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These Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are the ultimate fall dessert swirled with two types of creamy cheesecake in a buttery Graham cracker crust. They’re packed with bold pumpkin flavor and plenty of spice!
The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars are an elegant yet easy dessert that anyone can make at home. It starts with a thick, creamy cheesecake filling in a buttery Graham cracker crust. To create a delicious, fall-inspired marbled effect, divide the batter in half and blend in pumpkin puree. The texture is just perfect. These swirled pumpkin cheesecake bars are a slice of heaven served with a cup of coffee for Thanksgiving dessert. Just be prepared to eat more than one!
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Recipe
- Easier to make. These bars are perfect when you’re craving pumpkin cheesecake, minus the extra time and effort. Pumpkin cheesecake bars don’t require a water bath and they’re ready to enjoy within hours of when they’re baked.
- Cheesecake swirls. Pumpkin lovers, you’re going to go crazy for these bars. They’re packed with delicious sweet-tangy pumpkin flavor, warm spices, and decadent pumpkin cheesecake swirls with a hint of vanilla.
- Holiday-ready. Pumpkin cheesecake bars were made for the holidays. Not only are they a great dessert to make ahead and share, but the festive flavors make them perfect for Thanksgiving, Halloween, or even Christmas.
These bars come together quickly with simple ingredients. Below are some notes on what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full recipe amounts and instructions.
- Crust – I use my favorite Graham cracker crust as a base for the bars. It’s easy to make from Graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter.
- Cream Cheese – For the best cheesecake filling, use full-fat brick-style cream cheese. Take the cream cheese out of the fridge ahead of time to let it come to room temperature.
- Brown Sugar
- Sour Cream – Like the cream cheese, I recommend full-fat sour cream, brought to room temperature before you start.
- Pumpkin – You’ll need pure canned pumpkin puree. Make sure that you don’t confuse pumpkin puree for pumpkin pie filling. They aren’t the same! Pumpkin puree is pumpkin and nothing else, while pie filling comes with sweeteners and thickeners and will not work in this recipe.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – Make your own pumpkin spice from cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, or use a pre-mixed blend from the store.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
These pumpkin cheesecake dessert bars are quick to assemble (almost as quick as they are to eat!).
Make the Crust
First, you’ll make a simple buttery crust from Graham crackers, sugar, and butter:
- Prepare the crust. Whisk together the Graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar, then stir in the melted butter.
- Line the pan. Press the crust into the bottom of a lined 9×13″ baking pan.
Make the Cheesecake Filling
Next, you’ll beat together the ingredients for your silky cheesecake filling:
- Beat the cream cheese: Spend a couple of minutes beating the cream cheese until it’s free of lumps. Add the brown sugar and beat at low speed until the mixture is completely smooth. This prevents a lumpy filling, so don’t rush this step!
- Add the wet ingredients. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Next, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between.
Assemble the Cheesecake Bars
With your filling nice and smooth, you’ll add the pumpkin flavor:
- Make the pumpkin cheesecake batter. Now, you’ll divide the batter in half, adding pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice to half of the batter and beating until incorporated.
- Layer the cheesecake. Alternate adding spoonfuls of both cheesecake fillings to the pan, enough to cover the crust. After this first layer, swirl the cheesecake fillings together with a knife to create a marbled effect. Repeat until all the remaining batter is used.
Finally, your swirled pumpkin cheesecake bars are ready for the oven:
- Bake the bars. In a preheated 350ºF oven, bake the cheesecake bars for approximately 25-30 minutes. The center of the bars should be set, but still slightly jiggly.
- Cool and set. Take the cheesecake out and then leave it to cool completely to room temperature before covering the bars and moving them to the refrigerator. Chill for 2-4 hours, or until the cheesecake has fully set before slicing into squares.
Tips and Variation Ideas
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when making these easy pumpkin cheesecake bars from scratch, along with a few quick variations:
- Use full-fat ingredients. Your cheesecake batter will come out creamiest if you make it with full-fat cream cheese. Make sure that you’re using the kind that comes in bricks and not the spreadable cream cheese that comes in tubs.
- Bring the ingredients to room temperature. Your dairy and eggs should all be at room temperature before you start. Take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes ahead of time. Room-temperature ingredients are easier to mix and the cheesecake will also bake more evenly.
- Use the right kind of pumpkin. This recipe calls for pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which comes already sweetened.
- If you don’t have sour cream, plain Greek yogurt or regular plain yogurt will work instead.
- Don’t overwork the batter. Too much air in the cheesecake batter can lead the finished cheesecake to crack once it’s baked.
- Cool the cheesecake on the counter, and then move it to the fridge. Sudden changes in temperature can also lead to cracking.
- Different crust. In place of Graham cracker crumbs, you can use crushed Biscoff or gingersnap cookies in the crust. An Oreo crust is also an option and would make these pumpkin cheesecake bars perfect for Halloween!
Ways to Serve Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Looking for tasty serving ideas for these pumpkin cheesecake bars? Try these suggestions:
- Add whipped cream. Serve these bars topped with a swirl of homemade whipped cream. For a fun twist, try cinnamon maple whipped cream or creamy brown butter frosting.
- Chocolate sauce. Chocolate and pumpkin might sound like a weird combo, but it’s seriously delicious (if my spiced chocolate pumpkin pie is any indication!). Top these pumpkin cheesecake bars with a drizzle of melted chocolate, or spread over some homemade chocolate ganache.
- Ice cream. Serve with a scoop of homemade pumpkin ice cream or bourbon apple pie ice cream.
How to Store
- Fridge: Once these bars are chilled, you can slice them into squares and store any leftovers airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you stack them, place a piece of parchment paper between the layers.
- Freezer: After the bars have chilled in the fridge, transfer them to a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw the bars in the refrigerator prior to serving.
More Pumpkin Desserts to Try
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- Homemade Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Donuts
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie Pie
- Pumpkin Cake with Mascarpone Frosting
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
This pumpkin cheesecake bars recipe is the ultimate fall dessert! These bars are packed full of bold pumpkin flavor and plenty of spice, swirled with two types of creamy filling in a buttery Graham cracker crust.
For the crust:
- 2 ¼ cups (202g) graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons (28g) brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons (84g) unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 32 ounces (904g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (48g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 2 teaspoons (5g) pumpkin pie spice
For the crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper in the bottom.
- Grind the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Mix together with the brown sugar then stir in the melted butter until well combined. Press the crumbs tightly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
For the filling
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes until free of lumps then add the brown sugar and beat on low speed until completely smooth, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Next add the sour cream, vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, ensure it’s well mixed before adding more. Scrape down the bowl occasionally.
- Divide the batter in half. To one half, add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice and beat until incorporated.
- To layer the batter in the pan, add spoonful of each of the cheesecake fillings, covering the crust layer completely. Gently swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect. Repeat with another layer two until all the remaining batter is used.
- Bake at 350°F for approximately 25-30 minutes. The center should be set, but still slightly jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool completely on the counter, then cover and move to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours until the cheesecake has fully set.
- Category: Cheesecake
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American