Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars

These caramel apple cheesecake bars are the perfect combination of apple pie and a cheesecake in a convenient bar shape, great for parties and potlucks. This recipe is also straightforward to make, and it does not take much time to put together. We will be focusing on four main steps: 

 

1) The crust 

2) The cheesecake filling 

3) The sweet cinnamon apple layer 

3) The crunchy brown sugar oat crumble 

 

Ingredients List

This recipe requires only requires a few simple ingredients that you likely have stored in your pantry.  No special equipment or specialty ingredients are needed, although if you have a pastry cutter and mixer, you can use them here.  

 

All-purpose flour –  Use this to create the crust for our cheesecake bars and be used in the topping when we crumble.

 

Brown sugar –  brown sugar will be used in almost every layer of this recipe, starting with the crust to give it that sweet flavor and, of course, or are crumble topping.

 

Unsalted butter –  make sure that your butter is cold. I prefer to keep it in the refrigerator until the last minute or when I’m finally going to use it.  If your butter has softened, just pop it in the freezer for a few minutes until it is solid. You want the butter to be cold so you can cut it into your dough.

 

Salt –  adding a pinch of salt into the dough or the crust is helpful, and balancing out the sweetness and complementing the spices in the apple filling one pinch of salt goes far, so be careful with this step.

 

White sugar –  we will be using white sugar in the cheesecake filling and a bit in the apple pie topping.

 

Vanilla extract – it is vital to add that delicious vanilla flavor that we all know and love in desserts. Alternatively, you can try almond extract though the taste is a bit distinct; creating a slightly different version of this almond extract would be a great idea.

 

Cream Cheese –  Of course, you’ll need cream cheese for the cheesecake layer. You can use softened regular cream cheese by letting it sit at room temperature or buy the whipped variety that comes already softened. 

 

Eggs – using eggs in your cream cheese filling will help to keep it solid. In addition, the eggs will help your cream cheese retain its shape during and after baking. Unlike the butter, you must keep your eggs at room temperature for a smoother batter. 

 

Apples –  the apples I used in this recipe were a variety of honey crisp and gala apples from my weekend of apple picking. However, I prefer Granny Smith apples for this recipe. Nevertheless, any array of Apple will do.  If you are looking to do something a little bit different, you can also try pears.

 

Cinnamon & Nutmeg – quintessential apple pie spices!

 

Oats –  the oats add that nice granola crunch to the top of our apple pie filling. The combination of brown sugar and oat clusters reminds me of one of the honey clusters in one of my favorite cereals.

 

Caramel –  whether you choose to make homemade caramel, use caramel icing topping, or caramel syrup, a drizzle of this ingredient will make this dessert beautiful and add to the caramel apple taste that we have all come to associate with the fall and holiday seasons. 

How to Make Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars

Step 1:  Make the crust 

Brown sugar, butter, flour, salt

Making the crust is relatively simple. You have to mix the flour, brown sugar, and cold butter in a mixing bowl you want to cut into the butter until the mix is super crumbly in texture. You do not need a pastry cutter for the step; I simply use a fork.  

 

Apple cheesecake bars crust

Once those three ingredients are mixed, grab your buttered baking pan and pour your crumbly crust into it. Next, use a silicone spatula or whatever you have on hand to press the mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Once it’s all packed in, pop it into a preheated 375-degree oven for about 15 minutes just until the crust sets.

 

Step 2: Make the cream cheese filling

 

To make the cheesecake filling, add your softened cream cheese, or you can buy the whipped cream cheese that is already soft. Sometimes I use the whipped cream cheese instead of waiting for the regular cream cheese to come to room temperature and soften. For example, this time around, I used one block of cream cheese and one 8 oz container of whipped cream cheese, which worked out the same.  Please use whatever you have on hand. Grab a whisk and pour in the white sugar, vanilla, and your room-temperature eggs. Pour in the eggs slowly until the mixture is smooth and well incorporated. Be mindful to not over mix and don’t get any lumps in the batter. If you do have bubbles in the batter, not to worry; try to get them out the best you can, it will hardly be noticeable, but the results will still be delicious. We are looking for flavor, not perfection! Smooth it into a layer on top of the crust that we made earlier.

