Wednesday, October 28, 2015

ABC - Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

This month's ABC recipe is perfect for the fall season. Warm spices like cinnamon and cloves are very appropriate for this time of year. This recipe for Spiced Apple Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, represents a cake, a cheesecake and caramelized apples, all in one. I really loved it and so did my coworkers. I did make a few changes (such as changing the name) which I've posted at the bottom of this post.

Apple Cheesecake Bars with Caramel Drizzle

If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.

I decided to take a risk on this recipe (several actually) and have fun with it. My vision was to make "bars" (to feed a crowd at work) so my 9" x 13" pan came to mind. Then I started thinking about cheesecake bars. Instead of a graham cracker crust, I would use the spice cake as a "crust". Off I went...

European-style cheesecakes usually a sponge cake "crust". That's what I was going after. These cakes are usually thin and very soft. This led me to substituting oil for the butter which results in soft cake, even when eaten cold. With this in mind, I decided to keep the batter amount the same, so the cake part won't be too high.

For the cheesecake layer, it was pretty clear that one 8 oz package of cream cheese wasn't going to be enough for a 9" x 13" pan. So I doubled the recipe. Most of the cheesecakes I make, have the same number of eggs as they do packages of cream cheese. So instead of using just egg yolks, I used two whole eggs.

Spice cake batter, ready for the oven

After 20 min, it was baked

Caramelizing the apples with some butter, sugar and spices

The cheesecake batter has been poured on the cake and the fruit is waiting its turn

The whole ensemble is ready for the oven

After it was completely cooled, I drizzled it with homemade caramel sauce

Cake, cheesecake, spiced apples and caramel. Yum! Bon Appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:

  • I really liked this dessert! The spice cake part was just the perfect thickness and sweetness. The cheesecake layer was the right amount, complementing the cake perfectly. The spiced apples and caramel drizzle tied it all together perfectly. I liked the ratio of cake to cheesecake in this version.
  • The cake part was a bit dry, when eaten by itself. But when combined with the cheesecake and spiced apples, it was fine. I've never used a "cake crust" for a cheesecake before. Maybe I should have only baked it halfway through.
  • Since I made so many changes, I decided to post my version of the recipe below. The original recipe can be found here.
  • Don't forget to check out the other ABC bakers.

Apple Cheesecake Bars with Caramel Drizzle

Ingredients (spiced apple topping)
  • 1-1/4 lb apples, cut into small dice (I used granny smith and gala apples)
  • 30 gram unsalted butter
  • 30 gram granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground cloves
  • 2 handfuls of dried cranberries (thank you for the idea, Arwen)
Ingredients (cake)
  • 70 gram granulated sugar
  • 64 gram dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 70 gram canola oil
  • 175 gram all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
Ingredients (cheesecake)
  • 2 x 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 125 gram granulated sugar
  • 2 packets of vanilla sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground cloves
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tsp all purpose flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" pan (I used a Pyrex pan).
  3. Combine all the spiced apple topping ingredients in a skillet and cook on High for 10-12 minutes until all the liquid is gone, without overcooking the apples. Set aside to cool a bit.
  4. To make the cake, combine the sugars and eggs, and beat on High speed until thick and airy (about 8-10 min).
  5. On low speed, slowly drizzle the oil into the egg mixture.
  6. Sift the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk.
  8. Bake the cake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake springs back when gently pressed. Let the cake cool while you make the cheesecake batter.
  9. Lower the heat of the oven to 325 F.
  10. To make the cheesecake batter, combine the cream cheese and sugars. Beat on medium speed until the mixture looks creamy. Add the spices and beat to combine. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl and slowly add them to the cream cheese mixture with the mixer turned to low speed. Sift the flour on top of the cream cheese and mixture and stir it by hand with a whisk or spatula.
  11. Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the baked spice cake and distribute the spiced apple topping evenly over the cheesecake batter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is set when gently shaken. Allow to cool completely.
  12. Optional: add a caramel drizzle on top.


  1. They look wonderful! You are welcome for the dried cranberry idea!

    1. Thanks Arwen! Great flavor combination :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Peggy! It tasted wonderful :)

  3. Nice idea - I can imagine your co-workers loved it! I would probably try a sweet crust, the typical crust for cheese cakes in Germany.

    1. The "cake" crust worked really well here :) Most cheesecakes in Europe use a sponge cake. Some use both a sponge cake AND a cookie crust (I like those even more). In those, you'll see a cookie crust, some jam, sponge cake and then the cheese part. Yum!

  4. This sounds really good! I love how fearless you are tweaking recipes.

    1. Thanks Vicki! It's scary every time but so gratifying when it works out :)

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