Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Get ready to immerse yourself in a decadent dessert experience. This recipe brings together the tartness of granny smith apples, the creaminess of cheesecake, and the sweet, buttery taste of caramel. These caramel apple cheesecake bars are not just delicious, but are also a true showstopper, perfect for parties and family gatherings.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars Recipe
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This recipe includes common ingredients that can be easily found in a typical home pantry. However, the caramel topping might require a visit to the supermarket. When purchasing, look for a high-quality brand to ensure a rich and authentic caramel flavor.

Ingredients for Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

All purpose flour: The base ingredient for the crust and the streusel topping. Provides structure and texture.

Light brown sugar: Adds sweetness and a hint of molasses flavor to the crust and topping.

Butter: Gives the crust and topping a rich flavor and a tender texture.

Cream cheese: The main ingredient for the cheesecake layer, providing a creamy and tangy flavor.

Sugar: Adds sweetness to the cream cheese layer.

Eggs: Helps to set the cheesecake layer.

Vanilla extract: Enhances the flavors of the cheesecake layer.

Granny Smith apples: Their tartness balances the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Ground cinnamon and nutmeg: Spices that add warmth and depth to the apple layer.

Caramel topping: Adds a sweet, buttery finish to the bars.

Quick cooking oats: Adds a bit of chew and nuttiness to the streusel topping.

One reader, Aura Odonnell says:

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These caramel apple cheesecake bars are a game-changer! The combination of creamy cheesecake, sweet caramel, and tart apples is pure perfection. The streusel topping adds a delightful crunch. It's a must-try for anyone who loves fall flavors!

Aura Odonnell

Essential Techniques for Crafting Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

How to make the crust: Combine flour and brown sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 pan and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

How to make the cheesecake layer: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla, stirring to combine. Pour the mixture over the warm crust.

How to prepare the apple layer: In a small bowl, combine the apples, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon the mixture evenly on top of the cheesecake layer.

How to make the streusel topping: Combine brown sugar, flour, quick-cooking oats, and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apple layer.

How to bake and finish: Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set. Allow the bars to cool and then drizzle with caramel topping.

How To Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Welcome fall with these cheesecake bars. A rich cheesecake filling is combined with a sweet apple filling. It also has crisp streusel & smooth caramel.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 2cupsall purpose flour
  • ½cuplight brown sugar,firmly packed
  • 1cupbutter,softened
  • 8ozcream cheese,(2 packages) softened
  • ½cupsugar,plus 2 tbsp, divided
  • 2large eggs
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • 3granny smith apples,peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • ½tspground cinnamon
  • ¼tspground nutmeg
  • ½cupcaramel topping

For Streusel topping:

  • 1cupbrown sugar,firmly packed
  • 1cupall purpose flour
  • ½cupquick cooking oats
  • ½cupbutter,softened

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

  2. In a medium sized bowl combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

  3. In a large mixing bowl beat with a hand mixer the cream cheese, ½ sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla. Stir to combine.

  4. Pour over warm crust. In a small bowl combine apples, remaining 2 Tbs sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon evenly on top of the cheesecake layer.

  5. Combine brown sugar, flour, cooking oats and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle streusel topping over the apple layer.

  6. Bake for 30 minutes until filling is set. Allow to cool and drizzle with caramel topping.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 581.44kcal
  • Fat: 31.15g
  • Saturated Fat: 18.64g
  • Trans Fat: 0.93g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.07g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.59g
  • Carbohydrates: 70.21g
  • Fiber: 2.95g
  • Sugar: 30.87g
  • Protein: 7.16g
  • Cholesterol: 112.93mg
  • Sodium: 138.03mg
  • Calcium: 63.96mg
  • Potassium: 194.99mg
  • Iron: 2.22mg
  • Vitamin A: 282.48µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.05mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Your Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

When making the caramel apple cheesecake bars, it's important to ensure that your cream cheese is at room temperature before you begin. This will make it easier to blend with the sugar and eggs, resulting in a smoother, creamier filling. Additionally, when cutting the butter into the flour and brown sugar for the crust, try to work quickly and avoid overworking the mixture. This will help to keep the butter cold, which will result in a flakier, more tender crust. Lastly, when layering the apples over the cheesecake layer, try to arrange them in an even layer to ensure every bite has a bit of apple.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Delicious Dessert

Prep ahead: Prepare the streusel topping and crust in advance and store them in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will save time on the day of baking.

