Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars start with a shortbread crust, a thick cheesecake layer, and are topped with diced cinnamon apples and a sweet streusel topping. These are a tried and true cheesecake bar dessert recipe.
CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS
WHAT ARE IN THESE BARS?
These have a flaky shortbread crust, a simple cheesecake filling, and has cinnamon apples and a brown sugar streusel on top. Drizzle caramel sauce on top when serving. I like Mrs. Richardson’s caramel or any other brand that’s on the thicker side.
WHAT KIND OF APPLES SHOULD I USE?
I use Granny Smith green apples because they are a little more tart and the recipe is on the sweet side so it balances out. You can really use any apple you have on hand.
Add some cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg to the apples.
The cheesecake layer goes on top of the shortbread crust.
Add the seasoned apples on top!
The crumble on top is pretty simple with some flour, brown sugar, oats, and butter.
Seems thick but melts down.
You know it’s done when it’s nice and golden brown.
You can add the caramel on top right before serving or before you chill them. This recipe is always requested any time I bring it anywhere.
HOW DO I STORE THESE?
After you have baked the bars let them cool to room temperature then store in the fridge up to 5 days. Some people like to eat these warm as well.
CAN I FREEZE THESE CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS?
Absolutely. You can freeze these caramel apple cheesecake bars up to four months. Just like most cheesecakes, this recipe freezes well. Just make sure to save the caramel topping for when serving.
OTHER APPLE RECIPES:
- Salted Caramel Apple Cups
- Apple Pie Caramel Apple
- Apple Pudding Cake
- Apple Crisp Pizza
- Caramel Apple Cheesecake
- Apple Crisp Cheese Danish
- Apple Salad
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped, (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup caramel topping for drizzling after baked
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or food processor (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan that is greased or lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil or parchment. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
- In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
- For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. I like to really combine it by using my clean hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture. You can't use a food processor because it will grind up the oats.
- Sprinkle Streusel topping over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Let bars come to room temperature then store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Can be frozen up to 4 months.
- Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy!
Can I use regular oats if I do not have quick oats?
Does it matter what apples you use, have ambrosia apples
Nope! Any apple
I made this recipe but the crumb crust got soggy from the apples
The apples should not be in contact with crust. Or are you saying the moisture from them?
Will it work as a cake and not bars? For example in a round ring 15″ or more?
The bars will spread unless you have a large ring?
I have a larger ring, so it wont be high as a cheascacke right? It wont hold the hight? Which size would you recomend (for both rong or squer)
I haven’t tried it so it’s hard to tell. I would use the larger one because there’s a lot of cheesecake
I believe she is referring to a spring form pan
Stupid good. Didn’t add caramel sayce because I’m lazy. Work peeps raved.
Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! I have never made cheesecake before so I was nervous to attempt this but it came out amazing. People were asking for to go plates of it and the pan was cleaned! Will absolutely be making again. Crust stuck to the bottom of the pan a bit so I will make sure to grease it more next time.
Made for Thanksgiving, My family LOVED it, thanks so much!
I brought this to my mother in laws house for thanksgiving. It was a huge hit. I felt bad because out of all the desserts there mine was the only one anybody ate from. I will definitely be making this again. I didn’t realize the crust needed to cool before placing the other toppings on top. I made all the layers before I baked the crust. Next time it will be perfect if I make the other layers as it cools and cools and the timing will be perfect.
Haha that’s awesome!
What if I don’t have the oats
You can leave them out, the topping just won’t be as thick
Can I add the caramel in advance? Such as the day before? Do you think it would make the top soggy
Nope. It should be fine
I took these bars to my sorority’s fallsop and salda luncheon. They were a huge hit and many requests for the recipe. My only problem is that I lined the pan with parchment paper when I went to put them on my glass plate I could not lift the bars out of the pan. The paper just tore. It was very difficult to get the bar (single) out of the pan. So they weren’t pretty like your pictures..
Do you have a suggestion for me as I would love to make these once again,\
You could also use heavy duty foil. That might hold up better for you.
I have made quite a few times, always a big hit! As far as time to make, crust, maybe 5 minutes and then the next 3 layers were ready by the 15 minute crust bake time, with just me making. I do have a apple peeler,slicer and corer, so that maybe takes 2 minutes to do
Wow you are fast!
Could I assemble this and leave in the fridge overnight and only bake the next day?
Yes, you can!
I have this in the oven right now. Super easy to make and it’s making the house smell like fall. Looking forward to taking it to my life group to share.
