5 from 7 votes
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Best Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar Recipe

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This Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar Recipe is one of my favorite desserts to make during pumpkin season and the holidays. They are so easy and pack all the delicious flavors you want in a whole pan!

Pumpkin cheesecake swirl bars on a wooden cutting board sitting on a tablecloth.

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I created this new recipe while I was looking for some new pumpkin desserts to make for our family dinners. And the entire family LOVED these Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars! I think you will too.

If you love pumpkin recipes like this, you may also enjoy this Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles recipe.

What Are Cheesecake Bars?

The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake bars are a delightful twist on the traditional cheesecake dessert, offering the same rich, creamy taste in an easy-to-serve format. Essentially, these dessert bars are baked in a rectangular pan and then cut into individual serving-sized squares or bars, which makes portion control and serving a breeze. With these fall flavors, they are perfect for parties, potlucks, or any occasion where you want an indulgent dessert without the fuss of slicing a whole cheesecake. So they are amazing for Halloween!

This Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar Recipe Is…

  • Full of Flavor – Cut into one of these bars, and you will be filled with all the flavors of fall.
  • Festive – Soft pumpkin bars that are swirled with yummy cream cheese. This is a showstopper for your holiday table!
  • Easy – The best part about this recipe? It’s so easy! Anyone can make these, and they’ll be a huge hit!
  • Great for Large Groups – Make the whole pan or cut it into 24 bars. It’s an easy way to feed a crowd.

Ingredients For Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients for pumpkin cheesecake bar including pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice sitting on a white countertop.
  • Cream butter softened – This ingredient adds a rich, creamy flavor to your bars and helps to create a tender, moist texture. Be sure to soften it before use for easy mixing.
  • Light brown sugar – With its deep, caramel-like flavor, light brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness and gives a lovely golden color to your cheesecake bars.
  • Eggs – Eggs bind the ingredients together, ensure your bars rise properly, and contribute to their richness.
  • Vanilla extract – This lends a lovely warm, sweet aroma and enhances the overall flavor of your cheesecake bars.
  • Pumpkin puree – The star ingredient, pumpkin puree, gives the bars their characteristic flavor and moistness, perfect for a fall dessert.
  • Flour – The backbone of your bars, flour provides structure and texture. 
  • Baking soda – This is a leavening agent that helps your bars rise during baking, resulting in a light and fluffy texture.
  • Ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice – The pumpkin spice flavor adds warmth and a delightful aroma to your bars, giving them their characteristic fall taste.
  • Kosher salt – A pinch of salt enhances all the other flavors in your bars and balances the sweetness.

Cream Cheese Swirl

  • Cream Cheese, softened – Softened cream cheese forms the basis of these bars’ smooth, creamy swirl. It adds a rich, tangy flavor that perfectly complements the sweetness of the pumpkin.
  • Granulated Sugar – Sugar contributes the necessary sweetness to the cream cheese swirl. It balances the tanginess of the cream cheese, resulting in a perfect blend of flavors.
  • Egg – An egg provides structure to the cream cheese swirl, helping it firm up during baking. It also adds to the richness of the cream cheese topping.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla enhances the flavor of the cream cheese swirl, adding a hint of warmth and sweetness. It rounds out the flavors and aromas of the other ingredients beautifully.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Substitutions And Variations

In case you don’t have all the ingredients at hand or you want to mix things up a bit, here are some possible substitutions and variations:

  • Gluten-Free: Replace the regular all-purpose flour with almond flour or a gluten-free baking mix to make these bars gluten-free. Please note that this can also change the texture a bit.
  • Dairy-Free: Make these bars dairy-free by using dairy-free butter and a dairy-free cream cheese substitute. These are available in most grocery stores.
  • Spice Variation: Feel free to vary the spices according to your preference. You could add nutmeg, allspice, or even a hint of clove for a different flavor profile.
  • Flavor Variations – The nice thing about this recipe is you can change it up based on your mood. For example, add some chocolate chips to the cream cheese mixture. Or, if you love almonds, maybe add a few roasted and salted ones on top of the pumpkin dough before adding the cream cheese. It’s also good with chopped pecans added to the batter or sprinkled over top!
  • Add-ins: Consider adding some chopped pecans, walnuts, or even chocolate chips into the batter for added crunch and flavor.
  • Topping: For an extra layer of flavor, consider adding a crumb topping before baking or a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce after your bars have cooled.

How To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Collage of mixing the ingredients for pumpkin cheesecake bars in a bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 brownie baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Using a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together on high speed the butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until combined and fluffy 
  • Beat in the pumpkin puree until combined (Photos 1 & 2)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until combined 
  • Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the wet until combined and a dough forms. Press half of the dough into the baking dish and set the other half aside
  • Using a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until combined and smooth and creamy 
  • Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of the cream cheese mixture onto the first pumpkin layer (Photo 3)
Collage of pumpkin batter and cream cheese mixture on a lined baking sheet.
  • Scoop dollops of the remaining pumpkin mixture onto the cream cheese. Smooth into an even layer with a knife (Photos 4 & 5)
  • Bake pumpkin cheesecake bars in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean in the center of the cheesecake. Allow to cool completely before cutting with a sharp knife and enjoying!
Stacked pumpkin cheesecake swirl bars on a wooden cutting board.

