Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

by Sarah on November 20, 2012

Pumpkin.  Thanksgiving.  Pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin cheesecake.  We’re all accustomed to these things.  They have become tiresome.  Well, not really.  I just felt like trying something new.  And it’s Fall.  AND I had to figure out something to take to a potluck.

Lucky me, my friend Nicole at Pinch My Salt made these bars.  I saw them and the proverbial lightbulb went on over my head.

I didn’t do anything too terribly different from her recipe, but I did double it and made them in a half-sheet pan instead of Pyrex.  It worked just fine.

Nicole made this brown sugar shortbread for the bottom layer that is dynamite.  It had a little more oomph than a standard shortbread–hey, don’t get me wrong, a standard shortbread has it’s place–but when supporting a layer of cinnamony spicy pumpkin custard it’s nice to have that extra jolt of flavor.

The use of both my food processor and stand mixer made for more dishes, but it made putting these things together a breeze.

It probably took all of ten minutes to assemble.

If you happen to have a handsome young man handy it’s even easier, whether your son or cabana boy.

Line your pan in foil with the edges hanging out so you can just pull the whole slab onto the counter to cool.  I inverted the pan over the slab o’ bar and left it to cool overnight.

When the thing is totally cool, cut them up into whatever size you like.

These were served plain at my potluck, but I can also envision them as a dessert with a nice dollop of whipped cream on top.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 29-oz can pumpkin (the big one)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a half-sheet (a cookie sheet) with aluminum foil, leaving enough to hang over the sides of pan. Coat foil with cooking/baking spray or vegetable oil.
  • FOR SHORTBREAD: Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour crust mixture into prepared pan and press evenly and firmly into the bottom.
  • Bake crust on the center rack of preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until just starting to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and set on wire rack.
  • FOR FILLING: In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, a pinch of salt and pumpkin pie spice and beat until well combined, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Pour pumpkin mixture over the pre-baked crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the center is set. Let cool completely. To slice and serve, use the foil to remove the entire dessert, then slice into squares.

Recipe adapted from Pinch My Salt.


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