Swirls of pumpkin spice and creamy cheesecake layered over a crunchy gingersnap crust. These easy bars will be the hit of your turkey day table! Make them a day ahead for a simple, no stress holiday dessert!
For Cookie Crust
- 6 ounces gingersnap cookies (about 2 dozen cookies), crumbled
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
For Cheesecake Layer
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature (or Greek yogurt)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 egg plus one egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For Pumpkin Layer
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon all-spice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the ends to extend over the pan by about 2 inches for easy removal of the bars once baked.
- Crush the gingersnap cookies using a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs. Be sure there are no large pieces of cookies in the mix.
- Add the brown sugar and melted butter. Stir with a fork to combine well.
- Transfer to the prepared pan and use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to evenly press the crumbs down into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the crust to cool while you make the cheesecake and pumpkin layers.
- Important: After the crust bakes, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- To make the cheesecake, in the bowl of a stand mixer beat the cream cheese until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sugar. Mix to combine well.
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on medium speed for one minute until incorporated. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Remove 1/3 cup of the cheesecake and set aside.
- To make the pumpkin layer, using a hand mixer or whisk, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and heavy cream until combined well.
- Add the egg and vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Add the flour, spices and salt, stirring briefly to combine. Do not over mix. Set aside.
- To assemble the layers, pour the cheesecake batter (minus the 1/3 cup of reserved batter) over the top of the baked crust. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top.
- Next, pour the pumpkin mixture over the cheesecake layer. Use an offset spatula to carefully spread it across the top.
- Using a teaspoon, add dollops of the reserved cheesecake batter evenly across the top of the pumpkin layer. Use a toothpick or knife to gently swirl the two batters together. For the prettiest swirls, do not over do it. Be sure to reach towards the bottom of the pan as you swirl to combine the layers.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes at 325°F. The edges of the bars should be set and the center will still be slightly jiggly, but not raw.
- Remove the bars from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Once the bars have reached room temperature, cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil and transfer them to the refrigerator to chill overnight.
Slice the bars into 16 squares with a clean, sharp knife. Serve cold.
Keep bars tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Bars may be frozen. Freeze sliced bars on a baking sheet uncovered until solid. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature and serve cold.
Can substitute 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice for the spices in the pumpkin batter.
Keywords: pumpkin cheesecake bars, pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars