Sugar and spice and everything nice! Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars start with layers of pumpkin pie and creamy cheesecake on a crispy gingersnap crust and are finished off with a decadent caramel pecan sauce.
Having trouble deciding on a dessert to take to your Thanksgiving potluck? Obviously, you can’t go wrong with traditional pumpkin pie topped with a big dollop of whipped cream, but if you’re interested in mixing it up a little this year, Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars are like serving a ginger cookie, pumpkin pie, and cheesecake all in one fabulous dessert! Nothing like covering all the bases!
Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars
This year as I’m preparing for Thanksgiving, especially when reflecting on recent events—natural disasters, senseless shootings, the political climate—I realize how very blessed I am in my little corner of the world. It may all sound somewhat cliché, but I’m thankful for my family, my church, and my home.
John and I will be celebrating 33 years of marriage next month—how can we be that old? I feel so lucky to be on this journey with my best friend and encourager. We have two beautiful, intelligent daughters (and a new son-in-law) and they bless our hearts every day.
God has been good to us and I am grateful every day. Don’t take your family or your health for granted—be thankful every day!
Tips for making Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust
- Lining the baking pan with aluminum foil will make removing the bar easier.
- Use a food processor to make the gingersnap crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, place the cookies in a heavy duty resealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush the cookies.
- When adding the pumpkin pie layer on top of the cheesecake layer, spoon the mixture on top slowly to keep the layers separated. (See in my photo below that I have some squares that are not completely even layers! OOPS!)
- Once the dessert has baked, cool completely on a wire rack then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. This will also make removing them from the pan as well as cutting them into bars easier.
This is no ordinary caramel sauce!
Traditionally, caramel sauce is made by cooking together three simple ingredients: butter, white granulated sugar, and cream until the sugar melts and the sauce is thick. While that is certainly delicious, I decided to really make this dessert decadent by adding pecans and a splash of bourbon!
If bourbon is not your thing, just leave it out and this topping will still be delicious. Also, I’ll let you in on a little secret — if you use brown sugar in place of the white sugar the sauce will become butterscotch instead of caramel.
More Pumpkin Desserts!
- Frozen Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Donuts with Molasses Glaze
- Pumpkin Mascarpone Dip
- And just for fun… German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars!
Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars Recipe
Instead of using graham crackers for the cookie crust, crushed gingersnaps add just the right amount of spice to this dessert and are the perfect compliment to the creamy cheesecake and pumpkin layers. Honestly, these bars are delicious with or without the caramel pecan sauce, but it’s Thanksgiving after all, so why not indulge a little?!
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- 2 cups gingersnap crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Pumpkin Pie Layer
- 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2-1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1-1/4 cup half and half
Pecan Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat over to 325 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Crush gingersnaps in a food processor to make 2 cups of crumbs. Mix with sugar and melted butter and pour into the foil-lined pan and press until evenly distributed. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Place softened cream cheese and 4 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and blend together until creamy. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla and blend until smooth. Pour on top of crust and set aside.
Pumpkin Pie Layer
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, sugar, and pie spice. Stir in half and half. Slowly spoon pumpkin filling on top of cheesecake filling to keep the layers separated.
Pecan Caramel Sauce
- Meanwhile prepare pecan praline topping: In a saucepan bring all the ingredients to a boil excluding pecans and Bourbon. Boil for 3 minutes ensuring that the mixture will not boil over. Remove from heat and stir in the pecans and Bourbon (if using). Set aside.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes total, until the center is set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before refrigerating.
Recipe adapted from Imperial Sugar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 5g
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!