This rich apple crumble cheesecake has a layer of brown butter cheesecake, gooey brown sugar apples, and cinnamon crumble. No eggs, dairy free, and easy!

slice of apple crumble cheesecake on a plate

The perfect fall cheesecake recipe – and all vegan and dairy free!

If you’re not much of a pumpkin person (or maybe you are, but need a bit of a break…although my vegan pumpkin cheesecake is quite lovely 😉 ), then you need to try this apple crumble cheesecake. 

It’s strictly for cheesecake lovers, though I can guarantee that anyone would love a bite of this cheesecake. Because this is no ordinary cheesecake, not even for an apple crumble one!

It’s like apple pie meets cheesecake meets apple crisp (except minus the oats!). 

With layers of silky brown butter cheesecake, gooey apples, and a cinnamon crumble, how could you not fall in love?! I will admit, there are components to this cheesecake, but the process is so easy that even beginner bakers could make this recipe.

And honestly, with a drizzle of homemade salted caramel sauce on top, it’ll all be worth it! Especially for a show stopping unbelievably vegan Thanksgiving dessert or perfect fall dessert.

close up of apple crumble cheesecake

Apple crumble cheesecake components:

Let me tell you in full about this deliciously rich and creamy autumn cheesecake:

  • Graham cracker crust: Only 2 ingredients, this crust is comprised of just vegan graham crackers and vegan butter. We’re keeping it simple to let the other components shine!! You can also use Biscoff cookies or vegan digestive biscuits!
  • Gooey apple filling: The key to a soft and gooey apple filling that’s perfectly sweet is using honeycrisp apples (or another sweet apple variety like gala or fuji), brown vegan butter, and a touch of brown sugar. Then we sauté the apples to remain soft in the cheesecake but also serve as the finishing touch for the top of the cheesecake!
  • Crisp cinnamon crumble: Like any crumble, it’s all about the ratio of sugar to flour to butter, and this crumble has it down pat. With a touch of cinnamon to bring in those fall flavors, this crumble is the perfect topping.
  • Buttery rich brown butter cheesecake batter: Then we have the most lush and rich cheesecake batter that gets its flavor from vegan brown butter and brown sugar. It’s quite literally jaw dropping how delicious it is. Silky, nutty, and just so creamy!!
apple crumble cheesecake drizzled in caramel

The best part about this cheesecake recipe? You only need a food processor. Yep, no electric mixer or stand mixer required. It’s just so easy!

Step by Step Overview: How to make apple crumble cheesecake:

Below are some visuals for how your cheesecake should look during the process of baking! The full steps and ingredient measurements are down below in the recipe card.

Can I make this vegan cheesecake gluten free as well?

Absolutely! You’ll need to use gluten free vegan graham crackers as well. Sometimes, I’ll make the graham crackers homemade. I’ve used this vegan graham cracker recipe before several times using gluten free flour, so you can definitely do that as well.

Additionally, you’ll need to swap out the flour in the crumble for gluten free all purpose flour (one containing xanthan gum). I like King Arthur measure for measure gluten free baking flour for that!

Then that’s it! Your apple crumble cheesecake will be completely gluten free!

The importance of a water bath:

I’ve been over this more in depth with my classic vegan cheesecake, but yes, the water bath is important in order to achieve a super creamy cheesecake filling!

So what happens during a water bath for a cheesecake? Well the water evaporates, keeping the oven nice and moist, which prevents too much moisture evaporating from the cheesecake itself. 

Cheesecakes LOVE moisture, and if you want that creamy and silky texture, you’ll need to ensure it has a nice moist environment to bake in (and ovens suck up all the moisture from things so we need to prevent that!).

slice of vegan apple crumble cheesecake on a plate

A water bath is super easy though. I don’t like placing the cheesecake in the water bath, but instead put the water bath below on a lower rack. You simply use a baking sheet with walls or a large roasting pan and some boiling hot water.

Then there’s no need to wrap the bottom of your cheesecake in tin foil! 

Because there are no eggs…do I have to bake this cheesecake?

Technically, you could make this a no bake apple crumble cheesecake, but you need to do a few work arounds:

  • Omit the cornstarch. Because the cheesecake isn’t being baked, we don’t need the cornstarch to bind everything together.
  • Heat treat the flour. Whether you’re using gluten free flour or regular flour, you’ll need to heat-treat the flour first in order for it to be edible as a no bake dessert.
  • You’ll still need to cook the apples. You don’t want raw apples going in there!
  • Chill the cheesecake in the freezer. It will need about 3-4 hours to set in the freezer.

