Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars!

Sharing my Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars with you today! They are perfect for Fall and Winter baking. So simple to prepare and packed with goodness!

cookie bars

Cookie bars are so much fun to make. Your options are endless! These bars are packed with sweet tart apples, cream cheese and caramel that make for the perfect sweet treat.

This simple little Fall dessert is gooey and “appley” delicious with warm soft caramel oozing off the sides. Hope you all enjoy!

For other delicious Picky Palate bar recipes try Fruity Pebbles Cookie Bars and Kitchen Sink Cookie Bars.

Be sure to follow Picky Palate on Instagram for sneak peeks on what’s coming next to the blog!

cookie bars

I used a refrigerated sugar cookie crust for this recipe, however you are free to use a homemade sugar cookie recipe if you’d like.

cookie bars

Tips For Softening Cream Cheese

There are many times I find that I don’t have a few hours to set out my cream cheese to soften at room temperature on it’s own. Here are some simple tips to speed up the process when you need softened cream cheese pronto 🙂

Did you know you can soften cream cheese in about 15 seconds? Unwrap your cream cheese and place it onto a microwavable plate. Microwave on high for 15 seconds. If it is not soft, you can microwave it for an additional intervals of 15-20 seconds. Mix it through; it may be a little cooler in the middle but the warmer sides may help it soften evenly and completely in just a minute or so.

You can also chop the cold cream cheese bloc into a few chunks, and then microwave it. This speeds up the process a bit.

cookie bars

cookie bars

cookie bars

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings: 9
Calories: 408kcal
Author: Jenny
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  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 Cups Golden Graham Cereal ground in food processor
  • 1 Roll Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough or 2 pkgs Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Dough Mix prepared and divided into 2 equal parts
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 21 oz can apple pie filling
  • 1.5 oz package Nature Valley Oats N' Honey Crunchy Granola Bars 2 count, crushed (I use a rolling pin to crush them right in the bag before opening)
  • 9.5 oz Kraft Caramels
  • 1/2 Cup half and half


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine melted butter and ground cereal into a large bowl; press into an 8x8 inch baking dish lined with foil that's been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven.  Crumble half of the cookie dough over partially baked crust.
  • Place cream cheese, sugar and vanilla into a mixer; beat until smooth.  Pour over crumbled cookie dough layer.  Bake for 25 minutes then remove from over.  Top with 3/4 of the apple pie filling (I chose to just add part, but you can add the whole can if desired).  Next top with remaining cookie dough, breaking off into little pieces evenly over top.  Sprinkle with crushed granola bars and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center.   Let cool completely then cut into squares.  Melt caramels and half and half according to package directions.  Drizzle over each bar.  Refrigerate leftovers.


Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 293mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Keywords: apple, bars, cake mix cookies, caramel, dessert

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cookie bars

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101 Responses
  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that
    I’ve truly loved browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing for your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  2. Alex

    I googled for a caramel apple desert to make for my husband on Fathers Day. This is the one I made. It is really delicious and my husband said it was one of the best deserts of all time and that means a lot coming from him! Even my 3 year old son devoured it!

  3. Dana

    These look SO delicious. I tried the printer option to print the recipe, but it won’t print! Any suggestions?

  4. Jealith

    These look yummy! I don’t buy processed foods like cereal or packaged cookie dough but I think I can sub a graham cracker crust and a few home made cookies along with my own home made cookie dough. I do cheat and sometimes buy filling in a can but the caramel sauce I can do home made also. I can’t wait to try and make a from scratch version of the combinations you have, apple, cream cheese and caramel. Thank you! I love getting new ideas from sites like this!

  5. Although I too admit these look amazing, why does it seem all the best recipes seem to be from a can? I mean pre-made caramels (can’t get them here), pre-made pie filling (why?? fresh home-made is so much better!), pre-made cookie dough (again, why?? fresh is 100x’s better). I know people’s lives, especially with kids, are very time restricted but a lot of the above can be made before at spare times and frozen. It’s so much better for one then the pre-processed foods that are being called for in a *lot* of recipes now a days 🙁 Besides, we don’t all live in the USA *POUT* I can’t get most of the things!

  6. Pretty nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to mention that I’ve really loved surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing in your feed and I hope you write once more soon!

  7. Lucy

    I made these for thanksgiving and they were a hit! Can’t wait to put my leftover caramel to use. A tip: Even after cooling for an hour, they were still way too gooey to cut. I would recommend sticking them in the fridge for a while – it helped them harden up.

  8. Jennifer

    This just came out of the oven… smells and looks tasty! I did the 2 packages of cookie dough mix and mixed them according to directions and ran into a problem. Once I got to the second package, I couldn’t fit it all in. It was practically running over the top so I left some out. I didn’t want it to expand and crumble off the edges. Could it be that I should have only made one package and split that one up? Or should I have used a 9×13 instead of an 8×8? Also, made homemade caramel for the first time ever without the help of someone showing me how to do it. Turned out perfect! Can’t wait to eat in on Thanksgiving!!!

