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Apple Cheesecake Bars

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close up shot of slices of Apple Cheesecake Bars stacked on top of each other
Whether during apple season or any time of year, these apple cheesecake bars are a rich, decadent dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
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Table of Contents
  1. Apple Cheesecake Bars Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Apple Cheesecake Bars Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These apple cheesecake bars are a sinfully delicious dessert that will wow your taste buds! The flavors of tart apple and cheesecake on top of the buttery crust are perfect together, and the crumble topping gives them a delightful crunch.

a slice of Apple Cheesecake Bar on a plate topped with caramel sauce

Apple Cheesecake Bars Ingredients

Apple Cheesecake Bars raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold

For the Cheesecake Layer

  • 3 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream (divided)
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

For the Apple Layer

  • 4 cups peeled and diced apples
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

For the Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

For Optional Garnish

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

APPLES: We used Granny Smith apples in this recipe for their tartness in contrast with the smooth, creamy cheesecake layer. You could alternately use Golden Delicious apples, which tend to cook down into a softer, smoother apple layer. You could also substitute apple pie filling for a sweeter, softer apple layer. 

How to Make This Apple Cheesecake Bars Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Although the streusel topping goes onto the cheesecake bars last, I actually prepared all of the other layers, streusel included, before peeling and dicing the apples. Apples start oxidizing and turning brown quickly. I find it best to prepare the apples last so that they are put into the oven as soon as possible after cutting. You can also toss them with a little bit of lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

For the Shortbread Crust

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F.

STEP TWO: Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

STEP THREE: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups flour and ½ cup brown sugar until combined. Cut 1 cup of cold butter into tablespoon-size pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse until fine crumbles form.

flour, butter, and sugar combined in a skillet

STEP FOUR: Press the crust mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crust will be lightly golden brown on top.

crust mixture pressed into the baking dish

For the Cheesecake Layer

PRO TIP:

This is a thick bar with a substantial cheesecake layer. You can half or use ⅔ of the cheesecake recipe for a bit thinner cheesecake layer.

STEP ONE: Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer or stand mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. 

cream cheese in a bowl

STEP TWO: Add the granulated sugar to the cream cheese mixture and beat until combined.

granulated sugar blended with the cream cheese in a bowl

STEP THREE: Add the vanilla extract, sour cream, and ½ cup heavy cream and mix to combine. Add in the flour and mix.

vanilla extract, sour cream, heavy cream, and flour blended together in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Add in one egg at a time and stir by hand until mixed in. 

PRO TIP:

Do not beat in the eggs. Stir them in one at a time, gently. This helps to reduce the amount of air introduced into the cheesecake batter. Extra air causes the cheesecake layer to rise (the bars may overflow from the pan).

egg folded into the cheesecake mixture in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Pour the cheesecake mixture over the baked brown sugar shortbread crust.

cheesecake mixture poured over the shortbread crust in a baking dish

For the Apple Layer

STEP ONE: Toss together diced apples, sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl.

PRO TIP:

The smaller you cut your apples will determine how soft they become during baking.

apples, sugar, cinnamon, and flour folded in a cup

STEP TWO: Sprinkle the cinnamon apples over the top of the cheesecake mixture in the baking dish. 

cinnamon apples sprinkled over the cheesecake layer in the baking dish

For the Streusel Layer

STEP ONE: Mix together flour, baking powder, and brown sugar by pulsing in the bowl of a food processor.

flour, baking powder, and brown sugar mixed together in a skillet

STEP TWO: Cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces and add to the food processor. 

butter added to the food processor in a skillet

STEP THREE: Pulse several times more until the mixture is crumbly.

pulsing the mixture in a skillet

STEP FOUR: Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of heavy cream over the streusel mixture and stir with a fork or pulse just once or twice more. The streusel mixture will pull together just a bit to form larger clumps.

heavy cream sprinkled over the streusel mixture and then folded in a skillet

STEP FIVE: Sprinkle the brown sugar streusel topping over the apples in the baking dish.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your bars as the suggested baking time approaches.

streusel sprinkled over the apples in a baking dish

STEP SIX: Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn off the oven, keeping the door closed for 20 minutes. Then, open the oven door and allow the apple cheesecake bars to cool to room temperature.

PRO TIP:

Slowly reducing the temperature of the cheesecake after cooking (by turning off the oven for some time and then cracking the oven door for some time) helps reduce cracking in the cheesecake. It also allows the cheesecake layer to finish cooking so that it is not overbaked, crumbly, or dry.

