With this Apple Crumble Cheesecake there is no need to choose between apple crumble or apple cheesecake because with this cheesecake recipe you get the best of both worlds.
An apple crumble tops this cheesecake with a heavenly walnut graham cracker crust. All you need is caramel sauce drizzle to take this delicious cheesecake over the top.
Growing up in a Calabrian household, my mom never made apple crumble or apple crisp for that matter. But, like any other Italian folk, she always found ways to use produce before it spoiled.
- Why You’ll love this Apple Crumble Cheesecake?
- Ingredients You’ll Need to Make this Cheesecake Recipe
- What's the Difference Between Apple Crisp and Apple Crumble?
- How to Make an Apple Crumble Cheesecake
- Top Tips
- Ingredient Substitutions You Can Use for This Cheesecake
- Variations of an Apple Crumble Cheesecake
- Equipment Recommended to Make Apple Crumble Cheesecake
- Storing Your Apple Cheesecake
- Common Questions
- Other Lip Smacking Desserts
- Recipe Details
- Top Tips
- PIN for later here
- Food Safety
The holidays are the perfect time to make this cheesecake because you get two desserts in one. This is a great dessert to make for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
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Why You’ll love this Apple Crumble Cheesecake?
- Taste Fusion: It combines the creamy richness of cheesecake with the comforting flavors of apple crumble, offering a delightful contrast in textures and tastes.
- Seasonal Appeal: Apple desserts are often associated with fall, making this cheesecake a perfect treat for the autumn season when apples are at their best.
- Versatility: You can customize it by using different types of apples or adding spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, giving your readers the option to tailor the flavor to their preferences.
- Visual Appeal: The combination of the creamy cheesecake layer and the rustic, golden apple crumble topping creates an attractive dessert that's perfect for sharing on social media, drawing more traffic to your blog.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make this Cheesecake Recipe
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this apple cheesecake recipe: apples, eggs, graham cracker crumbs, butter, brown sugar, flour, sour cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, rolled oats, lemon juice and baking powder.
Cream cheese is the star of this recipe and brings a creamy texture to the cheesecake dessert.
Apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and rolled oats make up part of the crumble topping which bring a sweet uniqueness to this apple dessert.
Sour cream is used in this recipe to temper and soften the cream cheese texture.
Vanilla Extract enhances the flavor of the cream cheese filling.
Walnuts in the crust bring a little bit of decadence and sophistication to this dessert.
What's the Difference Between Apple Crisp and Apple Crumble?
You might be wondering, what's the difference between apple crumble and apple crisp? Let’s me break down the differences.
Apple crisp and apple crumble are both delicious desserts that feature baked apples with a streusel-like topping, but there are subtle differences between them:
Topping Texture: The main distinction lies in the texture of the topping. In an apple crisp, the topping is typically a mixture of oats, flour, sugar, and butter, resulting in a crisp and crunchy texture. On the other hand, an apple crumble's topping is often made without oats, giving it a more crumbly and sandy texture.
Ingredients: While the base ingredients are quite similar, apple crisp includes oats as a key component in the topping, while apple crumble does not.
Geographical Terminology: The terms "crisp" and "crumble" are sometimes used interchangeably, but the choice of terminology can vary by region. In some areas, both desserts are referred to as crisps, while in others, they are called crumbles.
Flavor Profile: The use of oats in apple crisps can add a nutty and slightly chewy element to the topping, while apple crumbles have a more traditional, buttery, and crumbly topping.
In the end, the choice between apple crisp and apple crumble often comes down to personal preference and regional variations in terminology. Both are delightful desserts that showcase the wonderful flavor of baked apples.
While technically this recipe should be referred to as an Apple Crisp Cheesecake, my preference is to call it the later - Apple Crumble Cheesecake.
How to Make an Apple Crumble Cheesecake
There are three parts to compiling this dessert but it's not difficult. Take each step in the process of building this cheesecake one step at a time. Each part of the cheesecake (crust, cheesecake batter and crumble) can be made on separate days and refrigerated until all the layers have been assembled.
Making the Cheesecake Crust
To properly make this Apple Crumble Cheesecake you will need at least a 9 inch spring-form pan. If you have an 8 inch pan you can use it, however, you may need to discard some of the apple and apple crumble topping as it will overflow if you use it all.
Start with the graham cracker crust. Combine the ingredients in the spring form pan and combine well. Use a spoon to press down on the crust as it will help to evenly distribute the mixture until the crust has been formed.
Note that I did not grease the pan. I wondered whether this would be a problem, but in the end it didn't matter. So there is no need to butter and flour the pan. You can skip this step.
It's best to use cream cheese at room temperature. When you are mixing the cheese, eggs, sour cream, vanilla and other ingredients together, it is very important to stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl every few minutes. Scrape down the bowl until you no longer have any cheese lumps and the batter is smooth.
Be careful not to pour the cheesecake mixture on the graham cracker crust while the crust is hot when making this Apple Crumble Cheesecake. If you do this, you will melt the cheesecake filling and have cheesecake soup! Wait until the graham cracker crust cools down, then pour the cheesecake batter onto crust in the spring form pan.
Prepare the apple filling and the apple crumble topping as you would normally for apple crumble. Do not combine the ingredients until later. Set aside.
Bake your cheesecake per recipe directions.
The first time you remove from oven, arrange apple topping. Return to oven. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle apple crumble topping and return to oven again to complete the baking process.
The first image above reflects the uncooked cheesecake after I topped it with the apple and crumble and before I returned it to the oven to finish baking. The apple and crumble was literally about to flow out of the pan. Feel free to leave some of the apple mixture out if you think it's too much. But, use all of the crumble.
