#69 Apple Crisp Cheesecake Bars

Fall. Fall. Fall. Fall. It's one of my favorite times of the year (almost)! Though I love spring and summer because of the heat, I can handle the fall season because of the fun foods. My favorites always include apple, pumpkin or candy corn. For this recipe, I went with an apple theme. 

Last weekend I went to the farmer's market and got a big bundle of Gala apples. I'm talking probably 15 apples. So, last weekend I used a few by making an Apple Crumb Piewhich was delicious! But, I still had some left, and I've never made an apple cheesecake (though I have about four recipes on my Pinterest board for them). So, I thought it was a great opportunity to try a new recipe.

Although, for this recipe, I wanted to make it a little healthier than most. I adapted this recipe from three others, which is more than usual for me. But, I wanted to make sure this recipe was the healthiest it could be while still remaining subtly sweet and tasty. I used (white) whole wheat flour, whole grain oats, reduced fat cream cheese, and, believe it or not, a largely reduced amount of sugar. This recipe could not really be made sugar-free, but I did try to make it as healthy as possible. Everyone deserved a treat sometimes, right?

The bars are pretty easy to make, with the most time consuming part being peeling and slicing the apples. The recipe list looks pretty lengthy, but do not be intimidated because most of the ingredients are duplicated (the same ingredients are used for both the crust and streusel, just different amounts). The process is mostly mixing the ingredients in one bowl (you can use the same bowl for three of the four layers, and you don't even have to clean it out until the end! Yay for minimal effort!) and pouring them in the pan. Rather simple if you ask me.

I took these bars to a football tailgate, and they were a hit. There were hardly any left! If you love festive fall treats like me, make these Apple Crisp Cheesecake Bars! They are great for gatherings, but if you want this dessert for just a few people, it can easily be halved for an 8x8" or 9x9" pan. Happy (almost) fall!

Apple Crisp Cheesecake Bars (Whole Wheat)
Prep Time: 30 minutes. Cook time: 40 minutes. Chill time: 2 hours. Total time: 3 hours, 10 minutes.
Yields: 9x13 pan; 18-24 bars


2 cups old-fashioned/rolled oats
*1/3 cup whole wheat flour
*2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 - 8 oz. packages reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature

**3 medium or 4 small apples, peeled, cored and sliced about 1/4" thick
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup old-fashioned/rolled oats
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil (not melted)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13" pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine crust ingredients. Using your hands, firmly press mixture into prepared pan and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Prepare cheesecake while crust is baking. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, until just combined and smooth. Do not overmix. Pour cheesecake over crust. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, combine sliced apples and cinnamon. Evenly layer apple mixture over cheesecake layer.

5. For streusel, combine oats, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use your hands to incorporate coconut oil until mixture is combined and crumbly. Sprinkle over and gently press into apple layer.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is no longer jiggly and apples are soft. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature about 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before cutting and serving. Cover and store leftovers in the fridge.


*Flour can be all white whole wheat; all all-purpose; half all-purpose/half white whole wheat; or half all-purpose/half whole wheat. It is pretty lenient in this recipe!

**I used four small Gala apples, but Granny Smith can also be used, or whatever you have on hand.

***Make sure oats are whole grain to ensure full whole wheat recipe.

****To simplify the process, I mixed the crust ingredients in a bowl, then transferred it to the pan. I tossed the apples and cinnamon in the same bowl, then sprinkled them on the cheesecake layer. I then mixed the streusel ingredients in the same bowl and topped the bars with that layer. Basically, there is no need to clean the bowl or use more than one bowl for those three layers. I did use a separate bowl for the cheesecake layer. 

Click here to print recipe!

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