 

Step 3: Create the Apple Pie Layer 

 

Apple pie filling

Next, you want to grab your apples, whether Granny Smith or any other variety, and chop them into small cubes. Try to get the cubes sized as evenly as possible so that the texture throughout the bars is uniform. Next, you want to add some cinnamon and Nutmeg to your diced apples and finally add in your white sugar. This step is relatively simple once you get all the apples coated in those three ingredients, you’re pretty much done! Finally, spoon the apples on top of the cream cheese layer.

 

Apple cheesecake layer
Layer the apples on top of the cheesecake filling.

Step 4: Make the Topping

 

Crumble topping for apple pie cheesecake

Finally, we are going to make the topping. The topping for this dessert is reminiscent of granola. In another bowl, combine your flour, brown sugar, and the quick oats. Next, add the butter and remember, we want the butter to be cold, and we’re going to use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut the butter in until the mix is crumbly. My preference is to create some uneven texture in the topping because I like to have more lightly crumbly areas and bigger clusters of oats and brown sugar to bite into. Those larger bits of Brown Sugar Oat clusters are everything! 

Baking

Apple Pie Cheesecake Bar cut in pan

Once that’s done, place your dessert in the oven for 25 minutes to set everything. Next, remove the bars from the oven, drizzle caramel, and leave it on a counter to cool. Then, place them in the refrigerator for another hour or until ready to eat.

Substitutions

Apple Varieties – This recipe calls for granny smith apples, but you can substitute for your favorite. I have used honey crisp and gala apples successfully.  

Pears – If you are looking to do something a little bit different, you can also try pears. They are a great fruit to use in the winter especially. 

Whipped Cream Cheese – You can use softened regular cream cheese by letting it sit at room temperature or buy the whipped variety that comes already softened.

Almond Extract – As an alternative to vanilla extract, you can try almond extract for a distinctly different, slightly nutty flavor. 

 

Holding apple cheesecake barThese apple caramel cheesecake bites are perfect for entertaining! 

Print

Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars are the perfect combination of two delicious desserts. A fusion of classic apple pie flavors and a traditional cheesecake packed into an easy-to-share dessert bar.

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked

Ingredients

Scale

Layer 1 – Crust 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold butter cubed

Layer 2 – Cheesecake Filling 

  • 2 8 oz packages softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, whisked at room temperature

Layer 3 – Apple Pie Filling 

  • 3 medium apples
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

Layer 4 – Brown Sugar Oat Crumble 

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 stick cold butter cubed

Topping

  • Caramel

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the flour, brown sugar, and cold butter together in a mixing bowl. Cut into the butter with a fork until the mix is well combined and crumbly in texture.
  3. Pour the crust mix into a buttered baking pan. Press down to compact the ingredients and form a crust—Bake for 15 minutes or until browned.
  4. Mix the cream cheese filling by adding 16 ounces of softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, sugar, and room temperature eggs. You can use a mixer for this step or hand mix.
  5. Cube 3 medium-sized apples as evenly as possible. Toss them in cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar.
  6. Make the brown sugar and oat crumble for the topping by mixing flour, brown sugar, and oats with more cold butter cut in.
  7. Layer the cheesecake filling on top of the crust, then the apple pie filling, and finally the brown sugar oat topping—Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Finally, remove the bars from the oven, drizzle caramel, and leave it on a counter to cool. Then, place them in the refrigerator for another hour or until ready to eat.

 

Notes

*These store well in the refrigerator, so I like to make them a day in advance to save time.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 12

Keywords: caramel apple pie cheesecake bars, cheesecake, dessert bars, easy dessert, holiday dessert recipe

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