Let Them Eat (Cheese)Cake - Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars

Let Them Eat (Cheese)Cake - Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars
Let Them Eat (Cheese)Cake - Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars

“Hey Mom, I need some apple recipes . . . it’s apple season!”

That was a text I received from my son in Chicago. I’m sure he was thinking of apple pie recipes. Or apple cobbler. Apple crisps. Apple butter. Maybe even sliced apples. He’s competent, but not a dedicated cook like me, proving some apples do fall far from the tree.

Instead, my heart and my husband’s dessert-loving tummy guide me. I came across this basic recipe and adapted it to my own sweet tooth.

What better to bake with in the crisp, golden days of fall than fresh apples? Apples coated in cinnamon and sugar, then baked and topped with a heavy, crunchy topping, and then . . .drizzled with fresh caramel sauce?

This fall, when the family asks for apple pie, let them eat cheesecake!

Apple Caramel Cheesecake Bars

For the Crust:

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 cups flour

For the Cheesecake Filling:

4 large Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored, sliced, and diced

1 – ½ cup granulated sugar, divided

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tubs Italian mascarpone cheese (or 8-oz. packages cream cheese or 1 of each cheese. Note: Mascarpone cheese offers a sweeter tasting filling)

2 jumbo eggs

For the Topping:

1 cup flour

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup old-fashioned oats (do not use steel-cut)

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup chopped praline-coated pecans


Caramel sauce (fresh or store-bought)


Preheat oven to 350 F. degrees

With foil, line a 13 X 9 inch baking pan. Allow excess foil to hang over sides of pan

For the Crust:

In a large bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with a hand-held mixer on medium speed until creamy.

Add the flour and salt, beating until combined.

Press this mixture into the foil-lined pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the Cheesecake Filling:

In a large bowl, mix apples, 1 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Place the apple mixture in a colander that is set over a bowl, allow to stand for 30 minutes, giving an occasional stir.

While crust is cooling and apples are draining, in another large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, eggs, and ½ cup of sugar with a handheld mixer at medium speed until smooth.

Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the cooled crust.

Spread drained apples on top of cheese mixture.

For the Topping:

In a medium bowl, whisk flour with 1 cup packed brown sugar, ½ cup oats, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ cup (1 stick ) butter, and 1 cup chopped praline pecans.

Sprinkle on top of apples.

Bake for 50 – 60 minutes until center is set.

Allow to cool in the pan and then refrigerate until cold.

Using foil as handles, remove from the and and cut into bars.

Drizzle with caramel sauce.

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