Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars


Filled with fragrant cinnamon and sweet apples, these bars are creamy, crumbly, and oh-so-delicious.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
Makes 9
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 5 cups diced peeled Granny Smith apples (about 3 large apples)
  • ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1½ (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • Caramel topping, to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch square cast-iron skillet with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
  2. For crust: In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cinnamon. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together ¾ cup flour mixture, oats, and pecans with a fork until clumps form; refrigerate. Press remaining flour mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
  4. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Leave oven on.
  5. Meanwhile, for filling: In a large bowl, stir together apples, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer mixture to a colander placed over a bowl; let stand for 30 minutes, stirring apples occasionally.
  6. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining ⅓ cup granulated sugar, and vanilla with a mixer at medium speed until smooth; beat in egg until combined. Spread mixture onto cooled crust. Spoon drained apples onto cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved refrigerated oat mixture onto apples, pinching mixture to form clumps as needed.
  7. Bake until topping is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Run a knife around sides of skillet between skillet and paper. Refrigerate in skillet until firm and cold, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  8. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and cut into 9 (3-inch) squares. Serve bars with caramel, if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.



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