Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are like two desserts in one! A creamy cheesecake layer is topped with cinnamon apples and a streusel topping. Finished with a caramel drizzle, they’re perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table and are loved throughout the year as well!
All the best parts of an apple crisp, caramel apple and cheesecake in one bar? Yes, please
I am such a sucker for caramel apples.
Whether I’m dipping slices of fresh apple into caramel sauce or eating them on a stick at a fall festival, this combination of flavors makes me extra happy.
Why it never occurred to me before to drizzle caramel over an apple cheesecake is a mystery.
Now I know what I was missing.
SAVE THIS CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
I consider this a fall dessert, but honestly?
Go ahead and make them any time of year.
I’ve never known anyone to turn down a Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar no matter what the calendar says.
Everyone NEEDS these cheesecake bars in their life!
We’re talking rich buttery caramel over tart cinnamon apples with a cheesecake base and a crumble topping.
Do I have to say more?
What do I need?
Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you. Once you have everything ready, the bars come together easily.
For the crust:
- graham crackers
- brown sugar
For the cheesecake layer:
- cream cheese
- vanilla egg
For the apple layer:
- sliced apple
- brown sugar
For the streusel topping:
- brown sugar
- melted butter
I almost forgot about the best part: the caramel drizzle! To make homemade caramel sauce, I melt unwrapped caramel candies in the microwave with a bit of heavy cream.
Don’t feel like making your own caramel sauce? Use a bottle or jar of store bought caramel topping instead.
What kind of apples should I use?
Granny Smith are the best apples for these cheesecake bars. With so many sweet layers, it’s nice to have that zing of tart flavor to balance everything out.
They’re also firmer than other kinds of apples, making them a perfect option for baking.
- Make sure to add the caramel AFTER chilling the cheesecake bars. If you drizzle it on before chilling, the caramel will make the bars too hard. Trust me! I made this mistake once and the end result was hard enough to break a tooth.
- Use an electric mixer to combine the cheesecake ingredients. The cream cheese, eggs and sugar should be well incorporated, smooth and fluffy.
- Spray your square baking dish with baking spray before adding the graham cracker crust.
- Store leftovers tightly covered in the fridge. Enjoy within 3 -5 days.
Fair warning: these are going to smell so good as they bake that everyone in your home will scramble to the kitchen hoping for a taste. Waiting for them to chill and set is the hardest part–but it’s worth it!
Biting into a Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar is pure autumn heaven.
This recipe only uses one apple, so if you’re looking more ways to put the fall apple harvest to good use, check out these other tasty treats.
- Bacon Caramel Apple Crisp
- Caramel Apple Pound Cake
- Caramel Apple French Toast Bake
- Caramel Apple Pie Crust Cookies
- Inside Out Caramel Apples
- Apple Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Caramel Apple Pound Cake
- Fried Apple Rings
- Skillet Apple Crisp
- Baked Cinnamon Apple Slices
- Apple Streusel Muffins
- Apple Oatmeal
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Make these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars for your next Fall gathering.
They taste even better than they look!
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
8 X 8-inch baking pan
- ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 8 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup oats
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 12 individually wrapped caramels
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- OR salted caramel sundae topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8 X 8-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust: graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter, and mix well with a fork.
Place crust mixture into prepared baking dish, pressing down gently with your fingers.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Pour over crust, spreading evenly.
In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for the apple layer: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix well.
Peel, core and dice the apple into small pieces. Add to dry ingredients and toss to coat.
Distribute evenly over the cheesecake layer in the baking dish.
In another medium bowl, combine ingredients for streusel topping: brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and melted butter. Mix welll until a coarse meal is formed. Sprinkle evenly over apple layer.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until streusel is golden.
Transfer baking dish to a wire rack to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for an hour or more to set.
For the caramel drizzle, in a microwavable bowl, melt the caramels on increments of 30 seconds, until smooth, stirring in between. Allow to cool slightly and stir in the heavy cream.
Drizzle with homemade caramel sauce or caramel sundae sauce topping before serving.
This post was updated on 8/15/16 and was updated again in format and with pictures on 11/3/21