Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

First of all, everything about this recipe sounds awesome. And I can only imagine that as the recipe as posted by The Girl Who Ate Everything, it is amazing. But also sounds incredibly indulgent:

Per serving (makes 24 servings)

377.5 calories

22.4 g fat

46.7 g carbohydrate

1.3 g fiber

5.0 g protein

I decided to make this recipe way before I tried to make it healthier. I was going to an event at church and knew this would be the perfect fall dessert. But I just couldn’t bring myself to put three packages of cream cheese into. I read the original blog post more thoroughly and noticed that the original recipe was from Paula Deen and the filling only had TWO packages of cream cheese – voila! I could make that!

When making desserts healthier, you have to tread carefully. Certain ingredients (often butter and eggs) have structural roles in the recipe and really can’t be substituted. So you have to come up with other ways to improve the nutritional value. Whole wheat flour – although calorically similar to all purpose flour – can provide added fiber to a recipe, which was one way I tried to improve the recipe. In this recipe I like the whole wheat flour, it provides a nutty taste to the crust.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars – BETTER


2 cups whole wheat flour

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:

2 (8-ounce) packages of reduced fat cream cheese

½ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract


3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel topping, recipe follows

½ cup sugar free caramel topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with ½ cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.

In a small bow, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping. Bake 30 minutes or until filling is set. Drizzle with sugar free caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy!

Streusel Topping:

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup quick cooking oats

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients until crumbly.

Nutrition Facts (24 servings)

294.1 calories

15.9 g fat

40.9 g carbohydrate

2.7 g fiber

5.0 g protein


  1. You amaze me! If I could make things healthier and still taste good I wouldn't have to run so dang much!!!

  2. Christy - Thanks! These still tasted AMAZING - thanks for posting the original recipe. I do, however, also have to run a lot as well to support my cooking/baking habit.