Caramel Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

caramel ch bars

Caramel Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

2 cups finely ground graham crackers (could use gluten free)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 TBL granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 (8-ounce) cream cheese blocks, softened
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pint (16oz) sour cream
1 lemon, zested
2 tsp. vanilla extract


1 can apple pie filling

1/4 cup caramel sauce/topping

Streusel Topping, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13 with non-stick cooking spray (I also add parchment so that I can pick it up out of the pan for easier cutting).

For the crust:
In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened (I just used my food processor).
Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Set a large roasting pan with 1″ water on bottom oven rack, place cheesecake on middle rack. Bake for 30 minutes.

In a bowl combine the apple pie filling and caramel.

Carefully add apple topping to the cheesecake then add the streusel topping* and bake for another 30 minutes.

The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Turn off the oven, crack the door open with a wooden spoon handle and let the cheesecake sit for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven to cooling rack, let cool in pan for 30 more minutes. Cover with saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator, for at least 4 hours. Cut into bars.

Streusel Topping:

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (could use gluten free blend)
1/4 cup quick cooking oats (could use gluten free)
4 TBL butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients