Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust

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Sugar and spice and everything nice! These Pumpkin 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? 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, try my Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars.

This dessert is like serving a ginger cookie, pumpkin pie, and cheesecake all in one fabulous dessert! There’s nothing like covering all the bases!

Why you’ll love this Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake recipe!

  • Rich and Creamy Texture. A smooth and velvety texture like classic cheesecake and the earthy flavor of pumpkin make a tasty combo.
  • Delicious Fall Flavors. Cozy spices make for a festive eating experience.
  • Decadent Caramel Topping. Rich caramel and the slightly smoky undertones of bourbon whiskey complement one another in this luxuriously smooth and sweet sauce.

Ingredient notes

Crust

  • Gingersnap cookies | Crushed gingersnaps add just the right amount of spice to this dessert and are the perfect complement to the creamy cheesecake and pumpkin layers. 
  • Granulated sugar | Just a few tablespoons to sweeten the crust.
  • Unsalted butter | Use butter, not margarine, for the best results in baking.

Cheesecake Filling

  • Cream cheese | Use full-fat brick-style cream cheese (at room temperature) for the best results and creamier filling.
  • Granulated sugar | To sweeten the cream cheese filling (you’ll need more sugar for the pumpkin layer as well).
  • Egg | Adds to the creamy and silky texture of the cheesecake. You’ll need two large eggs for the pumpkin layer as well.
  • Vanilla extract | Add a teaspoon for a little more flavor.

Pumpkin Layer

  • Pumpkin puree | Use a whole 15-oz. can of pumpkin puree, not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling.
  • Pumpkin pie spice | This blend of warm spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves, adds the traditional pumpkin spice flavor to the dessert.
  • Half and half | For a rich pumpkin pie layer, use half and half as opposed to evaporated milk in many pumpkin pie recipes.

Pecan Caramel Sauce

How to make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars recipe

STEP 1 | Make the crust

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.

Crush gingersnaps in a food processor to make 2 cups of fine crumbs. Mix with sugar and melted butter, and pour into the foil-lined pan, pressing into the bottom of the pan until evenly distributed.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

STEP 2 | Prepare the cheesecake layer

Place softened cream cheese and the sugar in a medium bowl and blend at low speed until nice and creamy.

Next, add the egg and vanilla and blend again until smooth. Pour the cream cheese filling on top of the crust, smoothing it into an even layer.

STEP 3 | Mix the pumpkin pie filling

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, and pie spice. Carefully stir in the half and half until incorporated. Next, slowly and gently spoon the pumpkin mixture on top of the cheesecake layer.

tips

  • 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.
  • Once the dessert bars have been 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 and cutting them into bars much easier.

STEP 4 | Bake

Bake the bars for 55 to 65 minutes, until the center is just set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for at least 1 hour before refrigerating.

STEP 5 | Make the caramel topping

Add the sugar, heavy cream, butter, and vanilla to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cook for 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in pecans and a splash of bourbon. Cool slightly. To serve, cut the pumpkin cheesecake bars into squares and drizzle the top with a spoonful of pecan caramel sauce.

For more creative pumpkin recipes, try my Frozen Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake, creamy Pumpkin Mascarpone Dip, Libby’s Pumpkin Bars, and this Slow Cooker Sticky Caramel Pumpkin Cake — YUM!

Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars | Life, Love, and Good Food

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.

Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars | Life, Love, and Good Food

Must-Have Wilton Square Baking Pan

Each 9×9-inch baking pan comes with a convenient lid that keeps baked goods fresher longer.

  • non-stick coating
  • dishwasher safe
8-inch square baking pan with lid

Variations and substitutions

  • If you can’t find gingersnap cookies, use graham cracker crumbs instead and add a pinch of ground ginger and ground cinnamon for a bit of spice.
  • These bars are delicious with or without the caramel pecan sauce, but you may opt to serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream instead.

Storage tips

  • Store Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • You may freeze baked cheesecake bars for up to 30 days. Be sure to allow the cheesecake to cool completely before wrapping and storing in the freezer.

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Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars | Life, Love, and Good Food

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust

Layers of pumpkin pie and creamy cheesecake on a crispy gingersnap crust are finished off with a decadent caramel pecan sauce.
4.07 from 16 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Course Cookies & Bars
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 438 kcal

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 2 cups gingersnap crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

Cheesecake Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Pumpkin Pie Layer

  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ¼ cup half and half

Pecan Caramel Sauce

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions
 

Gingersnap Crust

  • Preheat oven 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.

Cheesecake Layer

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.
  • Once the dessert has been 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 and cutting them into bars much easier.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 438kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 5gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 299mgFiber: 2gSugar: 29g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword cheesecake, chessecake bar, gingersnap, pumpkin pie
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I doubled the gingersnap and cream cheese layers the second time I made it and liked it much better that way! Delicious! I will mske this every year from now on!!!

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