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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

With two layers of tender pumpkin cake and a layer of creamy cheesecake, these pumpkin cheesecake bars are the perfect fall treat. They have all your favorite autumn flavors, and are topped with a crunchy and buttery pecan praline. 

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

These decadent and comforting pumpkin cheesecake bars are one of my favorite desserts to make when fall rolls around. The easy-to-make bars are packed with two layers of pumpkin cake that’s rich, spicy, and super moist, and a layer of smooth and luscious cheesecake. But the star of these bars might be the praline topping which adds crunch, depth, nuttiness, and an irresistible caramel flavor. 

Whether you’re making these pumpkin cheesecake bars as a weeknight treat or a dessert to serve at a party, everyone is bound to love them. They’re loaded with fall flavors like hearty pumpkin and warm spices, and they’re indulgent but not too heavy. You’ve got to give them a try. 

A pumpkin cheesecake bar with a praline topping and a bit taken out of it.

Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars Recipe

These rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars with a crispy pecan praline are one of my favorite desserts to make. Here’s why you’ll love them, too. 

  • Easy. This fall dessert is surprisingly easy to make. Even though it has three different components, each layer is easy to put together. These rich pumpkin cheesecake bars taste like something from your favorite bakery, but it takes less than an hour to make them.
  • Fall flavors. One of my favorite things about autumn is getting to eat fall foods. The flavors of fall are rich, hearty, warm, spicy, and above all, comforting. These cheesecake bars are packed full of those flavors, like pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spices, nuts, and vanilla. This dessert will fit perfectly on your Thanksgiving table, or as a treat on any cold day. 
  • Easy to scale. This is a pretty large recipe, as it yields 30 tender, praline-covered pumpkin cheesecake bars. But it’s really easy to increase the size of the recipe. If you’re hosting or attending a party, you can double or triple these cheesecake bars quite easily. 
  • Amazing textures. There are so many different flavors in these easy pumpkin cheesecake bars, but there are also tons of different textures. The cake is moist and soft, the cheesecake is creamy and smooth, and the praline is crunchy and full of chewy nuts. All those different textures work together so well. 
A measuring cup full of pumpkin puree next to a can of it.

What You’ll Need

Here are all the ingredients that you’ll need to make this cozy fall dessert. Head to the recipe card at the end of the page for the exact amounts of each ingredient.

For the Cake:

  • Butter – Make sure to use unsalted butter at room temperature.
  • Brown sugar – I prefer light brown sugar for this recipe.
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Vanilla – Always use 100% pure vanilla extract.
  • Eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Canned pumpkin – Make sure that the pumpkin is unflavored and unsweetened.
  • Flour

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • Cream cheese – The cream cheese needs to be at room temperature. 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla

For the Praline Topping:

  • Butter – It’s important to use cold butter for the praline.
  • Light brown sugar
  • Flour
  • Pecans – I like to use chopped pecans. 

How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

These luscious and rich dessert bars take less than an hour to make. Here’s how to make them.

  • Prep. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Coat the foil with nonstick spray, then set aside. 
  • Cream the butter. Add the butter and brown sugar for the cake to a stand mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Season. Add the pumpkin pie spice and mix for 20 more seconds. Then add the vanilla, eggs, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until the batter is smooth.
  • Add pumpkin and flour. Put the pumpkin in the bowl and mix on low until the ingredients are combined. Then add the flour and mix until the ingredients are incorporated. 
Close up of pumpkin cake batter in a bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Spread half the batter. Put half of the cake batter in the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly. 
  • Make the cheesecake filling. Place the sugar and softened cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat until they’re smooth and incorporated. Add the egg and vanilla to the mixture, then beat on medium until combined.
  • Add the cheesecake. Pour all of the cheesecake filling into the baking dish and spread it evenly over the cake batter. 
  • Add the rest of the cake. Place the remaining cake batter on top of the cream cheese filling, and spread it evenly. 
Three side by side images: a picture of pumpkin cake batter spread in a baking dish; a picture of cheesecake filling spread over the batter; and a picture of more cake batter spread over the cheesecake.
  • Make the praline. Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Pour in the pecans and flour and mix until crumbly. 
  • Add the praline. Sprinkle the pecan praline mixture evenly over the top of the bars.
  • Bake. Put the pumpkin cheesecake bars in the oven on the center rack. Bake until the center is set to the tough, which should take about 30-35 minutes.
  • Cool. Remove the baking dish from the oven, and cool the pumpkin bars on a wire rack. 

Tips for Success

These rich and hearty pumpkin bars are so easy to make, but here are a few tricks to help you out.

