Apple season is here, and that means it's time to whip up some delicious apple desserts! We're going to take a break from all the pumpkins this year and share one of our easy fall desserts: Apple Crumble Cheesecake. This recipe is perfect for any occasion, but we love serving it during the holidays when you want something sweet but not too heavy. I love making one of these as part of my Thanksgiving desserts. It's also just as good in the spring or summer if you enjoy lighter desserts.
The recipe is super easy to make; it pairs delicious creamy cheesecake with apple crumble and can be customized with different toppings depending on what you have on hand. You can top with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or even a salted caramel sauce - whatever your heart desires!
This apple crisp cheesecake is a delicious combination of textures and flavors. The buttery crust contrasts nicely with the creamy cheesecake filling, while the apples bring out the sweetness in each bite. And then there's that luscious caramel topping if you are so inclined! So if you're looking for delicious dessert ideas for fall, then this apple crumble cheesecake recipe is just the ticket.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Apples - I used Honeycrisp. You could also use Fiji, or Red Delicious, or Gala apples. I don't recommend Granny Smith Apples. They are a little too tart, and you won't get the sweetness needed or the moisture. The Granny Smith also was a bit firmer than we wanted at the end. As you can see in the image, I sliced my apples, but when making it again, I would use diced apples. When I went to cut the cheesecake, it was sometimes difficult to get a clean cut due to the large pieces of apples. The chopped apple is easier to work with when cutting.
- Cream Cheese - I use full-fat blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Don't use the tubs of cream cheese; you won't end up with the right texture. You also want your cream cheese to be at room temperature before you start mixing. I let the blocks sit on the counter for a few hours before using them.
- Eggs - Eggs are needed for thickening the cheesecake. You want these to be at room temperature as well.
- Graham Crackers - I used plain, but you could easily substitute and use cinnamon graham crackers.
- Caramel Drizzle - I usually drizzle homemade caramel sauce on this cheesecake when serving. It takes it from great to fabulous! If you don't want to make your own caramel sauce, grab a jar of your favorite caramel sauce from your grocery store to use.
- Walnuts - I toasted my walnuts. It's not needed, but it gives a bit more walnut flavor in the crust. To toast walnuts, sprinkle the walnuts in an even layer onto a small sheet pan and bake in a 350°F warm oven for 5-7 minutes. Stir once about halfway through cook time. Remove from heat and let cool on a plate. You want to take them off the sheet pan to prevent further toasting.
Not a lot of equipment is needed for cheesecake, but there are a few items that are.
- Electric Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer - You want your cheesecake mixture to be completely blended with no lumps of cream cheese remaining.
- 9" Springform Pan
- Instant Read Thermometer - You can live without this, but it makes telling when the cheesecake is cooked to perfection so much easier, instead of overcooking it because you can't tell how much jiggle is too much in the center of the cake.
How To Make The Apple Crumble Cheesecake
Step One: Prepare the graham cracker crust
I use my food processor to make the graham cracker crumbs. If you don't have a food processor, you could put them in a Ziploc bag and use your rolling pin to crush them. The same would work for walnuts or pecans. I'd chop them into fine bits, then use my rolling pin to crush them.
Combine all the other remaining ingredients with the graham crackers and walnuts. Mix until combined.
Press crumbs into the springform pan. I have found that it's easiest to use a small flat ramekin or glass to flatten the crumbs into an even layer.
Step Two: Cheesecake Filling
There are basically two steps to preparing the cheesecake filling. The first is using your mixer to cream the cream cheese, then add the sugar.
The second step is incorporating all the other ingredients into the cream cheese mixture. Again, you will want to keep your mixer on low speed during this step. You don't want to overmix your filling.
Step Three: Apple Filling
For this step, we are basically sauteeing the apples. The cook time will depend on how you cut the apples. I sliced mine, and it took 9 minutes to sautee to the proper doneness. The cook time will range between 6-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your apples. You want to cook until they are tender.
Once cooked, add the cornstarch slurry and then the brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir and let cool. You can make this on the same day that you bake the cheesecake or wait until the next day when you will serve it.
If you make this the day before, cover and refrigerate until needed. However, if you make it the same day, you must wait for this to cool before using it on the cheesecake.
Step Four: Crumble Topping
Once you mix all the ingredients, you will transfer them to a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake until browned. Let this cool before using it on the cheesecake. You can also make this when you bake the cheesecake or wait until the next day when you are ready to serve. You need to make sure it is cool before putting on the cheesecake.
Expert Baking Tips
- Water Bath - You want to make sure to use a water bath. It helps keep moisture in the oven and also helps keep your cheesecake crack-free. Make sure to wrap your springform pan with foil to prevent any water seepage into the cheesecake.
