This apple dessert pizza is quite possibly the best pizza on the planet.
Here is yet another fall favorite for you. If it’s not the juicy, crunchy apple slices on top– it’s the caramel infused cream cheese frosting. Or the toasted walnuts. Or maybe even the SNICKERDOODLE cookie crust.
Pizza madness, I tell ya. Dessert pizza madness.
There are 5 simple parts to today’s pizza: cookie crust, caramel cream cheese frosting, apples, caramel sauce, and toasted walnuts. The recipe begins with a snickerdoodle cookie crust. So, basically, a very very huge pizza-size snickerdoodle cookie. So right off the bat, you know it’s going to be GOOD. When I first made this dessert pizza, I prepared it with a regular sugar cookie crust. Tasty? Of course. But the addition of cinnamon just turns everything up a notch.
No, like 10 notches.
The caramel cream cheese frosting is the pizza sauce. I’m definitely the weird one because sauce is my favorite part about pizza. In fact, I order extra sauce on the side. (nickname: condiment queen.) And since caramel cream cheese frosting is approximately 878394% better than tomato sauce, I went heavy on the dessert pizza’s sauce. The more caramel cream cheese frosting, the better. Slather it on!!
Apples are next. Use a variety like honeycrisp, granny smith, gala, fuji, or piñata. Hey, have you ever had a Piñata apple before? Ever see them at the store? They’re so sweet. Taste like candy. So naturally, I love them.
Now, the caramel drizzle on top. Absolutely an unnecessary layer of indulgence… or is it? I lied. It’s definitely necessary. Caramel is always necessary. Use my homemade salted caramel or store-bought. Both fantastic.
And finally! The 5th and final piece o’ this pizza is…. toasted walnuts. Oh how I love them! I didn’t toast the walnuts the first time I made this pizza, but decided to get a little fancy the second time around. Definitely toast them! Truly brings out their flavor.
You haven’t had pizza until you’ve had apple dessert pizza with caramel cream cheese frosting. And let me just remind you that the pizza crust is a snickerdoodle cookie. The end.
Apple Dessert Pizza with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Quite possibly the best pizza on the planet.
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup (40g) chopped walnuts, such as Diamond of California chopped walnuts
- 2 medium apples, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces (224g) brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature1
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) store-bought or homemade salted caramel, divided2
- Make the crust: In large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Add sugar, then beat on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Once completely combined, cover dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to 1 day. Without chilling, cookie dough will spread over sides of pan.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Toast the walnuts for 10 minutes on a lined baking sheet. Set aside to cool.
- Turn oven up to 350°F (177°C). Generously grease a 12-inch pizza pan. Remove chilled cookie dough from refrigerator and press onto pan to form a flat circle. Leave a 2-inch space from the edge. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Allow crust to cool completely before decorating.
- As you make frosting, soak apple slices in club soda to help prevent browning.
- Make frosting: In medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and ¼ cup caramel sauce. Beat for 2 minutes until completely combined. Spread over cooled crust.
- Decorate with apple slices, remaining caramel sauce, and toasted walnuts. Cut into slices and serve. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Make ahead tip: Prepare the cookie crust 1 day in advance; cover tightly and store in the refrigerator until ready to decorate. You can also store the prepared cookie dough (for the crust) in the refrigerator for up to 1 day-- see step 1.
- Don't use cream cheese spread; use brick-style cream cheese. Full-fat preferred, though low fat works too. Don't use fat free.
- If using my homemade salted caramel, please keep in mind this is a salted caramel. For a sweeter caramel, reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon. You can make the caramel sauce in advance. See make ahead tip in the caramel recipe.
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