Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars — These caramel apple cheesecake bars feature a buttery crust that’s topped with cheesecake and spiced apples. After they’re done baking, the bars are drizzled with salted caramel sauce!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars Recipe

I’ve made other apple cheesecake bars, caramel apple bars, caramel apple pie, apple crumbles, apple cakes, apple bread and more. But there’s never been anything quite like these caramel apple cheesecake bars. Between the rich flavors of salted caramel, apples, and cinnamon to a tempting layer of cream cheese and chunky oat crumbles, they’ll be your new favorite apple bar.

The recipe begins with a brown sugar shortbread-style crust that’s tender and light. The crust is topped with a rich and creamy cheesecake layer, which is topped with cinnamon-and-sugar spiced apples. The sweet, juicy apples are full of robust cinnamon flavor and they lend amazing chewy texture while also adding moisture. They’re a great contrast to the silky cheesecake.

Then there’s a buttery, oatmeal and brown sugar-based crumble that’s sprinkled on. I love crumble-topped anything, and while big sandy pebbles are okay, it’s hearty oats that I think make the best crumble toppings.

After baking, salted caramel is drizzled over the top. It adds so much depth of flavor and as it soaks in, it helps the bars stay beautifully soft, moist, and tender for days. I prefer using salted caramel since the salt helps balance the overall sweetness. Try making homemade salted caramel sauce, or your favorite store-bought kind. Just make sure it’s a thick caramel sauce and not thin, runny sundae sauce.

The recipe takes a few minutes to prep, but it’s so worth it. The steps go fast and your house will smell like a bakery while the bars bake.

Move over, apple pie. I’ll take apple pie, apple crumble and cheesecake all in one. My daughter told me they’re best thing I’ve made since this pineapple upside down cake. High praise coming from a mini food critic.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bar on white plate

What’s in These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars? 

To make this caramel apple cheesecake bars recipe, you’ll need: 

  • All-purpose flour
  • Light brown sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Diced apples
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Rolled oats
  • Salted caramel sauce

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars on white plate with fork

How to Make Cheesecake Bars

You’ll first need to prep the crust and bake it in a greased 8×8-inch pan until just set. While the crust bakes, stir together the cheesecake layer. Then, dice the apples and toss with sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Prep the crumble topping in a separate bowl and set aside. 

Once the crust is out of the oven, pour the cheesecake mixture over top. Next, sprinkle the diced apples evenly over the cheesecake layer. Finally, sprinkle on the crumble topping. 

Bake the apple cheesecake bars until the crumble topping is just set and very lightly golden browned. After they’ve had 30 minutes to cool, evenly drizzle the salted caramel sauce over top. These bars then need an additional 4 hours to cool completely and set. 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars on white serving platter

Can I Prep These Bars in Advance? 

Yes, these bars will keep in an air-tight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. You can also store these in the refrigerator, if desired. 

What Type of Apples Should I Use? 

It really doesn’t matter which kind you use. I used a Gala apple and a Fuji apple, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars - Move over apple pie! These are an apple pie, apple crumble and cheesecake all in one! YUM!

Tips for Making Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Make sure to use brick-style cream cheese in these caramel apple cheesecake bars and not the kind that comes in a tub. Lite cream cheese will work here, so long as it’s brick-style. 

You also want to make sure you’re using old-fashioned rolled oats and not instant or steel cut oats. Rolled oats create the perfect crumble topping and are the way to go here. 

Lastly, these cheesecake bars MUST have time to set fully before you cut into them. If you don’t let them cool off and set properly, you’ll have a literal hot mess on your hands. 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

These caramel apple cheesecake bars feature a buttery crust that's topped with cheesecake and spiced apples. After they're done baking, the bars are drizzled with salted caramel sauce!

Yield: one 8x8-inch pan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Cooling Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened

Cheesecake

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (use brick-style, lite okay)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apples

  • about 2 cups small dices apples (from about 2 med apples, peeled and cored; I used 1 Fuji and 1 Gala)
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Crumble

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned-whole rolled oats (not quick-cook or instant)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 of 1 stick), softened

Caramel

  • 1/2 cup+ (salted) caramel sauce, for drizzling (homemade salted caramel, or storebought; use a thick caramel sauce and not thin, runny ice cream sundae topping)
  • ice cream, optional for serving

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

    Crust

    1. In a large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, and cut in the butter with two forks. Keep working until mixture is combined and pea-sized crumbly bits are present.
    2. Turn mixture out into prepared pan, hard-packing it with your fingertips in an even, smooth, flat layer to form a crust.
    3. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or just until set (set a timer). Remove from oven; set aside. While crust bakes, prepare the remaining layers.

