Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake captures the flavors of two classic fall treats in one spectacular apple dessert!! It’s a creamy, smooth baked cheesecake with a mountain of tender apples, sweet caramel sauce, and a crisp crumbly topping. This impressive dessert will wow your Thanksgiving guests!
I absolutely love making apple recipes in the fall – sweet and savory dishes, it doesn’t matter! There are hundreds of great varieties to choose from, and many are available all year long.
If you love baking this time of the year, you need to add this easy baked cheesecake recipe to the list!!
Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake
Chopped apples and caramel sauce are mixed into the filling, which is then poured into a simple graham cracker crust.
A spiced crumble topping adds extra flavor and texture and gets lightly browned when baked. Then, more caramel is drizzled on before serving to put this dessert over the top!
Want to make something savory instead? How about a scrumptious dinner? An Apple Butter Pork Loin is a show-stopping meal that’s great for Sunday supper and holidays!
This apple cheesecake doesn’t take too long to prep, but for a quicker sweet treat, whip up a batch of Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies. They’ll be ready in 20 minutes!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Cream Cheese – For the creamiest cheesecake, be sure to use full fat cream cheese. It’s also very important that it be a good quality brand because budget brands tend to have more water in them.
- Caramel Sauce – You really can’t have a caramel apple cheesecake without the caramel sauce! If you prefer not to use it, no worries – you’ll still have a delicious apple dessert.
I use homemade caramel sauce for the cheesecake; it’s easy to make and tastes so much better. Of course, your favorite brand of jarred caramel sauce will work just as well.
Best Apples for Baking
There are literally hundreds of apple varieties, but some are better for baked apple desserts than others. The color doesn’t matter too much – what you want is something with firm flesh. As the apple cheesecake bakes, the apples will cook down, and if you start with a soft flesh variety, you could end up with applesauce instead of a wonderful apple crisp dessert!
The best apples for your baked apple crisp cheesecake include:
- Golden Delicious
- Granny Smith – This green variety has a tart flavor, which I think balances the sweetness of the cheesecake filling really well.
Apple Cheesecake Recipe Notes
- Plan ahead!!
Because it needs time in the fridge to set up, it’s best to make the apple cheesecake a day before you plan to serve it. Chilling the cake gives it a firmer consistency and makes slicing easier too.
- Use room temperature ingredients.
The cheesecake batter ingredients will be easier to combine if they aren’t cold straight from the fridge. Just pull everything out and set it on the counter about 30 minutes before you start making the recipe.
- Avoid overmixing.
You want to combine everything, but it’s okay not to have every speck of flour incorporated.
The eggs are added one at a time – just mix until the yolk disappears into the batter, then add the next egg.
Also, be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl after the addition of each ingredient. This helps keep the filling smooth and creamy.
Pro Tips for Preventing Cracks in Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake
Cool it in the oven.
Allowing the dessert to cool in the oven with the door cracked open is the only way I have been 100 percent successful in creating a smooth texture without any cracks in the baked cheesecake.
Use cake pan wraps.
Many bakers like to use insulated baking wraps. They fit around the outside of the springform pan to help keep the heat in. This helps prevent cracks and also ensures that the cheesecake bakes evenly.
Bake it in a water bath.
Another option to prevent cracks in cheesecake is using a water bath. This involves wrapping the springform pan in aluminum foil (to prevent water from getting in). Then, the pan of batter is set inside of a large roasting pan and hot water is poured around the cheesecake pan.
Storing and Freezing Cheesecake
Refrigerator – Cover your dessert in a container, or wrap it loosely with plastic wrap or foil. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Freezer – If you want to freeze the apple cheesecake, do so without the crumble topping and caramel sauce. You can add those just before serving. I also recommend chilling the cake first to prevent ice crystals from forming in the freezer.
You can wrap the whole unsliced cheesecake, or wrap individual slices for easier snacking. I like to use a double layer of wrapping – plastic wrap first, and aluminum foil over that.
In the freezer, the flavor and texture will be great for up to one month. Before serving, thaw the dessert in the fridge.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Easy Apple Recipes
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, (12 full graham cracker sheets)
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 32 ounces cream cheese, 4 (8-ounce) packs, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups apples, peeled and chopped, Gala, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Granny Smith (for a tart flavor)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, cold
- Preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit and grease a 9” springform pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Start by pulsing graham crackers in a food processor until you get about 1 ½ cups crumbs. *Alternatively, you can purchase graham cracker crumbs.Add in melted butter and salt, then pulse to combine. *If you don't have a food processor, use a fork to combine the crumbs, melted butter, and salt in a bowl.
- Pour the crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Using your clean hands or a spatula, press crumbs down to form the crust. Be sure to take some up the sides of the pan as well.
- Place pan in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
- Place room temperature cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment. *Alternatively, you can use a large mixing bowl and an electric hand mixer.Beat on high speed for at least 5 minutes, until mixture is very light and fluffy, with no visible lumps. *See Notes
- Add sugar and flour to the bowl and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add the caramel sauce and mix on low speed, just until caramel is incorporated. *Do not over mix.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream; mix for 1-2 minutes. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add each egg one at a time. Allow the yolk of each egg to incorporate completely before adding the next. *See Notes
- Use a silicone mixing spatula/spoon to gently fold in the chopped apples.
- Pour the filling into the prepared crust.Prepare the crumble by adding all ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Stir well to combine, then sprinkle crumble evenly all over the top of the cheesecake. (NOTE: you can double the crumble ingredients if you want to add even more crumble to the top)
- Bake at 350°F. for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 200° F. Continue baking for an additional 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside. Crack the oven door open and allow the cheesecake to sit for about 15 minutes. *See Notes.After 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until completely set.
- Once the cheesecake is set, top with caramel sauce, serve, and enjoy!
- Plan ahead. It is ideal to bake the cheesecake a day before you plan to serve it. For best results, let the cheesecake set in the fridge overnight.
- Be sure you are using a good quality cream cheese and it is at room temperature before beginning.
- The best apples for a baked cheesecake are those with a firm flesh. Good options include Gala, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady. For a sweet-tart flavor, use Granny Smith.
- Beat the cream cheese for at least 5 minutes. The longer you mix the cream cheese the better the cheesecake consistency will be.
- Do not over incorporate the eggs! Mix just until the yolk disappears into the batter, then add the next.
- Allowing the cheesecake to cool in the oven with the door closed is the only way I have been able to repeatedly get smooth cheesecakes with no cracks. Like I said above, this is an optional step, but is worth it.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published October 2020. Updated and republished October 2022.
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