Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are creamy, sweet and super delicious. These are a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Whenever I make a new recipe at my house I ask my husband to rate it. Like on a star scale. One star being, awful, four stars being YESSSS.

Here’s the problem, though. 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 switch, and now you’ve just wasted your final meal on a “pretty good” lasagna. That sounds like possibly the worst scenario ever.

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. 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.

First 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.

Crumbly crust dough in a bowl with a pastry blenderPress your crust in a lined 9×9 and bake it up.

Crust batter pressed into a foil-lined baking panWhile it’s baking, make your yummy cheesecake layer…and then spread it all up in there…

Cheesecake batter being spread over a baked crust in a foil-lined baking panThen dice up some apples and sprinkle them with some fall spiciness…

Diced apples with cinnamon in a glass bowlAnd don’t forget about the streusel.  Nobody puts streusel in the corner.

Crumbly streusel in a bowl with a spoon

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

Top view of streusel-topped bars in a baking pan

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

A jar of caramel sauce being poured over streusel-topped cheesecake barsAnd then you have to let it sit for a while to cool. It’s excruciating.

Close-up of a caramel apple cheesecake barBut OH so worth it.

I wrote this recipe originally back in 2012, and knew the finished product photos needed a little sprucing up…and to remind you guys how AMAZING these bars are! Enjoy!

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Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Cookies & Cups

Description:

makes 25 bars


Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 Tbsp, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and small diced
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Steusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line a 9×9 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 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Beat until combined and smooth. Set aside.
  6. Dice apples and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/4 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.

Notes:

store in an airtight container for up to 3 days

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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jody
jody
July 19, 2020 9:33 pm

I’m going to be making these this week once I have all the ingredients on hand.
In your description you say to pour the caramel sauce over the streusal after baking and before chilling but in one of the comments you say drizzle over only when serving so I’m a bit confused. If I hadn’t read the comment I would have poured the caramel over the streusal after baking and before chilling. Please clarify.

jody
jody
July 20, 2020 11:54 pm
Reply to  Shelly

Good idea! I think I’ll do both!

Kristen B. Smith
Kristen B. Smith
March 25, 2020 10:48 am

Shelly, I am not very good about leaving comments on here but I have enjoyed your site and your recipes for many years! I have made these apple cheesecake bars several times and they are one of my daughter’s favorites! She is home from college (most likely for the rest of the semester) and asked if we could make these together last night. They were perfect as usual and cheered her up so much! We sprinkled just a touch of sea salt on top of the caramel and it was divine! I just wanted to let you know. These are… Read more »

Lynda
Lynda
October 3, 2018 5:41 pm

This is a perennial favorite with my co-workers, especially the ones with Autumn birthdays! It is always gone before lunch.

Abby
Abby
October 28, 2017 11:41 pm

These are delicious! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I’ve already made them twice this month!

Cyndi
Cyndi
October 13, 2017 3:28 pm

I’m planning to make these this weekend. Would you recommend drizzling the caramel sauce after chilling and just when slicing and serving? Or is it more important for the streusel to absorb it? I’m making my own caramel sauce and was thinking it might make the streusel soggy if I drizzle it after baking and before chilling. Thank you!

Cher
Cher
October 20, 2014 4:48 am

I used my Braeburn apples and it was a hit! I’m fairly certain ANY kind of apple would taste great in this recipe…Thanks for posting! I’m going to use it again for Thanksgiving with the family!

Jess
Jess
October 19, 2014 10:16 am

These were by far the best dessert I have ever made, thank you so much for the recipe! I do have a couple of questions though. I made these yesterday with Granny Smith apples like the recipe calls for, but would it make a huge difference in taste to use two macintosh instead? I have so many of those left and am looking to use them up. Also, my streusel came out very moist and looked darker than yours did in the picture. Tasted absolutely AMAZING, but just looked different even though I used the same ingredients. So I guess… Read more »

Cher
Cher
October 9, 2014 7:27 pm

I noticed that someone else substituted Fuji apples in this recipe, I have some beautiful Braeburn apples laying around that I’m gonna try, I’ll report back!! 🙂

Cookies4kids
Cookies4kids
October 1, 2014 6:59 pm

Could these bars be frozen?? I do a ton of baking each month for our church bake sale, and I try todo as much ahead as I can. I would love it if all recipes came with a note stating if they could be frozen. This one sounds so delicious and it will be first on my list for this month!!!

valorie
valorie
September 30, 2014 8:43 am

in this recipe do you use unsalted butter or salted butter I have unsalted butter is that okay

valorie
valorie
September 29, 2014 10:10 am

Thank you so much for your quick response!! This is on my to do list for today!!!God Bless!!

valorie
valorie
September 29, 2014 7:28 am

also can I use a 8×8 pan I don’t have a 9×9 pan?

valorie
valorie
September 29, 2014 7:21 am

can I use Macintosh apples that is all I have right now?

Rebekah
Rebekah
September 26, 2014 5:18 pm

These look great, and I’ve been waiting over a week to make them. However, for some reason, when I went to bake them today, the recipe had disappeared. Is there an issue with the site or is it me?

Patty
Patty
February 5, 2014 4:38 pm

I made these bars in the Fall and they were excellent!!! I made them yesterday and instead of the diced apples in sugar and pumpkin pie spice, I took a can of cherry pie filling cut the cherries in 1/2 and stirred in 1/2tsp. of almond extract. I spread it on top of the cheesecake layer and then finished with the streusel. I did not use the caramel sauce. They were outstanding also! Thanks!

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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