Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

The day has finally come. The day when I have to blog about a dessert that I made that was sub-par. Unfortunately, as delicious as its name sounds, this dessert fell flat for me.

I had a bunch of apples that I wanted to use so I was looking for a good apple recipe. After reading numerous apple crisp, cobbler, and pie recipes I settled on this Caramel Apple Cheesecake Square recipe. The name just drew me in!

The cheesecake layer was good and the apple layer was good (though it probably could've been doubled... the apples sort of got lost), but the crust and the topping left a lot to be desired. The crust was soggy and didn't hold up to the layers very well. If you have a good crust recipe definitely use that instead. I would maybe use this recipe from the lemon bars I made this summer. And the topping just seemed a little too floury for me. I'm really surprised that it didn't turn out better because it had a lot of positive reviews. Oh well... at least I got a few pretty pictures!

Recipe: From
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Streusell topping, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping. Bake 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping.

Streusel Topping
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.


Chocolate Shavings said...

Those look really tasty!

Linda said...

Oh, no! I hate it when a gorgeous dessert doesn't deliver.
But you're right - the photos are really pretty!

Kevin said...

There are just so many good things packed into those bars!

Heidi said...

Wow, your photos are sure deceiving because those bars look delicious. They look almost perfect. That sucks when you spend so much time & effort and the result is I guess that recipe goes in the dumper huh? The next treat you bake will be splendid!

Peggy said...

the photos look great! I'm surprised they didn't turn out to taste as well as they look!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, nice pictures. I am very surprised that you didn't like this recipe. I am a professional baker, and I really like this recipe, and have baked it for tons of my clients; everyone loves it. The crust is delicious and buttery. Try baking the crust a little longer, and add less flour to the topping. Also, make sure you use a very high quality butter. I use Danish Creamery. I order it in bulk, because I also use it for butter cream for my wedding cakes. You can also use half butter and half Plugra for a super delicious, buttery crust and topping. Instead of the jarred caramel topping I make my own, which also makes them super delicious. All in all these are worth making and have been a hit with hundreds of people.

Tatjana said...

Streusel... cool. :-)
I didn't know that "our" german word is so popular.

This morning I made this bars and they are amazing.
I used "homemade" caramel topping.
Therefore I meltet 36 caramel toffees (1 pack) in 250ml cream.

Anonymous said...

Costco has Apple Crisp in the Frozen food section. 48 bars - and they are delicious...why go to all the trouble of making them

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