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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHAT YOU GET: My Homemade Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe has all of the things you would want when you have a major sweet tooth — it’s caramelly, sweet, creamy, and rich. Stacked from top to bottom with sweet and tart ingredients, this cheesecake is perfect for fall gatherings.
When the fall season comes around, I think about going apple picking in orchards. With so many apples lying around, I’ve come up with a great idea to get some use out of them while they’re still fresh and in season: My Apple Caramel Cheesecake recipe!
All of the components of this decadent cheesecake — cookie crust, cheesecake filling, softened apples, salted caramel sauce — are delicious on their own, but when combined, your taste buds will thank you. This cheesecake may have a lot going on, but all of them work harmoniously.
Cheesecakes are one of the building blocks of a good baker. Have fun with it, Bold Bakers!
What Are The Best Apples To Use For Cheesecake?
Granny Smith apples are usually fan-favorites when it comes to baked goods. This is because they are very tart and well-balanced rather than sweeter apple varieties. This helps your baked goods turn out not too sweet. On top of that, Granny Smith apples keep their form better than others. Note: You can always add more sugar if you prefer! It’s best not to start too sweet.
Make All Of Your Cheesecake Components From Scratch!
It wouldn’t be Bigger Bolder Baking if you weren’t making all of your Caramel Apple Cheesecake components from scratch. Starting from the bottom layer to the top, swap out store-bought versions for homemade ones to boost the intensity and depth of your already impressive dessert:
- Cookie Crust (Combine my Homemade Butter with any of my homemade cookies for a great cheesecake crust!)
- Cheesecake filling
- Gemma’s Signature Salted Caramel Sauce
- Microwave Salted Caramel Sauce (quick alternative)
Why Add Sour Cream To Cheesecake?
Sour cream in sweet desserts does sound a bit odd but trust me — it works! Most cheesecake recipes include sour cream because it helps soften the texture of the cream cheese filling and adds a good amount of moisture. This is what usually gives you that nice, creamy consistency. The sour cream also adds a nice tang to the cake against the more sugary components.
Tools To Make Caramel Apple Cheesecake:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan
- Stand mixer with a paddle attachment or handheld electric mixer
- Silicone spatula
- Wooden spoon
Do I Need To Water Bath My Cheesecake?
If you’re new to cheesecake making, water baths in baking are called “bain marie.” Typically, your foiled cheesecake will sit in a pan of hot water, which protects your cheesecake from cracking and drying out while baking in the oven.
I don’t bother with a water bath for this recipe, but you can get a similar effect by placing a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of your oven to create a steamy environment.
If you end up getting cracks in your cheesecake, you can warm an offset spatula by passing it over a flame on the stove and gently smoothing the surface. Another way to deal with any cracks is to top the cheesecake with a little more caramel sauce!
Do I Need Gelatin For This Cheesecake Recipe?
Like most of my cheesecake recipes, you do not need to add gelatin for your Caramel Apple Cheesecake. Since this recipe doesn’t include gelatin, it is important to refrigerate your cheesecake for a good 12 hours and preferably overnight. The colder it gets, the firmer the texture will be.
If the weather is hot where you live or your cream cheese is particularly soft, you can add a bit of gelatin to it. I recommend mixing 2 teaspoons of cooled, melted gelatin into 4 tablespoons of cream. Then, swiftly fold it into the whipped cream cheese.
How To Store Homemade Cheesecake
This Caramel Apple Cheesecake is so delicious it will probably be eaten up before you get a chance to try some. But, if you have leftovers, refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
If you want to freeze your cheesecake, portion them into slices. Place the cheesecake on a cardboard round and wrap it well in plastic wrap and foil. If you properly encase your cheesecake, you can freeze it for up to 1 month for optimal flavor.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making The Best Caramel Apple Cheesecake:
- Apples release a lot of liquid when baked, so cooking them a bit beforehand keeps the cheesecake from getting too watery.
- Be sure to bake this cheesecake on a baking sheet to prevent oven spills.
- I don’t bother with a water bath, but you can get a similar effect by placing a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of your oven to create a steamy environment.
- If you get cracks, you can warm an offset spatula by passing it over a flame on the stove and gently smoothing the surface.
- Another way to deal with any cracks is to top the cheesecake with a little more caramel sauce!
Caramel Apple Cheesecake
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples (about 13½ oz/380 g)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 recipe Cookie Crust
- 4 cups (32 oz/900 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (6 oz/170 g) dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (5 oz/142 g) Salted Caramel Sauce, warmed slightly to pour
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Peel, core, and cut the Granny Smith apples into ¼-inch (6-mm) thick slices and place in a small saucepan with the butter. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the apples have softened slightly. Drain any liquid, then let the apples cool completely.
- Press the cookie crust into a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar until very smooth and no lumps from the cream cheese remain.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Mix in the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice, then gently fold in the flour until evenly combined.
- Pour half of the cheesecake batter onto the cookie crust, then layer in the cooled apples. Drizzle the apples with half of the salted caramel sauce, then top with the remaining cheesecake batter.
- Drizzle the remaining salted caramel sauce on top of the cheesecake.
- With a thin knife, swirl the caramel sauce into the cheesecake batter in a zigzag pattern, taking care not to scrape the cookie crust.
- Bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes until the edges of the cheesecake are set and the center jiggles slightly. (If it starts to darken on top, cover the cheesecake with foil for the remainder of the baking.)
- Turn off the oven, prop the door open with a wooden spoon and let the cheesecake cool for an hour before transferring to the refrigerator to cool completely for at least five hours or overnight.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.