  • Don’t over-mix the cake. When you’re making the moist and fluffy pumpkin cake, make sure that you don’t over-mix the batter. Cake batter that’s been over-mixed results in a cake that’s dense and chewy. Mix the batter until the ingredients are just incorporated. 
  • Use room-temperature eggs. I always use room-temperature eggs when baking. Eggs that are cold don’t mix as well with the other ingredients, which will make your cake have a worse texture. If you use room-temperature eggs, the cake will be smooth, light, and fluffy. 
  • Cool completely. It’s really tempting to eat these decadent pumpkin cheesecake bars as soon as they come out of the oven. But for best results, let the dessert cool completely before cutting into it and eating it. The pumpkin bars will firm up as they rest, giving them a better texture and making them easier to cut. 
  • Rotate if necessary. It’s a good idea to check on your pumpkin cheesecake bars halfway through baking time. Some ovens don’t heat evenly, so the bars might be cooking unevenly. If the dessert looks like it’s cooking more on one side than on the other, simply rotate the baking dish.
  • Use different nuts. I use pecans when I make this fall dessert because I think they go so well with rich pumpkin and warm pumpkin pie spices. But you can use any type of nuts that you like for the buttery praline. Feel free to use whatever type of nut is your favorite, or whatever nuts you have around. 
Overhead view of a baking dish full of uncut pumpkin cheesecake bars topped with a praline.

How to Store Cheesecake Bars

These autumnal pumpkin cheesecake bars will last in the fridge for 5 days. Just make sure to let the bars cool completely, then store them in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Can I Freeze These?

You sure can! Let the pumpkin cheesecake bars cool entirely, then place them in an airtight container or bag. They’ll last in the freezer for 3 months. Thaw the bars overnight in the fridge before serving. 

Close up of a pumpkin cheesecake bar topped with pecan praline.

More Pumpkin Dessert Ideas

It feels like every dessert I make in the fall and winter has pumpkin in it. And I’m not complaining! Here are some more of my favorite pumpkin desserts for you to try making. 

Print
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Image of Two Cream Cheese Pumpkin Praline Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 30 bars 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These easy pumpkin cheesecake bars have a creamy and smooth cheesecake filling sandwiched by two layers of moist and tender pumpkin cake. A crunchy pecan praline on top makes this the ultimate fall dessert. 


Ingredients

Scale

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup flour

For the Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Praline Topping:

  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and coat in with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and brown sugar for the cake. Mix together for 2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Add in the pumpkin pie spice and mix for 20 more seconds until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add in the vanilla, eggs, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and continue mixing until smooth.
  4. Add the pumpkin and mix on low speed until combined, then add the flour. Mix the batter until just incorporated.
  5. Spread half of the batter onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Transfer the remaining batter into a small bowl while you make your filling.
  6. In the clean bowl of your stand mixer, add the cream cheese and sugar. Using the paddle attachment, mix until smooth.
  7. Add in the egg and vanilla and continue to mix on medium speed until combined.
  8. Spread the cheesecake filling over the batter in the pan, then top with the remaining batter.
  9. In the clean bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and brown sugar for the praline. Beat until smooth, then add the flour and pecans and mix until combined and crumbly, about 1 minute. 
  10. Sprinkle the praline mixture on top of the pumpkin cake batter.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the center is set to the touch.
  12. Allow to cool on a wire rack completely and cut into bars.

Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. 
  • Feel free to use any kind of nuts. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 159
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 132.9 mg
  • Fat: 9.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.6 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 38.5 mg

Keywords: pumpkin cheesecake bars, pumpkin cheesecake bars recipe

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20 comments on “Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars”

  1. This was a miss for me. I had trouble stretching the batter to cover the 9×13 pan, which meant that by the third layer it was starting to swirl together. The streusel wasn’t crumbly enough. And the spice was way too subtle for me. If I made it again, I’d use a smaller pan and double the pumpkin spice or add cinnamon.

  2. The video shows a hand mixer, not a stand mixture. The base looked like it was curdled because I used the directions and didn’t check the video first.

    1. I use a stand mixer, but you can also use a hand mixer. The mixer won’t affect the outcome, unless you overmix, which is easier to do with a hand mixer 🙂

  3. Alyssa Rousseau

    Definitely more like a coffee cake. They were good, but not what I was expecting from the description.

  4. So- I totally read this wrong and used a whole can of pumpkin. I added an extra 1/4 cup Einkorn flour. I also had to substitute walnuts and dark brown sugar. The pumpkin to cream cheese ratio is a bit off having used a whole can but they are delicious!

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