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The best apple cheesecake bar being held in the air by a hand with a white background.

Best Apple Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust


  • Author: Andrea
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

If you like apple pie and cheesecake, then these apple cheesecake bars are the dessert for you!


Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • Flour: 1 and 1/3 Cup
  • Granulated Sugar: 1/4 Cup
  • Cold Butter, cut into cubes: 1/2 Cup
  • Salt: 1/4 Teaspoon

Cheesecake Layer

  • Cream Cheese, softened: Two 8 oz packages
  • Granulated Sugar: 1/2 Cup
  • Eggs: 2
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 Teaspoon

Apple Layer

  • Granny Smith Apples, peeled, sliced and diced into small pieces: 2
  • Granulated Sugar: 1 Tablespoon
  • Lemon Juice: 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Vanilla Extract: 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Ground Cinnamon: 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Ground Nutmeg: 1/4 Teaspoon

Streusel Topping

  • Quick Oats: 1/4 Cup
  • Brown Sugar, Packed: 1/2 Cup
  • Flour: 1/2 Cup
  • Softened Butter: 1/4 Cup
  • Ground Cinnamon: 1/4 Teaspoon
  • Salt: 1/4 Teaspoon

Optional

  • Store Bought Caramel Sauce: For Topping

Instructions

  1. Prepare: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease an 8x8 square baking dish and set it aside. 
  2. Shortbread Crust: Mix the flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the cold butter and incorporate all the ingredients with your hands until the mixture resembles a light crumb-like texture. Transfer it to the baking dish and evenly press the mixture firmly into the pan. Bake the crust for 18-20 minutes, until the edges start to lightly brown.
  3. Cheesecake Layer: Using an electric mixer, mix the softened cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the hot baked shortbread crust. 
  4. Apple Layer: Combine the apple layer ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with a spoon until everything is well incorporated. Using a spoon, evenly distribute the apple mixture on top of the cheesecake layer. 
  5. Streusel Topping: Combine and mix all the streusel topping ingredients together, except for the butter. Once fully mixed, add the softened butter and use your hands to form the streusel crumble. It should be a dampish, crumb-like texture. Evenly distribute the streusel over the apple mixture.
  6. Bake: Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes. Rest until room temperature and refrigerate for up to 3 hours before serving. Can also be made the day before and chilled in the refrigerator overnight. Serve with store-bought caramel sauce as desired. 

Notes

You don’t need any fancy tools to make the crust or the streusel/crumble, you’re hands are all you need to make both these layers. However, if you do prefer to use a tool, use can use a pastry blender, or a simple fork will also do the trick.

The size of the apple pieces should be similar to the size of diced onion or tomatoes.

For best results, refrain from slicing into these delicious cheesecake bars too soon! They need time to cool and develop their structure and flavor. If you can hold off, they taste even better the next day!

Once you start cutting the bars into squares, you’ll notice the knife will start to get caked in cheesecake and make it a bit difficult to cut the next square. To avoid this, wipe the knife with a paper towel after every slice. 

Nutrition facts are estimates only.

Scroll up to the full blog post for recipe FAQ’s.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: dessert, bars, holiday
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: american

Keywords: cheesecake bars, apple cheesecake bars, bar recipe

Best Apple Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust