Apple and Honey Cheesecake

August 16, 2015

With Rosh Hashanah right around the corner (yes, it is already Elul) it means that apple and honey season is upon us again. While honey cake can be utterly delicious (if you don’t believe me try this one) I like to do something a bit more interesting with my holiday desserts. It has become my tradition (and since I do the cooking, my family’s tradition as well) to always serve apple and honey marshmallows, but every year I try to make something new and unique that highlights the apple and honey combination as well.

Well this cheesecake may be the best one yet. A luscious brown sugar cheesecake with hints of caramel and vanilla is topped with sweet cooked apples and of course a healthy drizzle of honey. This dessert is as beautiful as it is delicious, sure to wow your guests.

I know we still have a few weeks before the holidays begin but I wanted to share this a bit earlier that I usually might so that you could all find a space for it on your menus. It is totally worth it.

While this is the perfect Rosh Hashana dessert, it also would be wonderful for any occasion throughout the fall, or an alternative to pie (or, who are we kidding, in addition to pie) at Thanksgiving. This is a cheesecake worthy of a celebration, whatever that celebration might be.

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Ingredients & Quantities

  • 2 cups (9 oz )graham cracker crumbs*
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
  • 4 (8 oz) packages tofutti cream cheese
  • 1 3/4 cups (14 oz) dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey

*To make this cheesecake gluten free, substitute gluten-free graham crackers.

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350º.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and Earth Balance in a medium bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, and let the crust cool.

Beat the cream cheese and brown sugar at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat until combined. Pour the batter into prepared crust.

Place the springform pan inside a 9 inch silicone cake pan or wrap the outside well with two layers of foil. Place the springform in a larger baking pan. Place the pan in the middle or bottom third of the oven and pour boiling water into the outer pan, filling the pan half way up the side of the springform. Bake at 350º for 60-75 minutes or until set. It is done when the edges are set but the middle still jiggles. A toothpick inserted one inch from the center of the pan should come out clean. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

While the cheesecake is cooling make the apple topping. Peel and core the apples and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Melt one tablespoon of Earth Balance in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apple mixture, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender and golden. Cool completely (about 30 minutes). (Can be made one day in advance, refrigerate in an airtight container)

Remove the outside of the springform pan. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles on top of the cake. Warm the honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until the honey is thin and runny. Brush the honey over the apples on top of cheesecake.


  1. Hi!
    It looks great and delicious! We love the combination of tart apples and sweet honey at Rosh Hashanah and I’m afraid this cheese cake might be too sweet for some of my guests! Can I use tart apples or more lemon juice or do you have any other suggestion?

    Thank for you great recipes!
    Love from Sweden

    • The Granny smith apples the recipe calls for are a very tart variety of apple, so any tart apple will work well. I also do not like things overly sweet and did not find this to be too sweet, but you can certainly leave out the sugar when cooking the apples if you want to reduce the sweetness more dramatically. If you want to add more lemon juice I would add it when cooking the apples, not to the cheesecake itself, because the amount in the recipe is about as much as you can use before it starts to taste distinctly lemony. Hope that helps!

  2. I am making this now and I hope this comes out as good as it looks. I’m just a little confused about the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. I’m guessing it goes on the apples in the pan when we cook them up. Correct? And is the 1 tablespoon of vanilla correct? I never had a recipe that called for that much.
    I’ll let you know the reviews after dinner.
    Shana Tova!

    • I hope you enjoy it! Yes, the sugar goes in with the apples and the vanilla measurement is correct. It gives the pastry cream the vanilla flavor.
      Shana tova!

  3. We are hosting a very special Shabbat dinner and this recipe looks just wonderful. But, all I have is a 10″ spring form pan and I wonder what adjustments I will need to make since the recipe calls for using a 9″ inch pan? Can you give me any advice, please?

    • You have a couple of choices. You could leave the recipe as is (maybe make a few more of the apples) and just reduce the baking time since the cake will be thinner in the larger pan. It will be much shorter, so it will no longer be a towering cake, but will still taste just as good. The other option (which I would recommend) is to increase all the ingredients by about 1/4 (for example 5 packages of cream cheese and 5 eggs instead of 4) and leave the baking time about the same. Let me know if I can be of any more help with this!

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