Looking for something new to bring to the holidays dessert table? These pumpkin cheesecake bars are a great alternative to either pumpkin pie or any basic cheesecake!
We chose to marble these cheesecake squares for added visual interest, but if you prefer to just mix it all together it will be just as delicious. If you do try marbling the bars… we poured all the vanilla base (except a few table spoons) in the pan and then poured the pumpkin mix in 3 thick lines in the pan. We then used the reserved vanilla base to hide any pumpkin drops that found its way into the pure white vanilla. Then we took a knife and dragged it through the mix to create the marbled look. The possibilities are endless… feel free to swirl, drag, or zig zag lines through the two colors until you are satisfied. Just a warning – over-swirling will cause the designs to become more muddled, so have a plan of attack!
Crushing the ginger snaps will essentially make them a powder. Some chunks are fine, as long as they are no larger than a dime. This crust is a soft, tender, cake-y crust; however, if you prefer a crunchy crust, substitute your favorite graham cracker crust instead… or add some chopped pretzels to the mix!
Pumpkin Pie Spice
If you are like us and prefer to not pay the “pumpkin tax,” avoid buying pumpkin pie spice all together. Mix up your own with the following recipe: 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Whisk them all together and store in an airtight container for up to 1 year.
Overall, this dessert is not overly sweet, with a soft and spicy ginger crust. It is sure to please the masses, holiday time or anytime!
- 1 pound old fashion ginger snaps, crushed
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 16 ounces softened cream cheese
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup pumpkin
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Crush or food process the ginger snaps, should produce about 3 cups of ginger snap "crumbs".
- Using a fork toss melted butter and one beaten egg with ginger snap crumbs until moistened.
- Press into a 9x13 pan by pushing the ginger crust evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers or a fork. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer beat room temperature cream cheese until smooth.
- Add confectioners sugar and mix until combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating after each addition, scraping sides as necessary.
- Add vanilla and mix until combined.
- Set aside a couple of tablespoons of the cream cheese batter.
- Pour half of the batter (approximately 2 liquid cups), over the crust. Set aside.
- Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to the remainder couple cups of cheesecake. Mix by hand with a spatula until smooth.
- Pour the pumpkin cheesecake mix in 3 thick lines across the top of the cheesecake batter already in the pan.
- Use the reserved few tablespoons of batter to hide any pumpkin drops that found its way into the pure white cheesecake. Take a butter knife and dragged it through the mix to create the marbled look.
- Place in the middle of a preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes or until cheesecake has set. The center should still be giggly and the sides will puff up a bit. This is okay it will set while it is cooling.
For tips on avoiding cracks in your cheesecake take a look at Sally's Baking Addiction of great tips and tricks.