Use pre-made caramel: Instead of making caramel from scratch, use store-bought caramel topping to save time and effort.

Invest in an apple corer: Using an apple corer will make the process of coring and slicing the apples much quicker and more efficient.

Organize ingredients: Before starting the recipe, measure and organize all the ingredients. This will streamline the cooking process and reduce the chances of missing any components.

Chill the cheesecake: After baking, allow the cheesecake bars to chill in the refrigerator to speed up the setting process before adding the caramel topping.

Substitute Ingredients For Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars Recipe

  • all purpose flour - Substitute with whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour can add a nutty flavor and extra fiber to the crust, making it a healthier alternative.

  • light brown sugar - Substitute with coconut sugar: Coconut sugar has a similar caramel-like flavor and can be used as a 1:1 replacement for brown sugar.

  • butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can be used as a dairy-free alternative and adds a subtle coconut flavor to the dessert.

  • cream cheese - Substitute with vegan cream cheese: Vegan cream cheese is a dairy-free alternative that can provide a similar creamy texture and taste.

  • sugar - Substitute with maple syrup: Maple syrup can add a rich, natural sweetness and a hint of caramel flavor to the recipe.

  • eggs - Substitute with applesauce: Applesauce can act as a binding agent and add moisture to the bars, making it a suitable egg replacement in this recipe.

  • granny smith apples - Substitute with honeycrisp apples: Honeycrisp apples have a sweet and tart flavor, similar to Granny Smith apples, and hold their shape well when baked.

  • ground cinnamon - Substitute with apple pie spice: Apple pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, which can enhance the apple flavor in the bars.

  • ground nutmeg - Substitute with ground cloves: Ground cloves can add a warm, aromatic flavor similar to nutmeg, complementing the other spices in the recipe.

  • caramel topping - Substitute with homemade caramel sauce: Homemade caramel sauce can be made with sugar, butter, and cream, providing a rich and decadent topping for the bars.

  • brown sugar - Substitute with coconut palm sugar: Coconut palm sugar has a similar caramel-like flavor and can be used as a 1:1 replacement for brown sugar in the streusel topping.

  • quick cooking oats - Substitute with crushed nuts: Crushed nuts, such as almonds or pecans, can add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the streusel topping.

Presenting Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars for Maximum Appeal

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the caramel apple cheesecake bars, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing arrangement on the plate. Use clean lines and precise placement to showcase the layers and textures of the dessert.

  2. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Enhance the visual appeal by skillfully drizzling the caramel topping in a decorative manner over the bars. The artful presentation of the caramel adds a touch of sophistication to the dish.

  3. Garnish with fresh apple slices: Introduce a touch of freshness and color to the plate by garnishing with thinly sliced apples. Arrange the slices in a visually appealing manner to complement the flavors of the dessert.

  4. Utilize edible flowers: Elevate the presentation by incorporating delicate and edible flowers as a garnish. The vibrant colors and elegant shapes of the flowers will add a sophisticated touch to the overall plating.

  5. Create a caramel swirl: Use a toothpick or a small utensil to create a decorative caramel swirl on the plate. This technique adds a professional and artistic flair to the presentation of the caramel apple cheesecake bars.

  6. Dust with cinnamon: Lightly dust the plate with a sprinkle of cinnamon to add a subtle aromatic element to the presentation. The hint of spice will enhance the overall sensory experience for the diners.

  7. Consider the use of gold leaf: For an opulent touch, delicately place slivers of edible gold leaf on the plate. The shimmering gold accents will elevate the dessert to a luxurious and visually stunning level.

