This apple pie cheesecake has an apple pie layer stuffed inside! There is a graham cracker crust, baked caramel cheesecake, and a layer of cinnamon apples in the middle. It is topped with apple pie!
This apple pie cheesecake is a perfect combination of creamy cheesecake, caramel, and homemade apple pie filling flavors in one amazing dessert! If you can't decide between a traditional apple pie and upgrading to something special like a cheesecake, just take the best of both worlds with this apple pie cheesecake!
- Why This Flavorful Apple Pie Filling Cheesecake Recipe Works
- Ingredient Notes for Apple Topping Cheesecake
- Ingredient Substitutions
- Step By Step Instructions - Graham Cracker Crust
- Step By Step Instructions - Caramel Cheesecake
- Step By Step Instructions - Apple Pie Filling
- Preventing Cheesecake Cracks
- Recipe Variations
- Special Tools
- Storing and Freezing
- 📖 Recipe
Why This Flavorful Apple Pie Filling Cheesecake Recipe Works
- Apple pie flavor- What is better than homemade apple pie? Apple pie on a cheesecake!
- Caramel cheesecake- The caramel flavored cheesecake is the perfect complement for the apple pie.
- Apple filling- The apple layer inside the cheesecake gives it a great texture.
Ingredient Notes for Apple Topping Cheesecake
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- The butter is melted for the crust. You can melt this in the microwave.
- Brown sugar- I used light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar will work.
- Sour cream- Pull this out 2 hours before baking to get room temperature ingredients.
- Cream cheese- Use full fat cream cheese. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking so they are room temperature. I use whole eggs, not egg white for the fatty yolk.
- Baking spray- Make sure you are using a baking spray with flour, not just a cooking spray.
- Graham cracker- If you live in a country without graham crackers you can substitute digestive biscuits.
- Gala apples- You can substitute in other apple varieties with a similar amount of juice and sweetness. I recommend Fuji as an alternative or Granny Smith if you prefer tart apples. I do not recommend Honeycrisp as it is too juicy and will add too much moisture.
- Dairy free- You can use your favorite dairy free options for this recipe!
- Gluten free- I haven't tested this gluten free. Let me know if you do.
Step By Step Instructions - Graham Cracker Crust
Here is how to make and bake the crust for this apple pie cheesecake.
STEP 1: Prep. Preheat the oven temperature to 325°F. Meanwhile, spray a 9 inch springform pan with baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a parchment paper circle and spray it again.
STEP 2: Mix crust. Use a food processor to blend the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter together using a small bowl and fork.
STEP 3: Form crust. Pour the graham cracker mixture into the pan and use your hands to press it halfway up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to compact the bottom crust.
STEP 4: Bake crust. Bake the crust for 11 minutes.
STEP 5: Prep apples. While the crust bakes, cut the apples into cubes. Mix them in a bowl with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
I kept the skin on, but you can optionally peel the apples first.
Step By Step Instructions - Caramel Cheesecake
Here is how to make and bake the caramel cheesecake. This recipe requires an electric mixer. A stand mixer with paddle attachment is recommended, but an electric hand mixer can work.
STEP 1: Beat cream cheese and sugar. Beat the cream cheese and sugar on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
STEP 2: Mix cheesecake batter. Add the sour cream, caramel, and vanilla extract to the cream cheese mixture. Mix it on medium speed. Add the eggs and mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is combined.
STEP 3: Water bath. See the section below for 2 water bath method options.
STEP 4: Pour batter. Pour half of the cheesecake batter onto the crust in an even layer. Then, sprinkle the prepared apples on top. Finally, add the rest of the cheesecake batter over top.
STEP 5: Bake cheesecake. Bake for 65-75 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the edges are set and the middle has a slight jiggle.
You can make the apple pie filling while the cheesecake bakes if you prefer as it has to cool before use.
STEP 6: Cool cheesecake. When the cheesecake is done, turn off the oven and leave the door cracked open. Let the cheesecake slowly cool like this for 20 minutes. Transfer the cheesecake in the springform pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
STEP 7: Chill cheesecake. Wrap the springform pan in aluminum foil and place it in the fridge overnight, or at least 6 hours.
Step By Step Instructions - Apple Pie Filling
Here is how to make the apple pie filling to top the apple pie cheesecake.
STEP 1: Prep apples. Cut the apples into slices. I kept the skin on, but you can optionally peel them first.
STEP 2: Melt butter. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
STEP 3: Cook pie filling. Add the sliced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch to the butter. Heat it for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
STEP 4: Cool pie filling. Let the pie filling cool completely before placing it in the fridge to chill.
STEP 5: Top cheesecake. Take the cheesecake out of the pan and remove the parchment paper. Place the apple pie topping on top of the cheesecake.
I recommend adding extra salted caramel on top as well!
Water Bath Tips
The water bath provides a moist environment for the cheesecake. This is because of the steam. When it is too dry, it will create cracks in the cheesecake.
Here are two techniques to try. They both use a roasting pan with hot steaming water.
- Place the springform pan inside a 10 inch cake pan. Place the cake pan in the roasting pan. Fill the pan with the hot water (about halfway up the cake pan)
- Wrap the springform pan with foil twice very tightly. Place the springform pan inside the roasting pan. Fill the pan halfway up with hot water.
My favorite method is the first one. This won't let any water at all get into the crust. It makes baking cheesecake so easy!
The second option gives the chance to get water inside and create a soggy crust.
Preventing Cheesecake Cracks
Beat the wet ingredients minus the eggs on high speed. Everything need to be super creamy and smooth. Chunks of cream cheese can cause cracks.
