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Caramel Apple Cheesecake

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shot of Caramel Apple Cheesecake on a cake stand
This decadent and delicious caramel apple cheesecake is a tasty dessert to enjoy during apple season.
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Table of Contents
  1. Caramel Apple Cheesecake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Caramel Apple Cheesecake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This caramel apple cheesecake is the ultimate decadent dessert. A graham cracker crust is layered with rich cheesecake and then topped with homemade caramel and from-scratch apple pie filling for a delectable treat that you’ll crave.

a slice of Caramel Apple Cheesecake on a plate

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Ingredients

caramel apple cheesecake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Crust

  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 8 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Cheesecake

  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Apple Topping

  • 2 cups Honeycrisp apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoons cold water

For the Caramel Topping

  • 1 (13.4-ounce) can of dulce de leche caramel
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans (optional garnish)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

APPLES: Any apple variety can be used for the apple topping, but Granny Smith apples are a much firmer apple and will hold their shape when cooking. You could also use Gala, Pink Lady, Jonagold, or Braeburn apples.

CRUST: Make the crust using 1½ cups of crushed gingersnap cookies instead of using graham crumbs.

TOPPING: Finish with a pinch of sea salt for the perfect balance of sweet and salty.

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How To Make This Caramel Apple Cheesecake Recipe

For the Crust

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Generously spray the lined springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.

STEP TWO: Using a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, granulated sugar, and cinnamon, until well incorporated.

STEP THREE: Evenly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crust down then use the edge of a rubber spatula to go around the edge of the pan to push the crust down along the edges.

crumb mixture being pressed into a pan

STEP FOUR: Bake for 6 minutes and remove from oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

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 crust as the suggested baking time approaches.

For the Cheesecake

STEP ONE: Using either a stand mixer or a large bowl and a handheld mixer at medium-low speed, beat the softened cream cheese and sour cream for 1 to 1½ minutes until smooth.

STEP TWO: Add in the granulated sugar and cornstarch, continue mixing for 1 minute.

ingredients being blended together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Lower the mixer speed to low. 

PRO TIP:

It’s important to keep the mixer speed low when mixing the cheesecake batter. The more air in the batter, the higher the possibility for cracks in the top of the cheesecake.

STEP FOUR: Add the eggs in 1 at a time. Beat just until the eggs are well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract. 

eggs added to the sugar mixture and blended in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Wrap the outside of the springform pan in 2 layers of foil.

pan wrapped with 2 layers of foil and place in a large baking dish

STEP SIX: Evenly pour the cheesecake batter over the crust.

cheesecake batter poured over the crust in a pan

STEP SEVEN: Place the wrapped cheesecake in a larger baking dish, and add 1½ to 2 inches of water to the larger baking dish.

PRO TIP:

To make it easier, put the cheesecake in the pan, put the pan on the oven rack, and then add the hot water.

water added to the large baking pan

STEP EIGHT: Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the oven door open. Let the cheesecake rest in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. 

cheesecake batter baked in a pan

STEP NINE: Remove the cheesecake and let it cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edge of the pan to make certain the cake edge will come away clean.

STEP TEN: Cover the top of the cheesecake and allow it to chill in the fridge for 8 hours to overnight.

STEP ELEVEN: Just before serving, carefully release the sides of the pan.

PRO TIP:

If you wish to transfer the cheesecake before topping to a serving plate, spray a piece of parchment paper with nonstick spray and place it on top of the cheesecake. Gently flip the cheesecake over, remove the parchment paper under the crust. Place the serving plate on top of the crust. Carefully flip the cake right side up and remove it from the top layer of cheesecake.

For the Apple Topping

STEP ONE: Toss apple slices in the lemon juice, and set it aside.

STEP TWO: Using a 3 to 4-quart saucepan over high heat, add the coated sliced apples, water, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar. Bring to a low boil, and reduce to medium heat. Allow the apple mixture to cook for 5-7 minutes.

STEP THREE: Using a small mixing bowl, or measuring cup, stir together the cornstarch and the cold water until smooth.

STEP FOUR: Stir the cornstarch mixture into the cooked apples. Because the mixture will thicken quickly, stir constantly to keep lumps from forming. Remove the apple topping from the heat and allow the topping to cool.

For the Caramel Topping

STEP ONE: Using a small heat-safe mixing bowl, combine the dulce de leche caramel topping with the heavy cream. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well.

STEP TWO: Using an offset spatula, or a spoon, evenly spread the caramel topping.

caramel topping spread with a spatula

STEP THREE: Just before serving, spoon the apple topping on top of the caramel topping.

STEP FOUR: Sprinkle with the chopped pecans.

How To Serve

Delicious caramel apple cheesecake is 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.

