Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Recipe developer and dietician Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert, who blogs at Wholly Nourished, has come up with a pumpkin cheesecake dessert that delivers everything you love about pumpkin spice and cheesecake. Also, because it is in the form of dessert bars, you might just find yourself wondering why you ever bothered with the fussiness and relative inefficiency of a round pie that must be sliced into wedges to serve. 

Bachtell-Shelbert's recipe for pumpkin cheesecake bars begins with a graham cracker crust — just like many a cheesecake begins, except Bachtell-Shelbert's is in a baking pan rather than a pie pan. On top of the crust is layered a deliciously smooth classic cheesecake, topped with a layer of pumpkin-spiced cheesecake. "I love this recipe because it's simple to make and fairly foolproof," Bachtell-Shelbert tells Mashed. "It's that classic pumpkin cheesecake flavor but in an easy bar form that's perfect for serving a crowd."

Let's take a closer look at how to make this delicious dessert.

Gather your ingredients for your pumpkin cheesecake

To make Bachtell-Shelbert's recipe for pumpkin cheesecake, the authentic pumpkin pie flavor will come from one cup of pumpkin puree, which you can purchase canned from your supermarket, and two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. You'll also need four eight-ounce cream cheese bricks (take out of the refrigerator an hour before you start), a cup of granulated sugar, four eggs, and a teaspoon of vanilla for the cheesecake filling.

For the graham cracker crust, you'll need 10 graham cracker sheets, eight tablespoons of butter, and two more tablespoons of granulated sugar. Bachtell-Shelbert tells us this pumpkin cheesecake is amazing with whipped cream, so if you'd like, by all means, top it with whipped cream. And if you're going to do that, then you might also want to consider a light dusting of cinnamon on top of the whipped cream. But that too is optional. 

First, let's prepare the graham cracker crust

Preheat your oven to 325 F. Spray a nine by 13-inch pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, melt the butter, and then set it aside at room temperature. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse into crumbs. In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with two tablespoons of sugar and the melted butter, stirring until completely combined. Press the graham mixture into the bottom only of a prepared baking pan, and place in the oven when it has fully heated. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and move on to the next step.

Next, whip up your cheesecake base

Place the cream cheese bricks into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer (if the cream cheese spent an hour outside the refrigerator, as noted above, it should be a little easier to work with). Add the remaining cup of sugar, and beat with an electric mixer set to medium until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Then add the four eggs and the teaspoon of vanilla, and run the mixer once again until everything has been mixed in thoroughly. Pour half of this mixture onto the cooled graham cracker crust.

Prepare the pumpkin layer and bake

Go back to the bowl containing the remaining cream cheese mixture and stir in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice until fully combined. Gently spread this on top of the cream cheese mixture and graham cracker crust. Smooth the top gently, and bake in your preheated oven for 45 minutes, at which point the edges will be firmly set, with only the middle being jiggly. Set on the counter to cool at room temperature for one hour. Then move to the refrigerator, and chill at least three hours before serving, as noted above, with your optional whipped topping and cinnamon.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
We've come up with a pumpkin cheesecake dessert that delivers everything you love about pumpkin spice and cheesecake. Give it a try!
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
55
minutes
Servings
12
servings
pumpkin cheesecake bars
Total time: 70 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 10 graham cracker sheets
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 (8-ounce) cream cheese bricks, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Optional Ingredients
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • Cinnamon, for topping
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  3. Melt butter in microwave and set aside.
  4. Place graham crackers in food processor and pulse into crumbs.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with two tablespoons of sugar and the melted butter, stirring until completely combined.
  6. Press the graham mixture into the bottom only of a prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes, remove and set aside to cool.
  9. In a medium to large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium with the remaining cup of sugar until smooth and creamy.
  10. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating in until thoroughly combined.
  11. Pour half the cream cheese mixture onto the cooled graham crust.
  12. Mix the pumpkin puree and the pumpkin pie spice into the remaining cream cheese mixture, stirring until combined.
  13. Gently spread the pumpkin mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture.
  14. Place in the preheated oven for 45 minutes (or until the edges are firmly set and the middle is jiggly-set).
  15. Allow to cool at room temperature for at least an hour.
  16. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  17. If desired, top with whipped cream. Serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 479
Total Fat 36.3 g
Saturated Fat 20.1 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 156.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 32.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 24.8 g
Sodium 352.3 mg
Protein 7.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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