Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars


Whenever I make a new recipe at my house I ask my husband to rate it.

Like on a star scale.

One star being, “never make this horrible food again!” (Although he’s knows better than to say that), and Four stars being, “I want this every night for the rest of my life”.


Here’s the problem.

We never actually GET to the recipe rating.

Because we always end up arguing over the rating system.

The husband thinks there needs to be more than 4 stars on the scale…at least 5 stars, he says.

But I already made the 4 star system and have actually RATED the recipes in cookbooks…SOO, the rating system is here to stay.

I mean, you can’t change a system that’s already in effect…What if the Olympics decided to start giving Platinum medals?  All those former gold medals wouldn’t be so important anymore.

We’d have to start using *asterisks* next to the ratings, to show whether they were pre-change or post-change.

Not fun.

And then what if one day you learn that this will be your final meal and you scroll through the cookbook and pick a four star recipe, only to learn that it was marked BEFORE the swtich, and now you’ve just wasted your final meal on a “pretty good” lasagna.

That sounds like possibly the worst scenario ever.

So alls I am saying, is that whether or not the 4 star system is the best…which hello, it totally is…we can’t change it mid-adulthood.

I’d basically have to throw all my cookbooks out and start over.

I am pretty sure the husband wouldn’t agree to that.


So short-story -long, I want to share with you my final recipe for Caramel Apple Week.  Which is totally a 4 star-that-should be 5-star-but-is-staying-a-4-star recipe.

In other words, it’s final-meal-good.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars.

PhotobucketFirst make your crust.  And you get to use your pastry cutter, if you have one.  I’m always looking for a reason to use mine.  I know, I’m weird.

PhotobucketPress your crust in a lined 9×9 and bake it up.

PhotobucketWhile it’s baking, make your yummy cheesecake layer…and then spread it all up in there…

PhotobucketThen dice up some apples and sprinkle them with some fall spiciness…

PhotobucketAnd don’t forget about the streusel.  Nobody puts streusel in the corner.


Layer the apples and then the streusel.  Now it’s ready to make the journey into the oven.


When it’s baked and almost perfect, you need to pour some caramel on top.  You neeeed to.


And then you have to let it sit for a while to cool.

It’s excruciating.

PhotobucketBut so worth it.


Now hop over to  Confessions of a Cookbook Queen‘s final installment in Caramel Apple Week ~ THESE Caramel Apple Cheesecake Horns.  How could you NOT be intrigued?


Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
makes 25 bars
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar + 1 Tbsp, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and small diced
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
Steusel Topping
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line a 9x9 baking pan with foil.
  3. In a medium sized bowl combine crust ingredients, flour, brown sugar and butter. Using a pastry cutter, or fork combine the ingredients until they make a coarse crumb.
  4. Press mixture firmly in the bottom of the pan and bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned.
  5. Meanwhile, in a mixing bow, combine cream cheese, vanilla, egg and ¼ cup granulated sugar. Beat until combined and smooth. Set aside.
  6. Dice apples and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp sugar and ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice. Stir until coated evenly. Set aside.
  7. Make streusel by combining all ingredients, light brown sugar, flour, oats and butter and stir with your pastry cutter or fork until evenly mixed. Set aside.
  8. When crust is done baking, spread the cream cheese mixture on top of warm crust, top with diced apples and finally with streusel.
  9. But back in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until center is set.
  10. When done drizzle caramel sauce all over the top.
  11. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes and then place in refrigerator to chill for approximately 2 hours, or overnight.
  12. Cut into squares when ready to serve.
store in an airtight container for up to 3 days
recipe adapted from Paula Deen


Leave a Reply

98 Comments on "Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Averie @ Averie Cooks
September 6, 2012 7:14 am

Cheesecake and streusel and caramel and apples, mmmm, this sounds so good!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet
September 6, 2012 7:37 am

I could also see eating these every single day, whatever the rating scale is!