  8. Emphasize symmetry and balance: Pay attention to the balance and symmetry of the elements on the plate. A harmonious arrangement will showcase the dessert in a professional and aesthetically pleasing manner.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Cheesecake Bars

  • Mixing bowls: Essential for combining ingredients and mixing batters or doughs.
  • Hand mixer: Used for beating and blending ingredients to achieve a smooth and creamy texture.
  • 9x13 inch pan: Ideal for baking the cheesecake bars and ensuring they have the right thickness.
  • Aluminum foil: Used to line the pan, making it easier to remove the bars after baking.
  • Cooking spray: Helps prevent the bars from sticking to the aluminum foil and the pan.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Necessary for accurately measuring ingredients.
  • Spatula: Used for spreading the crust mixture and smoothing the cheesecake layer.
  • Oven: To bake the caramel apple cheesecake bars to perfection.

Storing and Freezing Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars for Later

  • Once the caramel apple cheesecake bars have cooled completely, cut them into individual servings and place them in an airtight container. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, ensuring that the bars remain fresh and delicious.

  • If you want to freeze the cheesecake bars for later enjoyment, wrap each individual serving tightly in plastic wrap, making sure there are no air pockets. Then, place the wrapped bars in a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Label the container or bag with the date and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.

  • To thaw the frozen caramel apple cheesecake bars, simply transfer the desired number of servings from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow them to thaw overnight. Once thawed, the bars can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature, depending on your preference.

  • If you notice any condensation on the surface of the thawed cheesecake bars, gently blot it away with a paper towel before serving. This will help maintain the texture and appearance of the streusel topping and the caramel drizzle.

  • For optimal taste and texture, it's best to consume the thawed caramel apple cheesecake bars within 2-3 days of thawing. Refreezing previously frozen bars is not recommended, as it may affect the quality and texture of the dessert.

How To Reheat Leftover Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

  • To reheat leftover caramel apple cheesecake bars, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the bars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cover the bars loosely with foil to prevent them from browning too much. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. The streusel topping should be crisp and the cheesecake layer should be warm and gooey.

  • Another option is to reheat individual bars in the microwave. Place a single bar on a microwave-safe plate and heat it in 15-second intervals until warmed to your liking. Be careful not to overheat, as the cheesecake layer can become rubbery if microwaved for too long.

  • For a quicker and more convenient method, you can also enjoy the leftover bars cold straight from the refrigerator. The flavors of the caramel, apples, and cheesecake will have melded together, creating a deliciously creamy and indulgent treat.

  • If you want to refresh the streusel topping and give it a little extra crunch, you can place the bars under the broiler for a minute or two before serving. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.

  • Lastly, if you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat the bars quickly and efficiently. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the bars in the basket, leaving some space between each one. Heat for 3-5 minutes, or until warmed through and the streusel topping is crispy.

Surprising Fact About Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

The caramel apple cheesecake bars recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The creamy cheesecake layer pairs perfectly with the tartness of the granny smith apples, while the streusel topping adds a satisfying crunch. These bars are a great option for fall gatherings or as a special treat for dessert. With the added drizzle of caramel topping, they offer a decadent finish to the dish. This recipe provides a wonderful way to enjoy the classic flavors of caramel apples and cheesecake in a convenient bar form. It's a delightful treat for those who enjoy the combination of sweet and tangy flavors.

Is Making Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this caramel apple cheesecake bars recipe largely depends on the availability and cost of ingredients. Cream cheese, apples, and caramel topping can be pricier, impacting the overall cost. However, the yield of the recipe can serve a family of four for multiple days, making it relatively cost-effective. The approximate cost for a household of four people would be around $20-$25. Overall Verdict: 8/10. While it may be slightly more expensive due to certain ingredients, the delicious and indulgent nature of the dessert makes it worth the occasional splurge.

Are Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars Healthy or Unhealthy?

