Who doesn’t love a triple layer cheesecake bar, especially if pumpkin is involved?! You’ll NEED these bars at your next gathering.
If you want to serve cheesecake at your next fall gathering but need to serve a crowd, then pumpkin cheesecake bars are just what you need. (If you want to make two desserts, another fall crowd-pleaser is this Pumpkin Slab Pie, which goes deliciously with a big batch of Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate.)
Making Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Making cheesecake bars is all ’round easy. The preparation process is easier than regular cheesecake. For instance, you don’t need a springform pan – a 9 x 13 pan like this one will work – and you don’t have to worry about the top cracking since you’re going to cut them into squares anyway. Plus, the layered look of these bars is just plain pretty.
The main trick in making any type of cheesecake is warming your ingredients to room temperature and being sure your cream cheese is softened. It takes planning and patience, but it’s so worth the wait. You need to do this step for these cheesecake bars as well.
I like making these bars during the holidays because it makes a good amount of bars for a party and people love finger-food desserts. You can cut them into smaller bars too for bite-sized fun!
If you haven’t made cheesecake bars before, you’ll want to start with this recipe. It won’t let you down! Happy baking!
P.S. Note: This recipe uses vanilla bean paste for an intense vanilla flavor. You can substitute with the same amounts of vanilla extract though and get pretty close to that flavor. If you want to try out vanilla bean paste though, you can get some here. It’s definitely a cool ingredient. It’s essentially the seeds from vanilla pods that have been scraped out and put into a jar for you, ready to be scooped out when needed.Print
- 2 cups graham crackers, crumbled (about 16 crackers)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 4 (8 oz) pkg. of cream cheese, softened
- 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 and ½ cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the crust and pulse until nicely incorporated. Press crust into the bottom of baking dish.
- Next, make the vanilla bean cheesecake filling. In a stand-up mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar until mixed well. (Be sure to use the paddle attachment). Add in vanilla bean paste and mix again. Then mix in the eggs, one by one.
- Pour half of this mixture on top of the crust.
- With the remaining half of the filling, mix in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Pour this on top of the vanilla cheesecake layer.
- Lastly make the swirl on top. Microwave the cream cheese for 45 seconds, but do it in 15 second increments – mixing it a little after each 15 seconds.
- Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Dollop this on top of the pumpkin layer and swirl it in using a butter knife or tooth pick.
Bake for 45 minutes. Then turn the oven off and let it cool in oven, with the door closed, for another 30-45 minutes. Then place in fridge for 3 hours, or overnight, before cutting in to it. Enjoy with whipped cream!
This recipe uses vanilla bean paste for an intense vanilla flavor. You can substitute with the same amounts of vanilla extract though and get pretty close to that flavor.
This post originally appeared in November 2017 and was revised and republished in October 2021.