 10, 2008 @ 11:44 PM

    you are really going over the top these days! my mouth waters every time I stop by … not that I don’t love your salads, too, but you know what i’m sayin!

  62. 62

    Any Little Reason — October 11, 2008 @ 12:16 AM

    I’m licking my lips and wiping the drool from my chin – those look heavenly.

  63. 63

    Laura — October 11, 2008 @ 12:43 AM

    Those. Look. So. Good.

  64. 64

    giz — October 11, 2008 @ 1:59 AM

    I can’t even speak – this falls into the category of “bet you can’t eat just one”…very dangerous indeed.

  65. 65

    Lori Lynn — October 11, 2008 @ 6:20 PM

    I’m sure the teachers feel very appreciated. How wonderful.

  66. 66

    bren@flanboyanteats.com — October 11, 2008 @ 10:03 PM

    ay dios mio. no you didn’t!
    you know my b-day is coming up and these would be oh so lovely in my belly!!

    great looking bars!

  67. 67

    ~Priscilla~ — October 12, 2008 @ 4:00 AM

    these look sooo good!! caramel is good in anything!

  68. 68

    Hannah — October 12, 2008 @ 4:38 AM

    What a killer combination of flavors- Sounds great. :)

  69. 69

    Jenny — October 12, 2008 @ 4:41 AM

    Ahhhhh, these look heavenly girl! Beautiful pics.

  70. 70

    Pamela — October 13, 2008 @ 1:07 AM

    Oh my! They look amazingly scrumptious.

  71. 71

    Manggy — October 13, 2008 @ 4:48 AM

    71 comments (so far) and with good reason! Those look absolutely deadly, I must make them as soon as possible!!! (I mean, come on… DDL is the bomb!)

  72. 72

    Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor" — October 13, 2008 @ 12:38 PM

    OMG……..I can tell without even making these that they are pure heaven. This is perfect given the abundance of apples I am swimming in right now.

    Thanks Lori.


  73. 73

    Meg — October 14, 2008 @ 1:47 AM

    This looks SO delicious!

  74. 74

    Rosie — October 14, 2008 @ 6:53 PM

    Oh my goodness sheer decadent bars!! Awesome post and recipe, thanks for sharing!

    Rosie x

  75. 75

    Maria — October 14, 2008 @ 8:31 PM

    Oh my goodness Lori you really are torturing me here, I’m trying to shift some lbs and this is not helping!! These bars look incredible.


  76. 76

    Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor" — October 17, 2008 @ 12:48 PM


    I made these and forgot the icing. But these were so unbelievably perfect as is, that you really didn’t need the icing. My guests loved these. Thanks for another wonderful recipe. You rock!

  77. 77

    Mark by Chocolate — October 17, 2008 @ 7:44 PM

    You should try it wi Cajeta Quemada.

  78. 78

    Anonymous — October 21, 2008 @ 3:17 AM

    OMG! Absolutely delicious. Family and friends have (thankfully for my waistline!) devoured them all.
    LOVE your website.

  79. 79

    Ingrid — October 21, 2008 @ 3:13 PM

    I made these last Friday but I kinda messed up a bit, my bad not yours. They were still quite good and of course you were spot on with the incredibleness of the dulce de leche! Thanks for a great recipe and I intend to try them again!

  80. 80

    Janna — October 28, 2008 @ 1:47 PM

    I have been MIA from visiting your site. I am so sorry because I have missed out on ALLLLllllll these yummy treats! You have been busy, girl!