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Luxuriously rich and creamy, pumpkin cheesecake bars are the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. A combination of two holiday classics, part pumpkin pie and part cheesecake, these dessert bars are the best of both.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
’Tis the season for pumpkin desserts, and these bars are everything you love about pumpkin pie and cheesecake, all in one delicious dessert. Every bite is a combination of buttery graham cracker crust, warm pumpkin spices, and sweet and tangy cheesecake.
Dreamy pumpkin cheesecake bars are easy to make ahead of time, eliminating last-minute stress, and making them a go-to dessert this holiday season. Serve your pumpkin cheesecake bars cut into squares and topped with a sweet crunchy pecan topping and a hefty amount of whipped cream.
Irresistibly delicious, this is a pumpkin dessert everyone will want to sink their teeth into. Heighten the pumpkin experience by serving these amazing bars with a mug of homemade pumpkin spice latte.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Ingredients
- Gingersnap crumbs – approximately 14 to 16 cookies prior to crushing
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Butter – unsalted butter melted
- Cream cheese – at room temperature
- Sugar – brown sugar
- Pumpkin puree
- Eggs – at room temperature
- Evaporated milk
- Ground cinnamon
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Pecans – finely chopped
Using a combination of graham cracker crumbs with gingersnap crumbs and cinnamon infuse the crust with warm fall flavors. To create a nice firm base for the bars, use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to press the crumbs together when putting them into the pan.
For a beautifully fluffy cheesecake, it’s important that you use cream cheese that is at room temperature. If your cream cheese isn’t soft enough it will be difficult to beat into a creamy consistency. Let your cream cheese sit out and soften before you begin baking. For best results use eggs that are at room temperature as well.
This recipe calls for pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree is pure pumpkin without any additional spices or sweeteners. Your bars are done cooking when the center is set and a knife comes out clean. Top your chilled bars with pecan topping, crumble, other chopped nuts, caramel sauce, or some traditional whipped topping.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
FIRST STEP: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
SECOND STEP: Pulse together the gingersnaps crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and sugar until they are fine crumbs. Add butter and pulse to blend.
THIRD STEP: Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan.
FOURTH STEP: Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes.
FIFTH STEP: Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
SIXTH STEP: On medium speed, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
SEVENTH STEP: Add the pumpkin and mix on low speed until fully blended.
EIGHTH STEP: Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
NINTH STEP: Combine the milk and vanilla, beating until well combined. Stir in the spices and salt, mixing on low.
TENTH STEP: Pour onto the crust. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes.
ELEVENTH STEP: Add the nuts, brown sugar, and water together in a bowl and then spread over the top of the pumpkin cheesecake.
TWELFTH STEP: Spread the mixture over the top of the pumpkin cheesecake.
THIRTEENTH STEP: Bake for 30 minutes. If the pecan topping is browning too much, tent lightly with foil.
FOURTEENTH STEP: Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
FIFTEENTH STEP: Chill overnight.
SIXTEENTH STEP: Once chilled, cut into squares.
How long do I chill the cheesecake bars?
Refrigerate at least overnight, about 8 hours, before serving, but 12 hours is best.
What toppings can I put on pumpkin cheesecake bars?
In addition to the pecan topping, you could top your dessert bars with a drizzle of caramel sauce, whipped topping, or a crumble topping. Crumble topping can be made with ½ cup butter, 1 cup flour, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. If you aren’t a fan of pecans you can substitute walnuts, almonds, or another toasted nut for the pecans.
Can I make this dessert ahead of time?
Pumpkin cheesecake bars can be made ahead of time and stored in either the refrigerator or freezer.
How to Store Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover pumpkin pie cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
IN THE FREEZER: Wrap pumpkin cheesecake bars in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 1 cup gingersnap crumbs approximately 14 to 16 cookies prior to crushing
- 1 cup cracker crumbs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 package cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cup pecans finely chopped
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 3 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Pulse together the gingersnaps crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and sugar until they are fine crumbs. Add butter and pulse to blend.
- Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes
- On medium speed, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Add the pumpkin and mix on low speed until fully blended.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Combine the milk and vanilla, beating until well combined. Stir in the spices and salt, mixing on low.
- Pour onto the crust. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes.
- Add the nuts, brown sugar, and water together in a bowl and then spread over the top of the pumpkin cheesecake.
- Spread the mixture over the top of the pumpkin cheesecake.
- Bake for 30 minutes. If the pecan topping is browning too much, tent lightly with foil.
- Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- Chill overnight.
- Once chilled, cut into squares.