Sunday, October 4, 2020

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars by
October is here! It's time to bust out your orange Kitchenaid mixer (for real though, does anyone own an orange Kitchenaid mixer?!), get yourself some canned pumpkin, whip up some pumpkin pie spice (or buy it), and get to town on your favorite pumpkin recipes. I have made quite a few different pumpkin recipes over the years, with some of my favorite go-tos of the season including the classic Pumpkin Pie Cake, to the Pumpkin Coffee Cake, to some Soft Pumpkin Cookies, but I think this new one is a great addition to the repeat repertoire.

Today, we have Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. To be honest, they taste very similar to your typical pumpkin pie, with just a slightly extra tang from the cream cheese that also gives it a very luscious creamy texture that is in many ways better than a typical pumpkin pie. 
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars by
And, if you know me, you know I love something that doesn't require me to make a pie dough. I don't know what it is about your traditional pie dough, but anytime I think about making one, I am like "ugh." This may be to do with the fact that I don't own a very good rolling pin, so it always feels like a major hassle to roll out a pie dough to the proper thickness. So, these? Require no rolling. It has a nice, simple graham cracker crust that you liven up with some ground ginger that will smell way more potent before baking than it actually turns out. 
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars by
As a heads up, this recipe does require some things to be softened or at room temperature. What I recommend is to take out your cream cheese and your eggs right when you're going to start up everything. As there are some substantial cooling times, your cream cheese and eggs will be ready once your pumpkin mixture and your crust have cooled. 

But what are you waiting for? If you like pumpkin pie, and you like cheesecake, this recipe is right up your alley!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

A little something different than your typical pumpkin pie in easy-to-make bar form.

  • 1 (15 ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 15 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • and so on...
  • 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) and 1 1/3 cups (9 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  1. Combine pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, until it is reduced to approximately 1 1/2 cups. Cool for 1 hour.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 325F. Either grease your pan, or make a foil sling, place it in your pan, and grease that. I never do the foil sling as I'm not taking these out to serve individually.
  3. Process graham crackers, 1/4 cup sugar, and ginger in food processor to fine crumbs, about 15 seconds. Add butter and pulse until combined, about 5 pulses. Dump mixture into your prepared pan and press down into an even layer. Bake for 15-18 minutes until just starting to brown. Let crust cool completely on wire rack.
  4. Beat your cream cheese and remaining sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, vanilla, and pumpkin mixture and beat until combined. Increase speed to medium and add eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Pour over the cooled crust and spread into an even layer. Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is set, 45-50 minutes. Let cheese cake cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap (or the lid if you have one for your pan), and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. If using the foil overhang, life cheesecake out of the pan and slice into 24 pieces.
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars by

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