Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Indulge in the rich flavors of autumn with this decadent Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake. A crunchy gingersnap crust is filled with creamy cheesecake swirled with caramelized apples, making it a perfect dessert for any fall gathering.


For the Crust:

  • 30 gingersnaps
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tbsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the Apples:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
  • 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar

For the Filling:

  • 24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp apple cider
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream

For Serving:

  • Caramel sauce for drizzling


For the Crust:

  1. Butter the Bottom and Sides of the Pan: Ensure the 10-inch springform pan is well-coated.
  2. Prepare Crust Mixture: Pulse gingersnaps into crumbs in a food processor. Add brown sugar and optional cinnamon, then mix in melted butter until crumbs are moistened.
  3. Press Crust: Evenly press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Freeze while preheating the oven.

For the Apples:

  1. Caramelize Apples: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Cook apple slices until golden brown, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cook until caramelized. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Preparing to Bake:

  1. Preheat Oven: Set to 350°F (175°C). Wrap springform pan bottom with aluminum foil, ensuring it extends up the sides. Place on a baking sheet.

For the Filling:

  1. Mix Cream Cheese: In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down the bowl.
  2. Add Sugars and Flavors: Mix in brown sugar, granulated sugar, apple cider, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon.
  3. Incorporate Eggs and Cream: Beat in eggs one at a time, then blend in sour cream and heavy cream until smooth.


  1. Layer Batter and Apples: Pour one third of the cheesecake batter into crust. Arrange cooled apple slices over batter. Cover with remaining batter, smoothing top.


  1. Create Water Bath: Place springform pan in larger roasting pan. Pour boiling water into roasting pan until halfway up sides of springform pan.
  2. Bake: Tent loosely with foil after 45 minutes. Bake until set around edges and slightly jiggly in center.

Cooling and Serving:

  1. Cool Cheesecake: Remove from oven and cool on rack. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Serve: Run knife around edges, release sides, and transfer to plate. Drizzle with caramel sauce before slicing.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Suggestions:

  • Room Temperature: For optimal flavor and texture, allow the cheesecake to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish: Enhance presentation by garnishing each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Pairings: Serve alongside a warm cup of coffee or cider to complement the rich, autumnal flavors.

Storage Tips:

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container or cover tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: To freeze, place the cheesecake (whole or sliced) on a baking sheet in the freezer until firm. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Avoid Moisture: Place a paper towel over the top of the cheesecake before wrapping to absorb any condensation and prevent the top from becoming soggy.

With these tips, you can enjoy your Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake fresh and flavorful, whether serving it immediately or storing it for later enjoyment.


Explore creative ways to customize your Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake:

  1. Nutty Crunch: Add chopped pecans or walnuts to the gingersnap crust for a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.
  2. Caramel Drizzle: Instead of serving with plain caramel sauce, try a salted caramel drizzle for a sweet and salty contrast.
  3. Spiced Apple Compote: Replace caramelized apple slices with a spiced apple compote. Cook diced apples with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg until tender and syrupy.
  4. Maple Twist: Substitute the brown sugar in the filling with maple syrup for a rich maple flavor. Drizzle additional maple syrup over the top before serving.
  5. Gingerbread Crust: Use crushed gingerbread cookies instead of gingersnaps for a deeper, spiced crust flavor.
  6. Mini Cheesecakes: Bake the cheesecake batter in a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners for individual mini cheesecakes. Top each with a small apple slice for decoration.
  7. Apple Pie Spice: Replace ground cinnamon with apple pie spice blend for a more complex and autumnal spice profile.
  8. Topping Options: Experiment with different toppings such as whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or a dusting of powdered sugar.
  9. Chocolate Swirl: Melt chocolate chips and swirl them into the cheesecake batter for a marbled chocolate and apple flavor combination.
  10. Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free gingersnaps or almond flour in the crust to make the cheesecake suitable for gluten-sensitive diets.

Try out these variations to add your own unique twist to the classic Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake recipe, and enjoy the delicious results with family and friends!

FAQs :

  1. Can I use a different type of apple for this cheesecake?
    • Yes, you can use other varieties of apples such as Granny Smith, Fuji, or Gala. Adjust the sweetness level based on the tartness of the apples used.
  2. How do I prevent cracks from forming on the cheesecake?
    • To prevent cracks, ensure your cheesecake bakes in a water bath. Avoid overmixing the batter and allow the cheesecake to cool gradually after baking.
  3. Can I make this cheesecake ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can make the cheesecake a day ahead. Refrigerate it overnight, and it will be ready to serve the next day. This also allows flavors to meld together for better taste.
  4. What can I use if I don’t have a springform pan?
    • If you don’t have a springform pan, you can use a regular cake pan lined with parchment paper. This will make it easier to remove the cheesecake after it has cooled.
  5. Do I need to use a water bath for baking the cheesecake?
    • Using a water bath helps to regulate the temperature and prevent the cheesecake from cracking. It also ensures a smooth, creamy texture.
  6. How do I know when the cheesecake is done baking?
    • The cheesecake is done when the edges are set and slightly puffed, and the center is slightly jiggly. It will continue to set as it cools.
  7. Can I substitute light cream cheese for the regular cream cheese?
    • Yes, you can use light cream cheese, but keep in mind that the texture and richness may be slightly different. Full-fat cream cheese typically yields a creamier cheesecake.
  8. Can I omit the caramel sauce drizzle?
    • Yes, you can omit the caramel sauce if desired. The cheesecake is delicious on its own, or you can substitute with a different topping like chocolate ganache or fruit compote.
  9. How should I store leftovers?
    • Store leftover cheesecake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 5 days. Ensure it is covered to prevent it from absorbing other odors in the fridge.
  10. Can I freeze this cheesecake?
    • Yes, you can freeze the cheesecake for up to 1 month. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

These FAQs provide helpful answers to common questions about preparing, storing, and customizing your Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake, ensuring a successful and enjoyable baking experience!

Enjoy the delightful flavors of this Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake, a perfect blend of creamy cheesecake and caramelized apples, ideal for celebrating the flavors of fall.