Recipes

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!

Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!
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Want a last-minute dessert for Thanksgiving?? With cheesecake, apples, and salted caramel, these bars will have everyone asking you for the recipe!

They’re rich, gooey, and make a great group dessert – one tray of these is perfect for sharing with friends and neighbors!

The layers make these look fancy and complicated, but the reality is that all you need is a couple mixing bowls!

Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!
Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!

The secret to this dish is in the layers. The base is shortbread-like, because it comes together and works as a finger food better than the traditional graham cracker crust.

It’s topped with a modified version of my classic cheesecake that comes together in a flash and topped with an easy streusel that gives a crisp layer for the caramel to grab hold of.

For the salted caramel, I make my own quick caramel sauce. Sally’s Baking Addiction has a crazy easy version that doesn’t need a candy thermometer or anything too complicated.

But sometimes we don’t have the time or patience to figure out learning one more step. So feel free to grab a jar from the store! My main tip: when serving them, reheat some of the extra and drizzle fresh warm caramel for the perfect bite!

Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!
Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!
Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!

These babies are sweet, y’all. They’re delicious, don’t get me wrong, but a small piece goes a long way. (Lest you interpret this as me not being a dessert person, check my dessert page to prove my obsession love.)

Plus, if you cut them in small pieces, you can happily have more! See? Win-win.

The baking time for these caramel apple cheesecake bars will vary more than your average cake recipe. Look for the wobble to be almost gone before you switch to broil, and then pull them out as soon as the top is browned.

The minute they come out of the oven you’re going to want to dig into these gloriously messy bites. But trust me, it’s better to wait. They need to cool completely before serving, so they’re best made the day before you want to serve them.

Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!
Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!

Tools you’ll need: 9×13 baking dish, mixing bowls, pastry cutter or food processor.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake bars

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Rest time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, baked goods, baking, fall
Servings: 24 squares

Ingredients

Shortbread layer

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened

Cheesecake layer

  • 3 packs cream cheese softened
  • cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Apple layer

  • 3 apples Granny Smith
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

Streusel layer

  • cup turbinado sugar or brown sugar
  • cup flour
  • cup oats instant or rolled
  • cup unsalted butter
  • cup caramel sauce

Instructions

  • Before you start: allow eggs, cream cheese, and ½ cup butter to get to room temperature. Makes for better baking.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine flour and sugar in a medium bowl or food processor. Add chunks of the 1 cup cold butter and pulse until just combined or use a pastry cutter to cut the butter in. It's done when the mixture is crumbly and looks like sand.
  • Line a 9×13 pyrex dish with aluminum foil and grease. Press the crust dough into the dish and bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
  • While the crust bakes, beat the cream cheese and sugar together on medium-high. Add one egg at a time and then vanilla, beating until just combined.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix the streusel: combine the flour, oats, and sugar. Cut in the butter in the same way you did for the crust – either with a food processor or a pastry cutter.
  • Peel, core, and dice the apples. Toss with cinnamon, nutmeg, and remaining sugar.
  • When the crust comes out of the oven, pour the cheesecake over. Top with apple mixture and streusel and bake, 30-40 minutes until filling is set.
  • After 35-40 minutes, if the dish has lost most of its jiggle but the top isn't brown enough, switch the oven to broil for 5 minutes. Watch closely to not burn.
  • When the cheesecake is done, drizzle caramel generously on top.
  • Let cool on the counter and then refrigerate until fully chilled, ideally overnight. Once chilled, cut into 2-inch squares. Serve cold.
Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!
Caramel apple cheesecake bars give the best of the cravable comfort of apple pie and rich, gooey cheesecake!

Caramel apple cheesecake bars taste like two desserts in one and make the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving!

Need more last minute Thanksgiving inspiration? I’ve rounded up a complete Thanksgiving menu!

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