Cheesecake-Stuffed Baked Apples with Homemade Caramel Sauce

Cheesecake Apples and Caramel

Put a fork in me, I’m done.

When I decided to make baked apples for dessert last weekend, I had two options: go the healthy route or go the decadent-clogged-arteries route. Guess which one I chose?

I don’t curse on here often but holy shit. This was amazing. It might be my new favorite dessert of all time. And, as I’m a dessert person, that’s really saying something. Keep reading for the full recipe.

PS you should have lots of leftover cheesecake and caramel. Feel free to use the cheesecake to make another dessert (maybe use some pie crust and a muffin tin to make mini cheesecakes?). You can make the caramel in advance and keep it tightly sealed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Ingredients

  • 3 honeycrisp apples
  • optional: graham cracker crumbs, pecan halves
For the Cheesecake Filling
  • 1 eight-ounce package of cream cheese, warmed
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
For the Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of salted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt, plus more to taste

Directions

Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray the underside of a muffin tin with cooking spray (you’re going to wedge the apples in the openings in between the individual tins – genius, I know).

Chop off the top of the apples and, using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds.

For the Cheesecake Filling

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk all of the cheesecake ingredients together until smooth. Fill each of the apples with the mixture and wedge the apples, cheesecake-side-up, into the openings on the underbelly of the muffin tin.

Place the tin in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set.

Let the apples cool for about 15 minutes before sprinkling them with graham cracker crumbs, adding a pecan, and/or dousing them with the caramel sauce.

For the Caramel Sauce

While the apples are in the oven, make the caramel sauce.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the sugar – stirring constantly so the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Add 3 pieces of butter and stir constantly as the butter melts, about 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the butter, still stirring constantly (it may bubble up, don’t worry about that).

Once all of the butter is completely melted, slowly add the heavy cream (while still stirring!!). Don’t be alarmed when the mixture will bubble up rapidly – just keep stirring until it goes back down.

Stop stirring. Allow the caramel sauce to boil for about a minute before removing the sauce from the heat and stirring in the sea salt. Allow the caramel to cool for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator before using.