I love pumpkin. I love cheesecake. I have made various incarnations of this delectable combination, but this one served in a bar form is so super easy to make and to eat, that I’m sure you’ll love it too! Feel free to bake in a traditional pie pan and serve as a cheesecake for another option as well.
Add this to your holiday menu hit list, even if you are dairy-free, as it is just as yummy without the dairy – I promise!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 32 oz (4 packages of 8 ounces) Cream Cheese or Soy Cream Cheese (e.g. Tofutti or Follow Your Heart), slightly softened
- 1 cup granulated cane sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla
- 1 cup pumpkin purée (canned or fresh, baked)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp. nutmeg + 1 tsp. ginger + 1/8 tsp. cloves)
Preheat oven to 325º F (static) or 300º F (convection).
Crush graham crackers using a food processor or put into a large, sealed zip top bag and roll over the crumbs with a rolling pin until they are very finely chopped. Stir or process with the melted butter until the crumbs are no longer powdery and begin to stick together. If you find that your crumbs are not holding together well enough, melt another tablespoon of butter and mix it in too.
Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Place in oven as it preheats while you are making the filling.
Beat together the cream cheese, vanilla and 3/4 of the cup of sugar (reserve the other 1/4 cup). Blend in eggs using a mixer to beat well. Scoop out 1 1/4 cup of this mixture and set it aside. Add the remaining ingredients now: pumpkin purée, 1/4 cup sugar and spices.
Once fully mixed, remove the pan and crust from the oven and pour approximately half of the pumpkin mixture on top of the crust. Pour lines of the plain cream cheese mixture across the top of the pumpkin mixture. Using a butter knife, cut into the top of this mixture by drawing lines down the length of the pan and then again across the width (leave approximately one inch between cut lines). This will pull the cream cheese mixture through the pumpkin mixture, leaving a feathered pattern in the top. Repeat by pouring the remaining pumpkin mixture on top, then the cream cheese mixture, then cut lines again.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until the center of the pan is fairly firm. Cool on a cooling rack, then refrigerate. These are best served chilled for several hours to help the cheesecake to set up.