Easy Caramel Apple Cheesecake

This Caramel Apple Cheesecake has a crunchy graham cracker crust, a smooth and creamy cinnamon cheesecake filling and an irresistible caramel apple topping. Add a dollop of homemade whipped cream and you’ve got yourself an incredible fall dessert!

A close-up shot of a piece of caramel apple cheesecake with an apple slice and more cheesecake in the background

Festive Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Move over, pumpkin pie – there’s a new Thanksgiving dessert in town. This caramel apple cheesecake is loaded with a heavenly combination of autumn flavors. Unlike a traditional baked cheesecake that’s made in a springform pan and requires a water bath, this one comes together in a standard baking dish. And it has that same thick and creamy texture you’re craving!

Not only that but it’s flavored with cinnamon to complement the gooey homemade caramel apple topping. The crust and the whipped cream also have some cinnamon in them to bring everything full circle. Perfectly suited for making ahead of time, this festive cheesecake will become a dessert tradition every fall. Bring on the caramel apple goodness!

A caramel apple cheesecake bar on a white plate with caramel sauce drizzled overtop

What You’ll Need

From the crust on the bottom to the whipped cream on top, each layer of this cheesecake uses a short list of simple ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need:

For the Graham Cracker Crust

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs: I’d recommend grinding them in a food processor.
  • Sugar: To sweeten the crust.
  • Ground Cinnamon: For flavor.
  • Salted Butter: Melted.

For the Cinnamon Cheesecake Filling

  • Cream Cheese: Brought to room temperature.
  • Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour: To help with a creamy texture.
  • Sour Cream: Also at room temperature.
  • Vanilla Extract: To add flavor.
  • Ground Cinnamon: I use about 1 teaspoon, but you can add extra if you’d like.
  • Eggs: Room temperature.

For the Caramel Apple Topping

  • Apples: Chop up your apples into small chunks.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Packed.
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg: To add even more fall flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed.
  • Caramel Sauce: Use whichever brand you prefer, or better yet, make your own!

For the Cinnamon Whipped Cream

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Keep this in the fridge until you’re ready to use it so that it stays as cold as possible.
  • Powdered Sugar: For structure and to keep it from wilting.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use a good quality extract for the best results.
  • Ground Cinnamon: To spice things up a little.

Which Kind of Apples Are Best?

You want the apples in your topping to be soft, but not mushy. In order to achieve this, you should use apples that are naturally firmer. Think Granny Smith, Gala, Honeycrisp, and Fuji.

A caramel apple cheesecake bar on a plate with one bite taken out of the corner

How to Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake

This sweet layered cheesecake is so much easier to make than a classic baked one with just crust and filling. You get more yumminess with less effort!

Make the Crust

  • Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Combine Ingredients: Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Bake: Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set it aside to cool.

Make the Cheesecake Filling

  • Lower Oven Temperature: Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
  • Combine Cream Cheese, Sugar & Flour: In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar and flour on low speed until completely combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
  • Add Sour Cream, Vanilla & Cinnamon: Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Pour Over Crust: Pour the batter into the pan with the crust and spread it out evenly.
  • Bake: Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes.
  • Turn Off Oven: Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 20 minutes.
  • Crack Oven Door: Crack open the door of the oven with the cheesecake inside for 15 minutes.
  • Chill: Put the cheesecake in the fridge to cool it completely, which will take about 3-4 hours.

Make the Apple Topping

  • Combine Ingredients: Add the chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice to a skillet. Stir together until all the apple chunks are well coated.
  • Cook: Cook the apples over medium heat until they reach your desired tenderness, about 10 minutes.
  • Top Cheesecake: Allow the apples to cool for a minute, then spread them evenly over the cooled cheesecake. Drizzle your caramel sauce overtop the apples.
The crust, filling and topping for the bars layered into a glass baking dish

Make the Whipped Cream & Serve

  • Combine Ingredients: Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  • Add to Bars & Serve: Slice the cheesecake into squares and top each one with a dollop of the whipped cream. Serve and enjoy!

Can I Make This in Advance?

Yes, you absolutely can. This cheesecake can be made and assembled ahead of time if you store it covered in the fridge before making the whipped cream. If you’d like to serve it with a warm apple topping, hold off on making that too and prepare it with the whipped cream just before cutting the cheesecake and serving.

Tips for Success

There are plenty of things you can do to ensure your cheesecake bars turn out perfect. Just abide by these simple tips!

