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Cream cheese apple bars with pecan streusel on a white plate

Cream Cheese Apple Bars with Pecan Streusel

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fall baking, Granny Smith Apples, Struesel Topping
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cool: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 587kcal
These Cream Cheese Apple Bars with Pecan Streusel are the quintessential fall dessert to fall in love with.  So heartwarming and a little decadent...they are simply divine.  You can serve them warm, but we love them chilled with a little warmed caramel sauce drizzled over the top. Heavenly. 
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Ingredients

FOR THE PECAN SHORTBREAD CRUST

  • 1 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FILLING

  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese softened, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanila extract

FOR THE APPLE FILLING

  • 3 large Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and chopped
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE PECAN-OATMEAL STREUSEL

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits we use Heath bar bits
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened, room temp
  • 1 cup caramel sauce, warmed purchased or homemade

Instructions

MAKE THE PECAN SHORTBREAD CRUST

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  • In a food processor, pulse together the pecans and the sugar for 30 seconds.
  • In a mixer, on medium speed, beat the butter, vanilla and pecan/sugar mixture until creamed and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the flour and salt until just combined.  Chill the mixture for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Press the shortbread into the bottom of a 9"x13" baking dish that has been well greased with butter, shortening, or cooking spray.  Use a fork to puncture the crust all over.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. 

PREPARE THE CREAM CHEESE FILLING

  • In a medium bowl, mix (stand mixer our hand-held mixer) beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  • One at a time, add the eggs, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the lemon zest and lemon juice along with the vanilla and beat until combined.  
  • Spread the filling over the cooled shortbread. 

PREPARE THE APPLE FILLING

  • In a separate bowl, stir together the apple, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  • Spread the apple mixture over the cream cheese mixture. 

PREPARE THE PECAN-OATMEAL STREUSEL

  • In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, oats, toffee bits, pecans, and salt.  Carefully fold in the butter with a fork, until incorporated. The mixture will be a bit crumbly. 
  • Sprinkle the streusel over the apples. 

FINISH OFF THE BARS

  • Bake until set, about 30 minutes.  Let cool for 30 minutes on a rack.
  • Serve warm, or cover and chill in the refrigerator.  Serve with warm caramel sauce, if desired. 

Nutrition

Calories: 587kcal