Apple Swirl Cheesecake Bars & A Krusteaz #Giveaway!

by Kate on December 4, 2013

Apple Swirl Cheesecake Bars -

I love the holidays for so many reasons. Time spent with family and friends, parties with festive food and cocktails, and of course, holiday baking. Cookies are always a crowd pleaser and pies are a must after any holiday dinner. But today I’m breaking with those traditional foods and going with something that’s tradition in our family. Cheesecake.

Each Christmas, my mother-in-law makes the most phenomenal tall, smooth, creamy cheesecake encircled by ladyfingers and topped with decadent sweet, bright red, syrupy cherries. Cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite desserts but growing it was usually something that made an appearance at a birthday or after entertaining on at non-holiday dinner. I love my mother-in-law’s cheesecake and man, I think she should make it more than once a year. But then, perhaps it wouldn’t be as much of a special treat if I didn’t have to wait for it all year-long.

With that in mind, I decided to make cheesecake bars for an upcoming holiday baking event. Smooth, creamy cheesecake filling sits atop a sugar cookie crust but then I took it a step further. Remembering how much I enjoy fruit on top of my mother-in-law’s divine cheesecake, I looked in my crisper to see what fruits we had on had. I was hoping for raspberries but despite having bought some just the day before, Maddy and Molly had gobbled them up so my attention turned to the ginger gold apples in the drawer.

Apple Swirl Cheesecake Bars -

My ginger apple upside down squares were amazing thanks to those beauties. For these cheesecake bars I cooked the apples with a bit of sugar and cinnamon just until they were tender and a bit syrupy. Those fragrant apples quickly became the perfect fruit for swirling through these decadent bars which are perfect for easy holiday entertaining.

Want even more holiday baking ideas? On Saturday December 14th, Krusteaz and Weelicious blogger and cookbook author, Catherine McCord will be hosting a virtual holiday baking event taking place from 1-3pm EST on the Krusteaz Site. Catherine will be baking her favorite Krusteaz creations live from her kitchen, sharing recipes, tips and holiday gifting ideas featuring homemade goodies. I think it’s going to be such a great excuse to invite some friends over and host a baking party. You should do the same! Then tune into the Krusteaz Twitter Feed where you can get tips, ask questions, share ideas and get into the holiday spirit. Feel free to share photos or videos of your own baking party on the Krusteaz Facebook Page! The hashtag for this event is #KrusteazHolidays.

Now, how about something to get you inspired for holiday baking? Today I’m giving you 2 coupons for FREE Krusteaz mixes, 1 full size box of Krusteaz Light & Fluffy Pancake mix along with a jar of delicious holiday mix-ins perfect for layering into a mason jar as a unique, festive holiday gift or just for jazzing up your holiday breakfast. Either way, this is delicious giveaway for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Apple Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 15 servings

Apple Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Smooth creamy cheesecake bars swirled with tender cinnamon-kissed apples atop a sugar cookie crust.


  • 1 apple, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 (15.5 ounces) Krusteaz Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine 1/4 cup water, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a simmer. Cook until apples are tender and mixture becomes syrupy. Set aside and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon combine cookie mix, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 whole egg until evenly moistened and becomes a cohesive ball. Transfer cookie dough to baking dish and press evenly over the bottom and slightly up the sides of the prepared baking dish.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together mascarpone, cream cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar, remaining teaspoon of vanilla extract, remaining whole egg and egg yolks until smooth.
  6. Scrape batter over cookie crust and spread evenly. Dollop apple mixture over top of cheesecake batter then swirl decoratively using the tip of a knife.
  7. Bake in preheated oven 30-35 minutes until just set in the center but still has a little jiggle. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Cool in baking dish on cooling rack for 1 hour then cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares and serve.

Disclaimer: I was provided with baking mixes and coupons courtesy of Krusteaz but received no monetary compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are my own.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

suzanne December 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

I love cheesecake, I love the combination of cheese and apples. Your mother in law’s cheesecake sounds so beautiful, delicious and elegant.


Wendy December 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

I love making spritz cookies – the gooey dough, the cookie press … it’s like kid time for grown-ups 🙂


David @ Spiced December 4, 2013 at 8:43 am

I absolutely love baking cheesecakes for the holidays. I almost always have one in my kitchen!


Christiane ~ Taking On Magazines December 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

I’m a bit like you, though my mom’s specialty is pumpkin pie. I love the stuff, her stuff, but I only get it once or twice a year. So, I guess that’s my favorite holiday thing, but I do love me some cheesecake too. 🙂


Debbie G December 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

These bars looks amazing! I can’t wait to make and try them. Thanks for doing this giveaway! 🙂


Barb | Creative Culinary December 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

Love having some delicious but time saving desserts for this time of year and this one fits both those requirements; the apple is a perfect addition!


Meg G. December 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

My favorite thing to bake during the holidays is baked brie! It is a delicious appetizer to share with friends and family.


Mai December 4, 2013 at 11:53 am

I love making all sorts of cookies and candies this time of year, including fudge and truffles.


Megan K December 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I love to bake everything! But mostly pies!


Emily Wells December 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Peanut butter balls! (Some people call them buckeyes)


ChristineM December 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm

oh yum!!!! love this recipe – will be trying it soon!


theresa krier December 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm

i love to make all different kinds of bonbons


Anne December 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm

One thing I bake only around Christmas is spritz cookies. If I had a better relationship with the spritz gun, I might bake them more often! But for now, they’re a favorite holiday baked treat.


Kel December 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm

I love to bake monster cookies.


Liz December 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

The marriage of two of my favorite desserts…cheesecake and apple pie! YUM!


Denise December 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Oh boy, what a yummy-sounding recipe!!!


Amy S December 5, 2013 at 12:32 am

I love to bake cookies!


Karen - Cinnamon Freud December 5, 2013 at 1:02 am

Love making pies during the holiday season!


Allison Downes December 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I love making pies, and specifically pumpkin rolls.

Thank you for the awesome giveaway!


Holly December 6, 2013 at 12:35 am

I just made some gingerbread cookies tonight and it officially feels like Christmas in my kitchen. Your apple cheesecake bars sound wonderful!


Trish - Mom On Timeout December 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

Loving the cookie crust on these cheesecake bars Kate! They look amazing!


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