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When it’s apple season, grab some a few apples and make these delicious caramel apple cheesecake bars! With a buttery shortbread crust, silky cream cheese layer, fresh apple filling, finished with a streusel topping and caramel sauce drizzled on top you are going to Fall in love with these bars!
I love a good dessert. I really, really love when a dessert is like two desserts in one. Like these caramel apple cheesecake bars. It’s like having a slice of Dutch apple pie, and a slice of cheesecake all in one. Drizzled with sweet caramel sauce and I’m licking the plate clean.
And as much as I love making a cheesecake and I do, we have a few around here to check out – like this lemon cheesecake, Biscoff cheesecake, and creamy pumpkin cheesecake– but making cheesecake bars is just so much simpler!
I used my Caramel apple bars as the jumping off point of this recipe and with a few tweaks here and there I finally landed on this caramel apple cheesecake bars version.
In the end these caramel apple cheesecake bars start with a buttery shortbread crust, topped with a creamy cheesecake layer, topped with chopped apples tossed in warm spices, and then an oatmeal streusel topping gets sprinkled evenly on top. Before serving drizzle on some caramel sauce for the most decadent Fall treat.
And if you love apple desserts as much as me then I know you’re going to love it too.
- Grab some candy bars and make these decadent Butterfinger cheesecake bars!
- Churro cheesecake bars are easy cheesecake bars made with crescent rolls and cinnamon sugar.
- With a coconut pecan topping, these German chocolate cheesecake bars are rich, creamy and delicious.
- For more delicious cheesecake inspiration be sure to check out my full list of 45 Cheesecake recipes for your next dessert!
What kind of apples should I use?
I like to use an apple that will hold up in texture and not just turn to mush during the baking process. Granny Smith apples is a great choice for these caramel apple cheesecake bars. Another few great options are Pink Lady apples, or Honeycrisp apples.
You can read more here about which apples are best for baking.
Why this recipe works
- Great Fall Dessert – When apples are in season this dessert is the best way to celebrate them!
- Easier than make a whole cheesecake. I love a cheesecake, but cheesecake bars are so much easier to make! No water bath needed!
- It’s like two desserts in no one. These are like a Dutch apple pie and cheesecake in one!
Ingredients you will need
For the full recipe and directions, scroll down to the bottom to the recipe card.
- Butter – I prefer to use unsalted butter, but salted butter can also work.
- Granulated sugar
- All purpose flour
- Cream cheese – You will need two packages cream cheese. Use block style cream cheese as opposed to tub style for best texture. Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature.
- Sour cream – Can always swap with greek yogurt.
- Vanilla extract
- Eggs – Use room temperature eggs so they blend in easily.
- Apples – You will need about 4 medium apples. I used Granny Smith apples.
- Brown sugar – You can use light brown sugar, or dark brown sugar. Or if you don’t have any, make your own brown sugar with a food processor.
- Oats – You can use old fashioned oats or quick oats.
- Caramel sauce – For the caramel drizzle on top before serving. You can use jarred caramel sauce, or homemade caramel sauce.
How To Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
Make The Shortbread Crust
Preheat the oven to 350oF (177°C). Prepare a 9×13″ rectangular pan with foil or parchment paper, being sure to leave the edges hanging over for easy removal. Give the pan a spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add in flour and salt and mix on medium low speed just until incorporated.
Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan (I use my hands and bake for 14-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven.
Make The Cheesecake Layer
Add in the sour cream, vanilla, and eggs and beat on low speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Spread the cheesecake batter over the shortbread crust.
Make The Apple filling
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the apples flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Spread the apples over the cheesecake batter.
Make The Crumble Topping
In a large mixing bowl, with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir together the brown sugar, rolled oats, flour and cut in the softened butter until a crumbly mixture forms. You can use a pastry cutter to do this, two knives, or just squish the butter your fingertips.
Crumble the streusel topping over the apples.
Bake for an additional 35-40 minutes at 350oF/177oC until streusel topping is golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool in pan for an hour. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight until firm.
When ready to serve, Lift the foil or paper out of the pan and cut into squares. Drizzle caramel sauce over before enjoying!
Recipe Variations And Serving Suggestions
- Make gluten free. Use gluten free flour and gluten free oats to make this recipe gluten free.
- Top with whipped cream. Top each bar with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
- Serve with ice cream. Serve with scoop of vanilla ice cream!
- Graham cracker crust – Instead of a shortbread crust, make a graham cracker crust instead. Use regular graham crackers or try cinnamon graham crackers! Crush graham crackers in a food processor, add butter and sugar then press the graham cracker crumbs into your 9×13 pan and par bake.
- Caramel topping – Make your own caramel sauce for the caramel drizzle! Or buy really good jarred caramel sauce. You can also stir more caramel sauce into the apple filling before baking.
You want to store these apple cheesecake bars in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 4 days. For longer storage, I recommend freezing them.
You can freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving. I did find that the crust and topping will soften slightly.
More Recipes To Try
If you love these caramel apple cheesecake bars then be sure to try these other recipes!
Caramel Apple cheesecake bars
For the crust
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 226 g) unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 2 cups + 2 tbs (255 g) all purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the cheesecake layer:
- 16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese at room temperature
- ⅔ cup (167 g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (76 g) sour cream
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs room temperature
For the Apple filling
- 4 cups apples about 4 medium apples peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces
- 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (45 g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the streusel
- ½ cup (107 g) packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup (60 g) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (57g , 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup (50 g) old fashioned or quick cooking oats
- Caramel sauce for drizzling on top before serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Prepare a 9×13" rectangular pan with foil or parchment paper, being sure to leave the edges hanging over for easy removal. Give the pan a spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add in flour and salt and mix on medium low speed just until incorporated.
- Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan (I use my hands and bake for 14-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or you can do this in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer) beat the cream cheese and sugar together one medium speed until smooth.
- Add in the sour cream, vanilla, and eggs and beat on low speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Spread the cheesecake batter over the shortbread crust.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the apples flour, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Spread the apples over the cheesecake batter.
- In a large mixing bowl, with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir together the brown sugar, oats, flour and cut in the softened butter until a crumbly mixture forms. You can use a pastry cutter to do this, two knives, or just squish the butter your fingertips.
- Crumble the streusel topping over the apples.
- Bake for an additional 35-40 minutes at 350°F/177°C until streusel topping is golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool in pan for an hour. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight until firm. When ready to serve, Lift the foil or paper out of the pan and cut into squares. Drizzle caramel sauce over before enjoying!
- Storage: Store covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. Crust and topping may soften slightly each day.
- Freezing: Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
- Apples: I prefer to use a tart apple that can hold up to baking. Granny Smith and Honey crisp are my two favorites!
- Cream cheese: Use full fat bricky style cream cheese for best flavor and texture.
- Butter: I used unsalted butter but salted butter can be swapped, just omit or reduce the added salt.