Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere! You know it’s time to start baking when you start seeing mums and pumpkins on everyone’s front steps. Yearning for even more fall spirit, I’ve combined two of my favorite things, pumpkins and cheesecake, to create pumpkin cheesecake bars! The only way to make cheesecake even better is to make it handheld, so you don’t want to miss this on-the-go dessert.
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how to: Make Shortbread Crust
First, let’s start with the crumbly, sugary crust. A graham cracker crust can be used, but I love the simplicity of shortbread.
Begin by beating the butter, sugar, and vanilla until it’s light and airy.
Slowly incorporate the flour until the dough is formed.
Pour the dough into a lined 9×13 baking dish and cook until firm, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
How to: make pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
A creamy pumpkin layer meets a sweet cream cheese topping to create an unbelievable pumpkin cheesecake filling!
Beat the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. If you have an electric mixer use it here! The cream cheese and eggs really need to be mixed thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk well until combined.
how to: assemble pumpkin cheesecake bars
Your baked shortbread crust should be slightly cooler at this point, but still be cautious when handling the warm pan.
Spread the pumpkin mixture evenly onto the crust.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the pumpkin mixture.
If you’re feeling creative, swirl the end of your knife through the mixtures but be sure not to overdo it!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup flour
- 15 oz pumpkin puree (1 can)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the shortbread crust, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until well-mixed, about 3 minutes. Slowly add in flour until fully incorporated. Press the dough into a 2-quart (7×7) baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake for 14-15 minutes and remove from oven.
- While the shortbread is baking, create the pumpkin filling and cheesecake topping. Whisk pumpkin puree, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- For the cheesecake topping, beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla in a separate bowl until light and creamy.
- Spread the pumpkin filling evenly onto the shortbread crust. Carefully pour the cheesecake topping overtop the pumpkin filling. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the middle is set. Cool and store in the fridge.
What are some of your favorite pumpkin desserts to make in the fall? Share in the comments below!