This caramel apple cheesecake bars recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. The main culprits are the high amounts of butter, sugar, and cream cheese, which contribute to the dish's high calorie, fat, and sugar content. The use of refined all-purpose flour also adds to the carbohydrate load without providing much in terms of fiber or nutrients. The apples do offer some nutritional value, but they are overshadowed by the less healthy ingredients.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or oat flour to increase fiber content
  • Reduce the amount of butter and sugar in the crust and streusel topping
  • Use reduced-fat cream cheese to lower the overall fat content
  • Increase the amount of apples used to boost the fruit-to-filling ratio
  • Drizzle the caramel topping sparingly or opt for a homemade version with less sugar

By making these adjustments, you can create a treat that still satisfies your sweet tooth while being a bit more balanced and nutritious. Remember, moderation is key when enjoying indulgent desserts like these caramel apple cheesecake bars.

Editor's Take: My Honest Opinion on Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

The caramel apple cheesecake bars recipe is a delightful combination of creamy cheesecake, sweet caramel, and tart apples. The buttery crust provides a perfect base for the layers of flavors, while the streusel topping adds a delightful crunch. The balance of sweetness and tartness from the apples creates a harmonious blend of flavors. The addition of caramel topping adds a luxurious touch, making this dessert a decadent treat for any occasion. Overall, this recipe is a wonderful twist on traditional cheesecake, and it's sure to impress anyone who tries it.

Enhance Your Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Asparagus: Try grilling some asparagus to serve alongside the caramel apple cheesecake bars. The smoky flavor of the asparagus will complement the sweetness of the dessert.
Honey Glazed Carrots: A side of honey glazed carrots would be a perfect accompaniment to the rich and creamy caramel apple cheesecake bars. The sweet and savory flavors will balance each other out.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Roast some Brussels sprouts to serve with the caramel apple cheesecake bars. The crispy texture and nutty flavor of the sprouts will provide a nice contrast to the dessert.

Delicious Alternatives to Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Spicy Beef Tacos: These spicy beef tacos are a perfect weeknight dinner option. The combination of flavorful spices and tender beef will have your taste buds dancing.
Mango Salsa Chicken: This mango salsa chicken is a refreshing and delicious dish that is perfect for summer. The sweet and tangy mango salsa pairs perfectly with the tender and juicy chicken.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is the ultimate comfort food. The rich and velvety texture combined with the fresh flavors of tomato and basil will warm you up on a cold day.

Appetizer and Main Course Combinations to Serve Alongside Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a delicious mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Indulge in this creamy and flavorful spinach and artichoke dip, served with crispy tortilla chips or warm bread. A crowd-pleasing appetizer that will leave everyone coming back for more.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish with tender chicken and a rich Alfredo sauce. Serve it with a side of garlic bread for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stir Fry: Whip up a quick and flavorful stir fry with thinly sliced beef, colorful vegetables, and a savory sauce. Pair it with steamed rice for a delicious and balanced dinner option.

Why trust this Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars Recipe:

This caramel apple cheesecake bars recipe is a delightful fusion of creamy cheesecake, sweet caramel, and tart apples. The decadent layers of buttery crust, creamy cheesecake, and spiced apple filling create a symphony of flavors and textures. With the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess, these bars are a delightful treat for any occasion. The streusel topping adds a satisfying crunch, while the drizzle of caramel topping provides a luscious finish. Trust in the combination of classic ingredients and expertly crafted layers to deliver a dessert that will impress and satisfy your cravings.

Share your thoughts on the Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars recipe in the Baking and Desserts forum and let us know how it turned out for you!
FAQ:
Can I use a different type of apple for this recipe?
Yes, you can use a different type of apple if you prefer. However, I recommend using a tart and firm apple to balance the sweetness of the cheesecake and caramel.
Can I make this recipe in advance?
Absolutely! These caramel apple cheesecake bars can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just be sure to drizzle the caramel topping right before serving to keep the bars looking fresh.
Can I freeze these cheesecake bars?
Yes, you can freeze these bars. Once they have cooled completely, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then place them in an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Can I omit the streusel topping?
Of course! If you prefer a smoother top, you can omit the streusel topping. The bars will still be delicious with just the creamy cheesecake and caramel apple layers.
Can I use a store-bought caramel sauce?
Absolutely, using a store-bought caramel sauce is a great time-saving option. Just make sure to choose a high-quality caramel sauce for the best flavor.

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