This Caramel Apple Crumble Cheesecake recipe is an impressive and decadent dessert that is perfect for a dinner party, holiday meal, or any time where you want something special. It combines rich cheesecake and warm apple crisp into one show-stopping recipe!
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If you are looking for a delicious dessert idea then you have come to the right place! This caramel apple cheesecake recipe has a little bit of everything. The crust and topping are buttery with a crisp texture. And the cheesecake is creamy and dense. Apples balance the sweetness, and the gooey caramel offers a finishing touch that makes each bite absolutely amazing!
Ingredients & Substitions
Apples - I like to use Honeycrisp or Jazz apples in this recipe. I found that Granny Smith apples did not have enough moisture and remained too firm after baking.
Cream Cheese - Full fat blocks of cream cheese work best for this recipe. Using tubs of cream cheese will result in a much softer texture and is not recommended. Bring the cream cheese to room temperature before using, so that it blends into the other ingredients better.
Sour Cream - The sour cream should also be at room temperature. You can substitute Greek yogurt in place of sour cream if you wish. It is an equal substitution.
Eggs - Eggs help to thicken the cheesecake. They are best at room temperature.
Graham Crackers - If you live outside of the US and do not have access to graham crackers then you can substitute digestive biscuits. With this substitution, reduce the granulated sugar in the crust to ¼ cup.
Steps to Making the Cheesecake
Step One: Prepare the Graham Cracker Crust
I use my food processor to turn the graham crackers into crumbs. But if you do not have a food processor then you can crush the graham crackers in a zip-top bag using a rolling pin or mallet.
Once you have the graham cracker crumbs prepared, all of the remaining crust ingredients are combined together in one bowl.
I have found that the easiest way to press the crumbs into a springform pan is by using a flat-bottomed glass. The sides don't have to be perfect! You just want the thickness to be fairly uniform.
Step Two: Make Caramel Sauce
It is so easy to make your own caramel sauce, and it tastes so good! However, if you want to cut some time then you can use a jarred sauce in its place. You will want the thick sauce, not the kind that comes in a squeeze bottle.
To make the sauce, place the sugar and water in a pan over medium heat until it melts into a beautiful golden-amber color. This takes about 10 minutes, and you will want to keep an eye on it because it turns from amber to burned very quickly.
Next, whisk in the cream. It is normal for the sauce to get really thick and clumpy in this step, but just keep whisking. Once the cream is fully combined with the sauce it will become smooth again.
Finally, stir in the butter and vanilla, which add depth and flavor to the caramel.
Step Three: Cheesecake Filling
This recipe makes a cheesecake filling that is creamy and dense. It is very similar to my Huckleberry Cheesecake recipe, but this recipe has a little less filling since it has a thicker topping.
It is important to use an electric mixer when preparing the filling so that the cream cheese mixture completely blends with the other ingredients. However, it doesn't matter whether it is a stand or hand mixer.
Preparing the filling is essentially broken into two parts:
1) Whipping the cream cheese. In this step you can use a higher speed, to bring air into the cream cheese. Add one cup sugar and beat it well.
2) For the rest of the time preparing the filling, keep your mixer on low speed. This helps to avoid over whipping, which creates a thin texture of filling and can lead to cracks in your cheesecake.
Step Four: Layer Apples
The apples should be peeled and cored, and cut into one-eight-to-one-quarter-inch apple slices.
Lay them out in a circular pattern over the cheesecake batter, overlapping the apples a little bit.
You might be afraid that the apples will sink, but don't worry! The cheesecake mixture is thick enough to hold the apples up on top.
Step Five: Crumble Topping
Remember how I said that this was a combination of cheesecake and apple crisp? You may recognize this crumb topping as being very similar to my apple crisp recipe. The main difference is that this recipe is just sweetened with brown sugar. I left out the granulated sugar from the topping because the caramel drizzle brings extra sweetness.
Once the crumble ingredients are mixed together, simply sprinkle it over the top of the cheesecake and it is ready to bake in the oven.
Expert Baking Tips
Water Bath - I tried this recipe both with and without a water bath. It isn't as critical as other cheesecake recipes, as the topping helps cover up any cracks. However, I did find that the cheesecake cooked more evenly when using a water bath.
Keep Oven Door Closed - Resist the urge to check on your cheesecake as it bakes. Opening and closing the oven door causes the temperature inside to fluctuate and can lead to cracks and inconsistency in baking.
Don't overbake - The cheesecake should be jiggly, kind of like jello when it is finished baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
This cheesecake can be frozen whole or cut into slices. Wrap in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, or place in an airtight container. It will keep for up to 2 months. Thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Keep the cheesecake tightly wrapped and it will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If you are making mini apple crumble cheesecake then I recommend cooking the apple topping first on the stovetop so that the apples are cooked through completely. Follow the instructions in this mini cheesecake recipe, adding the apples and crumble topping before baking.
Let me know how you like this recipe by leaving a review! And follow along on Instagram @stateofdinner for behind the scenes and to be among the first to know when new recipes post!
Caramel Apple Crumble Cheesecake RecipeRecipe by:
Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (13 full graham cracker sheets)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 24 ounces cream cheese (3 eight-ounce blocks)
- 1 ⅓ cups (266 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (17 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ¼ cup (60 grams) sour cream
Apple Crumble Topping
- ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- ¼ cup water (60 ml)
- 4 tablespoons butter (58 grams)
- ½ cup heavy cream (125 ml)
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap the springform pan in an 18-inch piece of heavy-duty foil, working carefully to make sure there are no cracks or openings in the first 2-inches of the foil sides.
- Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. If you do not have a food processor then you can crush the crackers in a zip-top bag with a rolling pin.
- Transfer the graham cracker crumbs to a medium bowl and stir in the sugar and melted butter, mixing well until fully combined.
- Using a flat-bottomed measuring cup or glass, press the crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of a springform pan.
- Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325°F.
- Before the crust has cooled, check to see if the sides have fallen or cracked. While it is still warm you can use a cup to press the crust back into place.
- Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add sugar and resume on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add flour and mix gently. Add vanilla and lemon juice and mix in at low speed until combined.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating on low speed in between each addition. Scrape the bowl before adding the next egg.
- Mix sour cream into the mixture, using low speed. It should be fully mixed into the batter but you do not want to beat it at this point or overmix.
- Pour the cheesecake batter over the graham cracker crust and use a spoon or spatula to smooth the batter.
- In a small bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Layer the diced apples on top of the cheesecake batter, then top with the crumb mixture.
- Recommended water bath: Place the cheesecake pan into a large roasting pan. Carefully fill the pan 1-inch full with boiling water, being careful to not splash any water onto the cheesecake.
- Bake the cheesecake at 325°F and continue cooking for 90-100 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set.
- Turn the oven off and crack open the oven door, allowing the cheesecake to cool for 1 hour without moving it from the oven.
- Remove from the oven. Run a knife around the edge of the pan so that the cheesecake does not stick. Place plastic wrap over the top of the cheesecake and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- Pour granulated sugar and water into a medium saucepan. Heat on medium-high heat until the sugar melts and turns an amber color.
- Add heavy cream and cook while whisking continually for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir in butter and salt. Set aside to cool. When ready to serve drizzle the caramel sauce over the cheesecake.