Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars start with a creamy apple-flavored cheesecake filling that is dotted with real apples on a thick graham cracker crust. It is topped with sea salt and caramel for the ultimate caramel apple cream cheese dessert.
This is a unique fall dessert for apple-picking season.
You’ll be surprised how easily this Caramel Apple-inspired dessert comes together.
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Key to Success #1 – Finely Crush the Graham Cracker Crumbs
One of my best tips for making a graham cracker crust that sticks together is finely crushing up the graham crackers.
If you leave larger chunks of cracker, the crust tends to not hold together as well.
I recommend using a food processor to process the graham crackers into fine crumbs.
This recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs.
To make 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, you’ll need about 11-12 graham cracker sheets.
Process them in the food processor until they are fine crumbs.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can place the graham crackers into a gallon-sized zip-top bag and crush the crackers with a rolling pin or a meat mallet.
Mix the finely crushed graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and sugar then press it into the greased baking dish.
Don’t just spread the crust mixture in the pan and hope for the best.
Really press the crust mixture into the pan firmly to make a crust.
Since we’re not pre-baking the crust, pressing it firmly into the pan will help it hold together under the weight of the filling.
Key to Success #2 – Soften the Cream Cheese
The cheesecake filling is a mixture of cream cheese, a little sugar, eggs, and a little bit of sea salt.
Make sure the cream cheese is softened before you mix up the filling.
Using softened cream cheese will ensure that your filling is nice and smooth with no cream cheese lumps.
You can leave the packages of cream cheese out on the countertop for about an hour.
If you’re short on time, you can soften the cream cheese in the microwave.
Remove the cream cheese from the foil package and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.
Next, heat in the microwave on the defrost setting for 20-30 seconds until the cream cheese is soft but not melted.
Key to Success #3 – Gently Stir in the Apple Pie Filling
The apple flavor in the cheesecake is from the apple pie filling that we’re adding.
We’re using a whole 21-ounce can of apple pie filling.
Most cans of apple pie filling have large slices of apple in them.
I would recommend cutting the apple slices into smaller chunks for this Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars recipe.
You can use a sharp knife to slice the apples into smaller pieces right in the can.
Just insert the sharp knife into the top of the open can and slice through the filling several times in different directions
You can also leave the apple pieces in large slices if you’d prefer large slices of apple in your bars.
Gently stir the entire can of apple pie filling into the cheesecake mixture.
You don’t want to use your mixer to mix in the apple pie filling because it may crush or bruise the apples.
Use a spatula to gently fold in the apple pie filling.
Keep stirring until the pie filling is fully incorporated into the cheesecake mixture.
Key to Success #4 – Add Caramel Sauce and Sea Salt for the WOW
After the Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars bake, allow them to cool then refrigerate at least a couple of hours until they are cold.
They can be served as is, but you can really take them up a notch by drizzling them with caramel sauce and then sprinkling them with coarse sea salt.
I have a great recipe for caramel sauce and this is what I use to top these cream cheese bars.
You can use a commercially prepared caramel sauce if you prefer.
Finally, sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on top of the caramel sauce, if desired.
Personally, I leave out the sea salt on my own piece, but my family loves it!
Since you’re adding the caramel and sea salt to each Apple Pie Cheesecake Bar separately, it can easily be customized to the individual’s preferences.
Save this Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars recipe to your favorite Apple Desserts board or your Cheesecake board.
For the Crust
- 6 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
For the Filling
- 2 pkgs (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling
- caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9x9-inch baking dish.
- Mix melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and 1/4 cup sugar until the mixture is crumbly. Press firmly into the bottom of the baking pan.
- In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, and salt. Beat on medium speed 1-2 minutes until smooth.
- Run a sharp knife through the can of apple pie filling a few times to cut the apple slices smaller. (optional)
- Fold apple pie filling into cream cheese mixture.
- Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of the crust.
- Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes until filling is set. Cool completely then refrigerate.
- When ready to serve, drizzle caramel sauce over slices. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. (optional)
For thinner bars, bake Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars in a 9x13-inch pan. Reduce bake time to 35-45 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 362mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 5g
Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.