These swirled pumpkin cheesecake bars are a new fall favorite of mine. This was my first time making them but I have no doubt they will become an annual tradition for many years to come. It’s made with simple ingredients and easy to follow directions. This is a great dessert recipe for beginners. If you have kids, they can help crush the graham crackers 😀.
Since I am not a big fan of pumpkin pie I wanted to find a pumpkin dessert I could fall in love with. I’m a sweet potato pie kinda girl. However, I did find a way to enjoy the sweet side of pumpkin by pairing it with a dessert I really enjoy, cheesecake! This is a dessert that isn’t too sweet. It has just the right amount of sweetness without going overboard.
Pumpkin cheesecake bars
I like making these in a square pan and cutting them into bars because they are easy to grab and eat and don’t require a fork. You also, feel less guilty eating smaller bite-size pieces rather than eating a large chunk of cake 😉. The things we tell ourselves…haha.
The swirled pattern on top makes a lovely design. The honey, cinnamon graham cracker crust adds great flavor and a contrast in texture to the soft pumpkin cheesecake. These creamy pumpkin bars would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving table or any dinner this time of year. You never need an occasion for a yummy pumpkin dessert!
Ingredients all lined up.
Graham cracker crust is ready.
Beautifully swirled pumpkin cheesecake fresh from the oven.
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Swirled pumpkin cheesecake bars for Halloween, Thanksgiving…or any autumn day 🍂 🤗.
Swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups Honey graham crackers, pounded into crumbs
- 8 tbsp Unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 lb Cream cheese
- 15 oz Canned pumpkin puree
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup Sugar
- 8 oz Sour cream
- 1 tbsp Pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Boil enough water to fill a roasting pan halfway.
- In a mixing bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and cinnamon using a fork.
- Lightly spray oil or lightly butter the bottom of a non-stick 9×9 square baking pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to cover the bottom and up along two of the sides of the baking pan. Press the graham cracker mixture evenly into the baking pan. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to smooth and even it out. Place in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the filling.
- Use a stand mixer or a handheld mixer on medium speed to beat the cream cheese until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time. Once the eggs have been incorporated add the sugar and cinnamon and continue to beat for one minute.
- Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Next, add the sour cream, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract. Beat until all ingredients are just combined.
- Remove 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture and set aside in a small bowl.
- Add the pumpkin puree to the mixing bowl and mix until incorporated.
- Pull the crust from the fridge and pour the filling on top. Use an offset spatula or butter knife to even it out. Use a fork to drizzle the 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture over the pumpkin cheesecake filling in a random design. Next, drag the fork back and forth side to side or top to bottom to create a swirl pattern.
- Place the filled cake pan in a large roasting pan with enough water to fill halfway up the side of the cake pan. Be careful not to let any of the water splash onto the cheesecake mixture.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. The center should be a bit jiggly- it's ok. Careful remove the cake pan from the water bath and let it cool for 15 minutes before placing it in the refrigerator.
- Allow the pumpkin cheesecake to cool in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours. I usually let mine sit in the fridge overnight. Once it has sufficiently cooled, the cake is ready to be cut into bars of 16 or 20 and devoured.
If you’re a pumpkin fan be sure to check my new savory pumpkin recipe. Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce and Pine nuts.