    Cheesecake

    1. In a large bowl (same one used for crust is okay, just wipe with a paper towel), add all ingredients and beat with a hand mixer (or whisk vigorously by hand) until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes on high power; set aside.

    Apples

    1. Peel, core, and dice apples and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toss well to combine; set aside.

    Crumble

    1. In a medium bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cut in the butter with two forks. Keep working until mixture is combined and pea-sized crumbly bits are present. If necessary, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour or oats for preferred consistency if mixture is loose.

    Assemble the Bars

    1. After removing pan with the crust layer from the oven, pour cheesecake mixture over the crust, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
    2. Lightly and evenly sprinkle the apples.
    3. Evenly sprinkle with the crumble mixture. It looks like a lot, but it sinks some while baking.
    4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes (I baked 48 minutes), or until crumble topping is just set and very lightly golden browned. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes.
    5. After 30 minutes, evenly drizzle with (salted) caramel sauce.
    6. Allow bars to cool, in pan, on wire rack for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Cover with foil if cooling overnight. Don’t slice bars too early because you’ll have a literal hot mess and bars will likely fall apart. Prior to slicing, lift bars out using foil overhang, slice, and serve.
    7. Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Optionally serve with ice cream.

Notes

Recipe inspired by Paula Deen.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540 Total Fat: 29g Saturated Fat: 18g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 100mg Sodium: 139mg Carbohydrates: 59g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 37g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g

More Easy Apple Desserts: 

5-Minute Apple Cinnamon Crumble for One — Buttery apples are tossed with cinnamon-and-sugar and nutmeg, and the crumble topping is made with cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats.

Apple Turnovers — These apple turnovers take just 15 minutes to prep and are filled with the most incredible cinnamon apple filling. These are the ultimate fall dessert! 

Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting — An EASY, one-bowl, no-mixer apple cake that’s to-die-for!! Loaded with juicy apples in every bite, perfectly spiced, and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting!

Cinnamon Roll Apple Crisp – A layer of cinnamon rolls topped with apples and a crunchy oatmeal crumble makes this the ULTIMATE apple crisp!

Sugar Cookie Apple Crumble Cheesecake Pie – A buttery sugar cookie crust, tangy cream cheese filling, tender juicy apples, and a crumble topping make this pie a total SHOWSTOPPER!

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – If you like carrot cake, you’re going to LOVE this version that includes apples and a tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center!

Caramel Apple Crumble Foil Packs – EASY, zero cleanup, made on the grill (or oven) in record time, and tastes amazing!

82 comments on “Caramel Apple Cheesecake Crumble Bars”

  1. Holi frazoli! I nearly lost my mind looking at those photos!!! If ever there was a time I wanted to jump threw my screen and plant my face in to something.. now would be that time :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I think my favorite part of these bars could be the caramel drenched crumble on top!

  3. You seriously make the most delicious looking bars! Teach me the tricks!

  4. ahhhh, these look fantastic! love these!

  5. I noticed it said to store at room temp…. Shouldn’t they be stored in the refrigerator because of the cheesecake? They look incredible, I think I will be making these for my birthday treat! Thanks!

    • Since it’s baked, I don’t have any issue storing at room temp (how is the dairy/eggs in this any different than say a cake that uses dairy/eggs or brownies, etc.) but if you prefer the fridge, go for it.

  6. This looks AMAZING! Have you tried doubling it with a 9×13? It might be laborious to make enough for 50 people for an apple-themed party I’m hosting to do it 9×9… just wondering what your doubling experience has been:-)

    • I haven’t personally doubled this recipe although I think it would be just fine in a 9×13. You wouldn’t be able to serve 50 though from one 9×13 pan. You’d probably need 3 pans worth just to be safe! Eek, that sounds like a lot of work and you’re a trooper if you do it, but your friends will LOVE you even more! :)

  7. Hi Averie, I wanted to know if you thought that these bars were better than your Caramel Apple cinnamon Bars and why. Oh, and if you liked the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars better than the Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie Bars or if it was the other way around and why. Thank you :)

    • So many questions!

      Bottom line you can’t go wrong with anything. I think the cream cheese is a nice touch in the apple bars if you like cream cheese. If not, make the version without. With the PB bars, I love PB + chocolate so I’d probably personally choose those, but depends on my mood.

  8. I’m making a couple desserts for a friend’s wedding tomorrow, and the two recipes I chose to try? These bars and the “fudgy pumpkin bars”… both pans are in the oven and my kitchen smells amazing! I discovered your site this week and it’s a goldmine – thank you!

