Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

I don’t make or eat caramel apples during any other time of year, but once the chilly weather rolls in, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into them! Along with the avalanche bark that my Chief Culinary Consultant and I picked up at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory last Friday, we also snatched up a buckeye caramel apple. The combination of apples and caramels is such a natural marrying of flavors, and one that I cannot resist in any baked form. I’ve seen tons of salted caramel apple bars, caramel apple pies, and the list goes on and on. This one, however, stopped me in my tracks.

Apples… caramel… CHEESECAKE… nuts… fresh whipped cream.

It’s the holy grail of caramel apple desserts, and I couldn’t go another day without making it.

While this dessert has a long name and a seemingly endless list of ingredients, it’s actually rather simple to make. A classic graham cracker crust is pressed into a springform pan (or into a large, deep-dish pie dish). Then, a general layer of homemade salted caramel is spread on the bottom of the crust and sprinkled with chopped pecans. Thinly sliced Granny Smith apples are sauteed in a mixture of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, cooked down until they are incredibly soft. Add those to the pan, then mix together the cheesecake layer and pour it over top. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, the pie should be refrigerated for at least a few hours, preferably overnight, allowing the flavors to set and meld together.

The result is an insanely delicious pie that tastes like a combination of some of the best fall desserts. The caramel and pecan layer on the bottom has a similar flavor to pecan pie, followed by apple pie, then cheesecake, then a cream pie topping with the fresh whipped cream. It’s utterly amazing and a dessert not to be missed. This is perfect if you’re looking for something a little outside of the box when it comes to Thanksgiving dessert!

One year ago: Sweet Potato Pie
Two years ago: Pumpkin Pie
Three years ago: Fallen Chocolate Cakes

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 6 hours

A fabulous layered pie with a graham cracker crust, caramel, pecans, apples and cheesecake, topped with fresh whipped cream, more caramel and pecans.


For the Crust:
1½ cup graham cracker crumbs (about 12 full graham crackers)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Caramel-Pecan Layer:
¾ cup salted caramel sauce
1 cup chopped pecans

For the Apples:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

For the Cheesecake:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Whipped Cream:
¾ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the Garnish:
Salted caramel sauce
Chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Make the Crust: Whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and use a fork to toss the mixture together until all of the crumbs are evenly moistened. Dump the crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan or a 10-inch pie plate and press them into an even layer over the bottom and two-thirds of the way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

3. Pour the salted caramel sauce over the bottom of the crust, gently spreading it into an even layer. Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over top of the caramel layer. Place the pan in the refrigerator while the apples are prepared.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

5. Make the Apples: Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet, then add the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, stirring to combine. Cook the mixture until it is gently bubbling, about 1 minute. Add the apples to the pan and toss to coat with the butter mixture. Cook until the apples are very tender and just about all of the liquid has been evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then add to the pan on top of the caramel-pecan layer, spreading the apples into an even layer. Return the pan to the refrigerator.

6. For the Cheesecake: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until completely smooth. Add the egg and beat until completely combined. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract, and beat until completely smooth, another 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the cheesecake batter over the apples in the pan, smoothing it into an even layer. Bake until the cheesecake is set and doesn't jiggle in the middle, about 30 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

7. Make the Whipped Cream: Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whip together the heavy cream and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

8. Garnish and Serve the Pie: Remove the sides of the springform pan. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of the cheesecake layer. Dollop spoonfuls of the caramel sauce on top of the whipped cream and, using a butter knife or offset spatula, gently swirl the caramel into the whipped cream. Sprinkle additional chopped pecans on top. Serve immediately. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Note: You can substitute store-bought caramel sauce for the homemade salted caramel, if you prefer.

(Recipe adapted from Mimi Hodge; originally seen on Tracey's Culinary Adventures)


116 Responses to “Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. amanda @ fake ginger on November 12, 2012 at 12:08 am

    I’m drooling on my keyboard. This is the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen.


  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on November 12, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Omg the “Thinly sliced Granny Smith apples are sauteed in a mixture of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, cooked down until they are incredibly soft.” — that picture of them, literally gooey, drippy, and oozing, that is what my dreams are made of! The whole thing looks amazing, Michelle. I can tell you really took your time with the photos, the recipe, the whole thing – fabulous!


  3. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on November 12, 2012 at 2:52 am

    This is an posey gooey caramelly dream! What a perfect fall pie…and totally not super intimidating to make either!


  4. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on November 12, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Ooey gooey* silly autocorrect!


  5. Ali | Gimme Some Oven on November 12, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Perfection!!! Seriously, all of that caramel looks SO good!


  6. Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box on November 12, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Absolutely everything about this is perfect and it screams fall! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a gorgeous-looking pie in my whole life. Pinning! :)


  7. Tesei on November 12, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Oh goodness, this looks simply to die for!!!!!


