Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are the easier and less fussy version of pumpkin cheesecake. My recipe uses just 12 ingredients, comes together quickly, and is made WITHOUT a water bath! Includes a how-to video!
Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
These pumpkin cheesecake bars are the fall version of my classic cheesecake bars, and I think you’re going to be a big fan of this seasonal twist! This recipe is the perfect blend of classic cheesecake swirled with pumpkin pie. The end result is smooth and creamy, and it pairs so nicely with the buttery graham cracker crust.
This recipe is similar to my pumpkin cheesecake, but without so much of a strong pumpkin punch (I personally prefer my pumpkin desserts tempered with a fair bit of cream cheese). The pumpkin flavor melds perfectly with the cheesecake, making for an irresistible and delicious Fall treat. You’ll love them!
What you’ll love about them:
- Easier and quicker than making a whole cheesecake.
- Pretty swirls make them feel fancy!
- Balanced flavor; not too much pumpkin.
- No water bath (because that’s the only way we do cheesecake around here!)!
- Only 12 ingredients.
What You Need
For best results, make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before starting this recipe (this helps prevent lumps and cracks!). The following key ingredients shouldn’t be substituted or skipped–take note!
- Pumpkin puree. Be careful that you don’t accidentally pick up pumpkin pie filling–it’s sold right next to pumpkin puree and looks very similar!
- Cream cheese. If you’ve made any of my cheesecake recipes before, then you know I only recommend using full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. The spreadable kind in a tub won’t work the same and could prevent your cheesecake from setting up properly.
- Sour cream. Adding this won’t make your pumpkin cheesecake bars taste like sour cream; instead, it will intensify the cheesecake flavor even more!
- Pumpkin spice. This is a blend of fall spices that is typically used in pumpkin pie (or lattes!). It’s perfect for pumpkin cheesecake bars too! If you don’t have any on hand, you can make my homemade pumpkin spice instead.
SAM’S TIP: While I love these with a traditional graham cracker crust, they would also be delicious (and Halloween-y!) with an Oreo crust.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugars, then add the melted butter and stir until everything is combined.
- Pour into a lined pan and evenly press on the bottom of the pan.
- Cream together the cream cheese and sugar, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla.
- Add the eggs one at a time and stir until each egg is just incorporated.
- Scoop a portion of the batter into a separate bowl.
- Stir your pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice into this bowl until combined.
- Alternate adding dollops of each batter into your crust.
- Use a knife to swirl the batters together, then bake for 40-45 minutes. Let the cheesecake bars cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
SAM’S TIP: Using parchment paper up the sides of the pan allows the cheesecake to constrict as it cools, which ultimately prevents cracks. This is also why I press my graham cracker crust high up the sides of my pan when I make my classic cheesecake.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the pumpkin puree is prepared the proper way this won’t be an issue. However, you can’t just use leftover pumpkin from your jack o’lantern, blitz it in the blender, and call it a day. Interesting fact: most pumpkin puree isn’t actually made of pumpkins as we know them, but typically certain varieties of squash!
No! This recipe (like all of my cheesecake recipes!) is designed to produce crack-free results without a water bath. I have lots of tips for preventing cracks in my video below, so make sure to give that a watch if you’re nervous about cracks.
If you baked your bars in a parchment lined sheet and used room temperature ingredients, then most likely culprits include over-beating the batter, opening the oven door while baking, or cooling too quickly.
Definitely save this one for Thanksgiving–everyone will LOVE it!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups (170 g) graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar firmly packed
- 7 Tablespoons (100 g) salted butter melted
- 24 oz (680 g) cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar firmly packed
- ½ cup (113 g) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- ⅔ cup (168 g) canned pumpkin
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice
- Preheat oven to 325F (160C) and line a 9×9" (22x22cm) baking pan with parchment paper (optional, but helps prevent cracks and makes removing from the pan and slicing easier).
- In a mixing bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and sugars. Add melted butter and stir until mixture is combined and resembles wet sand. Pour into prepared pan and press evenly across the bottom of the pan. Set aside (do not bake yet).1 ½ cups (170 g) graham cracker crumbs, 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, 7 Tablespoons (100 g) salted butter
- In a large mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, granulated and brown sugar and use an electric mixer (or paddle attachment on stand mixer) on medium-speed to stir until mixture is smooth and creamy and no lumps remain.24 oz (680 g) cream cheese, ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar, ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar
- Add sour cream and vanilla extract and stir until combined.½ cup (113 g) sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add eggs, one at a time, stirring on low-speed until just combined before adding the next egg. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure batter is uniform.3 large eggs
- Measure out about 1 ½ cups of cheesecake batter and pour into a separate mixing bowl. To this, add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice and stir until combined.⅔ cup (168 g) canned pumpkin, 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice
- Alternate dollops of the two batters over the prepared crust then swirl with a knife. Transfer to 325F (160C) oven and bake for 40-45 minutes (see note if you are not using a metal baking pan) or until cheesecake is mostly set but center is still slightly jiggly. Allow to cool to room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator and chill for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight before cutting and serving.
StoringStore covered in the refrigerator or in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You may also freeze (after chilling the bars in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours first) tightly wrapped in an airtight container for several months.
Baking panThis recipe was tested and written for a 9×9 metal pan. If you use a glass or ceramic pan this will likely take longer to bake. Start checking at 45 minutes.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.