Creamy, silky pumpkin cheesecake bars are my family’s Thanksgiving tradition. All the flavor you love from pumpkin pie in a rich, creamy cheesecake!
Heyyyy! Notice anything different around here? Ari’s Menu got a big makeover, and I couldn’t be more in love with the new look! My old design had been what I wanted at the time, but after a few years, I really felt like I had outgrown it, and there were a lot of new things I wanted. The amazing Julie from White Lights On Wednesday did an absolutely incredible job, and has been so kind and responsive to all of my questions. Even the dumb ones. If you’re in the market for a redesign, I seriously cannot recommend her enough! And if you’re on your phone or on a reader, please come over and look around. It’s so pretty and BRIGHT here now. Like my bright, sparkling personality. 😉
Okay, now let’s talk about food. Five years ago, I had just moved back from college and I had barely begun my cooking adventures. I was inspired by my college roommate/best friend who always created amazing things in the kitchen, and I knew I wanted to contribute a special Thanksgiving dessert.
I made these pumpkin cheesecake bars. Except they were a whole cheesecake. Anyway, the cheesecake was the hit of Thanksgiving, and no one had any idea it was secretly healthier. These days we have up to 20+ people over for Thanksgiving, so I make a big batch of cheesecake bars to make serving easier, but it’s the one tried and true recipe and tradition I’ve had in my family since I began hosting Thanksgiving, and it holds a special place in my heart.
As a food blogger, I am always looking to create new and interesting dishes, so I rarely make the same thing twice, but when The Recipe ReDux asked us to share a food memory, I knew I had to share with you one of my two Thanksgiving traditions. The other is this cornbread sausage stuffing which is also hugely popular in my family. So please join our family tradition, and make these cheesecake bars! Your guests will thank you!
Creamy, silky pumpkin cheesecake bars are my family's Thanksgiving tradition. All the flavor you love from pumpkin pie in a rich, creamy cheesecake!
- 12 ounces gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs (I used gluten-free)*
- 4-5 tablespoons pumpkin butter
- 1 pound fat free cream cheese (2 x 8 ounce packages), at room temperature
- 1 pound reduced fat cream cheese (2 x 8 ounce packages), at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 x 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (or about two cups homemade pumpkin puree)
- 2 tablespoons bourbon, optional
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
- 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13" pan with nonstick spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine gingersnap/graham cracker crumbs and pumpkin butter. Start with 4 tablespoons pumpkin butter and add a fifth if mixture seems too dry. Press crust into prepared baking pan and bake until browned and set, about 7-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth. Add sugars and beat until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined, then beat in pumpkin, bourbon (if desired), and vanilla. Beat in baking blend and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over prepared crust and bake until set and center no longer jiggles, about 70-90 minutes.
- Cool completely to room temperature then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Cut into bars to serve. Cheesecake bars will last about 1 week in the refrigerator.
*I've made these bars with a gingersnap crust and a graham cracker crust, and both ways work great! Choose whichever taste you prefer.