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Vegan Apple Crumble Cheesecake Pinterest pin

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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slice of apple crumble cheesecake on a plate

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Vegan Apple Crumble Cheesecake

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  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Chilling Time: 240
  • Cook Time: 85
  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Cheesecake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This rich apple crumble cheesecake has a layer of brown butter cheesecake, gooey brown sugar apples, and cinnamon crumble. No eggs, dairy free, and easy!


Ingredients

Scale

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 package (250 g) vegan graham crackers or Lotus Biscoff Cookies
  • 1/3 cup (87 g) melted vegan butter

Crumble Topping:

  • 1 cup (125 g) all purpose flour*, plus 1 tbsp for coating the blueberries
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp (70 g) vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

Apple filling:

  • 4 gala or honey crisp apples, peel removed and sliced thickly
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter

Cheesecake filling:

  • 1/4 cup (56 g) salted vegan butter, to be browned
  • 4 8-ounce containers (32 ounces) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (180 g) dairy free yogurt or dairy free sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 mL) vegan heavy cream*
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
  • 9 tbsp (90 g) cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 34 cups boiling water, for water bath
  • 1 batch vegan caramel, for topping

Instructions

  1. Prep: We’ll make this cheesecake in a few stages. First, we’ll want to prep the pan. I suggest making sure the apples are prepped (peel removed and sliced thickly) first. Line a 9″ springform pan with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Make the crumble: While the oven is preheating, we’ll make the crumble, followed by the apple filing. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together the melted vegan butter, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Once all the dry ingredients are wet from the butter, set this aside.
  3. Make the apple filling: In a medium saucepan, heat the vegan butter until it begins to brown slightly on medium heat. Then add in the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Lightly toss to evenly coat the apples, then cover the pan and cook on low for 5-7 minutes until the apples are slightly tender and soft. Then remove from heat.
  4. Make the graham cracker crust: The oven should be preheated by now, so now we’ll make the graham cracker crust! In a large food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they reach a crumb. Then add in the vegan melted butter and pulse until the graham cracker crumbs are wet. Pour the crumbs into the prepared springform pan and use the flat bottom of a measuring cup or bowl to press the crust into the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the walls.
  5. Bake the graham cracker crust: Place the springform pan into the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Once it bakes, remove the crust from the oven and lower the heat to 350F. Set the crust aside, and place a baking sheet with walls onto the lower rack of the oven. This will be for the water bath.
  6. While the crust is baking: Set the water to boil on the stove top. Then we’ll make the filling.
  7. Make the cheesecake batter: First start by browning the vegan butter again. In a small saucepan, heat the vegan butter on medium heat until lightly brown pieces start to form and the butter starts to smell nutty. Once it starts to smell nutty, immediately remove it from heat (about 3-5 minutes). Set aside. In the large food processor again, add in all of the cheesecake ingredients, including browned vegan butter. Blend until creamy and smooth. If needed, you can pause the food processor and scrape down the sides to make sure everything is integrated. Then start processing again until smooth.
  8. Assemble the cheesecake: Once the cheesecake batter is made and the crust is baked, it’s time to assemble the cheesecake. Pour half of the batter into the cheesecake crust, followed by half of the apples, spreading them evenly over top. Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of the crumble topping on top of the apples, then pour the remaining batter on top. Spread the remaining apples on top of the batter, and sprinkle the remainder of the crumble topping on top.
  9. Bake the apple crumble cheesecake: First start by pouring the boiling water into the pan on the lower rack of the oven very carefully, then closing the oven door. Place the cheesecake onto a SEPARATE baking sheet, then open the oven again, and place the baking sheet with the cheesecake on it onto the middle rack. Close the oven door quickly. Bake the cheesecake for 85 minutes.
  10. Cool the cheesecake in the oven: Once baked, turn OFF the oven but leave the cheesecake INSIDE. Crack the oven door just slightly, and let the cheesecake cool down for 1 hour in the oven.
  11. Chill the cheesecake: Once cooled, you can remove the cheesecake from the oven. Carefully wrap it and place it into the refrigerator to chill and set for 3-4 hours, or overnight.
  12. When ready to serve: Carefully remove the walls of the springform pan and plate the cheesecake. Top with vegan salted caramel, slice and serve!

Notes

See blog post for all tips and tricks!