Caramel Apple Cheesecake Squares

October 20, 2011
In these tasty Caramel Apple Cheesecake Squares, cheesecake, apple, streusel, and caramel layer together to create one decadently delicious treat.

Think apple crisp.  Drizzled with caramel.  Served over cheesecake with a brown sugar crust.  With a little bit more caramel for good measure.  And there you have Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars.  Are you drooling?  Well, you probably should be.

I made these bars for the first-ever Improv Cooking Challenge, orchestrated and hosted by the fabulous Sheryl at Lady Behind the Curtain.  Our challenge?  Bake up a dish using the two ingredients specified by our challenge hostess - this time around, apples and caramel.

Truth be told, I'm not a fan of apples and caramel together.  Apple desserts?  Love them!  Caramel?  Love it!  Together?  Not so much.  Those  ooey-gooey, oh-so-sticky, almost-pull-my-teeth-out caramel apples on  a stick?  Detest them.  So, probably needless to say, I wasn't just absolutely over-the-moon thrilled about this ingredient pairing (sorry, Sheryl!).

But, I really wanted to participate in the Improv Cooking Challenge, with this group of bloggers.  So off I went in search of a caramel-and-apple recipe that would pique my interest.  Oh, how I do love a challenge!
I came across several possibilities in my searching travels, but none grabbed me quite like these cheesecake bars from The Girl Who Ate Everything.  My mind and my eyes just kept on coming back to them.  So, these little gems are what I went with!  And I'm so glad I did.

I mean, basically apple crisp on top of cheesecake??  With caramel???  Come on!  What's not to love?

You build these little beauties in layers - starting with a brown sugar-based crust.  Then you pour on cheesecake batter, layer on cinnamon-coated apples, and top that with a buttery streusel layer.

Pop it in the oven until it's set and golden brown, and then drizzle on some caramel topping.

The only change I made to this recipe was to reduce the amount of butter in the crust and the streusel topping.  I think it could be reduced even more, if you would like.  It is, originally, a Paula Deen recipe, after all! ... and we all know how she loves her butter. 

When the bars are cooled, cut into 'em and drizzle on a little more caramel topping ... ya know, just because you can.  Then dig on in!  I shared these with my team at school, and almost everyone asked for the recipe.  Yes, this is one of those recipes.
And I have to say, this is one caramel and apple combination even a non-caramel apple lover can get behind!  And biting into it won't pull your teeth out.  I promise.

Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground. We'd love to have you back soon!

caramel apple cheesecake squares recipe, caramel apple cheesecake bars, cheesecake bars recipe
Cookies & Bars
Yield: about 16-20 squares

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Squares

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Squares

In these tasty Caramel Apple Cheesecake Squares, cheesecake, apple, streusel, and caramel layer together to create one decadently delicious treat.
Prep time: 30 MCook time: 1 hourTotal time: 1 H & 30 M


Crust Layer:
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
Cheesecake Layer:
  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Apple Layer:
  • 3 tart apples (such as Rome or Granny Smith), peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Streusel Layer:
  • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 c. butter, softened
Caramel Layer:
  • 1/2 c. caramel ice cream topping


Prepare Crust Layer:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray. 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Add Cheesecake Layer:
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with the 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. 
  2. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and then add vanilla. Stir to combine. 
  3. Pour over warm crust.
Add Apple Layer:
  1. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 
  2. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
Add Streusel Layer & Bake:
  1. In a small bowl, combine all streusel ingredients. Using your hands or a fork, mix until the ingredients come together and form small crumbs. 
  2. Sprinkle apples evenly with Streusel topping.
  3. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set.
Add Caramel Layer:
  1. Drizzle baked bars with caramel topping and let cool. 
  2. Chill bars and serve cold.
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. These look great! I made what looks like the same thing :) I am a fellow Improv Challenge participant and your newest follower.

  2. Oh how I love cheesecake! Your photo is beautiful! I've added the Caramel Apple Scones #53.

  3. I've been drooling over this recipe too -- so glad it's worth making (I didn't doubt that, but always nice to know!). Looks like I might have a new treat to take for an upcoming get-together. Stopping by from the Challenge!

  4. Cheesecake drowning in a caramel sauce....yummy.

    Bibi @ Frugal Wannabe Cooks (recipe #7)

  5. I LOVE your recipe! Thanks for participating in THE IMPROV COOKING CHALLENGE!! I can't wait to see what you do next month with Pumpkin and Cream Cheese. ---Sheryl---

  6. This looks so yummy! I am over from the Improv (Im #30) and your newest follower!

  7. Words cannot even describe how much I want to try this recipe.

  8. Five layers of perfections, I can't wait to try this one.

  9. I had to pin this before I could even leave a comment! What an incredible combination.

  10. Oh my! This sounds fantastic. NEED. NOW!

  11. This dessert sounds really yummy! I love the layers; I bet they taste so good together.

    Pinning on pinterest. :)

    Tracy Screaming Sardine

  12. Oh my gosh! These look heavenly!

  13. Looks delicious! Drizzle caramel on anything and I'm there!

  14. Yum, this looks too good not to pin to try very, very soon! Great recipe!

  15. Yes, I will take a slice of this!! Wow! It looks amazing and I know it tastes that way, too. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  16. It looks and sounds absolutely delicious !

  17. YUM! Looking at your post has made me hungry for these all over again! Great idea to reduce the butter...these were definitely packed with an abundance of delicious calories :)

  18. I made this fabulous recipe with lots of butter and cream on it, this was such a yummy and delicious dish on last weekend. I freeze it one hour and after I served, Superb dish.

  19. These look and sound amazing!! I definitely want to try them soon! Perfect choice for this month's challenge!

  20. You have managed to combine some of my favorites, cheesecake, streusel, apples and caramel into one gorgeous dessert.

  21. I was tempted to make this recipe from Christy, but I ran short on time lol. Yours looks great!

  22. Hi there!
    I'd like to invite you to link this recipe up for A Themed Baker's Sunday, Where the theme is Caramel! See you there!
    Cupcake Apothecary

  23. Hmmmm this looks amaaaazing!
    I'm going to start following you immediately, I never wanna miss out on this kind of recipes again ;)

  24. Oh God! It looks and sounds so sinfully delicious!

  25. Okay I'm drooling like a Danish Dog right here... This looks so so good! Must try this sometime cuz I LOVE apple based desserts and this is just fantastic!

  26. OMG! I am drooling - yum!! Thank you so much for bringing to this week's Fiesta Friday party!


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