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Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars are amazingly flavorful with layers of graham cracker crust, creamy cheesecake, cinnamon apples, and crunchy streusel. Add a drizzle of your favorite caramel sauce, and you’ve got an irresistibly delicious dessert!

caramel sauce pouring over a stack of three Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

When it comes to fall desserts, apples are front and center in my mind. Add some caramel, and there’s no way I’m able to resist!

Here, that amazing fall flavor pairing makes its way into incredibly delicious cheesecake bars. We start with a big, sturdy graham cracker crust, followed by creamy cheesecake. That’s topped with cinnamon-y apples and a streusel topping.

To take these cheesecake bars over the top, drizzle your favorite caramel sauce over them when you’re ready to serve. Be prepared for lots of oohs and aahs when your guests dig their forks into this amazingly delicious dessert!

If you love all things caramel apple, make Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze, Caramel Apple Mini Pies, and Caramel Apple Crumb Cake, too!

overhead view of ingredients for Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

What You’ll Need

See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions. Here is a list of the ingredients you’ll need along with some helpful notes.

For the crust:

  • Graham crackers – You’ll need 3 cups of graham cracker crumbs for the crust. That’s about 2 sleeves of cookies.
  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown sugar – Light or dark brown sugar will work here, although the dark variety may add too much molasses flavor for your tastes.

For the apples:

  • Granny Smith apples – Dice these into small pieces.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Ground cinnamon – Make sure yours is still fresh by giving it a sniff. If it doesn’t have a strong aroma, it’s time to replace it.

For the streusel:

  • Brown sugar
  • Quick oats – The small size of quick-cooking oats works well for making the crumbs of the streusel.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter – Let the butter soften so that it will mix easily into the topping.
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt

For the filling:

  • Cream cheese – Bring the cream cheese to room temperature for easier mixing and a smooth filling. Full-fat cream cheese works best.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs – Set these out along with the cream cheese, too.
  • Vanilla extract

For serving:

  • Caramel sauce – After making these cheesecake bars, give yourself a break and use your favorite store-bought caramel sauce. If you want to go the homemade route, try the easy one one from this Pecan Cake or this Apple Spice Cake.
overhead view of a Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar on a white plate

How to Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

You’ll be making four different layers here, but don’t let that dissuade you. Each component is quick and easy to make, and then you’ll just layer everything and bake!

First, make the crust

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs on the two long sides. Lightly grease the paper and any exposed parts of the pan.

Crush the graham crackers. Place them in the bowl of a food processor, and process them until they are fine crumbs. Alternatively, you can crush the cookies by another method, such as placing them in a zip-top bag and using a rolling pin to crush.

Make the crust mixture. Add the melted butter, flour, and sugar, and pulse until combined. If not using a food processor, stir together the ingredients until thoroughly combined and moistened.

Bake. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Next, make the apple and streusel layers

Combine the apple ingredients. Stir together the apples, sugar, and cinnamon.

Mix the streusel ingredients. Place the brown sugar, oats, flour, butter, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl. Use a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers to mix. It should be moist but crumbly.

Then, make the cheesecake filling

Mix the ingredients. Place the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl, and mix with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined.

Finally, assemble and bake

Add the cheesecake filling. Pour the cheesecake batter over the partially baked crust, and spread it evenly.

Top with apples. Scatter the cinnamon apples evenly over the filling.

Add the streusel. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the apples.

Bake. Place the pan in the heated oven, and bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until the center is set but not completely firm.

overhead view of freshly baked Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars in a parchment- lined baking pan

Cool. Place the pan on a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Then, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve. Use the overhanging parchment to lift the bars from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into bars, and serve with store-bought or homemade caramel sauce.

overhead view of sliced Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars on parchment paper

Ideas for Variations

  • Use a different type of apple. The tartness of Granny Smith apples pairs well with the sweet cheesecake and streusel, but you can use a sweeter variety like Honeycrisp or Gala apples. Or try a combination of apples! Learn more: The Best Apples for Baking
  • Change the crust. For something a little different, try making the crust with gingersnaps or vanilla wafers. Just keep the volume of cookie crumbs the same.
  • Take a shortcut. If you’re in a hurry, you can use canned apple pie filling in place of the fresh apple mixture. It’s not quite the same texture, but the flavor will be similar.
  • Scale down the recipe. You can half the recipe and make in an 8-inch square pan.
a Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar on a white plate with more bars on a plate in the background

Tips for Success

I think you’ll find these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars to be easy to make. Here are a few tips to help make sure yours turn out perfect!

  • Line the pan. It makes quick and easy work of removing the bars from the pan after they’ve chilled.
  • Use a pastry blender for the streusel. It makes mixing these types of toppings a breeze. It’s one of my most-used tools, as it works well for so many crumb toppings and pastry doughs.
  • Use a sharp knife for slicing. To get perfect slices, make firm, confident cuts, and avoid using a sawing motion. Wipe off the knife between cuts.
overhead view of a Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar on a white plate with apples and more bars beside

How to Store

Keep these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should keep up to 3 days.

Can These Cheesecake Bars Be Frozen?

Yes! Wrap the cheesecake bars tightly and thoroughly in plastic wrap, and then place inside an airtight, freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Properly stored, they should keep up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and add the caramel when serving.

three Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars stacked on a white plate with caramel sauce drizzled over the top and down the side

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Yield 24 2-inch bars
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

These cheesecake bars feature layers of graham cracker crust, creamy cheesecake, cinnamon apples, and a crunchy streusel topping. And don't forget the caramel drizzle!

caramel sauce pouring over a stack of three Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 3 cups graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g) firmly packed light brown sugar

For the cinnamon apples:

  • 2 cups chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 or 3 apples)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the streusel topping:

  • 1 cup (200g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (60g) quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup (90g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 24 ounces (680g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For serving:

  • Caramel sauce

Instructions

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 13" x 2" baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs by a couple of inches on two opposite sides. Lightly grease the paper.
  2. Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until fine crumbs form. Add the butter, flour, and brown sugar. Pulse until combined.
  3. Transfer the crust mixture to the prepared pan. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside until ready to assemble.

To make the cinnamon apples:

  1. Combine the diced apples, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.

To make the streusel topping:

  1. Mix the brown sugar, oats, flour, butter, cinnamon, and salt with a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers. Mix until combined and crumbly. Set aside.

To make the cheesecake filling:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined.

To assemble and bake:

  1. Pour the filling over the partially baked crust, and spread evenly.
  2. Sprinkle the cinnamon apple mixture evenly over the filling.
  3. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the apples.
  4. Bake the cheesecake for 55 minutes, or until the middle is set but not firm. (It will firm as it cools.)
  5. Cool the cheesecake to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  6. Use the overhanging parchment paper to lift the bars onto a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars.
  7. Drizzle caramel sauce over the slices when ready to serve.

Notes

Keep the bars refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months.

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    One Comment on “Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars”

  1. I made these for Thanksgiving dessert, and they were a huge hit.  Thanks so much for all your fun, easy, and delicious recipes. Looking forward to the holiday cookie baking season.

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