Ooh hope you love it
To save a little bit of time, could a canned apple pie filling be used instead? Would that affect the big time at all?
Absolutely! No it’s a great shortcut
could you do these in individual cupcake liners?
Yes I have done that before
I made this by myself because my assistants bailed on me lol. Super labor intensive! It turned out great but I wouldn’t make it again unless I had two other people helping with the prep!
Yes a little work but worth it.
do you think this would work with a strawberry/rhubarb filling? the apple was very good!
Yes, I think that would be great!
The prep time with 2 people took over an hour
do these need to be put in the fridge or left at room temp?
I would definitely put them in the fridge.
Could you make this in a springform pan?
Will they get soggy if I put in fridge night before? Do I let them get to room temp before putting pan in fridge? Foil? Thanks!
no they will not get soggy in the fridge. Ideally you should cool to room temp before putting in the fridge.
Is a standard height of 2” of a 9 x 13 baking dish tall enough or do you need a deeper dish for this recipe?
Nope. A standard 9×13 is fine.
I did all measurements correctly, but both the crust and the streusel were super doughy. I can’t even put the streusel on top because its so doughy. I put in the correct amount of butter. what am i doing wrong?????
Personally, I would check my ovens accuracy
That does not sound correct. Could you have used too much butter?
Everyone loved these bars and they were super easy to make! Thanks for the great recipe!
Do you prefer light or dark brown sugar for this recipe?
How do these do if frozen? I’m wanting to take leftovers to several events.,
my stuck to the pan, any suggestioins. This always happens to me with cheesecake.
Did you make a crust? Did you line th epan with parchment or foil?
This are so incredibly delicious! I cut the recipe to 1/3. Thanks for sharing this
Hi. Is the cream cheese 3x 8oz or a total of 8oz? And do I have to cook the apples first so it doesn’t get watery when I bake it with the cream cheese?
How far in advance could you make this? Just the morning of?
Not at all. You can do a couple days in advance.
Hi! This sounds wonderful. I’m wondering if you leave out the oats and make it a crumble topping instead. I rarely cook with oats and therefore would rather not buy them if I can get around using them.
You could definitely try it but I haven’t.
I have made these several times. Last time I replaced the chopped apple topping and used about 500 gm of fresh pineapple crushed, 1/3 cup of shredded coconut (unsweeten because it is what I had) 2 bits of candied ginger chopped finely. I drained the juice after about 5 minutes of the ginger sitting in the coconut and pineapple and saved it to make a caramel sauce using the pineapple juice instead of water. It was delicious this way as well. The tangy sauce was really nice. Thanks for posting this recipe.
Oh wow! That sounds delicious!
I really love the apple and streusel topping that I cut the cheesecake portion by 1/3 and kept the rest of the recipe the same. It really lets the apple/crumbles shine. My family loves these cheesecake bars and we’ve been making this recipe for years now 🙂
What if you are baking this in an elevated place like the mountains? Still same temperature and cook time for the crust and second bake?
Yup. I’m at high elevation and have no issues.
This dessert is AMAZING! I love caramel and apples and this recipe has great flavor. It’s a little bit of extra effort but it’s totally worth it.
Yes a labor of love.
I’ve made this once before and everyone loved it! Any suggestions on making this in cupcake liners? Would you adjust the bake time?
You could make it in liners but I’m not sure on bake time.
Absolutely delicious! Everybody loves this! Thank you so much for the recipe!
I just pulled it out of the oven! I made it for thanksgiving, since I don’t like pumpkin pie. 😬
If I make this ahead of time 1-2 days do I refrigerate it? Or just room temperature and covered?
Just made it. Currently in the oven. *fingers crossed*
Sorry. Probably too late. I would refrigerate them.
If I bake the day before, could I just store it in the refrigerator rather than freezer?
These will be perfect for Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to make them.
Hope you love them!
Have you saved this in the freezer before? Wanting to make ahead. AND I love this recipe!!!
Yes, definitely freezer friendly.
I saved this recipe so that I can make it for Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you for sharing it
the filling was like pudding even after baking for an hour and the crust is not a shortbread crust. it’s a streusel crust. personally, coming from a baker, i wouldn’t ever make this again. the flavors were good but the textures weren’t at all good. 4/10. youre missing something to set up the cream cheese filling. and a shortbread is not brown sugar, so maybe try using an actual shortbread recipe.
Hmmm lots of people love this recipe. Sorry you didn’t.