Sabrina Clever
September 6, 2012 7:47 am

WOW– these look amazing. I am checking the pantry this afternoon and making them this weekend!! Thanks for another great post!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
September 6, 2012 7:55 am

These look so freaking tasty!! My favorite caramel-apple combo so far this week 🙂

Colleen @ What

Another awesome caramel apple recipe! You’ve done it again. Whatever the rating scale, I know I’d give these the highest possible score!

September 6, 2012 7:58 am

You’re 10 stars in my book 😉

September 6, 2012 8:16 am

[…] this week to bring you tons of Caramel Apple flavored treats!! Today, she is sharing the recipe for Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars, so pop over and check it […]

September 6, 2012 9:10 am

I definitely want to eat those every single day of my life!!! I love cheesecake everything!!!

Jennifer Young
Jennifer Young
September 6, 2012 9:21 am

These look wonderful! I’m going to make them for a night out on Monday. Thanks:)

Cookbook Queen
September 6, 2012 9:22 am

Our rating system goes something like this:

“Is it good”
“Like…good GOOD or just GOOD? Make again good or just maybe you’ll eat it if it’s around good???”

Perhaps things need to get more specific around here.

September 6, 2012 10:01 am

This is right up my street! Love it 😀

September 6, 2012 10:12 am

Well, I hate to agree with a boy, I do agree there needs to be an extra star. That is just a huge jump from horrible to perfect in 4 little stars. Like, there’s horrible, bad, good, perfect? Where is the “just okay” rating?

That said, you totally can’t change the system now. You are LOCKED IN.

Love these bars. I give them 5 stars.

Kare @ Kitchen Treaty
September 6, 2012 10:18 am

Each caramel apple recipe is more extraordinary than the next! I suggest – all caramel apple, all the time! These bars need to be my breakfast (they’ve got fruit so they’re healthy, right?) Can I come over? 😉

Dee Hutchings
Dee Hutchings
September 6, 2012 10:34 am

Those look SO delicious! I plan on making them this weekend-thanks!

September 6, 2012 10:43 am

They look so decadent! Crunchy, buttery and divine.

Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel
September 6, 2012 10:54 am

Breaking News: Your recipes will ALWAYS be four.. or five (whatever’s one is tippy top, okay?) in my book, so if that’s any consolation, you’re welcome. I need to have my face in these bars.

September 6, 2012 11:09 am

I think I love you…

Melissa @ Treats With a Twist
September 6, 2012 11:52 am

Looks amazing, as always Shelly! My favorite thing growing up was my mom’s cherry cheesecake bars. She’d only make them a couple times a year because they were special and we’d eat the entire pan in a snap. This reminds me of them. Just beautiful.

Glory/ Glorious Treats
September 6, 2012 12:32 pm

I make James rate my stuff too… and he hates it… he says, “Yeah, these are good”, and then I say “But WHY are they good… could they be better? Do you like the filling… the crust… could there be more of this, or more of that?”… I think he just wants to eat in peace =)

These bars look totally amazing!! I’m sure they are worthy of 4 stars AND a gold metal!

September 6, 2012 1:25 pm

I almost agreed with your husband about needing more stars, until I read your rationale and realized that you are absolutely right…you can’t change things at this point. Can’t wait to make these squares very soon. My husband’s palate is very limited so I don’t even let him rate my food anymore.

September 6, 2012 2:01 pm

Bars are so much fun to make!

Becca from It
September 6, 2012 2:21 pm

Shelly, you are SO naughty sharing these high calorie treats with me when I’m about to start another attempt to lose 30 pounds…. naughty naughty naughty…. but I’m SO glad you’re making them and all I get to do is drool over them! 🙂

September 6, 2012 2:28 pm

I would probably eat this whole pan as my final meal. That seems reasonable, right?

September 6, 2012 2:31 pm

I can’t wait to try these! Look so good. Thank you!

