Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
Caramel apples atop a layer of cheesecake, with loads of brown sugar crumble topping and a caramelized oat crust. These gluten-free Cheesecake Bars are the perfect treat to bring to your next holiday gathering.
These bars. Oh my. Where do I even start?
How about with the cheesecake (my personal favorite part). The cheesecake is a half cream cheese-half Greek yogurt cheesecake. Have you tried Greek yogurt cheesecake yet? If not, then you must. It’s lighter than traditional cheesecake, and so creamy.
I went with a 1:1 ratio of yogurt to cream cheese here to make sure the cheesecake could stand up to all of that crumble topping. I love 100% Greek yogurt cheesecake, but the lightness would have been overwhelmed here. In my recipe testing, I tried making these bars with all cream cheese and I didn’t like them nearly as well.
Did I mention the cheesecake is also a brown sugar cheesecake? Oh yes it is.
These Caramel Apple Crumble Cheesecake Bars have loads of crumble. I used the same crumble mixture to make both the bottom crust and the topping. It’s a brown sugar crumble. In the oven, the brown sugar and butter melt together and the crust gets all caramelized and wonderful. This does make it a little difficult when it comes time to cut the bars, but the taste more than makes up for that.
The crust and crumble are made entirely with oats and oat flour, making these Cheesecake Bars gluten-free! That’s not to say they are healthy, but they are full of whole grains. 🙂
The final part of these bars is the caramel apples. Sweet-tart apples, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg… combine these in a saucepan and cook gently until the apples are coated in sweet caramel goodness.
It’s been a while since I’ve made an over-the-top amazing dessert, and these Cheesecake Bars were definitely worth the wait.
Try my best apple pie recipe next!
More Cheesecake Recipes:
Caramel Apple Crumble Cheesecake Bars
For the crust and crumble topping:
- 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats, divided
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup 1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
For the caramel apples:
- 2 lbs. about 6 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. salt
For the cheesecake layer:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- pinch of salt
Make the crust and crumble:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the width of the pan and line the pan with the parchment, letting it overhang on two opposite sides. Spray the parchment with cooking spray.
- In a food processor, process 1 ½ cups of the oats until finely ground. Add in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and process until combined. Add in the butter pieces and pulse 8 times, until the largest pieces of butter are the size of small peas. Add in the remaining 1 cup oats and process in 5 quick pulses.
- Press half of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool slightly. The crust should be light golden brown, and will be soft and not set when you remove it from the oven. It will set up as it cools. Maintain oven temperature at 350 degrees.
Make the caramel apples:
- While the crust bakes and cools, make the caramel apples. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring often, for 15 minutes, until apples are soft. Remove from heat.
Make the cheesecake:
- Wipe out any crumble crumbs off of the blade and bowl of the food processor. Combine all cheesecake ingredients in the bowl of the food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Assemble the cheesecake bars:
- Pour the cheesecake on top of the crust in the baking dish. Scoop the apples on top of the cheesecake in an even layer. Crumble the remaining crust/crumble mixture over the top of the apples. Bake at 350 degrees until the crumble is golden and cheesecake is set, 40-45 minutes. Cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before slicing and serving. (The bars taste even better on the second and third day, if you have time to chill them overnight.)
How have I never heard of greek yogurt cheesecake? Sounds delicious, and less calories, which means it’s ok if I go for a second bar, right? Have the best Thanksgiving tomorrow Kristine!
You’ve got to try Greek yogurt cheesecake! It’s a life-changer. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!
I’ve never tried Greek yogurt in cheesecake, and now I’m kicking myself for not thinking of that sooner! I try to use Greek yogurt whenever I bake to make things healthier, so I love this treat, Kristine! These bars look absolutely perfect, especially with that crumbly goodness on top. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Greek yogurt cheesecake is a recent discovery of mine, and I love it! You should try it soon! Have a very happy Thanksgiving!
I seriously adore everything about these bars!
Thank you, Jocelyn! These bars are pretty irresistible!
Crumb bars are one of my most favorite desserts ever! I love them! This looks great! I could not be trusted around them, I would eat the whole darn pan! 🙂
Thanks, Annie! These are pretty hard to resist. For me, anything with cheesecake is hard to resist!
In these crumble bars there is everything you could want from a crumble bars! I would like to have one here now! 🙂
Wish I could send one to you! 🙂
These bars look amazing, Kristine! I’ve never had goat cheese cheesecake, but I would love to try it. I love that these are gluten free too!
Um, OK I meant greek yogurt! I must have had goat cheese on the brain when I wrote that comment, which is true most of the time 😉
That is too funny! I figured that’s what you meant, but hey, goat cheese cheesecake could be the next big thing!
Greek yogurt cheesecake is new to me too! But I certainly like the way you think. So tasty looking.
Never made a cheesecake based on greek yoghurt before, this is totally a delicious recipe I need to try!
You really do! Greek yogurt cheesecake is sooo good!
Love all the extra crumbles in this! Apple Bars are the best this time of year!
Thank you, Laura! I made sure to include lots of crumble topping in these!
Crazy for crumble! Guilty as charged! These bars look fabulous! Pinned!
Thanks for pinning, Lindsey! This brown sugar oat crumble is so buttery, caramely good!
I was just looking over all the links from last week’s SNF party and I stopped right in my tracks when I spied these! These are making my mouth water. I have not tried greek yogurt cheesecake, though I have had the idea to try it for awhile! I think half and half sounds like the perfect balance. I really wish I had one of these right now!
Awww, thanks so much Ashlyn! Wish I could send you one of these! Now go get started on that Greek yogurt cheesecake… 🙂
These sound like a dream dessert. And since they have apple…health food!
Of course! And with the oats, too… totally healthy food!
I made this today but decreased the sugar by half and used only 50 grams melted butter in the oats crust, it came out phenomenal!!
thank you for the amazing recipe i will definitely be making it again 🙂
Thank you for sharing your adaptations, Ireni! I will have to try those the next time I make these, as I’m always trying to lighten up recipes. 🙂 I am so glad you enjoyed these!