This recipe for Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake will have you looking forward to the fresh apples of fall every year! My favorite is Honeycrisp Apples from the Pacific Northwest. I loved going to pick some up fresh off the tree at the farmer's market when I lived up there.
This recipe is a great way to impart the flavor of this crisp, sweet, and tart apple that just screams fall! While you can use any apple you love, just be sure to use a firm, flavorful apple that isn't too watery. Pink Lady, Fuji, and Gala are also good options.
This is a superb cheesecake, and the ingredient list carries the usual suspects. Room temp cream cheese is the most important thing, everything else can go either way on being room temp or cold. But the cream cheese is non-negotiable.
I also add a bit of caramel sauce into the cheesecake batter itself. It helps carry the Apple Crisp flavor through and makes the finished cheesecake extremely lush and decadent!
For the crumble topping that crisps when baked, hence "Apple Crisp", you need the ingredients seen in the image below.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
The first thing I do when starting this recipe is to make the crisp topping. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl, coating the butter in flour and sugar. Rub the butter between your fingers until it is in pea-sized pieces and completely worked together, but not yet a paste.
Store the topping in the fridge so the butter stays super cold until ready to be baked.
Next, make the graham cracker crust, press it into the pan and halfway up the sides, and bake until set. I bake my cheesecakes in an 8-inch cake pan, but you could also use a springform pan if you prefer. If you use a regular cake pan, just be sure to line it with parchment paper on the bottom as insurance that your cake will release from the pan.
Make the cheesecake batter while the crust is baking. Then scoop the batter into the pan and top it with the diced apple pieces followed by the crisp topping. The apple adds a nice texture to the cheesecake when you eat it.
Bake the cheesecake until it has a slight wiggle in it. It will shake even though it has a topping on it. You will be able to see if it shakes watery or like jello, when it shakes like jello you can turn off the oven.
After the cheesecake has fully cooled and rested in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, up to overnight, drizzle with caramel and top with apple slices.
Notes & Tips
When the cheesecake is done baking and it shakes like jello, allow it to cool in the oven for an hour or two, with the door propped open. You can use a wooden spoon to keep the door cracked open.
Be sure to use a crisp, tart apple. Honeycrisp is my favorite to use, and I always have a few around. Pink Lady, Fuji, and Gala are also good options. Steer clear of Macintosh, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith apples, they have too high a water content and could leave your cheesecake soupy.
If the cheesecake is a little stubborn, run a warm knife around the outside of the pan to loosen before turning it out of the pan.
To make this cheesecake Gluten-Free, make your own graham cracker crumbs out of gluten-free graham crackers, and omit the flour from the topping. It's ok to leave the flour out, the sugar will do all the work it needs to and create a crisp top.