Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars – cheesecake bars covered with cinnamon-spiced apples, a streusel topping and drizzled with sweet caramel. The PERFECT dessert for Fall!
I know it’s not fall yet, but I’ve been wanting these bars. All the best parts of an apple crisp and a cheesecake put together in a bar and drizzled with caramel create my idea of a perfect fall treat.
Love Caramel Apples? Take a look at these other caramel apple inspired recipes from other bloggers…
1. Caramel Apple Slab Pie from The Recipe Critic
2. Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls from Little Spice Jar
3. Caramel Apple Cupcakes from Life, Love, and Sugar
4. Caramel Apple Nachos from Lil’ Luna
5. Salted Caramel Apple Fritter Bread from Sweet ReciPeas
Secret Recipe Club
I present to you…Delicious Existence!!
This blog was started by Danielle, who is a Health Coach and Lifestyle Motivator. I really like what she says about our lifestyle and diet and I believe it to be very true,
“Ditch your diet. End your obsession with calories and fat grams. Don’t count another carb. Throw away those lists of “bad” and “good” foods. Stop restricting and you will start living. Focus on increasing your consumption of real food (fruits, vegetables, quality grains, complete proteins) and water and you will naturally decrease the amount of low nutrient processed foods you might be eating.”
I have done this in an effort to shed a few pounds before the 365 is over and I have to tell you that because I’ve been putting healthier foods into my body and have significantly cut back on the processed foods, I physically feel better and now when I do my stomach just doesn’t feel right.
For instance, ice cream, I used to have a pretty good size bowl of it before, but now a couple of spoonfuls will satisfy me. When I know I can have something whenever I want it, eating tons of it becomes less appealing. Wild, right?
SAVE THIS CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BAR RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
I NEVER thought THAT would happen! Of course, sometimes we all need a good size bowl of ice cream at the end of the day, and I love that Danielle acknowledges that that’s okay, too.
When I found out that Danielle was my blogger for the project this month, I went to her site and began to scroll looking for the perfect recipe. So many of them looked good that I was having a hard time deciding which Delicious Existence recipe to make.
Then, the Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars caught my eye. I stopped scrolling; I’d found my recipe.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
I am such a sucker for caramel apples. Whether I’m dipping slices of fresh apple into caramel sauce or eating one on a stick at a fall festival, this combination of flavors makes me extra happy.
Caramel Apple Bars
Danielle’s recipe is for vegan caramel apple cheesecake bars but since I didn’t need a vegan version, I made some substitutions based on what I had in my pantry. Check out Danielle’s original if you’re after a dairy-free cheesecake bar recipe!
Instead of Namaste Biscuits, I used graham cracker crumbs and flour. I substituted regular granulated sugar for Turbinado sugar, butter for coconut oil, and used a real egg instead of the egg replacer.
Since I also didn’t have any pre-mixed apple pie spice, I used my own blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in its place.
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Use these items to make your own Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars – this baking dish, glass mixing bowls, and this offset spatula.
Cheesecake Bars Recipe
These bars call for a homemade graham cracker crust. If you’ve never made your own before, don’t be intimidated. Graham cracker crust is one of the EASIEST homemade pie crusts to make!
All it takes is mixing graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and a bit of brown sugar. Then you press the crust into your baking pan and you’re good to go!
These bars include an apple layer that’s reminiscent of an apple pie filling with tons of delicious smelling fall spices. It might be February outside, but my kitchen smelled like an autumn wonderland!
The cheesecake layer is made from an easy mixture of cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla. To finish up these apple cheesecake bars, you sprinkle the whole thing with a cinnamon streusel topping.
Wait! I almost forgot about the crucial final ingredient: the caramel drizzle.
An easy homemade caramel sauce made from melted caramel candies elevated these bars from apple pie cheesecake (delicious) to Caramel Apple Cheesecake (ULTRA delicious). You can easily substitute your favorite homemade or store bought caramel sauce for these bars, if you prefer.
*In the original post, I put the caramel sauce on before putting them into the refrigerator to set . This was a BAD idea, friends. The caramel hardened (of course!) and when I went to cut the bars I made a mess of them because the caramel was difficult to cut through, so I highly suggest you put it on right before serving.*
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 12 individually wrapped caramels
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- OR salted caramel sundae topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8 X 8-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust: graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter, and mix well with a fork.
- Place crust mixture into prepared baking dish, pressing down gently with your fingers.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
- Pour over crust, spreading evenly.
- In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for the apple layer: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Mix well.
- Peel, core and dice the apple into small pieces. Add to dry ingredients and toss to coat.
- Distribute evenly over the cheesecake layer in the baking dish.
- In another medium bowl, combine ingredients for streusel topping: brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and melted butter. Mix welll until a coarse meal is formed. Sprinkle evenly over apple layer.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until streusel is golden.
- Transfer baking dish to a wire rack to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for an hour or more to set.
- For the caramel drizzle, in a microwavable bowl, melt the caramels on increments of 30 seconds, until smooth, stirring in between. Allow to cool slightly and stir in the heavy cream.
- Drizzle with homemade caramel sauce or caramel sundae sauce topping before serving.
Once the bars were cooled, I served them with a few extra apple slices and the remaining extra caramel sauce for dipping. Don’t they look good?
The Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars taste even better than they look!
I rate everything I bake on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the best and these Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars earned 3 1/2 rolling pins. These were the best of caramel apples, apple crisp and cheesecake combined.
I had actually doubled the caramel sauce and realized I hadn’t needed so much, but it was quite delicious drizzled over the apple slices, too.
I’ll definitely be making these again soon. Our eldest daughter who is home from college for a few days just saw my post and is completely bummed she didn’t have any.
Come September and October, you can bet I’ll have a steady supply of these bars handy anytime I have company over (or anytime I’m craving them).