Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Caramel Sauce
Fall is in the air, which means it’s officially pumpkin season! These delicious pumpkin cheesecake bars are the perfect way to celebrate. They’re easy to make and so tasty that you’ll want to keep them all for yourself. But don’t worry, they will surely be a hit with your friends and family. Happy baking!
Cheesecake bars with the perfect pumpkin pie flavor then topped with a cinnamon streusel and homemade bourbon caramel sauce.
In my family, pumpkin is a definite favorite.
FUN FACT: The very second recipe I made for the blog was Pumpkin Old Fashioned Donuts. Make sure to check them out!
When Fall rolls around, it’s time to bring all the Pumpkin Spice, from Warm Spiced Pumpkin Soup to Pumpkin Oats, we love all things pumpkin.
This year I a bringing you the world’s most decadent pumpkin dessert ever!
This recipe features a version of my decadent Cheesecake recipe as a base and then incorporates my Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie recipe. Then the whole thing is topped with the perfect Caramel Sauce.
These pumpkin bars are in your face — all the calories — all the creaminess — full stop — pumpkin deliciousness!
Perfect pumpkin bars start with the classic graham cracker crust.
I love using traditional graham cracker crumbs for these cheesecake bars.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can substitute gingersnaps or even chocolate wafer cookies for the graham crackers. Just use the same weight equivalent, which is about 168 grams.
If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, swap in gluten-free graham crackers.
The crust is prebaked for about 8 minutes to ensure it is nice and toasty.
Let the crust cool while you mix up the cheesecake filling.
Then make a rich and creamy cheesecake filling.
For this recipe, you will start with a batch of plain cheesecake batter and then split it in half.
To one of the halves, you will add the pumpkin and pumpkin spice to create the pumpkin cheesecake layer. Yum!
Add the plain cheesecake layer to the cooled crust and then spread using a spatula or the back of a spoon.
You can chill this layer for about half an hour to ensure the layers are defined. Add the pumpkin layer on top if you don’t mind your cheesecake with a pumpkin swirl effect. You will get some marbling.
I have not tried this recipe with low-fat or dairy-free cream cheese. If you do try it, I’d love to hear about it.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice
I use my Grandma Sisson’s Pumpkin Spice Recipe to make the pumpkin cheesecake recipe. I usually make a batch of it and then use it all through Fall baking seasoning.
The two finishing touches to the best pumpkin bars are a streusel topping and my Bourbon Caramel Sauce.
These are both optional. You can finish this fall dessert with whipped cream alone, which is still amazing. I leave it up to you.
I do, however, recommend NOT skipping Caramel Sauce. It’s to die for!
Plus, once you have a batch, you can eat it on ice cream or just pour it into your mouth right out of the bottle.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Ummm, at our house, this is never an issue. All of them are gone pretty much immediately! But I would say these bars should keep for at least a week in an airtight container. Good luck keeping them around that long.
Yes! Cheesecake bars freeze incredibly well. I would leave off the caramel until after you thaw the frozen cheesecake bars.
Simply remove from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator.
Absolutely! Roasted sugar pumpkins are fantastic if you want to take the time to roast a fresh pumpkin.
I usually roast them completely whole. Roasting time will depend on the size of your pumpkin.
When they are soft, cooled cut them in half. The seeds are easy to scrape out, and the flesh can be spooned and used in your pumpkin recipes.
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Homemade Pumpkin Spice
- Pumpkin Cookies. I have two recipes Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies & Iced Pumpkin Cookies.
- Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Donuts
- Pumpkin Bars
- Vegan Pumpkin Tart
- Pumpkin Oatmeal
- Pumpkin Curry Soup
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 12 full sheets graham crackers
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup Unsalted butter, melted
- 4 8 ounce packages full fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups Granulated sugar
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 4 Eggs, room temperature
- 1 15 ounce can Pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Streusel Topping (Optional)
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Flour
- ⅔ cup instant oats
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ½ cup Butter, softened (not melted)
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Add the graham crackers to the bowl of your food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until you have fine crumbs.
- Transfer the graham crumbs to a medium bowl.
- Add the sugar and cinnamon, mix.
- Melt the butter.
- Add the melted butter to the graham cracker mixture and toss to incorporate.
- Line the baking pan with parchment paper so that after chilling the bars are easier to remove.
- Press the graham mixture into the bottom of the baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove the baked crust and let the crust cool while you make the fillings.
- Add the cream cheese and sugar to a mixing bowl.
- Beat with the paddle attachment until the mixture is smooth an creamy. Do not overbeat.
- Add the eggs one at a time. Mix each one in before adding the next.
- Add the vanilla and the salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Split this mixture in half. Separate into two bowls.
- Add the ingredients for the pumpkin mixture into one of the halves.
- Add the plain cheesecake layer and smooth.
- PRO TIP: If you want a really clean separation in the layers chill this layer for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin cheesecake layer on top. Smooth.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.
- Mix the ingredients for the streusel together.
- After the cheesecake has baked for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and cool slightly.
- Add the streusel topping and then return the cheesecake to the oven.
- Bake an additional 30 minutes.
- Turn oven off and crack the oven door.
- Leave the cheesecake in the oven for an hour.
- Remove the cheesecake and chill in the fridge for about 3 hours.
- Remove the bars from the pan a cut into 24 pieces.
- OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Drizzle with my Bourbon Caramel Sauce.