I could eat the cheesecake layer of these no bake salted caramel apple cheesecake parfaits all on its own. It’s essentially mashup of whipped cream + cream cheese frosting so it’s wicked delicious. I love this recipe because it is a great way to make use of your apples from a big apple picking haul without having to go through a lengthy baking process. And you can use any type of apples you have, or do a mix!
I will say that this recipe does require a lot of bowls and steps but it’s worth it, I promise. Also, you can cut out the entire caramel making step if you’d like and just buy a jar of your favorite salted caramel. I like to use flaky salt and lot’s of it for this salted caramel preparation.
This recipe is great if you want to make dessert for a gathering or gift a few days ahead of time as it keeps great in the fridge. Just see how long you can go before eating the cheesecake parfaits though, I doubt it’s very long ;)
Serves: 4 - 6
Total time: 1 hour
4 - 6 mason jars
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (10-12 crackers)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 apples, peeled and diced
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
8 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 cups heavy whipping cream
⅓ cup sugar
For the salted caramel: (alternatively you can buy a jar of salted caramel to skip this step!)
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temp and cut into small chunks
½ cup heavy cream @ room temp
½ - 1 teaspoon sea salt (I like it on the saltier side)
Let’s do it!
Begin by making your caramel - in a large saucepan (you want it to be large because it has the potential to bubble up pretty high) heat the sugar over medium high heat, whisking it as it melts. Keep whisking until completely melted about 6 - 8 minutes. If it starts to clump, that’s okay!
Continue cooking the melted sugar until it becomes a deep amber color, then continue stirring regularly. You can use a wooden spoon for this part. This should take 5 - 7 minutes, if it starts to smell toasted, you’ll know it’s there!
Add the butter and whisk into caramel until melted. Since the butter you’re adding is colder, it may bubble up for a short while so be mindful of that.
Next, add the cream and whisk until smooth. Your caramel mixture should look thicker now. Add the salt and remove from heat.
Once the caramel is set aside, start in on making the apple mixture. Add 1 tablespoon butter, apples, sugar and cinnamon to a medium sized skillet and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes until soft.
To make the crumble layer, blend the graham cracker crumbs and the remaining 3 tablespoons of melted butter in a food processor for 15 - 30 seconds or until thoroughly combined. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the jars.
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer beat the softened cream cheese with the sugar until smooth, then set aside. In another bowl, beat the whipping cream on high until soft peaks form. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream and stir gently to fully combine.
Layer your cheesecake parfaits with alternating spoonfuls of the apple, whipped cream, caramel and remaining graham cracker crumbs.