Apple cheesecake bars are layers of shortbread crust, cheesecake filling, sliced apples and cinnamon streusel topping. This dessert recipe is perfect for fall!
We had our first 60 degree day in Connecticut last week and you know what that means… fall baking! I whipped up these apple cheesecake bars with streusel topping to welcome the fall weather.
Have I ever told you my theory of fall desserts? Well, I suppose it’s not a theory, but more so a personal opinion. I believe that apples desserts should come first before all the pumpkin spice desserts.
It makes sense, right? Apples are in season in September, while pumpkins are seen more in October and November. I baked apple cheesecake bars to welcome fall with open arms.
Cheesecake filling for apple bars
The rich, creamy cheesecake layer is a soothing consistency to bite into. It absorbs the surrounding flavors and textures provided by the apples and streusel, making it an absolutely heavenly treat!
To make the cheesecake layer, mix together cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat it well so the cheesecake is creamy. Using room temperature ingredients will make this step easy!
Spiced apple filling
Freshly cut apples are tossed in sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the ultimate fall apple flavor. I like it when the apples marinate for a few minutes and soak up the spices before layering on the crust and cheesecake. I recommend using Gala, Honeycrisp, Braeburn or Golden Delicious for these bars to get the best flavor and texture.
I suggest using an apple peeler/corer (I like this one). It makes the apple slicing quick and easy! Plus, it’s fun to do.
Streusel topping recipe
An apple dessert isn’t complete without a streusel topping. In case you are curious as to what a streusel actually is, it is a dessert topping that is made from butter, flour, sugar, and often cinnamon. For a crisp topping, oats are often added where as a crumble topping oats are usually omitted.
This crisp layer includes butter, brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon. They come together and form a sweet topping that melts in your mouth.
Apple recipes for fall
Apples are in abundance this time of year, which makes it the perfect opportunity to try more apple recipes! Here are a few I recommend…
- Apple crisp bars are my favorite. I make this recipe a few times each year and I’ve included a recipe video!
- My mom’s apple pie recipe is a go-to of mine and includes instructions for a homemade pie crust!
- Classic apple crisp is a fall staple and is best served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Apple cider bread is packed with apple cider and chopped apples to make a seasonal breakfast snack.
Whether you’re welcoming fall with open arms just like me or simply love apple desserts, these apple cheesecake bars will undoubtedly be a hit. Give this recipe a try and be sure to tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media if you enjoyed the recipe!
Apple Cheesecake Bars
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (50 g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 small apples, peeled, cored and chopped¹
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg optional
- 1/2 cup (100 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (62 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (25 g) rolled oats
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (56 g or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and brown sugar. Add the butter and use a pastry blender (or two forks) to cut butter into mixture until crumbly. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until light golden in color.
- Make the cheesecake mixture: In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Then add egg and vanilla. Beat to combine. Pour over warm crust.
- Prepare apple layer: In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples (I suggest using an apple peeler), 1 tablespoon sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Distribute evenly over cheesecake mixture.
- Make the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and butter. Either stir ingredients together using a wooden spoon or, better yet, use your clean hands to combine the butter into the mixture.
- Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over the apple layer. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until streusel is light brown and filling is set. Let bars cool in the pan to room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours. Serve cold and enjoy!
- I recommend using Gala, Braeburn, Honey Crisp or Golden Delicious apples for the best texture and flavor.
- Store apple cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.