Apple Cream Cheese Bars are dessert bars full of sweetened apples and a cream cheese layer, topped and baked with oatmeal crumble. Try my Apple Crisp Cheesecake for another apple dessert favorite!
Apple Cream Cheese Bars
These Apple Cream Cheese Bars are delicious with or without the caramel drizzle. If you want more of the caramel apple pie flavor, add some caramel to the top. Or, just enjoy them as-is for a sweet apple dessert or treat. Either way, it’s a cross between a cheesecake and apple crisp that will sure to be a crowd favorite.
Apple Cream Cheese Bars Recipe
It’s all about the oatmeal crust, cream cheese mixture, and the sweetened apples in this recipe.
Crust Ingredients (full recipe below)
- Quick-cooking oats–If you only have old fashioned rolled oats, pulse them in a food processor a few times.
- All-purpose flour
- Brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
Cream Cheese Mixture
- Cream cheese
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Granny Smith apples
- All-purpose flour
- Brown sugar
- Caramel sauce
Making the Crust
The first thing you will want to do is get the crust made; you will be baking that for about 20 minutes before adding the apples and cream cheese layer. To make the crust, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Pour the melted butter over the mixture and mix together until crumbly. Measure out 2 cups of the crust to be used for the topping and set that aside. Pour the remaining crust into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Press it firmly to the bottom of the pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until it is a golden brown. While the crust is baking, prepare the cream cheese mixture and apples.
Cream Cheese Mixture
To make the cream cheese mixture, get out a large bowl and mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer on medium speed. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated into the mixture. Adding eggs one at a time prevents you from overmixing, which in turn, can affect the final baked product. Set that aside as you prepare the apples.
How to Make the Apple Filling
Get started by peeling, coring, and slicing your apples. For this recipe, slice the apples on the thinner side. In a bowl, combine the sliced apples with the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. I used Granny Smith apples for the recipe because they remain firm when baking. They won’t turn to mush and they tend to retain their shape when baked. A few other options you could try would be Honeycrisp apples, Braeburn, or Pink Lady apples.
Assembling Apple Cream Cheese Bars
Once the apples are prepared and the cream cheese mixture ready to go, it’s time to get the bars assembled and baked.
- After the crust has baked to a golden brown, take it out of the oven and arrange the apples on top of the crust. But, leave the oven on.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the tops of the apples.
- Crumble the reserved oat mixture on top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Let the bars cool completely after taking them out of the oven.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours, up to overnight before cutting and serving.
- Drizzle with caramel topping when serving.
Store the bars in the refrigerator, covered, for up to five days.
From-Scratch Caramel Sauce
If you want to make some caramel sauce completely from scratch for the caramel drizzle, here is an easy recipe.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a gentle boil (medium to medium-high heat) and cook until thickened, about 1- 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla extract, and drizzle it over the chilled apple cream cheese bars.
Looking for More Apple Desserts?
Apple Cream Cheese Bars are dessert bars full of sweetened apples and a cream cheese layer, topped and baked with oatmeal crumble and drizzled with caramel sauce.
- 1 cup (80g) quick-cooking oats
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (400g) packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1½ cups (3 sticks or 340g) butter, melted
- 2 packages (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Caramel topping, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Pour melted butter over the mixture and mix together until crumbly.
Measure out 2 cups of the mixture, and set aside to reserve for topping.
Pour the remaining mixture into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Press firmly to the bottom of the pan.
Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a golden brown.
In a large bowl, add cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated into the mixture.
In a large bowl, combine apples, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Arrange apples on top of the cooked crust.
Spread cream cheese mixture over the top of the apples.
Crumble the reserved oat mixture over the top.
Bake 40-45 minutes.
Let come to room temperature before serving.
Drizzle with caramel topping when you are ready to serve (optional).