STEP SEVEN: Chill for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars and serving. Drizzle apple cheesecake bars with caramel sauce, if desired.

PRO TIP:

Wait until the bars are chilled completely before adding the caramel drizzle so that it doesn’t soak in.

caramel sauce poured over the cheesecake bars

How To Serve

Delicious cinnamon apple cheesecake bars are delicious any time you get the craving for something sweet. For an extra indulgent treat, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream will do the trick.

Apple desserts have such warm and cozy feelings associated with them. Our apple dump cake and easy apple dumplings are both favorite comfort food recipes.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can also freeze these dessert bars for up to 1 month.

overhead shot of Apple Cheesecake Bars in a baking dish

These apple pie cheesecake bars are a delightful treat. They’re made with a creamy cheesecake filling, tart apples, and a delicious streusel topping. You’ll love the combination of flavors and textures in these bars!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze these apple streusel cheesecake bars?

This easy recipe can be kept in the freezer for up to one month.

Can I use canned apple pie filling instead of fresh apples for the apple layer?

These apple cream cheese bars would be just as tasty with either apple pie filling or fresh apples.

Can I use a different crust for these bars?

If you prefer to use a different crust such as a graham cracker crust, you can certainly make this substitution.

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close up shot of slices of Apple Cheesecake Bars stacked on top of each other

Apple Cheesecake Bars

5 from 2 votes
Whether during apple season or any time of year, these apple cheesecake bars are a rich, decadent dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 50 minutes
Servings 16 small bars

Ingredients
  

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold

Cheesecake Layer

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, divided
  • tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

Apple Layer

  • 4 cups apples, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Streusel Topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Optional

  • caramel sauce, for drizzling

Instructions
 

Shortbread Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups flour and ½ cup brown sugar until combined. Cut 1 cup of butter into tablespoon-size pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse until fine crumbles form.
  • Press the crust mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes. The crust will be lightly browned on top.

Cheesecake Layer

  • Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add the granulated sugar and beat until combined.
  • Add vanilla extract, sour cream, and ½ cup heavy cream and mix to combine. Add in the flour and mix.
  • Add in one egg at a time and stir by hand until mixed in.
  • Pour cheesecake mixture over the baked shortbread crust.

Apple Layer

  • Toss together diced apples, sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
  • Sprinkle over the cheesecake layer in the baking dish.

Streusel Layer

  • Mix together flour, baking powder, and brown sugar by pulsing in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces and add to the food processor.
  • Pulse several times more until the mixture is crumbly.
  • Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of heavy cream over the streusel mixture and stir with a fork or pulse just once or twice more. The streusel mixture will pull together just a bit to form larger clumps.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples in the baking dish.
  • Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn off the oven, keeping the door closed for 20 minutes. Then, open the oven door and allow the apple cheesecake bars to cool to room temperature.
  • Chill for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars and serving. Drizzle apple cheesecake bars with caramel sauce, if desired.

Notes

  • Although the streusel topping goes onto the cheesecake bars last, I actually prepared all of the other layers, streusel included, before peeling and dicing the apples. Apples start oxidizing and turning brown quickly. I find it best to prepare the apples last so that they are put into the oven as soon as possible after cutting. You can also toss them with a little bit of lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
  • This is a thick bar with a substantial cheesecake layer. You can half or use ⅔ of the cheesecake recipe for a bit thinner cheesecake layer.
  • Do not beat in the eggs. Stir them in one at a time, gently. This helps to reduce the amount of air introduced into the cheesecake batter. Extra air causes the cheesecake layer to rise (the bars may overflow from the pan).
  • The smaller you cut your apples will determine how soft they become during baking.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your bars as the suggested baking time approaches.
  • Slowly reducing the temperature of the cheesecake after cooking (by turning off the oven for some time and then cracking the oven door for some time) helps reduce cracking in the cheesecake. It also allows the cheesecake layer to finish cooking so that it is not overbaked, crumbly, or dry.
  • Wait until the bars are chilled completely before adding the caramel drizzle so that it doesn’t soak in.

Nutrition

Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 1352IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Judy says

    5 stars
    62 carbs!!! lol replace the flour with almond flour and sugar with swerve and the only carbs would be from the apples….:) diabetics have to improvise