Separately, apple pie and cheesecake are classic, beloved desserts, but combined, they're heavenly. For our Apple Pie Cheesecake, we've taken a classic cheesecake but made it creamier and richer, mostly thanks to the use of brown sugar, and added cinnamon to the crust. Those same notes are reciprocated in the apple pie topping, and paired with sweet, buttery caramel sauce, you've got one irresistible dessert. If you're not feeling apples, though, this classic cheesecake recipe stands up to any desired topping. One more thing: Don't fear the water bath, because it's a foolproof method. Baking the cheesecake in a water bath allows the custard to set a little more gently, with even cooking temperatures all around. Letting the cheesecake cool in the oven for about an hour before taking it out allows the temperature to come down slowly and prevent cracking.


Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Jennifer Wendorf, Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck

Recipe Summary

25 mins
25 mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 slice)


Apple Caramel Topping


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with oven rack in lower third of oven. Wrap bottom and sides of a 7-inch springform pan tightly with aluminum foil. (This will prevent any moisture getting into cheesecake.) Trim any excess foil from around the top of the pan. 

  • Prepare the Crust: Stir together crumbs, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a medium bowl until well combined. Press into bottom and 1 1/2-inches up sides of prepared springform pan. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  • Prepare the Filling: Beat cream cheese with a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. With mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Add brown sugar, sour cream, flour, vanilla, and salt, and beat until just combined, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust.

  • Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of pan. Bake cheesecake at 350°F until just set in center and top is slightly puffed and jiggles from side to side, 45 to 50 minutes. Turn off oven; keep door closed. Let cheesecake stand in oven 45 minutes. Remove cheesecake from roasting pan; remove and discard foil from springform pan. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, about 3 hours. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or up to overnight. 

  • Prepare the Topping: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Stir in apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are just tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool 30 minutes. Spoon apples over chilled cheesecake, and drizzle with caramel from skillet. Slice and serve.