For day 9 of my “12 Days of Thanksgiving Recipes” we are making the dreamiest apple blondie cheesecake bars! These bars are insane. We start with a brown butter apple blondie base, topped with a layer of cinnamon no-bake cheesecake, all topped with a brown butter maple glaze. AH it is so good and will be everyone’s favorite dessert this Thanksgiving.
The apple blondie layer is dense and soft with chunks of fresh apples. The cheesecake layer on top is light and sweet, but not too sweet — the cream cheese has a tart kick that perfectly balances the apple blondie. And the brown butter maple glaze just brings everything together! It isn’t a necessary part of these bars, but it is definitely worth it.
what ingredients do i need for these bars?
- brown sugar
- baking powder
- cream cheese
- heavy cream
brown butter maple icing
- powdered sugar
- maple syrup
All these ingredients are standard ingredients, but combine them together and magic happens!
how to prep these before thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is a hectic day so it is nice to have as many things prepped beforehand that you can! These apple blondie cheesecake bars are the perfect prepare ahead dessert. The blondies have to cool before the cheesecake can be added on top, then the cheesecake needs time to set up. So, these are best to make the day before.
On the day before Thanksgiving, cook the apple blondies and let them chill completely. They can chill on the counter or if you are in a hurry, they can chill in the fridge. Then, either the night before Thanksgiving or the day of, add the cheesecake topping on top and put it in the fridge to chill. The cheesecake needs at least 4 hours to set up, but overnight works as well.
These should not be made more than one day in advance. Once the cheesecake layer is added on top of the blondies, the moisture from the cheesecake begins to seep into the blondies. If they are eaten the next day then the blondies are still very fresh! But, if you wait 2-3+ days, the blondies will be more dense and wet, as they’ll absorb moisture from the cheesecake. So, make sure these are eaten fresh!
If you need to make them far in advance, just don’t assemble it until day of! The blondies and the cheesecake layer can both be made a few days ahead, but store them separately. Then, assemble the day of and you’ll have fresh blondies! The glaze should be added right before serving.
just apple blondies?
If you don’t like cheesecake or want a quicker dessert, just make the blondie portion of this dessert! The apple blondies are excellent on their own and would be great with some vanilla ice cream. Obviously I think they are best with the cheesecake layer, but they can definitely be served on their own!
other recipes from my 12 days of thanksgiving recipes
- turkey cranberry sliders
- butternut squash, kale, and farro salad
- apple cider donuts
- apple, cheese, and hot honey pull apart bread
- pear, apple, and celery salad
- pumpkin stuffed french toast
- maple dijon roasted carrots
- thanksgiving snack mix
apple blondie cheesecake bars
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 red apples
- 16 oz cream cheese at room temp
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
brown butter maple icing
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350. Add the butter to a pan over medium heat. Stir while the butter melts. After a few minutes the butter will begin to bubble. Keep stirring. After a couple more minutes, the butter will foam up, then the foaming will subside and you'll be left with brown, nutty smelling butter. Take off the heat.
- Add the brown sugar and stir until combined. Let the mixture cool for at least 10 minutes. After it has cooled, add the eggs, one at a time, stirring between each. Add the vanilla and stir again.
- Add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until just combined, making sure there are no big lumps. Peel and core the apples, then chop them into small pieces, about 1/4" cubes. Add the apples and stir to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9×13" pan lined with parchment paper (if you don't have parchment paper, thoroughly grease the pan). Pour the mixture into the pan and spread it evenly out. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is beginning to brown and the middle is just set.
- Let the blondies cool completely before topping with the cheesecake layer. If you are in a hurry, the blondies can cool in the fridge.
- Combine the room temp cream cheese and sugar in a bowl. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar for 2 minutes. Add cinnamon and vanilla and mix them in.
- In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture. Carefully fold the whipped cream in, being careful to not deflate the whipped cream.
- Once the blondies are completely cooled, add the cheesecake mixture on top of the blondies. Smooth the layer out, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and transfer it to the fridge. The cheesecake layer takes at least 4 hours to set up, but can stay in the fridge overnight. *for more "make ahead of time" tips, see the blog post above.
brown butter maple glaze
- Just before serving, make the brown butter maple glaze. Add the butter to a small pan. Stir as the butter melts. After a few minutes the butter will begin to bubble. Keep stirring. After a couple more minutes, the butter will foam up, then the foaming will subside and you'll be left with brown, nutty smelling butter. Take off the heat.
- Add the powdered sugar and maple syrup and whisk to combine. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and pinch of salt. Whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Slice the blondies with a sharp knife. Right before serving, drizzle the glaze over the blondies and enjoy!!