Expert Tips

  • Warm bars: If you want to enjoy these bars warm, heat them up in the microwave for 20 seconds and serve!
  • No time to bake? These bars can be made into muffins. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes and allow them to cool completely before enjoying them.
  • Don’t Over-Mix – Mix until just combined, and do not over mix or your bars will be dense and not as wonderful
  • Properly Soften Your Ingredients – Ensure that your butter and cream cheese are properly softened. This step is essential for achieving a smooth, easily mixable batter. If you forget to take your ingredients out of the fridge in time, you can soften the butter by microwaving it in 5-second intervals and the cream cheese by heating it for about 20 seconds.
  • Pumpkin Puree Vs. Pie Filling – Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling, which has additional spices and sugar. Pure pumpkin puree allows you to control the sweetness and spice level of your bars.

Storing Tips

These pumpkin bars with cream cheese swirls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

These Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are freezer-friendly and make for a great make-ahead dessert. To freeze, ensure the bars are completely cooled, then cut them into the desired sizes. Wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil or place them in a freezer-safe bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw the bars in the refrigerator overnight.

What To Serve With Delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

These creamy Cheesecake Bars make a delightful dessert on their own, but if you want to add an extra touch, consider the following serving suggestions. They pair well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for a creamy contrast. You can also serve them alongside a cup of hot coffee for an afternoon treat or a glass of milk for the kids. 

For a holiday gathering, try pairing these bars with mulled cider or pumpkin flavor spice latte to amplify the festive flavors. Lastly, a sprinkle of powdered sugar right before serving makes for a visually appealing and tasty finish.

A pile of cheesecake bars sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make pumpkin cream cheese swirl bars ahead?

Yes! These pumpkin cream cheese swirl bars are a great make-ahead dessert for any occasion. You can make them up to three days ahead of time and store them in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Will these easy pumpkin cheesecake bars freeze well?

No, I don’t recommend freezing these pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars. The cream cheese will become grainy and unappealing if frozen.

I don’t have parchment paper – what should I do?

You can easily line the bottom of your baking pan with foil instead of parchment paper. You just need to press it into place and then grease it with a little oil or cooking spray. Greasing your baking pan is a good way to prevent sticking, regardless of what kind of pan you use.

Need More Dessert Recipes? Try These:

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Stack of Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.
5 from 7 votes

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar Recipe


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
This Pumpkin cheesecake bar recipe is simple to make and has all the flavor of pumpkin pie and the addition of these cream cheese swirl. They are the perfect fall dessert.

Ingredients 

Cream Cheese Swirl

  • 8 oz (226 ⅘ g) cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 brownie baking pan with parchment paper
  • Using a large bowl with hand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until combined and fluffy
    1 cup sweet cream butter,1 cup light brown sugar,1 large egg,1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Beat in the pumpkin puree until combined
    1 cup pumpkin puree
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until combined
    2 cup flour,1 tsp baking soda,1 tsp ground cinnamon,2 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice,¾ tsp kosher salt
  • Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the wet until combined and a dough forms Press half of the dough into the baking dish and set the other half aside
  • Using a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until combined and smooth and creamy
    8 oz cream cheese,¼ cup sugar,1 large egg
  • Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of the cream cheese mixture onto the first layer of pumpkin dough
  • Scoop dollops of the remaining pumpkin batter onto the cream cheese Smooth evenly with a knife
  • Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean in the center Allow to cool completely before cutting and enjoying!

Notes

  • Warm bars: If you want to enjoy these bars warm, heat them up in the microwave for 20 seconds and serve!
  • No time to bake? These bars can be made into muffins. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes and allow them to cool completely before enjoying them.
  • Don’t Over-Mix – Mix until just combined and do not over mix or your bars will be dense and not as wonderful
  • Properly Soften Your Ingredients – Ensure that your butter and cream cheese are properly softened. This step is essential for achieving a smooth, easily mixable batter. If you forget to take your ingredients out of the fridge in time, you can soften the butter by microwaving it in 5-second intervals, and the cream cheese by heating it for about 20 seconds.
  • Pumpkin Puree Vs. Pie Filling – Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling, which has additional spices and sugar. Pure pumpkin puree allows you to control the sweetness and spice level of your bars.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1Bar Calories: 192kcal (10%) Carbohydrates: 21g (7%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 11g (17%) Saturated Fat: 7g (44%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 44mg (15%) Sodium: 217mg (9%) Potassium: 66mg (2%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 12g (13%) Vitamin A: 1973IU (39%) Vitamin C: 0.5mg (1%) Vitamin D: 0.1µg (1%) Calcium: 28mg (3%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

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5 from 7 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Enjoyed this for dessert last night and it was a sweet success! Quick and delicious; the perfect treat for fall, indeed!

  2. 5 stars
    What a marvelous sweet for the Fall season. Two of my favorites, pumpkin and cheesecake. I can’t wait to make these.

  3. 5 stars
    I love pumpkin bars and the cheesecake swirls sound delicious. Looking forward to baking a batch this weekend, thanks for the recipe.

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