What do you get if you cross a classic pumpkin pie with a cheesecake? These delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars! They are easy to make and a perfect fall and Thanksgiving dessert along with Pumpkin Cookies.
Pumpkin desserts are a favorite in the fall holiday season and these pumpkin bars are on the top of the list. They have all the flavors of pumpkin pie with fall spices and creamy cheesecake.
They make a wonderful dessert option for Thanksgiving Day and are too easy to make and delicious to only eat then. These bars are a perfect fall dessert anytime.
Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Pumpkin spice, pumpkin puree, traditional cheesecake filling in an easy shortbread crust. Think pumpkin flavor with tangy cheesecake.
We think this combination of flavors truly makes the best pumpkin cheesecake bars. That and how easy they are to make!
The simple ingredients are easy to find at any grocery store. They are a great recipe to make ahead, ideal for gatherings or Thanksgiving.
The way the cheesecake layer is added onto the pumpkin layer does not require a water bath to bake the bars. This makes them even easier and creates the same flavor combination!
This delicious recipe is a perfect way to celebrate the fall season!
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
All Purpose Flour. Regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour can be used. For gluten-free baking we always use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour.
Unsalted Butter. Start with softened butter.
Confectioner’s sugar. Also called powdered sugar. This is used in the shortbread crust.
Cream Cheese. You’ll need 8-ounces full fat cream cheese (we don’t recommend lower fat version for this recipe). Be sure to start the recipe with softened cream cheese.
Granulated sugar. Will be used in both the cheesecake layer and the pumpkin layer.
Eggs. You’ll need 3.
Vanilla extract. Gives a homey flavor of vanilla.
Pumpkin puree. Use pure pumpkin for this recipe not pumpkin pie mix. Canned pumpkin can be used or homemade pumpkin puree.
Evaporated milk. You’ll need one 12-ounce can.
Salt. We use kosher salt which has a less salty flavor. We feel it offers the best results.
Pumpkin pie spice. This spice blend combines warming spices included in pumpkin pie filling.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars – Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (photo 1).
STEP 2. Make the crust
In a large mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients. Cut together with a pastry cutter (dough blender) or fork until a crumbly mixture has been formed (photo 2-3).
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press into the bottom of the pan (photo 3–4).
Bake for 20 minutes, until a light golden edge has been formed (photo 5).
STEP 3. Make the cheesecake layer
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, granulated white sugar, egg, and vanilla extract (photo 6).
Mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
STEP 3. Make the pumpkin pie layer
In another bowl, prepare the pumpkin layer by whisking together the pumpkin, milk, sugar, 2 eggs, salt, and pumpkin pie spice (photo 7).
STEP 4. Assemble
Once the crust is done baking, pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the crust. Spread the mixture to the edges (photos 8-9).
Spoon lines of the cream cheese mixture over the top of the pumpkin layer (photo 10).
Using a skewer or knife swirl the cheesecake layer around to create the desired design (photo 11).
STEP 5. Bake
Bake for 60 minutes, until set. Cool on a wire rack at room temperature for an hour and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, best if chilled overnight (photo 12).
Cut after chilling. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream!
How to Store
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Wait until they bars have chilled. Cut them into bars and wrap each bar individually with plastic wrap. Place the bars in a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refridgerator.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree canned or homemade; do not use pumpkin pie filling
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients and cut together with a pastry cutter (dough blender) or fork until a crumbly mixture has been formed.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until a light golden edge has been formed.
- While the crust is baking prepare the cheesecake layer. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, granulated sugar, one egg, and vanilla extract. Mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- In another bowl, prepare the pumpkin layer by whisking together the pumpkin, milk, sugar, 2 eggs, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Once the crust is done baking, pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the crust. Spread the mixture to the edges.
- Spoon lines of the cheesecake mixture all over the pumpkin layer. Using a skewer or knife swirl the cheesecake layer around to create the desired design.
- Bake for 60 minutes, until set.
- Cool on a wire rack for an hour and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, best if chilled overnight.
- Cut into bars after chilling. Optional: serve with whipped cream on top!