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These dreamy No-Bake Apple Cheesecake Bars have a light and fluffy cheesecake mousse filled with sweet, tender apples and the perfect hint of cinnamon atop a a buttery crust. But the best part is that this indulgent treat is actually easy to make. Perfect to add to a party or holiday menu, or just to treat the family when they are craving a fall dessert!
Dreamy Apple Cheesecake Bars
You are going to love this incredibly decadent no-bake dessert recipe. It starts with a light and fluffy cheesecake mousse filled with tender bits of apples and cinnamon. This is then spread on top of a simple buttery crust. It’s so easy, the hardest part is going to be waiting for these cheesecake squares to chill so you can cut yourself a perfect slice.
Let’s talk about that crust. While I now have the perfect gluten free pie crust, for a long time I avoided making my own dough. In fact, I started just pouring my pumpkin pie filling into ramekins and baking it into a mini crustless pumpkin pie instead of dealing with pastry.
That’s why I started looking for easy gluten free crust alternatives. And my favorite swap is almond meal, especially when making a crust for a cheesecake recipe like this one. It is so easy and it actually takes like shortbread. It’s the perfect complement to these tangy cheesecake bars with the perfect hint of cinnamon.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I mean, it is cheesecake, so there really shouldn’t be much more I have to say to convince you that you are going to need to try this recipe. And then will be making it over and over again.
- Affordable Ingredients. No need to buy special flours or cookies or an overpriced pre-made crust.
- Perfect Flavors. The sweet and tangy cheesecake mousse is totally ethereal. And the smooth texture and luscious richness is perfectly balanced by crisp-tender caramelized apples with a little cinnamon.
- No Oven Needed. Yes, these are no-bake. Saving valuable oven space if you are preparing a big meal or not even having to turn on the oven is always a good thing. And it is an easy dessert you can quickly whip up for parties or just to treat the family to something special.
What You’ll Need
Both parts of this recipe require just a handful of ingredients. Scroll down to the recipe card below for measurements.
For the Almond Meal Crust
- Almond meal or almond flour
- Melted butter
- Granulated sugar
For the Apple Cheesecake Filling
- Apples. Peeled, cut, and chopped. Use your favorite variety. For a recipe like this, I prefer Granny Smith.
- Lemon. You’ll just need the juice, but fresh is better than bottled.
- Light brown sugar
- Spices. I use cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but you can use a pre-mixed apple pie spice.
- Maple syrup
- Heavy cream. Also called whipping cream
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Cream cheese. Softened to room temperature
- Plain Greek yogurt. Whole milk or nonfat yogurt is fine
How to Make the Almond Meal Crust
The crust is firm and holds together while still having that butter, crumbly taste and texture from a traditional graham cracker crust. It’s a simple gluten free alternative that you can use for many recipes in addition to these apple cheesecake bars.
- Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and toss together with a fork until it is fully moistened.
- Press it firmly into your pan using a glass or measuring cup to push is down well.
- Chill the crust in the refrigerator or freezer before adding the filling to ensure that it firms up and holds its shape.
What Else Can You Make with an Almond Meal Crust?
- This crust is also the base for these No-Bake Peach Cheesecake Bars.
- By adding cinnamon it tastes like a graham cracker crust, perfect for S’Mores Magic Bars and S’Mores Chocolate Cream Pie.
- Cocoa powder makes a chocolaty crust for Mini Bailey’s Chocolate Cream Pies or Nutella Ice Cream Cake Cheesecake.
- Maple syrup instead of sugar lends a lovely flavor to Maple Blueberry Mini Cheesecake Parfaits.
- And you can simply use the almond meal on its own for the base of mini desserts like Creamsicle Cheesecake Parfaits and Nutella Cheesecake Parfaits. The moisture from the parfait would soak in, turning it into a faux-crust.
How to Make No-Bake Apple Cheesecake Bars
Here’s an overview of how to prepare these apple cheesecake bars. Scroll down to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Make the apple mixture. Toss the apple pieces in lemon juice and add to a skillet with the remaining ingredients and simmer until tender and caramelized, but not mushy. Cool completely.
- Prepare the cheesecake filling. Whip the cream to soft peaks with the powdered sugar and vanilla, and set aside. Blend the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Greek yogurt together until smooth. Fold in the apple mixture, then gently fold in the whipped cream.
- Chill the bars. Spread the filling over the crust and chill in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours or overnight. Remove from the pan and cut into squares. Enjoy right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips to make your fluffy cheesecake squares turn out perfectly.
- Line the Pan. Be sure to line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and let it overhang the edges. This will allow you to easily lift the bars out of the pan.
- Let it Cool. Make sure your apples cool completely so they don’t melt and deflate the cheesecake mousse.
- Chill the Bowl. Using very cold heavy cream and chilled equipment make it faster and easier to whip the creamy, and avoid overbeating it.
- Store them Properly. The apple cheesecake bars must be refrigerated. If covered, they will keep for up to 3 to 4 days.
Things You’ll Need
- 8 x 8-inch square pan – I like having a couple of these around. They are great for these bars or Monster Cookie Bars. But having two also makes it easy to use one to firmly press the mixture down into the other pan when I am no-bake energy bars.
- Parchment paper – for lining the pan to make it easier to remove the bars.
- Hand mixer – this simple, inexpensive one from Hamilton Beach is great for recipes like this because I can use the whisk attachment to whip the cream without having to haul out my big stand mixer, then just swap that out for the beaters to blend the cream cheese mixture.
- Small offset spatula – this is useful for spreading and smoothing the cheesecake mixture over the top of the crust
- No-Churn Caramel Apple Ice Cream
- Dulce de Leche Banana Cream Pie
- Creamsicle Jello Mold
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Parfaits
No-Bake Apple Cheesecake Bars
For the apple mixture:
- 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into about 1/2 inch pieces (2 cups total)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
For the crust:
- 1½ cups almond meal
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
For the cheesecake:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons plus 1/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
For the apples:
- Place the apples in a medium skillet. Squeeze the juice from a whole lemon over the apples.
- Add the remaining ingredients, and toss to coat.
- Over medium-low heat, bring to a bubble and cook the apples for about 7-10 minutes until they are tender but not mushy, and nicely caramelized.
- Transfer to a bowl and cool completely in the refrigerator, about 15 minutes.
For the crust:
- Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place a small metal bowl in the freezer while preparing the crust so it is chilled by the time you start making the cheesecake filling.
- In a small bowl, combine almond meal, melted butter, and granulated sugar, and toss together with a fork. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly with hands or the bottom of a cup. Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
For the cheesecake:
- In the bowl that was in the freezer, using a whisk or hand mixer, whip the cream, 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar, and vanilla to form soft peaks. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, blend together the cream cheese, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and Greek yogurt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chilled apple mixture.
- Gently fold in the whipped cream.
- Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the crust. Refrigerate for at least 5-6 hours or overnight.
- Cut into squares and serve. It may help to use the parchment or aluminum foil to life the bars out of the pan for slicing.