Lol I make this every single year for thanksgiving and for Christmas and people swoon over it. Since you’re a “baker” maybe you should use your own recipes instead of being so (wrongly) critical over others.
I’m no professional baker but I have been making this recipe (minus the extra cream cheese) for the past 5 years and have never had any issues. The filling always comes together and everything is solid and does not fall apart. Not sure what happened there. Absolutely love this recipe and it has always been a hit. Family, friends, and coworkers always request this dessert for any party
This looks good! Does it call for 24 oz of cream cheese total or just 8oz total? I’m getting ready to make it and just want to clarify. Thank you!
24 ounces of cream cheese!
Is it ok if it’s still jiggly in the middle? Will it set as it cools?
Yes. It shouldn’t be too jiggly but a little is normal.
Absolutely delicious!! Thank you for sharing.
This is always may go to recipe! It ALWAYS comes out perfect, and leaves people thinking I’m a chef when they try it.😄
When people complain its not cooked enough I found they are doing either one of 2 things.
Either they don’t know their oven correctly. (Old ovens aren’t as hot and newer ones can be too hot)
Or… they aren’t letting it cool all the way. Just some tips I learned. Thanks for sharing this.
*a splash of almond ext. in the topping really compliments the flavors!
Do you think applesauce would work for an egg substitute here? My daughter in law can’t have eggs.
Oui. I haven’t used applesauce as a sub. Shoot. Not sure.
Hello, can you freeze and eat later?
Absolutely amazing. Everyone who tried wanted the recipe
Crust is an absolute mess. Make a graham cracker crust instead
It’s a shortbread crust. What went wrong?
I baked this at 350 for an hour and I don’t think the cheesecake part of it cooked all the way. Neither did the crust. The flavors are spot on, though. Any idea of what I did wrong?
All ovens are different. You might have to bake longer?
Can these be made the night before?
Yes! Days before actually.
If your using whole wheat flour is that ok instead of all purpose flour?
YEs. It will have a different texture.
What size pan to do you recommend?
I use a 9×13 which I state in the recipe.
Oh my goodness. I made this last night and couldn’t wait to have some and had it for breakfast! No. Regrets. So delish!! I will be making this again!
Apples are fruit therefore breakfast!
Very very good dessert!
A tried and true!
I made these with a gluten free oatmeal crust so people at work could have these too. Every one loved them. My boss some to her little girl who could not have gluten and she asked her daughter what she wanted to tell me and she said tell her I love her lol
Tried this for the first time, used graham cracked crust instead, and it tasted delicious!! I did add 10 minutes to cook time based on reviews and I believe 15 would have made them perfect! Crumble topping was amazing! Highly recommend!
This was a huge it for our New Year’s Eve party. Turned out perfectly. The only thing I would note is that it takes way more prep time then 10 minutes and the total bake time is closer to an hour when you add in baking the crust. Worth every minute though! Just made them again today for another get together.
Thanks for the feedback. Yes, that’s true!
All I have it regular oats not quick will that be ok?
Yes, that should work!
Thank you so much for this recipe, it’s one of my all time favs and always a crowd pleaser! Do you have any tips on cutting them into bars cleanly and easily? It’s always the hardest part for me. For anyone who hasn’t made this yet, I would advise allowing yourself plenty of time–it takes me about 2 hours per batch. And it really helps to have someone else chop apples while you get the rest going.
I use a sharp knife and clean the knife after each big cut.
I cut every baked good with a cake cutter you get for free when you buy a cake. Just have to make sure it is not too hot. But nothing ever sticks to it and gives a clean cut!
I want to make these two days before Christmas. Will they keep okay in the refrigerator for that long?
I’ve kept them up to 5 days in the fridge and they still taste great!
Yes! They will!
Could I use a graham cracker crust instead of the shortbread? I would like to make these for a Christmas Eve get together. Thank you.
Yes, graham cracker would be great!
Do you serve these warm or cold?? Not sure if I should put it in the oven before serving? Or at room temp? I made them last night????
I store them in the fridge then take out 30 minutes before serving.
Thank you! Will it be okay to make the whole thing the night before l, store it in the fridge, (might leave out the apples and topping to prevent browning and do that the day of) and just bake it the next day?
Yes, absolutely. The whole dish is great made days ahead of time.
Could you use old fashioned oats instead of quick???
Hi! Your note says you 1.5x the cheesecake layer of the dessert. Does your ingredient measurements already take that into account or should I multiply the measurements by 1.5
The recipe already takes that into account as written. Don’t change a thing!