What’s better than a fall-flavored pumpkin pecan cheesecake? Pumpkin pecan cheesecake bars that you can eat with your hands, of course! Our pumpkin pecan cheesecake bars give you all the creamy, dreamy lusciousness of a fork-friendly slice of pumpkin cheesecake, but with the finger-food ability to eat without a plate.
These deeply satisfying dessert bars deliver melt-in-your-mouth bites of spiced pumpkin filling on top of a brown sugar shortbread-style crust studded with pecans. They are so good, you’ll want to make pumpkin cheesecake bars all autumn long. Take them to the upcoming fall harvest parties, football game get-togethers, and holiday gatherings with family and friends. Bake an extra batch to tuck them into your kiddo’s school lunch bag or bring a big batch to treat the whole class.
Not only are these pumpkin pecan cheesecake bars delicious, they are remarkably easy to make. Start by pressing the crust—a simple combination of flour, brown sugar, butter, and pecans—into the bottom of a baking dish and bake until lightly browned. While the crust is cooling, whip together the cheesecake filling and pour over the crust. The cheesecake filling is a scrumptious mixture of softened cream cheese, coconut sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, and fall spices. Slide the baking dish in the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until golden brown. The hardest part of making this dessert is having to wait for it to cool before taking your first bite.
Cook’s note: Coconut sugar is a wildly popular alternative sweetener that has taken the baking world by storm. This succulent sweetener is made from the nectar of coconut blossoms, which is boiled and ground into a granular substance with the texture of brown sugar. From a nutritional standpoint, coconut sugar reigns supreme over refined sugar because it has a lower glycemic index and a more complex flavor. However, keep in mind that coconut sugar is still sugar and should be consumed in moderation. If you don’t have coconut sugar in your pantry, you can swap in brown sugar for this pumpkin pecan cheesecake bar recipe.
The crumb mixture will be the base for the cheesecake bars and the crumbly nutty topping. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and brown sugar. Scatter the cubes of butter into the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter to blend in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans. Remove a 3/4-cup portion of the mixture and set aside for the topping.
Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a baking dish, and bake
Spray an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the remaining crumb mixture into the baking dish and use your fingers to press it into an even layer. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until the edges of the crust are lightly browned. Place the baking dish on a wire rack to cool.
Make the pumpkin cheesecake filling
This pumpkin cheesecake filling is rich with spicy fall flavors. In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer to beat softened cream cheese and coconut sugar until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, pure vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until well-blended.
Pour filling over crust and top with crumb mixture
Pour the pumpkin cheesecake filling over the crumb crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the filling. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Cut into bars and serve
Once the pumpkin pecan cheesecake filling has cooled, cut it into a dozen bars and serve.
These bars scream fall
Crunchy pecans and spiced pumpkin filling are a match made in heaven
Great to bring to a party or just make a batch for your family to snack on