  8. j3nn on November 12, 2012 at 6:23 am

    Wow, wow, wow! I would love for this to make an appearance at our holiday dinner next week! Every layer is oozing yumminess.


  9. little kitchie on November 12, 2012 at 7:10 am

    i’m totally, completely obsessed with anything containing the words “salted caramel.” this looks AMAZING. please keep feeding my addiction!


  10. Ellen @ The Baking Bluenoser on November 12, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Are you joking? This is like a dream! I want this in my belly now!


  11. tracy {pale yellow} on November 12, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Love the layering of caramel, pecans, sauteed apples, and cheesecake, so simple, yet so brilliant!


  12. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on November 12, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Oh my gosh, this looks incredible! I need to make this asap!


  13. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on November 12, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Your cheesecake looks out of this world! I love a good cheesecake and with apple and caramel! Yes please!! So perfect for Thanksgiving!!


  14. Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) on November 12, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Love that this is a layered cheesecake – looks insanely delicious! Totally obsessed with salted caramel. =)


  15. Katie @ Oh Shine On on November 12, 2012 at 8:19 am

    The only important question I’m asking myself right now is ‘why on earth am I looking at a delicious caramel pie while I am in the midst of eating my plain and boring bowl of cereal?’ This then begs me to look at the bigger picture… Life simply isn’t fair if you can’t have this pie for breakfast.


  16. shelly (cookies and cups) on November 12, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Holy crap. I think I just died.


  17. Erika on November 12, 2012 at 8:51 am

    WOW!! That’s all I can say.. Caramel.. Apples.. Cheesecake..Seriously.. Greatness!!


  18. Becca from It's Yummilicious on November 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Michelle, It’s SOOOOO unfair of you to post this at 2:00 in the morning and make me wake up to see it in my inbox. There goes my healthy breakfast… I HAVE to make this NOW! You’re a meanie :p


  19. Ken┃hungry rabbit on November 12, 2012 at 9:05 am

    This has all the flavors and elements that I’m in the mood for. OK, it’s more like a craving.


  20. Jen @ Savory Simple on November 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I love the decorative top! Beautifully done.


  21. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on November 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

    This is over the top amazingness!


  22. Cookbook Queen on November 12, 2012 at 10:08 am

    This looks too good to be true!!


  23. Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen on November 12, 2012 at 10:12 am

    1. The cake stand is super cute! 2. That shot of the slice is absolutely amazing. It looks like it should be a picture on a menu. Love it!


  24. Esther on November 12, 2012 at 10:24 am

    This is seriously gorgeous, you re right, it is a combination of the best desserts. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, i would love to try this for christmas. Love your blog btw, great job :)


  25. Erin on November 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I want to face plant into that pie


  26. Becky on November 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

    This looks amazing! I now know what I’m making for Thanksgiving dessert. Thank you!!!


  27. Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings on November 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Ooooh, this cheesecake is drool-worthy! I am leaving here wanting to eat dessert before lunch! It’s got all the hallmarks of a great Fall recipe: apples, caramel, cheesecake, graham!!! YUM with a capital Y!!!


  28. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on November 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Pinning! This looks so gorgeous!


  29. Linda on November 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    What a great way to combine three delicious pies in one. I am hoping to make it next week for Thanksgiving dinner at our church. I love coming up with unique desserts and this is sure to be a hit.


  30. Chef Katie Chin on November 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Yummy recipe and it has all of my Hubby’s favorite flavors except peanut butter. I think he will survive though. Great photos as well. I mostly showcase main dishes on my blog but this one has inspired me to start sharing some deserts as well.


  31. Maria on November 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Just pinned this beauty!


  32. Paula on November 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Your aren’t kidding when you say this is the Holy Grail of apple desserts. Beats anything I’ve seen so far. Fabulous!


  33. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen on November 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I made an apple pie last weekend that involved cooking down the apples before and it was incredible. I can’t even imagine how much more amazing it would be with cheesecake! I know it’s hard to narrow down, but I’m pretty sure cheesecake is my favorite dessert. Especially one like this…


  34. Laura on November 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    This looks amazing!!


  35. Bill on November 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    making this!


  36. Julie @ Table for Two on November 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    um wow, this pie is absolutely gorgeous and i wish this were at my dessert table right now!


  37. Laura Dembowski on November 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    OMG! What a decadent and amazing looking dessert. A slice of that would satisfy any sweet tooth.


  38. Cam on November 12, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    If I baked this Tuesday to be served at Thanksgiving dinner, do you think it would still be okay? Not sure what the shelf/fridge life would be for such a decadent dessert, but I SO want to make it!


