Need to shake up your thanksgiving dessert table? Move over pumpkin pie, and make way for Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.
“Yes!” What I said when the hubs ask me to marry him. BUT there was one deep dark secret I did not know 😲 I was marrying a man who… dare I say… does not like pumpkin pie!
WHAT! I know right! How is that even possible! Pumpkin pie. Yea pumpkin pie. That thanksgiving staple that I somehow make room for every year even though I could not possibly eat another bite of food. Pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream that I end up eating for breakfast the next few days after thanksgiving. MMM silky pumpkin pie.
So yea the man doesn’t like pumpkin pie. Is there something wrong with him? Or is my love of pumpkin pie not normal?
Alas, I’ve learned to cope over the years. It really helps that my family on both sides love pumpkin pie! Hallelujah! My mom-in-law and sister-in-law both make some killer pies as does my mom so yes I WIlL survive.
Of course though, I got a bad itch to make pumpkin pie. But with all the desserts that I make, I want to be able to share. I don’t really want to be stuck eating a whole cake or pie. Whenever possible I try to share with friends or family too, but deep down I still want to please my hungry hubs with something that is both up his alley and mine.
Thus was born these Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.
Um why didn’t I ever make this before?! It is cheesecake’s much creamier, naughtier and decadent cousin. The best part of a cheesecake mixed with the flavors of thanksgiving. WOW. So worth every bite.
Also I would like to add that it’s way easy! No need to make a finicky pie crust. Just a simple graham cracker crust made by the food processor. Yep love that.
As a loyal pumpkin pie lover, I have to admit these pumpkin cheesecake bars are a really close second. Or maybe tied for first. Ahh I don’t know. It is rich, creamy and pumpkiny too but in a different way.
The hubs gave his stamp of approval on this dessert. Which gives me the sneaking suspicion that it will become a Thanksgiving holiday staple. And you know what, I am perfectly fine with that!
Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Yields an 8×8 pan (9 large squares)
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 8 whole crackers
- 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened (2- 8oz containers)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, canned or freshly roasted (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Topping: homemade whipped cream, small portion
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pulse graham crackers, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in the food processor. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix until well blended . Press mixture into the bottom of an 8×8 inch square pan or pie dish.
Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, until set; the color won’t change much. Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool while you make the cheesecake filling.
Mix together egg and sugar until light and foamy (I used a hand mixer). Add the softened cream cheese, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour over baked crust. Smooth out the top with the back of a spatula or spoon.
Bake cheesecake for 25-30 minutes until cheesecake is set. Allow it to cool on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes, then transfer to fridge to chill completely. Cut into squares or rectangles and top with whipped cream.
To make the whipped cream, simply beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until peaks form. Either use a hand mixer or a whisk and 💪.