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Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars

These little bites of sweet dessert heaven are the perfect fusion of everyone’s fall favorite, Apple Pie, and a classic favorite all year around, New York Cheesecake!

This post is sponsored by Challenge Butter but all thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Moribyan’s kitchen possible.

Fall is my favorite time to bake all sorts of sweet things! The weather is a bit colder and all I want to do is cozy up with a cup of tea and freshly baked treat. Now cheesecake is my favorite dessert so I’m always looking for ways to changing it up. A few months ago, we made Creme Brulee White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars and they’ve been so popular and last year, Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars were a Thanksgiving hit. This year, instead of fusing cheesecake with pumpkin pie, we’re fusing it with apple pie! 

It starts off with a shortbread crust instead of a traditional graham cracker crust. Then goes a layer of creamy and smooth cheesecake! On top goes diced apples with cinnamon sugar and a streusel topping made with oats for an extra crunch. It’s a lot of layers but it’s all worth it in the end when you taste that first bite of fall heaven.

LAYER 1: Shortbread Crust

The crust might just be the most important part of the cheesecake as it holds the whole thing together and offers an incredible texture. The key ingredient to any good shortbread is high-quality butter so that’s why we’re using my favorite Challenge Unsalted Butter to add a beautiful rich taste. Their butter is made the old-fashioned way from happy cows at family-owned dairies and you can really taste that difference. Also, no hormones are ever added so I always feel good about putting desserts created with Challenge Butter on the table for my family to enjoy!

Here’s everything you will need:

  • Challenge Unsalted Butter, melted
  • White granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • All purpose flour

Just mix it all together in a bowl, press it tightly into a lined 8×8 pan, and bake it separately first so the crust is fully cooked and has a nice bite.

LAYER 2: New York Cheesecake

The secret to a perfect cheesecake is making sure all your ingredients are at room temperature, especially cream cheese! If the ingredients are cold, the cheesecake will be lumpy instead of smooth and creamy.

Here’s everything you will need:

  • Cream cheese, room temperature
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Sour cream, room temperature
  • Large eggs, room temperature
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

First cream together the cream cheese and sugar using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer. Now here’s another key step to making a delicious cheesecake. SCRAPE down the sides of the bowl. The cream cheese gets stuck easily to the side of the mixing bowl which will make the batter lumpy. Scrape as you go to avoid this as well as to avoid over beating it. Cheesecake and air bubbles do not mix well.

Then add the cornstarch, sour cream, large eggs, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt. Beat until the batter is completely smooth. Now try not to lick the bowl!

LAYER 3: Apple Pie Crumble

Time to put the apple pie in these apple pie cheesecake bars! We’re using Granny Smith apples because they have a nice tart flavor and hold their shape well. If you want apples that are less tart and more sweet, you can use Honey Crispy or Gala apples. Peel them, dice them, and toss em with cinnamon powder, brown sugar, and a dash of nutmeg.

Moving on to the crumble, just combine all purpose flour, rolled oats, room temperature or cold Challenge Unsalted Butter, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and salt. The best way is to use a pastry cutter, fork, or your own clean hands to mix it all together! When it has a coarse texture, it’s ready to go!

Time to assemble now. Just pour the cheesecake batter over the baked crust and then sprinkle the apples on top. You can add as much or as little of the apple mix we made. Then sprinkle on the streusel topping and pop it in the oven to bake.

All that’s left to do is be really patient. Let it cool down in the oven by turning it off and leaving a crack open in the oven for an hour. Then take it out and allow it to cool down to room temperature. Transfer it to the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.

Once the patient game is over, slice it and for some extra sweetness, drizzle caramel or dulce de leche on top! Now just enjoy!

If you tried this recipe and loved it, drop by down below and let me know how you liked it with a rating and comment! Feel free to also leave a question there about this recipe and I’ll get right back to it. 

To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on Instagram! I’m also now on Pinterest pinning away so stop by and see what’s up.

OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars

These little bites of sweet dessert heaven are the perfect fusion of everyone’s fall favorite, Apple Pie, and a classic favorite all year around, New York Cheesecake!
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9

Equipment

  • 8 x 8 square pan

Ingredients
  

CHEESECAKE BATTER

  • 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

SHORTBREAD CRUST

  • 1/2 cup Challenge Unsalted Butter melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

APPLE MIX

  • 2 granny smith apples peeled and cubed small
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark, I used dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

STREUSEL TOPPING

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup Challenge Unsalted Butter room temperature (cubed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

MAKE THE SHORTBREAD CRUST

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • To a small bowl, add the melted butter, white sugar, all purpose flour, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Mix together with a rubber spatula until the consistency resembles cookie dough.
  • Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper. Press the dough tightly to the bottom of the pan and make sure it's even.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool.

MAKE THE APPLE MIX

  • To a mixing bowl, add the diced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix together well and set aside.

MAKE THE STREUSEL TOPPING

  • Add brown sugar, white sugar, all purpose flour, oats, cubed butter, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together using a fork, pastry blender, or your hands until the consistency is like coarse crumbs.

MAKE THE CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or handheld beater, add cream cheese and sugar to the bowl and beat on medium speed until it is creamy and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Then add the eggs, cornstarch, sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until creamy and smooth again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary to make sure everything is incorporated and there are no clumps.

BAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Pour the cheesecake batter over the cooled & baked crust. Sprinkle the apples on top, adding as much or as little as you'd like. Finally, top it off with the streusel and bake for 40 minutes.
  • After 40 minutes, turn off the oven and crack the oven open to allow the cheesecake to cool slowly in there for an hour. Then remove the cheesecake and let it cool on the counter to room temperature. Now you can transfer it to the fridge to chill overnight or at least 6 hours before slicing and enjoying!
  • For extra sweetness, drizzle with caramel or dulce de leche on top.
Keyword apple pie, cheesecake, dessert, fall recipe
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