Do not peel and dice the apples until the last possible moment and work quickly. Otherwise, your apples will turn brown.
Let your cheesecake bake for 10 minutes before pouring the apples and the apple crumb topping on top. This will prevent the apple crumble from sinking into your cheesecake.
The star of this Apple Crumble Cheesecake were the granny smith apples. I'm so glad that I had my Starfrit apple peeler to help quickly peel apples, like the ones on the page here. Getting an apple peeler was the best investment I ever made.
Ingredient Substitutions You Can Use for This Cheesecake
Here are a few substitutions to consider for different dietary needs:
- Gluten Free – substitute graham cracker crumbs with almond meal or ground nuts of any kind
- Sugar Free – substitute the sugar with sweetener for keto or a sugar free version.
- Use a low fat or lactose free cream cheese – while I don’t recommend this, it could be an option if you want a lactose or dairy free version.
Variations of an Apple Crumble Cheesecake
If you don't like apples or apple crumble, you can try these ideas:
- Apples - substitute the apples with cherries, strawberries or blueberries
- Caramel Sauce - try using salted caramel instead.
- Chocolate – add chocolate to make a chocolate version topped with a raspberry or cherry crumble or filling.
If you have other ideas, go ahead and try them to make this cheesecake uniquely your own.
Equipment Recommended to Make Apple Crumble Cheesecake
Equipment plays a large role in creating any dish. For this cheesecake, it is highly recommended that use a spring form pan, an apple peeler, and a cutting board. Parchment paper also comes in handy for quick removal and transfer of your cheesecake from the spring form pan to a serving dish.
Storing Your Apple Cheesecake
This cheesecake refrigerates and freezes very well if you have leftovers. Before your freeze, just pre-cut the slices then freeze. By doing this, you can thaw out a slice as you need want it. Otherwise you would need to thaw out the entire cheesecake before you can slice it.
Drop me a comment if you decide to immediately top the cheesecake batter with the apple and crumble topping at the time of baking. I'd like to know how it turned out!
If you want your crumble to be crispy, you might consider baking it separately on a baking sheet and then adding it as topping.
Apple crumble and apple crisp are very similar in texture and taste. However apple crumble rarely contains oats or nuts.
Your apple crisp may not be crispy because you did not add enough butter. When there is not enough butter in your crisp it will result in being dry and messy looking.
Other Lip Smacking Desserts
Apple Crumble Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 400 g graham crumbs
- ½ cups butter melted
- 3 tbsp sugar
Cream Cheese Filling
- Caramel Sauce
- Heat oven to 350°F. If you are going to substitute a cup of graham crumbs with a cup of chopped walnuts, do so at this point. Take the walnuts and use a mini food processor to chop them. The walnuts should be still coarse, remember you are not making nut butter.
- Place the graham cracker crumbs, and chopped walnuts if you are using them, sugar and melted butter in a bowl. Use a fork to mix everything together. Place the graham cracker crumbs in an 9" spring form pan and press them down with a spoon.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden and slightly crisp to the touch. Remove from oven and let sit until completely cool.
Cream Cheese Filling
- In a bowl fitted with a mixing attachment, soften the cream cheese. Add the sugar, flour, and the eggs, one at a time. Remember to scrape the bowl.
- Add the sour cream and the vanilla extract. Mix well. Scrape bowl and beat the mixture again to ensure that there are no lumps. Pour mixture over cooled graham cracker crust. Set aside for now until all other components are ready. Heat oven to 450°F while you prepare other components.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and melted butter. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. (Dry ingredients) In another small bowl combine lemon juice, and vanilla extract. (Wet Ingredients)
- Peel and cut the apples into cubes. and place them in a medium bowl. Pour the wet ingredients on the apples and toss. Pour the dry ingredients on the apples and combine well. Set aside
Assembly and Baking
- Bake cheesecake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Remove cheesecake from oven. Reduce oven to 350°F. Carefully spoon the apples in the center of the cheesecake - you can press the apples down a little. Continue spooning the apples onto the cheesecake working your way around in a circle, leave half to one inch diameter free of apples around the edges of the pan. Return the cake to the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and this time using your hands sprinkle the apple crumble topping over the center working your way around the pan leave about a half inch of apples free of the topping. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Test the done-ness as you approach 20 minutes of baking. Do this by pushing a skewer close to the middle of the cheesecake.
- Let cool and refrigerate for 3 hours.
- Serve with caramel drizzle (optional)
- Remember that the apples are going to let out moisture, so don't insert the skewer directly in the middle, but maybe 1 inch from the middle. If it comes out and it's not sticky or really wet, it's done! If it is sticky and very wet, let bake for another 10 minutes and test again.
Top TipsDo not peel and dice the apples until the last possible moment and work quickly. Otherwise, your apples will turn brown. Let your cheesecake bake for 10 minutes before pouring the apples and the apple crumb topping on top. This will prevent the apple crumble from sinking into your cheesecake. The star of this Apple Crumble Cheesecake were the granny smith apples. I'm so glad that I had my Starfrit apple peeler to help quickly peel apples, like the ones on the page here. Getting an apple peeler was the best investment I ever made.
PIN for later here
Note that the storage guidelines provided on this page and site are estimates from personal experiences. We are all adults and as an adult you are responsible to ensure that the food you eat is safe to eat. Since, I'm not a food safety expert, you are responsible to review your local guidelines on food storage prior to storing any food left-overs.
- Not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove