French Apple Cheesecake

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This cheesecake is rich with fresh apples and a topping just like a French apple pie.

NotesYou can prepare this cheesecake and freeze it, including the topping, for up to 3 weeks. To freeze, I keep my cheesecakes in the pan and cover with plastic wrap, then foil. Thaw the wrapped cheesecake in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving.

When measuring honey, lightly spray the measuring cup with a nonstick spray so the honey will release easily.

Serves10 to 12

Cooking Methodbaking


Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer

Mealbrunch, dinner

Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, fruity, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishcheesecake


  • 1¼ cups (300g) graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp (45g)`unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 packages (each 8 oz/250 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
  • 1 cup (250 mL) packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) liquid honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
  • 1 baking apple, peeled(such as Granny Smith or Pippin), sliced into 12 thin slices
  • ½ cup (125 mL) confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) hot water
  • 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, greased


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

  2. Crust: In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.

  3. Filling: In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sour cream, brown sugar and honey on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vanilla and lemon juice. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan.

  4. Topping: In a bowl, using a pastry fork or two knives, cut butter into flour as if making a pie crust. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Add apple slices and toss to coat. Arrange slices in a spiral over batter.

  5. Bake in preheated oven until apples are light brown and slightly firm in the center, 60 to 75 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.

  6. Decoration: In a small bowl, whisk confectioner’s sugar with butter and hot water. Drizzle over chilled cake.

  7. Variation

  8. Use the topping in the filling of the cheesecake instead of arranging it on top. Just blend it into the batter and bake as directed.


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