- Keep The Oven Door Closed - For some reason, we all want to check the cheesecake by opening the door frequently. Unfortunately, this reduces your oven temperature and results in uneven baking. You also want to keep the moisture from the water bath from escaping out the oven door.
- Don't Overbake - The best way to ensure you are not overbaking is to test with an instant-read thermometer. Once you are in the range of cook time completion, go ahead and check the internal temperature of the center of the cheesecake. You are looking for 150°F. This ensures you don't overbake while trying to determine if the jiggle is just right.
You can wrap it in plastic or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 5 days.
Yes. Wrap it with plastic wrap, then cover with foil. Keep in the freezer for up to two months. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and put in the refrigerator to thaw.
No, let it rest on the counter until the entire cheesecake is room temperature. Then wrap and place in the refrigerator.
You want the cheesecake to be cold. After it has been refrigerated for at least four hours, but 24 would be better, it is ready to be eaten.
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
This recipe is a delicious twist on the classic cheesecake. And with a caramel sauce drizzle, it's got all the flavors of your favorite caramel apple dessert but in an easy-to-eat form that tastes just like Caramel Apple Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory! If you're looking for something new, this will be perfect and if you love apples then we guarantee it'll become one of your favorites.
Apple Crumble Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 9 Whole Graham Crackers (135 grams)
- ½ cup Lightly Toasted Walnuts or Pecans (60 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon Salt (2 grams)
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon (2 grams)
- 2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar (27 grams)
- 5 tablespoons Unsalted Butter - Melted (71 grams)
- 3 8 ounce Packages Cream Cheese - Room Temperature (678 grams)
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar (150 grams)
- 4 Large Eggs - Room Temperature
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (5 grams)
- ½ cup Heavy Cream (114 grams)
- 3 tablespoon Unsalted Butter (60 grams)
- 3 Medium Size, Peeled, Cored, Apples
- 4 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar (54 grams)
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon (2 grams)
- 1 pinch Nutmeg & Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Cornstarch (2.5 grams)
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour (120 grams)
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar (106 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon Baking Powder (1 gram)
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (2 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt (1.25 grams)
- ¾ cup Old Fashioned Oats (66 grams)
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter - Room Temperature (115 grams)
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Place the graham crackers, walnuts, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground.
- With the motor running, add the melted butter and process until the mixture comes together and turns sticky.
- Spray the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, place on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven until lightly golden brown and just set, about 8 minutes.
- Remove to a baking rack and let the crust cool completely.
- Place the room temperature cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or use an electric mixer and mix the cheese until light and fluffy. Start with low speed until combined, then bump up to medium-high speed. This takes 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar and beat again until the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture turns light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix everything until the eggs are just incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl once in a while. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the heavy cream and mix until just combined. Don't over mix.
- Pour the cheesecake filling mixture into the prepared springform pan. Set the springform pan on a very large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Make sure it's properly sealed. The foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake during the water bath.
- Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan into the preheated oven. Pour hot tap water into the roasting pan until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake cheesecake until the sides of the cake are slightly puffed and the cake is set, but the center still jiggles; about 55 minutes. You can also use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature. You are looking for 150F.
- Remove the cheesecake from oven and let cool on a baking rack. Let it to cool down to room temperature for 2 hours.
- Cover the cake and chill for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours in the refridgerator until chilled through.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Once it’s completely melted, add in the sliced peeled apples and stir until they are fully coated in the butter.
- Sautee for 8 to 10 minutes until the slices are tender. The exact cook time depends on the thickness of your apple slices. If you slice them with a mandoline, it will only take 6-7 minutes.
- While the apples cook, in a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water to make a slurry and set aside.
- Once the apples are cooked tender, stir in the cornstarch slurry and let bubble up.
- Now stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir to combine. Let cool before topping the cake.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and rub into the dry mixture with your fingertips until lumps form. Add in the oats and mix with your fingertips to make the streusel. We are looking for crumb topping. Chill 15 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake 8 minutes or until browned to your liking. Using a metal spatula, stir once in a while and toss crumble to brown evenly.
- Rotate the tray and bake until the crumble is golden brown, about 4- 8 minutes more. Watch it carefully during that second round to avoid over-browning.
- Remove from oven and let cool
- Top cheesecake with cooled, sauteed apples, crumble, and caramel sauce if you chose to make that.
If You Love This Cheesecake
- Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
- Lemon Cheesecake
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
- White Chocolate Peppermint Bark
More Apple Desserts
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