Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars are creamy and delicious and made with a gluten free cookie crust. Beautifully swirled and packed with pumpkin flavor, they make for the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving.

Show up at Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving looking like the culinary goddess that you are with these stunning pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars! Creamy, pumpkin-y and with the perfect ratio of graham cracker crust to cheesecake, they make for a great pumpkin dessert for any fall occasion!

pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars

Beautifully swirled and even more delicious tasting, pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars are sure to be a hit at Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and any other fall celebration this season.

Inspired by the pumpkin cheesecake that I make for Thanksgiving dessert every year, these pumpkin cheesecake bars taste just like that but are easier and quicker to make! They look fancy, but come together quickly and hold up well if you need to make them in advance.

Once baked and cooled, these bars are best kept in the fridge. They taste even better the next day once they’re nice and cold!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I’m all about pumpkin everything in the fall. It’s the best time of the year! One of the reasons I love pumpkin so much is because it’s so versatile. From pumpkin chili to pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin puree adds nutrition and fall flavor to so many things. Not many other vegetables can say that!

Ingredients for Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bar

  • pumpkin puree – be sure it’s not pumpkin pie mix!
  • cream cheese – take the cream cheese out of the fridge prior to making this so that it softens up.
  • sugar
  • gluten free or regular cookies or graham crackers – to keep this recipe gluten free use gluten free cookies for the crust.
  • gluten free or all purpose flour
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • cinnamon
  • salt

equipment / utensils

gluten free pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars

How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

  1. Make the crust. No matter if you’re using gluten free cookies or graham crackers, you will start by processing them in a food processor with butter to form the crust for your bars.
  2. Bake the crust. Press the crumbly crust down into the lightly greased pan as evenly as possible. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool while you prepare the pumpkin cheesecake filing.
  3. Make the cream cheese mixture. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer beat the softened cream cheese with the sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. I can’t stress this enough, you want the cream cheese to be super soft before you beat it, otherwise you will have mini cream cheese clumps throughout and it won’t be smooth!
  4. Make the pumpkin mixture. In a separate bowl using a wooden spoon, mix together the pumpkin puree, and spices. Add in 2/3 cup of the cream cheese mixture and stir it together until completely combined.
  5. Assemble the pumpkin cheesecake bars. Spread 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture into a thin layer on top of the baked crust. Drop 1 tablespoon dollops of the pumpkin mixture and the cream cheese mixture in the pan, alternating the two to create a checkerboard pattern. With a butter knife or toothpick, swirl the pumpkin filling and the cream cheese filling to create a marbling pattern. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect!
  6. Bake. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cheesecake is set. Turn the oven off and let the bars cool in the oven slowly for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting. This will ensure you can cut the bars well without them falling apart! Being completed cooled is key here.
  7. Enjoy! A little pumpkin spice whipped cream would be awesome on top!
best easy pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars with a gluten free cookie crust

How to Store Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

You definitely want to keep these bars stored in the fridge in a covered container for maximum freshness. They taste great cold!

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pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 9 bars 1x
  • Category: pumpkin recipes
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars are creamy, spiced just right with beautiful swirls of pumpkin goodness and perfect for fall! They’re made with simple ingredients and a gluten free cookie crust. 


Ingredients

Scale

For the crust: 

  • 1 box gluten free cookies of your choices, alternatively you can use 8 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces (I like using Simple Mills Cinnamon Cookies) 
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 flour 
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup  pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Instructions

For the crust: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of an 8X8 inch  pan with cooking spray or a little bit of oil and cover with parchment paper so that it hangs over the edges. You’ll be able to lift it out easier later.
  2. Add cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until completely broken up. Add the melted butter and pulse just 2-3 more times. Press the crust into the pan, completely covering the bottom as evenly as possible.
  3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling: 

  1. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese* and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add flour, salt, and vanilla; beat until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, use a wooden spoon to stir together pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add 2/3 cups of the cream cheese mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir together until mixed together.
  4. Assemble the cheesecake by spreading 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture into a thin layer on top of the baked crust. Drop 1 tablespoon dollops of the pumpkin mixture and the cream cheese mixture in the pan, alternating the two to create a checkerboard pattern. With a butter knife or toothpick, swirl the pumpkin filling and the cream cheese filling to create a marbling pattern. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect! You may have a little pumpkin mixture leftover
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the pan sit in the oven to bring their temperature down slowly. After about 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool completely. 
  6. Refrigerate until chilled, 2-3 hours. Lift the pumpkin cheesecake bars out of the pan, cut into bars and serve.

Notes

*It’s super important to make sure your cream cheese is softened. You don’t want it to be completely melted, however soft enough that when beat it with the sugar, there will not be little clumps throughout. I recommend placing the cream cheese on top of your oven while it’s preheating to soften. 

Store these bars in a covered container in the fridge. They seriously only get better the next day! 

Keywords: pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars; pumpkin cheesecake bars; pumpkin bars with a cream cheese swirl

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