Add eggs on low speed. The goal is to have as little air as possible when mixing the eggs. Too much air can cause big bubbles in the cheesecake batter. It will make the cheesecake rise and fall too quickly when baking. Which causes cracks.
Use a water bath. This is essential! See below for cheesecake tips.
Cool the cheesecake. Once the cheesecake is done baking, it needs to sit in the hot oven for 30 minutes. This lets it cool slowly.
If you were to put the cheesecake on the counter right after done baking, it will be too quick of a temperature change, which cause cracks.
How To Easily Remove The Cheesecake From The Pan
First, spray the springform pan with baking non stick spray. Next, line the bottom of the pan with 9 inch parchment paper circle. Make sure to spray the pan again.
Then, after the cheesecake has chilled overnight. The springform pan should pop right off. If it doesn't very gently use a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to pop it off.
Then, you should be able to lay the cheesecake on it's side to take off the bottom of pan and the parchment circle.
This cheesecake cannot easily be make into mini cheesecakes with the apple layer in the middle, as the apple will take up too much of the middle. If you skip the apple layer in the middle you can divide this recipe into thirds to make 12 mini cheesecake. Bake in a muffin pan for 18-20 minutes. Follow this Mini Oreo Cheesecakes for detailed instructions for mini cheesecakes. You will then still top with apple pie filling.
You can use an 8 inch springform pan. If you skip the apple layer in the middle you can also make smaller cheesecakes. You can halve the recipe to make these into apple cider cheesecake bars using 8X8 or 9X9 inch baking pan (use 16 oz of cream cheese). If you want to use a 6 inch springform pan, halve the recipe, but use 16 oz of cream cheese. Adjust the baking time as it bakes faster in a larger pan since it is thinner.
First, make sure the cheesecake is very cold. Then, use a sharp knife to cut the slices. Clean the knife after every slice.
- Caramel apple cheesecake- If you decide to skip the apple pie filling on top the caramel apple cheesecake is still delicious.
- No apple in cheesecake- If you do not want apple layer inside the cheesecake you can skip that step for a smooth caramel cheesecake.
- Springform pan: I use a good quality 9-inch springform pan. Sometimes I will use an 8-inch springform pan if I want a taller cheesecake.
- Parchment paper circles: I used 8-inch parchment paper circles for the bottom of the pan. I love to use the premade circles, so I don't have to cut it out of regular parchment paper.
- Baking spray: I use the nonstick spray that has flour in it.
Storing and Freezing
Store this apple pie cheesecake in the fridge in an airtight container like a cake carrier. Chill up to 5 days.
You can freeze the apple pie cheesecake in individual slices. Store in an airtight container and freeze up to 30 days. Thaw for 1-2 hours before eating.
You can also freeze the cheesecake before decorating. Wrap the cooled cheesecake (it needs to chill in the fridge overnight first), in plastic wrap and freeze up to 30 days.
Thaw for 1-2 hours before decorating.
Other Cheesecake Recipes To Try
Try fall these recipes too!
- Reese's Cup Peanut Butter Cookies
- Pumpkin Caramel Cookies
- Sticky Buns
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cherry Pie Bars
Apple Pie Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 ½ cups Graham cracker crumbs 2 packets into a fine crumb
- ¼ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter melted
- 24 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
- ¼ cup Salted caramel homemade or store bought
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 4 Large eggs room temperature
- 3 Gala apples cut into cubes
- ½ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
Apple Pie Filling
- 3 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- 3 Gala apples
- ⅓ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat the oven to 325℉. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking nonstick spray. Line the bottom with a parchment paper circle and spray again.
- Using a food processor, blend the graham cracker crumbs into a fine crumb. Add the crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter into a small bowl. Mix using a fork.2 ½ cups Graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup Brown sugar, 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Pour the crumbs into the pan. Use your hands to press the crumbs halfway up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to compact the crust on the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 11 minutes.
- Start this either while the crust is baking, or before you start the crust, Cut the apples into cubes. I kept the skin on, but you can peel the apples if you prefer.3 Gala apples
- In a medium bowl, mix the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.½ cup Brown sugar, 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on high speed for 2 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl.24 oz Cream cheese, ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- Add the sour cream, caramel, and vanilla. Mix on medium until smooth. Add in the eggs. Mix on low speed until just combined. Take off the mixer and use the rubber spatula to scrape the bowl to make sure everything is combined.½ cup Sour cream, ¼ cup Salted caramel, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, 4 Large eggs
- Water bath. Use one of these methods for a water bath. Both methods use a large roasting pan and hot steaming water.1. Place the springform pan in a 10 inch cake pan. Place the cake pan in the roasting pan and fill with hot water halfway up the cake pan. This method prevents water getting into the crust.2. Wrap the springform pan tightly twice in aluminum foil. Place the springform pan inside the roasting pan. Fill with hot water halfway up the springform pan. This method works great, but can sometimes leak water into the crust.
- Pour half of the batter in the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon apples over the batter. Top with the rest of the cheesecake batter.
- Bake for 65-75 minutes. Bake until the edges are set and the middle has a slight jiggle.
- Turn off the oven, crack open the door, and let the cheesecake sit for 20 minutes. This allows the cheesecake to slowly cool. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath (keep in springform pan) and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Wrap cheesecake pan in foil and place in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Apple Pie Filling
- Cut the apples into slices. I kept the skins, but you can peel the apples if you prefer. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.3 Gala apples, 3 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Add the sliced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Heat for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.⅓ cup Brown sugar, 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- Cool completely before storing in the fridge.
- Take the pan and parchment paper off of the cheesecake. Top with the apple pie filling. Also, top with extra salted caramel if desired.