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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

These Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars will be the hero of every gathering and are easier to make than you think. They begin with an easy cinnamon graham cracker crust, topped with plain cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake then cinnamon pecan streusel to create dynamic decadent bites of rich and creamy AND satisfyingly crunchy.

Prep
Cook
Serves 24people
Ingredients
Crust:
1/2
cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
14
full sheets cinnamon graham crackers, crushed into fine crumbs
1/4
cup packed light brown sugar
Cheesecake:
4
(8 oz) pkgs.) cream cheese, softened
1 1/3
cups granulated sugar
4
large eggs, at room temperature
1
egg yolk, at room temperature
1
tbsp lemon juice
1
tbsp vanilla extract
1
cup sour cream, at room temperature
1
can (15 oz) pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2
tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2
tsp EACH ground cloves, ground nutmeg
1/2
tsp ground ginger
Pecan Streusel:
1
cup raw pecans
2
tsp vanilla extract
2/3
cup flour
3/4
cup packed light brown sugar
1/2
cup granulated sugar
1/2
cup quick-cooking oats
1/2
tsp ground cinnamon
1/4
tsp EACH ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground ginger
1/8
tsp salt
1/2
cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter cubed
Serve with:
Whipped cream and/or ice cream
Directions
1.
Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2.
Crust: Melt butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Add finely ground Graham crackers and sugar and stir until well combined. Transfer crust to prepared pan and firmly press the crumbs down on the bottom of the pan until you have an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool completely.
3.
Cheesecake Filling: Add cream cheese and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (may use hand mixer) and beat on medium speed 5 minutes until light and fluffy. With mixer still running, add the eggs one at a time, then the egg yolk, mixing just until the yellow disappears after each egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Pour only 4 ½ cups of this plain cheesecake on top of the cooled crust and evenly spread to the edges. Place in the freezer while you prepare the pumpkin layer (to create more defined layers).
4.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer: Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger to the remaining plain cheesecake batter and mix until well blended. Pour this pumpkin cheesecake onto the plain cheesecake and carefully spread over the plain cheesecake layer.
5.
Bake cheesecake without streusel: Bake cheesecake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
6.
Streusel: Meanwhile, add pecans and vanilla extract to food processor. Pulse 3 times to slightly chop up pecans. Add all remaining topping ingredients and pulse until it resembles coarse pebbles. (See notes if you don’t have a food processor.)
7.
Bake with streusel: After cheesecake has baked 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and evenly spread streusel over cheesecake. Return to oven and bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for an additional 40-50 minutes or until the cheesecake is firm around the edges but the the center jiggles when shaken (it will finish cooking as sit cools).
8.
Cool: crack oven door open and allow cheesecake to cool in the oven for one hour. Remove cheesecake and allow to completely cool on the counter (2-3 hours). Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving (best if 24).
9.
Slice: fill a large glass with hot water. Dip a sharp knife in the hot water, wipe dry, then make a clean cut, repeat for reach cut.
10.
Serve: serve Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with plenty of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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