Try our beautiful and delicious upside-down apple cake or simple apple crisp for more of our favorite homemade apple desserts.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to four days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the un-topped cheesecake for up to three months. Allow the cheesecake to completely thaw before topping and serving.

close up shot of Caramel Apple Cheesecake on a cake stand

This caramel apple cheesecake is a buttery crust is topped with creamy cheesecake filling topped with luscious homemade caramel and made from scratch apple pie filling for an irresistible and mouthwatering dessert. (Pssst – try our no bake cherry cheesecake recipe, too!).

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do you prevent your cheesecake from cracking?

To prevent your cheesecake from cracking, don’t overmix your batter as it will cause bubbles that will burst during baking, potentially causing cracks on top. Also, don’t overbake your cheesecake and once your cheesecake is finished baking, let it sit cooling in the oven. This also helps prevent cracking on the top.

How to bake a cheesecake in a water bath?

Using a water bath will give you a moist, perfectly baked cheesecake. The water creates a moist cooking environment for the dairy and eggs to produce the creamy cheesecake texture. Place the wrapped springform pan in a large roasting pan, fill the pan with 1 inch of water, and place in the oven. You don’t want any higher than 1-inch, or you risk water getting into the cheesecake.

How do I prevent the cheesecake water bath from leaking?

To prevent the cheesecake water bath from leaking, either wrap the pan in two layers of aluminum foil or place the springform pan in an oven-safe turkey bag or slow cooker liner bag and roll down the top of the bag. Place the wrapped pan inside the roasting pan and fill it with water.

How do I freeze a whole cheesecake?

Make sure you cool the cheesecake completely before freezing. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. To thaw, place cheesecake in the fridge overnight.

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shot of Caramel Apple Cheesecake on a cake stand

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

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This decadent and delicious caramel apple cheesecake is a tasty dessert to enjoy during apple season.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 8 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cheesecake

  • 32 ounces cream cheese, softened (4×8-ounce packages)
  • cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apple Topping

  • 2 cups apples (your favorite variety) peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ teaspoon apple pie spice
  • tablespoons cornstarch
  • tablespoons cold water

Caramel Topping

  • 13.4 ounces dulce de leche caramel
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans, optional garnish

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom only of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Generously spray the lined springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.
  • Using a small mixing bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, granulated sugar and cinnamon, until well incorporated.
  • Evenly press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 6 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Cheesecake

  • Using either a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-low speed, beat the softened cream cheese and sour cream for 1 to 1½ minutes until smooth.
  • Add in the granulated sugar and cornstarch, continue mixing for 1 minute.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low.
  • Add the eggs in 1 at a time. Beat just until the eggs are well incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla extract.
  • Wrap the outside of the springform pan in 2 layers of foil.
  • Evenly pour the cheesecake batter over the crust.
  • Place the wrapped cheesecake in a larger baking dish, and add 1½ to 2 inches of water to the larger baking dish.
  • Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the oven door open. Let the cheesecake rest in the oven for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Remove the cheesecake and let it cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edge of the pan to make certain the cake edge will come away clean.
  • Cover the top of the cheesecake and allow it to chill in the fridge for 8 hours to overnight.
  • Just before serving, carefully release the sides of the springform pan.

Apple Topping

  • Toss sliced apples in the lemon juice, and set it aside.
  • Using a 3 to 4 quart saucepan over high heat, add the coated sliced apples, water, granulated sugar and the light brown sugar. Bring to a low boil, and reduce to medium heat. Allow the apple mixture to cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Using a small mixing bowl, or measuring cup, stir together the cornstarch and the cold water until smooth.
  • Stir the cornstarch mixture into the cooked apples. Because the mixture will thicken quickly, stir constantly to keep lumps from forming. Remove the apple topping from the heat and allow the topping to cool.

Caramel Topping

  • Using a small heat safe mixing bowl, combine the dulce de leche caramel topping with the heavy cream. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well.
  • Using an offset spatula, or a spoon, evenly spread the caramel topping.
  • Just before serving, spoon the apple topping on top of the caramel topping.
  • Sprinkle with the chopped pecans.

Video

Notes

  • Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crust down then use the edge of a rubber spatula to go around the edge of the pan to push the crust down along the edges.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your crust as the suggested baking time approaches.
  • It’s important to keep the mixer speed low when mixing the cheesecake batter. The more air in the batter, the higher the possibility for cracks in the top of the cheesecake.
  • To make it easier, put the cheesecake in the pan, put the pan on the oven rack, and then add the hot water.
  • If you wish to transfer the cheesecake, before topping, to a serving plate, spray a piece of parchment paper with nonstick spray and place it on top of the cheesecake. Gently flip the cheesecake over, remove the parchment paper under the crust. Place the serving plate on top of the crust. Carefully flip the cake right side up and remove it from the top layer of cheesecake.

Nutrition

Calories: 615kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 396mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 1485IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Lori Pennington says

    My hubby makes cheesecake for birthdays or holidays just plain cheese cake but he says he is gonna try the rolo cheese cake…