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Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

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Made with a crisp brown sugar crust, a sweet apple filling, and a crumbly streusel topping, these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are the perfect dessert for fall! 

close up image of a caramel apple cheesecake bar with caramel drizzled on top

Why We Love These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

For this cheesecake bars recipe, we took our love of New York Style cheesecake and combined it with warm fall flavors for a truly irresistible dessert. However, we didn’t just stop there. We also topped it with a crumbly apple crisp-inspired crust we know you’re going to love. Want to know the best parts? These cheesecake bars: 

  • Look gourmet but are actually quite easy to make. 
  • Are great for feeding a crowd. 
  • Can be sliced into portable single-serve portions. 
  • Require way less work than whipping up a whole cheesecake! 

Ingredients You’ll Need

There are four components that make up these cheesecake bars. So, we broke down the ingredient list accordingly. Don’t worry, though! Each section only requires a few items, most of which you probably already have on hand. Here’s what you’ll need: 

Crust

  • All-Purpose Unbleached Flour – Unbleached flour is ideal for creating a crust that rises and has a slighly chewy texture.  
  • Brown Sugar – Unlike regular granulated, brown sugar creates a slightly softer, more caramel-like flavor. 
  • Butter – This helps combine the ingredients and creates a richer taste. 
  • Salt – Use this as a flavor enhancer. 

Cheesecake Filling

  • Cream Cheese – For the most indulgent cheesecake bars, we recommend using full-fat cream cheese. 
  • Cane Sugar – This mixes well with the rest of the ingredients for a sweet taste. 
  • Eggs – These help provide structure to the filling and creates the smooth texture we’re looking to achieve. 
  • Vanilla Extract – This intensifies the sweet cheesecake flavor. 

Apples

  • Apples – We love to use Granny Smith apples to balance out the sweet sugar filling. However, any baking apple such as Fuji, Granny Smith, or Gala would work great, too. 
  • Spices – A combination of cinnamon and nutmeg create the best fall-inspired cheesecake bars. 
  • Cane Sugar – This ties the flavor profile of the apples into the cream cheese filling with ease. 
  • Lemon Juice – A dash of fresh lemon juice helps keep the apples crisp and prevents them from browning. 

Streusel Topping

  • Brown Sugar – This coats the ingredients for an irresistible topping. 
  • All-Purpose Flour – Flour helps provide structure to the streusel topping so that it holds together on top of the bars. 
  • Quick Cooking Oats – Quick cooking oats work best to create a crisp, crumbly topping. Steel cut and rolled oats will have a different texture and won’t bake as well. 
  • Butter – This coats the rest of the ingredients helping them to combine and making them taste even better.
  • Salt – Just a sprinkle goes a long way! 

How to Make This Cheesecake Bars Recipe

These caramel apple cheesecake bars look so good your guests will swear you got them from your local bakery, but they’re actually so easy to make! Just follow the steps below. 

  1. Preheat your oven. 
  2. Combine the flour and brown sugar for the crust. Then, use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until it’s pea-sized and crumbly.
  3. Press the mixture into a baking pan, and bake until it is lightly browned. 
  4. Next, in a stand mixer beat the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the warm crust in the baking pan. 
  5. Stir together the ingredients for the apple mixture, and spread them evenly across the cream cheese filling. 
  6. Now, combine the ingredients for the streusel topping, and cut the butter into the mixture. 
  7. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the apples. 
  8. Bake until the center of the bars has set, and serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a pinch of salt on top! 

Tips and Tricks

We’ve tested this cheesecake bars recipe more than a few times and have come up with a few tips and tricks to make the process even easier along the way. 

Use Room Temperature Ingredients. This includes the dairy and eggs! Letting your ingredients warm to room temperature will allow for easier mixing and an ultra smooth and creamy filling. 

Line Your Baking Pan. Before you begin, be sure to line your pan with tin foil or parchment paper. This will allow you to easily lift the bars out once they’re baked and helps create smooth clean cuts. 

Mix Well. Don’t rush through the steps of mixing each layer of your bars! You want to make sure that they are well combined and smooth. Otherwise, the flavors won’t blend, and you’re likely to have lumpy bars.

How Do You Tell When Cheesecake Bars Are Done? 

Given their creamy consistency and dairy-filled center, it can be difficult to tell when your cheesecake bars are done baking. Luckily, we’ve got three simple methods to help you out! 

Jiggle Them. Sounds weird, right? But it works! After the baking time has passed, grab an oven mitt, and gently (very gently), shake the baking pan. If the bars are mostly still but have a slight jiggle in the center, they’re ready to be pulled out of the oven. 

Test the Top. Using clean hands, carefully press on the top of the bars. If they are firm and give just slightly under your touch, they’re ready to eat. 

Test the Temperature. The most accurate way to tell if your cheesecake bars are done is by using a kitchen thermometer to ensure they have reached an internal temperature of 150º Fahrenheit. 

Storing and Freezing

Once sliced, cheesecake bars can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you’re stacking them on top of each other, we highly recommend placing a piece of parchment paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking together. 

Or, for longer-lasting cheesecake bars, store them in the freezer for up to 1 month! To do so, slice your bars. Then, wrap each piece in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of tin foil. Place all of the wrapped bars in a sealable bag, and pop them in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, let them thaw in the fridge overnight, or set them at room temperature on the counter for 2 hours. 

How to Cleanly Cut Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

If you’re anything like us, you’ve tried to cut cheesecake right out of the oven, and it resulted in a crumbly mess. So, prevent that from happening, make sure your bars are cool. We recommend placing them in the fridge for a few hours to chill. Then, remove them from the baking pan, and run a sharp knife under hot water. Wipe it dry, and slice into your cheesecake bars. Continue to repeat this process, running the knife under water and wiping it clean after each cut, and your bars will be sliced with ease! 

More Chesecake-Inspired Recipes

Can’t get enough of the creamy taste of cheesecake? Try out these great recipes! 

close up image of a caramel apple cheesecake bar with caramel drizzled on top

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Food Dolls
Made with a crisp brown sugar crust, a sweet apple filling, and a crumbly streusel topping, these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are the perfect dessert for fall!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 357 kcal

Ingredients
  

Crust:

  • 2 cups organic all-purpose unbleached flour
  • ½ cup firmly packed organic brown sugar
  • 2 sticks ((1 cup) butter, softened)
  • pinch kosher salt

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 8- ounce packages cream cheese (softened)
  • ¾ cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apples:

  • 3 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup butter, softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using a fork or a pastry blender cut the mixture until crumbly. Press into a 9x13 baking pan lined with tin foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese with ¾ cup sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over the warm crust.
  • In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples,  2 Tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Using a fork, cut the butter into the mixture. Combine until all of the ingredients are well incorporated and crumbly.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the filling is set. Serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a pinch of sea salt.
    https://youtu.be/C_GQHRHn_JY

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword caramel apple cheesecake bars, cheesecake, cheesecake bars, dessert
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