September 6, 2012 3:06 pm

Woman, you rock…You make me laugh and that is a def. 4 star!

Elizabeth @Food Ramblings
September 6, 2012 3:07 pm

My husband’s rating on my food is if it’s flavor-blasted or not. Most times I succeed 🙂

September 6, 2012 3:34 pm

Another great Caramel Apple recipe. I’m going to be so sad when this week is over!

Alden Jayson
September 6, 2012 3:37 pm

I can’t wait,because i become very hungry to see it. Really this recipe is very delicious. Thanks for your excellent article with beautiful picture.

Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes
September 6, 2012 3:53 pm

I wanna eat that caramel sauce with a spoon! These look wonderfully delicious!

Becky @lovetobeinthekitchen
September 6, 2012 4:04 pm

This looks amazing! As do all your recipes. Thanks for sharing!

sally @ sallys baking addiction
September 6, 2012 4:09 pm

love so many things about today’s caramel apple recipe Shelly! Using my 8×8 pan is always preferred over a huge batch of whatevers in my 9×13 pan. I also am a SUCKER for apple dessert. Plus cheesecake. And I want to eat that streusel and caramel with a spoon!

September 6, 2012 4:40 pm

Yes please!

Emily @ A Very Sweet Life
September 6, 2012 4:48 pm

These sound fantastic and a perfect way to start Fall! I will definitely be making these soon…the ingredients are already on my shopping list!

Christina @ Oven Adventures
September 6, 2012 5:18 pm

i think i love you. these look super-fabulous-amazing-crazygood.

Cathy @ Noble Pig
September 6, 2012 6:45 pm

Ah to die for! But I’m laughing at the star system..I get it and get the argument. You can’t change it!!!

September 6, 2012 7:08 pm

It looks so yummy! Definitely a 4 stars recipe.
Though, I hate to say this, but 4 stars aren’t much really. Maybe you could try to migrate them to a 1 to 10 scale?

Erin @ Making Memories
September 6, 2012 9:52 pm

These look amazing. Mabe better than 4 stars but since that’s the best, I’ll say four for sure!!!

luv what you do
September 6, 2012 10:16 pm

Wow, this might be the best of all your caramel apple recipes yet!
What an awesome combination of cheesecake, sweet caramel, and crispy apples!

Julie @ Table for Two
September 6, 2012 10:31 pm

these are definitely a 10. i hope i didn’t ruin your rating scale. in any case, this was the best week ever. i LOVED this series and gave me so many ideas for apples this month!

Lizy b
September 6, 2012 10:46 pm

there are so many lovely things going on here! I don’t even know what part would b e my favorite…but these definitely look pastry cutter worthy!

September 7, 2012 1:17 am

These bars have it all, from the crust to the streusel. A clear winner, any way you rate it:)

Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
September 7, 2012 6:03 am

Such a fun recipe, especially the caramel mmmm

September 7, 2012 7:48 am

[…] on the final day, we might have saved the best for last… I made Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars and she made Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cream Horns.  Whoa […]

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
September 7, 2012 11:25 am

Drooling uncontrollably right now!

September 7, 2012 1:04 pm

I want to live at your house. Seriously.

Lauri @ MyPinnedLife
September 7, 2012 4:42 pm

I love cheesecake and I love caramel apples. Both can be a bit tricky to pull off perfectly. Your recipe fits in perfectly because you get both flavors without all the trouble!


[…] Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars from Cookies & Cups.  I am not a cheesecake lover, but the apples and caramel would do it for me with these bars!  I must be excited for fall judging by the recipes I bookmarked this week! […]

September 8, 2012 6:28 pm

My pan of carmel apple cheesecake bars is in the oven RIGHT NOW! and they smell amazing…cant wait to taste them! The recipe was very easy to follow.

September 8, 2012 9:57 pm

I made these tonight……and I’m not sure how I can wait until the morning to try them…haha! Cheesecake anything is up my alley like a fellow commenter said. Love your recipes!!