  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: It’s super important to bring your cream cheese, sour cream and eggs to room temperature before you make the cheesecake filling. This helps everything combine seamlessly and prevents a lumpy cheesecake.
  • Beat the Cream Cheese Mixture at Low Speed: Be sure to use low speed when you’re blending the cream cheese, sugar and flour. This reduces the amount of air added to the cheesecake batter, which can cause cracks.
  • Don’t Rush the Cooling Process: I urge you to follow the specific cooling instructions in the recipe. This slow cooling process helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
  • Let it Set Completely: The cheesecake filling needs to chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before the remaining components are added. Don’t put on the apple topping until the filling is completely set.
  • More Tips & Tricks: Want more general tips for making flawless cheesecake? Check out my Guide to a Perfect Cheesecake.
A square of caramel apple cheesecake on a plate with the remaining cheesecake bars in a pan behind it

Serving Suggestions

I have a few quick recommendations when it comes to serving up your caramel apple cheesecake. But of course, you could always let them fly solo! Either way, dessert is going to be divine.

  • Pair with Vanilla Ice Cream: Nothing goes with warm cinnamon apples as well as vanilla ice cream. And the same goes for this cinnamon apple cheesecake!
  • Add Chopped Nuts: Craving some extra crunchiness to compliment the graham cracker crust? Try topping your cheesecake with chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans.
  • Serve with Apple Cider: I like serving my holiday desserts with an equally festive beverage. Apple cider is the clear choice here! I love having the option of serving it hot or cold.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover cheesecake should be covered and refrigerated once the caramel apple topping has completely cooled. It should last for 3-5 days.

Can I Freeze These?

Yes, you can freeze this cheesecake. I’d recommend freezing it before adding the topping so that the apples don’t get soggy. Wrap it well and freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw in the fridge before adding the topping and serving.

Print
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A close-up shot of a piece of caramel apple cheesecake with an apple slice and more cheesecake in the background
Recipe

Easy Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 14
  • Category: Cheesecake
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Learn how to make an ultra decadent baked cheesecake without the hassle of a springform pan or a water bath! These Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars have a crunchy graham cracker crust, a smooth and creamy cinnamon cheesecake filling, an irresistible caramel apple topping and a dollop of homemade whipped cream.


Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 1/4 cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp (39g) sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (112g) salted butter, melted

For the Cinnamon Cheesecake Filling

  • 24 ounces (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (173g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

For the Caramel Apple Topping

  • 2 large apples, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (56g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • sprinkle of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) caramel sauce

For the Cinnamon Whipped Cream

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup (29g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

Make the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Make the Filling

  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
  2. In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, 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.
  3. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix on low speed until well combined.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan with the crust and spread evenly.
  6. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes.
  7. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 20 minutes.
  8. Crack the door of the oven, with the cheesecake inside, for 15 minutes. This slow cooling process helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
  9. Put the cheesecake in the fridge to cool completely, 3-4 hours.

Make the Topping

  1. Add the chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice to a pan. Stir together until apples are well coated.
  2. Cook apples on medium heat until at desired tenderness, about 10 minutes.
  3. Allow the apples to cool for a minute, then spread evenly over the cooled cheesecake.
  4. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the cheesecake.

Make the Whipped Cream

  1. If you’d like to serve the cheesecake with the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  2. Serve with the cheesecake slices.

Notes

Makes 12-15 bars

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 418
  • Sugar: 37.3 g
  • Sodium: 401.6 mg
  • Fat: 19.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.5 g
  • Protein: 7.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 91 mg

Keywords: cheesecake apple, easy cheesecake, caramel cheesecake

More Cheesecake Bars to Try

I have tons more tasty cheesecake recipes that come in dessert bar form. Check out the following dishes next!

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Recipe rating

24 Comments
  1. Christy

    Another amazing recipe. We are so lucky to have you do all of the trials and the hard work and then share the final fabulous recipes with us so that we can take credit from all of our family and guests!

    I did have one problem with this recipe and that was getting the whipped cream right???? I tried twice and both times it came out watery. I used the exact measurements (used my scale for grams). Tried the first time with the whisk attachment in my KitchenAid mixer, and then tried using my hand mixer the 2nd try. Any idea what went wrong? I’d like to try the Nutella cheesecake but I’m afraid the same thing will happen to the whipped cream. Thanks for any advice!

    1. Lindsay

      So glad you enjoyed it! I’m a little stumped on the whipped cream. Are you sure you used heavy whipping cream? Was it nice and cold?

  2. april b

    can i make this in a 10inch cheesecake pan? and Can i put the apple topping on the night before and the caramel the next day?

    1. Lindsay

      You can, although you’ll need to adjust baking time. I’d probably also add an additional egg. And yes, you could add the apples the night before and the caramel the next day.

  3. Christa

    Question: How does this spoon/spatula out of the 13×9? Does the crust stay together or break apart? Would it hold together better in two smaller spring form pans in order to maintain that ‘bar’ feel?

    1. Lindsay

      I use a serving spatula and I don’t usually have any trouble. The first piece may be harder, but otherwise fine.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12