    • Michelle on November 13th, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      Hi Cam, Yes, I think you would still be fine 2 days out. I would make it and chill it, and then cover very tightly with plastic wrap. I wouldn’t add the whipped cream and garnishes until the day you plan to serve it.


  39. Susana on November 13, 2012 at 2:07 am

    This looks scrumptious!


  40. Tracey on November 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I adore this recipe so much, it really is the holy grail! I’m so glad you were as big a fan, and also that you used your own caramel sauce. The one that was part of the original recipe isn’t the greatest, I really need to update my site to change that portion of the recipe!


  41. Alena on November 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Looks delicious! Does this freeze well? I’d like to make it ahead of time.


    • Michelle on November 14th, 2012 at 12:04 am

      Hi Alena, I have not tried freezing it, so I can’t vouch for what it would taste like when thawed. You could make this one or two days ahead of time and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.


      • Robbie on November 8th, 2014 at 6:04 pm

        I made this a week out and froze it. I didn’t add the whip cream and garnishes until the day of. It was great! I did let it sit out for about five hours before serving it. Everyone loved it.


  42. Becca on November 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I made the mistake of letting my bf “like” you on facebook. Guess what recipe I will be making tonight while he works on my car. :) Thanks for another great recipe!!


  43. Marian on November 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I made this earlier today, it is absolutely DIVINE!! We don’t have graham crackers in Ireland so i just substituted them with digestive biscuits and it was perfect! Definitely a must have recipe. Thank you :)


  44. Karen on November 13, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Has anyone tried substituting a different type of apple? I have some MacIntosh that I don’t want to go to waste, but I’m not sure if the taste would be ok. Thanks! That’s one sexy pie!!! :)


    • Katy on November 13th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Macintoshes aren’t recommended for baking, they’ll lose their texture and fall apart (they do make good applesauce though!). Granny Smiths are great for pies because they balance the sweetness out well and hold their shape. This looks like one amazingly awesome pie – and it’s going on my list for Thanksgiving!


      • Rebecca on January 6th, 2013 at 11:48 am

        Making it with Macs right now. I do understand they floss their shape a bit but I cannot stand Granny Smiths, because they always taste undercooked in pie. I’ll report back after we eat this tonight. :)


  45. Sally - only gluten free baking on November 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I can tell that this tasted wonderful. Mm caramel and apples and cheesecake.


  46. Event Lighting Schaumburg Il on November 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    The ingredients list definitely looks overwhelming… but aren’t all cheesecakes? Love the combination of flavors… a perfect fall dessert!


  47. Tracy on November 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Question – how is this without the pecans, I need nut free! Is it too ‘liquidy’?


    • Michelle on November 15th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Tracy, I haven’t made this without the nuts so I couldn’t say for sure if it’s too liquidy, but I wouldn’t think that would be a problem. Enjoy!


  48. Nicole on November 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Do you think this recipe would fit into a 9.5″ pie plate, or would it overflow? Looks delicious!!


    • Michelle on November 15th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Nicole, I think it would be cutting it pretty close in a 9.5″ pie plate, unless it was a deep dish. I’d go 10″ deep dish, or use a springform pan.


  49. Francesca on November 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I saw this on Annie’s Eats and made it last Thanksgiving. It was absolutely gorgeous AND delicious! Everyone loved it!!


    • Kristen Paige on November 15th, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Hi Francesca – I just posted a question I have about the recipe below… Did you have any problems with the caramel sauce making the bottom crust soggy and/or hardening too much?


  50. Kristen Paige on November 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I have a question about this gorgeously epic dessert… I once made a cheesecake with a layer of homemade caramel sauce on the bottom, and when the cheesecake baked once all assembled, the caramel got sort of soaked up into the bottom of the crust – and because of the heat it ended up hardening much more than it’s original sauce-like state once the cheesecake was done and chilled. Has anyone had any experience with this, and do you think this could be a problem with this recipe? I’m considering doing the layer of apples first instead, but idk. I’m just worried about it soaking into the bottom crust. I made the Salted Caramel Sauce last night exactly as directed from the link above, and I’m doing the cheesecake tonight. Any help or advice would be great!! Thanks for the beautiful idea!!


    • Brittany on November 15th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Kristen, I can let you know tomorrow after slicing. I just made it for the first time, also with homemade caramel sauce, and hope it looks like Michelle’s!


    • Michelle on November 15th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Hi Kristen, I would make sure that you do allow the crust to sit for at least the 10 minutes stated in the recipe, and that you make sure the caramel sauce is at room temperature when you put it in the crust. The caramel layer is indeed thick, but not hard. I hope that makes sense. Enjoy!


      • Kristen Paige on November 15th, 2012 at 6:26 pm

        Thanks so much! Looking forward to a great dessert :)


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