Embark on a delightful culinary adventure with Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars, a dessert that seamlessly marries the classic flavors of autumn with the creamy decadence of cheesecake. This exquisite confection is a symphony of contrasting textures and flavors – the crisp, buttery base, the smooth, rich cheesecake, the sweetly spiced apples, and the final flourish of indulgent caramel. These bars are not only a treat for the palate but also a feast for the eyes, making them a perfect addition to your fall baking repertoire, for special occasions, or as a luxurious treat to brighten a regular day.

Choosing the Ingredients:

Apples: Opt for Granny Smith apples for their tartness and firm texture, which balances the sweetness of the caramel and provides a pleasant contrast to the creamy cheesecake.

Cream Cheese: Full-fat cream cheese is ideal for a rich and smooth cheesecake layer. Ensure it’s softened to room temperature for easy mixing.

Sugar: A combination of light brown sugar for the crust and granulated sugar for the filling works best, offering depth and sweetness.

Butter: Use unsalted butter to control the overall saltiness of the dessert.

Spices: Cinnamon is a must for spicing the apple layer, adding a warm, autumnal aroma.

Making the Dessert:

  1. Crust Preparation: Achieve a perfect crust by thoroughly combining the flour, sugar, and butter until crumbly, and then pressing evenly into the pan.
  2. Cheesecake Layer: Blend the cheesecake ingredients until smooth and pour over the baked crust. Avoid overmixing to prevent air bubbles.
  3. Apple Layer: Toss the chopped apples in sugar and cinnamon for a uniform flavor coating.
  4. Baking: Bake until the edges are set but the center still slightly jiggles for the perfect cheesecake texture.
  5. Cooling and Chilling: Allow the bars to cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge. This step is crucial for them to set properly and for flavors to meld.

Variations and Substitutions:

Fruit Variations: Pears can be a delightful alternative to apples.

Crust Options: For a different twist, try a graham cracker or speculoos cookie crust.

Dairy-Free: Use dairy-free cream cheese and butter alternatives.

Spice It Up: Experiment with adding nutmeg or allspice to the apple mixture for extra warmth.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are a celebration of fall flavors but are equally enjoyable any time of the year. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with your variations, this dessert is bound to be a crowd-pleaser. So, preheat your oven and get ready to delight your senses with this scrumptious treat!


For the Crust:

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 3/4 c (12 tbsp) cold butter, cubed

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 2 packages (8 ounce each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the Apple Topping:

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Appropriately prepare a 9×13-inch baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Alternatively, line the pan with parchment paper and apply cooking spray to the parchment. Set this prepared pan aside.
  2. To create the crust, mix the all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, and cold, cubed butter in a small bowl. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to blend the ingredients until the mixture reaches a crumbly consistency. Press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the crust exhibits a light golden brown color.
  3. As the crust bakes, prepare the cheesecake mixture. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. Beat these ingredients together until the mixture is smooth and uniformly combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apples with granulated sugar and cinnamon. Mix until the apples are thoroughly coated with the sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Once the crust is baked, evenly pour the cheesecake mixture over it. Follow this by evenly sprinkling the apple mixture over the cheesecake layer.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the edges appear set and slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan, and the center is softly set but not overly liquid.
  7. After baking, place the cheesecake on a cooling rack. Drizzle caramel sauce over the bars and allow them to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Then, cover the dish and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  8. Once chilled, cut the cheesecake into bars and serve. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.


  • Planning Ahead: These bars require cooling for 1 hour and an additional 3 hours of refrigeration before serving. They can also be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to be served.
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