  9. I have made several of your desserts and loved them (almost to the point of not sharing) all! I was wondering if you think the filling from your caramel swirled pumpkin cheesecake bars could be used as the filling for this. Would it hold up to the weight of the apples and crumble? If not, I will gladly make both but would also love to see what it would be like if they were combined.

  10. Can I put these in the fridge of I’m on a time limit to speed up the cooling process?

  11. I had the same question as Jodi and wondered if anyone has tried refrigeration yet. If yes, what were the results? I want to make these ahead of time for one of our Thanksgiving desserts. Lots of holiday flavor, plus cheesecake, so we are excited to try. Thanks!

  12. I made these bars tonight.They were very tender and the combination of flavors were perfect.I make cheesecakes often and was concerned that it would overpower the rest, but it gives a nice creaminess.Since I made this on a whim, I made the recommended caramel sauce,also adding some salt.I would use Smuckers Simple Delight Salted Caramel ice cream topping.It is very thick and affordable.I have tried some of your recipes before and have been very pleased. A fan. Sally Anderson.

    • Thanks for trying this and what sounds like quite a few other recipes of mine and I appreciate the praise and glad everything has turned out great for you. Yes, these bars are a great balance of creaminess to apple, etc. and other flavors and you’re right, the cheesecake doesn’t dominate or take over the flavor like it can be prone to doing. I am also a fan of Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel sauce. As easy as cracking open the jar but I am super impressed you made your own homemade caramel sauce, too! Thanks for being a fan :)

      • I use Trader Joes often and will pick up a jar of their sauce.I use a little in my espresso in the morning

  13. I made these a few years back and got rave reviews. I have a “Friendsgiving” tomorrow and I just made a DOUBLE batch of these for it. I can’t wait for everyone to try them. My house smells so delicious!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  14. I know someone commented on refrigerating this beforehand. Just so I’m clear, do you think I will be able to make this a couple of days in advance, leave in the fridge and then cook the same day I would be serving it? Do you think the quality will be about the same premade? This looks so delicious, I can’t wait to try it!!

    • I would make the recipe from start to finish and then leave it chilled in the fridge til you’re ready to serve. I think that you could make them the night before without any issues. But 2-3 days in the fridge, well, fresher is better.

  15. Yummy my favorite. Sounds easy to make, thanks for sharing.

    Simon

  16. I made these caramel apple cheesecake crumble bars today for my family. They were amazing!!! My family loved them. They would not stop talking about how good they are.
    I will definitely be making them again :) Thank you for the recipe!

  17. if i made the apple bars and used twice the cheescakefilling do i bake it for the sme time?

  18. The combination of divine flavors and textures–buttery and crunchy, sweet and cinnamon-y, creamy, rich and gooey–made these bars absolutely swoon-worthy! I doubled the recipe for a crowd (using 2 8×8 pans), and everyone (especially the men!) fell all over themselves for seconds (and thirds). The bars did take a little more time to make because of all the steps/layers, but. Oh. So. Worth. It. I ended up with about 10 leftover bars which promptly went into the freezer. Company’s coming this weekend and yay for ready-made desserts!

    Just a note that I made the salted caramel sauce twice. The first time, I added vanilla extract as per the recipe. It left the caramel with a strong, bitter taste and I had to chuck the whole batch. Maybe it should have read 1 tsp. instead of 1 Tbsp. vanilla? Regardless, I made it a second time with no extract and it was scrumptious!

    I think your blog is my new favorite destination for desserts!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I know this recipe does have a few steps and layers involved, but as you said, so worth it! And as long as you’re feeding a crowd, why not double it and as you said, now you have pre-made dessert in the freezer for this weekend, too!

      The caramel sauce – thanks for sharing your experience. I haven’t had that happen and have used a full tbsp rather than tsp, but all vanillas are different and some have a very bitter, alcohol-ey taste even when they’re not heated at high temps like that. Glad that the sauce turned out great the second time around and thanks for your praise and compliments about my blog!

  19. Can regular butter be used instead of unsalted butter without altering the taste? Thanks!

  20. Could these be made 2 days in advance? Wasn’t sure if the textures would keep. thanks!

    • I never knew she had a recipe for similar bars. I don’t pay much attention to her or her recipes, especially in light of her scandal. I just glanced at hers and while there are some similarities, the ratios are quite different. Hope you enjoy my bars!

  21. I made this dessert for my card club. It was delicious. I cut the Crumble recipe in half for the 8×8 baking dish and it was plenty. I used the salted caramel topping……YUMMY!!!!!! Definitely a keeper!

    Rating: 5
  22. Do you have a recipe for the homemade salted caramel sauce ? I have never seen salted caramel sauce in the stores where I live, only plain caramel sauce.

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