Layers of graham cracker streusel, smooth cream cheese filling, cinnamon apple chunks, and caramel drizzle make up these rich and creamy caramel apple cheesecake bars. They’re perfect for fall!
A few weeks ago on Instagram I asked what kind of recipes you wanted to see this fall and I got a lot of great responses. One request was for cheesecake bars, which I’ve been wanting to share for a while. But how could I put a fall twist on it?
With apples and cinnamon and caramel, of course! These triple threat caramel apple cheesecake bars are perfect for the season and I’m SO EXCITED to share them with you. They’ve been a huge hit with family and friends and we honestly can’t get enough. These bars are the perfect contrast of creamy filling and crisp topping, sweet apples and salty caramel. They’re just so good!
Whatever you do, don’t bake a batch of these without a plan, otherwise next thing you know you’ve eaten half the pan all by yourself! (Definitely speaking from experience.)
How to Make These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Squares
There are 3 parts to these seasonal cheesecake bars— graham cracker streusel crust and topping, cinnamon apples, and cheesecake filling. Yep, you’ll dirty a few dishes, but these bars are actually pretty easy to put together! The final flourish is a drizzle of caramel sauce and the bars are complete.
Graham Cracker Streusel
This streusel made with graham cracker crumbs, pecans, oat, brown sugar, and butter is one of my favorite parts of these bars. They are cheesecake bars after all, not crumb bars or pie bars, so I really wanted the graham cracker flavor to shine through and it does!
Also, the streusel doubles for both the crust and the topping, so it’s a two-for-one.
This layer is super simple! It’s just chopped apples with brown sugar and cinnamon. Chopping the apples small (1/2 inch or smaller) helps them blend well into the cheesecake bars. Instead of scattered large chunks of apples, there’s an even distribution of cinnamon apple flavor in every single bite.
I like to use honeycrisps, gala, jonagold, and granny smith apples for baking. Firm, tart apples will yield the best flavor and hold up well during baking.
The final component to these bars is a classic cheesecake filling made with cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Then all you’ll need to do is layer everything into a lined 9×13-inch baking pan (this nonstick pan is my new favorite!) and bake. Waiting until these bars are chilled and set enough to slice and serve is excruciating, but I promise it will be worth it!
These caramel apple cheesecake bars are sure to be your new fall favorite. Enjoy!
- Don’t forget to line the pan with parchment paper. Then when it’s time to serve, you can lift the bars out of the pan using the overhanging parchment as handles. No need to dig these bars out of the pan!
- Cream cheese needs plenty of time to come to room temperature in order to mix smoothly with the other ingredients. See my tips for how to quickly soften cream cheese if you’re short on time.
- These bars are done when the center is no longer jiggly. There should still be a little movement when the pan is shaken, but only a little wiggling. The center will continue to set as it cools, do not over bake!
- For the cleanest slices, make sure these bars have been completely chilled before serving. Use a sharp knife and wipe clean in between each cut.
- You can use store-bought caramel sauce, or make your own.
- The bars will keep in the fridge for up to a week, if they last that long!
More caramel apple desserts
Just in case you can’t get enough of this irresistible combo!
- Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
- Caramel Apple Braided Loaf
- Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
- How to Make Caramel Apples
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Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
Graham Cracker Streusel
- 18 full sheets graham crackers (2 packages)
- 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 3 packages full-fat cream cheese , softened to room temperature (24 oz, 680 grams)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups finely chopped apples , peels and cores removed (3 large appled)
- 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce
To make the streusel:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Add graham crackers to the bowl of a food processor and process until they've been reduced to crumbs.
- Add brown sugar, pecans, oats, salt and butter and pulse a few times until pecans and oats and broken up a bit and mixture is uniform and sandy.
- Press half of streusel into the prepared sheet pan. Bake until lightly set, 8-9 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly
To make the cheesecake filling:
- Beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Spoon cheesecake filling over the slightly cooked streusel crust.
To make the cinnamon apples:
- Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the cheesecake filling.
- Top with remaining streusel. Bake until filling is set and no longer jiggles when pan is shaken (some movement is good, do not over bake), about 45 minutes.
- Let bars cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 1-2 hours before serving.
- Use overhanging parchment paper to lift bars out of pan.
- Slice into 24 bars. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Serve and enjoy!