This month I was assigned to check out all the recipes at Delicious Existence and choose one to make my own, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club. The majority of Danielle’s recipes are raw, vegan or vegetarian, so there were tons of healthy options to choose from, but wouldn’t you know one of her desserts was just calling my name. Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars looked and sounded like the perfect dessert for this brisk fall weather we’ve been having, so I began my baking adventure. I had to laugh, reading through her post, as it turns out this recipe was one she made for her Secret Recipe Club selection.
I don’t have many of the ingredients in my kitchen that Danielle used in her original recipe, but I was able to substitute things from my own kitchen with great results. This recipe turned out absolutely delicious and we’ll definitely be making it again, though I think we will substitute our favorite cheesecake crust recipe, next time. I’ll share that soon in an upcoming post, but for now, on to the recipe as I put it together for October’s Secret Recipe Club Challenge.
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, softened, but not melted
- 3 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, & finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup sugar
- (Streusel Topping Ingredients)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup oats
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup King Arthur Flour cinnamon chips
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ - ¾ cup of your favorite caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cover a 9x13" cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
- For the crust:
- Combine the butter, flour and brown sugar, until mixture is crumbly and evenly distributed. You could use a pastry blender or forks to do this by hand. I used my stand mixer. A few pulses in a food processor would work, as well.
- Press into foil lined cake pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- For the cheesecake filling:
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat all the filling ingredients until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the filling over your warm crust.
- For the apple filling:
- Stir together chopped apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar.
- Spoon evenly over cheesecake mixture.
- I used my stand mixer, again, to mix all the streusel ingredients together, but it could just as easily be mixed with a fork.
- Sprinkle streusel topping over apple mixture.
- Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Remove from oven and drizzle with caramel topping.
- Allow to cool and then set in refrigerator. (This is at it's flavor-best when served cold.)