These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars make for a fantastic fall apple dessert. They start with a flakey shortbread crust, followed by a layer of delicious cheesecake, then topped with cinnamon apples and a delicious streusel topping. Top them with some caramel or enjoy them as is.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
It’s officially September, which means it is time for me to share all my favorite apple recipes with you. If you are an Apple fan, I bet you love Traditional Apple Crisp and Apple Cobbler. They are both contenders for being my top choice when making apple desserts. But, these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are also at the top of my list.
Cheesecake is always so satisfying. Making a traditional baked cheesecake always seems like a real task. When I make cheesecake bars, the process seems less intimidating. The ingredient list for Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars looks overwhelming but, they come together quite quickly.
Caramel Apple Crumb Cheesecake Bars are great for serving a crowd during the holidays. I often offer them to guest in smaller bite-sized versions. I promise, my guests always find them to be impressive finger food, no plate and fork required.
The shortbread crust is so simple and is a perfect base for these bars. The cheesecake mixture will bake perfectly. Then the diced cinnamon apples add delicious fall comforting flavors. And, let me say that the streusel topping is out of this world!
Go ahead and offer Homemade Caramel Topping if you choose. Or, do I as I often do and purchase a store-bought caramel squeeze bottle. Both options will be a delicious addition to these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars. I will mention, the caramel is definitely not necessary as the bars are tasty with or without the caramel topping.
It’s best to use Granny Smith Apples for this recipe. I have yet to make them with any other variety of apple. They may taste great with a sweet apple like a Pink Lady too! But, I prefer Granny Smith. It’s best to keep the bars refrigerated. I am not sure how well they would hold up if left unrefrigerated.
I serve Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars each year for Thanksgiving dessert. I like that I can make them ahead of time. They freeze well when stored in a freezer bag or other sealed container.
Ingredients to make Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
- Green Apples
- Cream Cheese
- Brown Sugar
- Quick Oats
- Caramel (optional)
How to make Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
To make Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars you will first need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, line a 9X13 baking pan with aluminum foil with a slight overhang on each side. This step will allow the bars to be removed from pan easily.
Add the flour and brown sugar to a medium bowl. Then cut in the cold butter with a fork or pastry cutter.
Next, press the shortbread crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Look for a slight brown coloring to the crust.
For the cream cheese mixture, use very soft cream cheese. I always beat the mixture with my hand mixture by itself to have a creamy cream cheese before adding other ingredients.
Then, add sugar and vanilla. Beat well until well blended.
Then, beat in one egg at a time until the mixture is well blended. Set aside.
Add the diced apples, cinnamon and sugar to a small bowl. Toss to coat evenly. Then, set aside.
In another small bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, and butter. Mix and set aside.
Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the shortbread crust. Spread evenly with a spatula.
Next, add on the delicious cinnamon-flavored apples.
Lastly, you will need to add the streusel topping before baking. You will need to allow 45-60 minutes in the oven. Ovens do vary so, yours may be done quicker than mine. I check them every 3-5 minutes after the 45-minute mark. I remove when there is still just a very slight jiggle.
After the cheesecake bars have cooled, place them in the refrigerator to set. I typically wait for 4 hours before cutting.
Be sure to see these other tasty apple recipes that I have here on my blog:
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 cup Flour
- 2 Sticks Butter softened
- 24 oz Cream Cheese softened
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 3 Eggs
- 3 Granny Smith Apples peeled cored and diced into small pieces
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Quick Oats
- 1 stick Butter softened
- Caramel Topping to drizzle
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line a 9X13 baking pan with aluminum foil leaving excess foil hanging over all four sides.
- In a medium bowl combine flour and brown sugar.
- Add butter and cut in with 2 forks or a pastry blender until crumbly.
- Place and press mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth.
- Beat eggs into mixture one at a time until combined.
- Pour mixture into baked crust. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine apples, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Mix together until apples are coated well.
- Gently arrangle apple pieces evenly over cream cheese mixture. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, flour, quick oats and softened butter.
- With a fork, cut to butter in to make a crumbly topping.
- Sprinkle topping evenly over apple layer.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes. Watch for filling to set (I do this by slightly jiggling the pan.
- Allow to cool and then place in refrigerator (I let mine set overnight).
- Remove from pan using overhanging foil.
- Cut into bars.
- Drizzle with caramel topping.
Adapted from: Paula Deen!
Originally published: January 23, 2014