  9. brenda

    Sounds so yummy, and perfect for this time of year! I only have one question, do you have any suggestions on a replacement for the golden grahams crust? I want to make these gluten free, and that is the only part I’m unsure of how to substitute. Thanks.

  10. I have had these on my “to make” list since posted a year ago. Finally I am making them today! I just realized the recipe only makes a few, and with a family of 5 and two teenage boys these will be gone in probably a fraction of the time it takes to make them. Maybe I’ll hide them! ;o)

  11. Finally, I found the information I was searching for. I have been doing research on this subject, and for three days I keep entering sites that are supposed to have what I am searching for, only to be disappointed with the lack of what I wanted. I wish I could have located your web-site quicker! I had about 30% of what I was looking for and your site has that, and the rest of what I need to finish my research. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  12. Dottie Hussey

    Thanks for the quick reply. I just bought the ingredients. I bought the Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Dough.The recipe calls for two of these packages. I bought 2 of the 17.5 oz(1lb 1.5 oz) size. Is that right?

  13. Shaina

    I’m making the carmel apple cookie and am a bit confused if you cook the cookie dough prior to use or not. Let me know, and thanks so much for your wonderful recipe!

  14. Jenn

    Just had one. Very delicious. You are amazing and uber creative! 🙂

    (They are so delicious I am giving away the rest of the pan before I sit down to gobble them up!)

  15. Krista

    WOW….these look absolutely amazing!!! I found your website off of Bakerella’s blog. I LOVE all your recipes and your website is so cute! I will definitely be checking back to see what I can find! 🙂

  16. coco

    so i tried to make these and i was really sad they didn’t work out. i followed the directions to a tee, yet it was all in vain. as a matter of fact, the pan with the caramel on it is still on the stove just sitting there! even after i let them cool completely they wouldn’t cut–it was just a big gooey mess 🙁

  17. I made these last weekend after spotting them in my Google Reader and they were INCREDIBLE! I made a few minor changes so that I didn’t buy things I wouldn’t have a use for after the recipe, but they were so, SO tasty. I took them to a dinner party and my husband and I were thrilled to bring the leftovers home with us. Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Jen Kelly

    Oh this was sooo good! My husband loved it and so did I! I’ve made 3 or 4 of your recipes so far, just found the blog a couple months ago. I am a huge fan of your blog, keep sharing it with all my girlfriends!

  19. Polly

    These. Were. Amazing. I made them yesterday for our bible study group. You should’ve seen their eyes bulge when I told them to drizzle the caramel on top. I doubled everything, and put it in a 9×13 pan. Seriously, heaven on a plate. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  20. OMG! I am already a fan of caramel apple pecan cheese cake! I love your idea for the crust. LOL Refrigerate the leftovers???!!!! In my house? You are kidding right? leftovers? What leftovers?

  21. Oh my…………….those scream fall…….and these 4 words…….
    There goes the diet!!!!!

    That’s OK…there’s always next week.
    I can’t wait to try these, Jenny.

  22. Anne

    Arrrrrggghhhhhhh – I want some, they look divine, I neeeed some and I live in France. I can’t get the ingredients and don’t even know what most of them are. What am I going to do???????

  23. Wow! You had me at the title, but your pictures are amazing! That caramel looks incredible – love everything about these! I’m soooo excited for fall. We are going apple picking next weekend – I know what I’m making! 🙂

  24. wow those look so good!

    What font did you use for the header of the caramel apple cookie bar?! It’s so cute and festive!

    mmmmmmmm send those my way.

  25. These look like they require a bit of effort–but totally worth it! I’ve always been curious as to how you get your recipes? Do you create them all yourself?!

  26. Steph

    Oh, these look ridiculously delicious! And Kraft sells caramel bits in a bag by the chocolate chips. That way you don’t have to unwrap anything.

    1. Jeff Blackwell

      Dear Zen:

      I’ll try your “summer breeze”. I’m a sucker for citrus. I’m also interested in the guitar behind you, in your picture. I’m a beginning cook and starting guitar lessons. Can you give me any info? Thanks.

  27. Looks absolutely amazing, but I know these would not be good for my waistline. I’m tempted to make them this fall for a great treat. Maybe around Halloween.

  28. Killer combination! So mouthwatering! Already stumbled.
    Btw I guess you need to check and clean your inbox at StumbleUpon. It gives an error message of “inbox full” when we leave a message on your stumble note.


  29. Jessica

    YUM!!! You make the most delicious-looking, ooey gooey desserts. I’m not really a fan of apple desserts, but I have to try this. It looks too good! And your boys are adorable!

  30. These look great, Jenny! I love anything apple cinnamon. I’m the same way about Fall decorating and cooking. I’ve been stocking up on Fall decorations and candles all summer long! Can’t wait to bust them out.

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