This Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe is the perfect apple dessert for Thanksgiving! It’s full of cinnamon, apples, homemade caramel sauce and is absolutely delicious!
- 2 1/4 cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs (about 17 full sheet graham crackers)
- 5 tbsp (65g) sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 10 tbsp (140g) unsalted butter, melted
Apple Filling Layer
- 1 1/2 medium sized apples (about 260g), thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce, from above
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (144g) loosely packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (115g) sour cream
- 1/2 cup (130g) applesauce
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 1–2 medium sized apples, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Prepare the caramel sauce according to the recipe and allow to cool to at least room temperature. You can prepare the caramel sauce several days ahead, if you like.
2. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
3. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
4. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
5. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in (see how I prepare my pan for a water bath). Set prepared pan aside.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
7. Toss the apples for the apple filling layer with the ground cinnamon and add to the bottom of the crust.
8. Add the flour to the caramel sauce (which was prepared in step 1), then pour the caramel sauce evenly over the apples. Set pan aside.
9. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar and flour on low speed until well completely combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
10. Add the sour cream, applesauce, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon and mix on low speed until well combined.
11. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
12. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust, over the top of the apples.
13. Use the thinly sliced apples for the topping to create the “rose” pattern on top of the cheesecake filling. Start from the outside edge, slightly overlapping each apple as you add it, and work your way around to make a full circle. Continue creating circles until you reach the center of the cheesecake.
14. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it evenly over the apples.
15. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan, trying not to jostle it around too much. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
16. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. The edges should be well set, but the center couple of inches will still be jiggly because of the caramel sauce in the filling.
17. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.
18. Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
19. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
20. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and place on a serving dish. I used some remaining caramel sauce to brush over the top of the apples and give it a shine. Cover cheesecake and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This is the caramel sauce I would recommend. I haven’t tried using store-bought caramel sauce, but it’s much thinner than the homemade version. I’m not sure how well it’d hold up.
Keywords: caramel apple cheesecake, apple cheesecake, easy apple cheesecake recipe, thanksgiving dessert idea, thanksgiving desserts