Des

Hey! I'm Des!

Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Decadent layers of gingersnaps, cheesecake, crumb topping and caramel drizzle, make this Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Recipe the perfect fall dessert.

Have you ever found yourself trying to decide whether or not you want to make a pumpkin pie or a cheesecake? I admit it’s not a common problem, but come the holidays it’s a question I often have to ask myself. That is, until these Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars came into the picture. They are the best of both worlds. 

And they are divine. 

Close up of pumpkin cheesecake bar.

Let’s talk about what you need to make them. 

INGREDIENTS: 

There are basically three different ingredient groups that you’ll need for this recipe. You’ll be making the crust, the cheesecake layer and the crumb topping. It might sound like a lot but it’s pretty easy! 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.

FOR THE CRUST: 

  • GINGERSNAP COOKIES: I prefer to use gingersnap cookies for the crust because they offer that extra “fall spice” flavor that I’m looking for. If you can’t find them, you can use graham cracker crumbs as well. Make sure that you pulse them really well in the food processor so that the crust holds together better. 
  • BUTTER: Melted butter is what is going to help hold the crust together. 

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE LAYER: 

  • CREAM CHEESE: Make sure that it is room temperature so that it will blend well. 
  • SUGAR
  • HEAVY CREAM 
  • SOUR CREAM: This lends more creaminess and a touch of acidity to cheesecake. 
  • VANILLA
  • EGGS
  • PUMPKIN PUREE: Make sure that you use pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie mix. 
  • CINNAMON/NUTMEG/CLOVES: This combination of spices really gives you that spice flavor you think of when you think pumpkin desserts. 

CRUMB TOPPING: 

  • BROWN SUGAR: You can use dark or light, whichever you have on hand. 
  • FLOUR: All purpose is great. 
  • BUTTER: Use cold butter to help hold the crumb toppings together 

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS AND INSTRUCTIONS: 

STEP #1: First make your crust by combining butter and cookie crumbs together. Then press into an 8×8 pan that is lined with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Then set aside. 

STEP #2: Make your cheesecake layer. Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment) cream together cream cheese until it is smooth. Then add in sugar, sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, eggs, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Blend until smooth and no lumps are present. 

STEP #3: Pour cheesecake onto crust and spread into an even layer. 

STEP #4: Make the crumb topping with brown sugar, flour and cold butter. Sprinkle on top of the cheesecake layers and bake for 45 – 55 minutes. Cool 30 minutes on the counter and then at least 2 hours in the fridge before slicing.

STEP #5: Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar on white plate with caramel sauce.

STORAGE AND LEFTOVERS:

Pumpkin cheesecake needs to be store in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days. Store it covered or in an airtight container so that it doesn’t absorb odors from the fridge.

RECIPE FAQ

Why is my cheesecake lumpy?

It is essential that the cream cheese and the eggs are room temperature. If they are cold, it will cause the cream cheese to solidify and create lumps in your cake.

How to fix a lumpy cheesecake?

You can pass the cheesecake filling through a sieve to get the lumps out. You can also put the mixture into a food processor and pulse a couple of times until the lumps are gone.

In the words of my kiddos “THESE TASTE LIKE OCTOBER!” And they aren’t wrong! If you are looking for the absolute best dessert to make this fall, you have GOT to try this Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Recipe.

Looking for more cheesecake dessert recipes? You’ve got to try these:

Eggnog Cheesecake Bars are a twist on this dessert and perfect for Christmas.

Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake is another dessert mash up that you have got to try!

Cherry Cheesecake is one of my absolute favorite desserts of all time. It’s a classic for a reason!

Cheesecake in dip form? Why not?! Try this Tiramisu Cheesecake Dip for the ultimate twist!

Note: This post was originally written in 2010. It was updated with new photos, a modified recipe and nutrition information in 2022.

Close up of pumpkin cheesecake bar.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin, cheesecake, gingersnaps, crumble topping & caramel sauce? Yes please.
Prep Time 1 hr 50 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 373 kcal

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crushed gingersnap crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line a 8″x8″ glass pan with foil, be sure to cover the sides, you are going to use this to lift the cheesecake out of the pan.
  • Combine the melted butter and gingersnap crumbs and press into the bottom of the pan. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat to 325 degrees.
  • In a bowl beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Beat in sugar, sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla, eggs, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour mixture onto gingersnap crust.
  • In another bowl combine flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry cutter cut cold butter into the mixture until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle mixture over the top of the cheesecake. Bake at 325 degrees F for 40 - 50 minutes or until the center is set. If a knife inserted comes out mostly clean you are good to go.
  • Allow to cool on a cooling rack for about 40 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled through, about 2 hours.
  • Cut, drizzle with caramel sauce and serve.

Notes

If you end up with lumps in your cheesecake you can transfer the mix to a food processor and pulse a couple of times until smooth. You want it to be smooth because the lumps won't dissolve when you bake it. 
Nutrition information for estimation purposes only. 

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 6gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 202mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 3243IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: Christmas, dessert, fall, pumpkin, thanksgiving

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




  • Reply
    Valentina
    August 24, 2022 at 4:15 am

    These cheescake bars looks sooo yummt! I know my kids will eat them in 1 minute, when I make them

  • Reply
    Mary
    April 25, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Could this be baked using g spring form pan?

  • Reply
    Suzanne Holt
    October 2, 2014 at 11:22 am

    These look amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Jessie
    August 26, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Wonder if I could use graham cracker crumbs? Don’t have ginger snaps!

    • Reply
      Deseree
      August 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      You can totally use graham cracker crumbs :)

  • Reply
    Carrie
    October 3, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Never mind! I thought it said can not cup. Oops! I’m making these now. Can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply
    Carrie
    October 3, 2012 at 7:48 am

    What size can of pumpkin?

  • Reply
    Katie
    May 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    This looks amazing! I look forward to cooking this up.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    November 19, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Des….gonna make this for Thanksgiving (plus a chocolate pecan tart). Thought I would serve the bars cool and warm up the caramel sauce…..I suppose with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream on the side. EEEEK, I can’t wait. ….maybe I won’t.

    • Reply
      Deseree
      November 19, 2010 at 8:22 am

      OMG. It sounds AMAZING with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. And I don’t think you should wait. Quality testing right? ;-)

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 19, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Oh my goodness! This is heavenly!

  • Reply
    Diana
    November 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    OH MY GOSH.. I am trying this.. my in laws are coming in this weekend and I am going to MAKE THIS!!!!!

  • Reply
    Jenn's Food Journey
    November 17, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    YUM! What a gorgeous picture you got of it too! I’m not a huge pumpkin pin fan…but I believe I could become a huge fan of this one.. I mean, come on, it’s got cream cheese in it…how can that be a bad thing??

  • Reply
    Jenn's Food Journey
    November 17, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    YUM! What a gorgeous picture you got of it too! I’m not a huge pumpkin pin fan…but I believe I could become a huge fan of this one.. I mean, come on, it’s got cream cheese in it…how can that be bad???

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.