Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Nutella Swirl. Apple cinnamon gingersnap cookie crust topped with creamy cheesecake filling that stars pure pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and vanilla bean paste. Nutella swirled into top of filling before baking. This is a stunning autumn dessert that satisfies year-round.
An autumn style recipe in the middle of summer. I was craving gingersnap cookies. I decided to make them from scratch and use some of the cookies to create cheesecake bars. I made lemon cheesecake bars not too long ago, so I decided to grab a can of pure pumpkin and make pumpkin cheesecake bars.
These bars start with a homemade gingersnap cookie recipe. This is a soft cookie that gets great flavor from dark molasses, ground ginger, cinnamon and applesauce. Rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking, they melt in your mouth.
Pure pumpkin is one of a handful of canned fruits I ever reach for. Apricots, pineapple and pitted red cherries at retail establishments, Luxardo cherries in specialty stores or online coming to mind as the others.
Pure pumpkin is a great product. The larger (almost 2 pound) cans provide enough pumpkin for several desserts. It’s a serious bargain. And a seriously good product.
Why You Should Make These Cheesecake Bars
- these bars are bursting with flavor.
- the pumpkin Nutella pairing is amazing.
- its ideal to make these the day before serving.
- they look and taste dinner party ready.
How To Make These Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Our pumpkin cheesecake bars sit on a base of gingersnap cookies. I used a soft, made from scratch cookie for my dessert bar base. A store bought ginger snap or cinnamon graham cracker would work equally as well. I would add an extra tablespoon of melted butter to either, as they are generally a drier cookie than the one I make homemade.
The gingersnap cookies are ground into crumbs using a food processor. A few tablespoons of melted butter are added and the crumbs and butter are pulsed to combine.
The cookie crumb mixture is transferred into an 8 x 8-inch baking pan and pressed evenly into the bottom. I start by using my hands for this task and then use the bottom of a flat measuring or drinking glass to get an even, hard pressed down result. I use my fingers or a 4-inch offset spatula along the edges. I also line the bottom and two side of the baking pan with parchment paper so I can easily remove the bars later.
The cookie base is baked in a hot oven for 8 minutes to firm and crisp.
Cream cheese is added to a stand mixer and beaten on medium until smooth and creamy. Sugar is added to the cream cheese and the combo is beaten until smooth and creamy. Pure pumpkin is added to the sugar mixture and beaten long enough to incorporate. Vanilla is added and beaten, along with a mix of flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. You can substitute pumpkin pie spice for the spices if you like. Two eggs are added, one at a time and beaten just long enough to incorporate.
The cheesecake batter is poured over the cooled gingersnap crust and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
Nutella is dolloped in lines over the top of the cheesecake filling. A sharp knife is run from one end of the baking pan to the opposite end four or five times to create a swirling pattern.
The cheesecake is baked for a little more than a half hour to set the filling. Cooled to room temperature, the bars are refrigerated for several hours or overnight.
Other Cheesecake Recipes You Might Enjoy:
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with Nutella Swirl
- 360 grams broken gingersnap cookies (2 cups)
- 56 grams unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), melted butter
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
- 24 grams all-purpose flour (3 tablespoons)
- 3 grams ground cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
- 1 gram ground nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon)
- 1 gram ground ginger (1/4 teaspoon)
- 1 gram fine sea salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- 450 grams cream cheese (16 ounces), softened
- 200 grams granulated sugar (1 cup)
- 185 grams pumpkin puree (3/4 cup)
- 10 grams vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (2 teaspoons)
- 100 grams egg (2 large), lightly beaten
- 120 grams Nutella (1/3 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and two opposite sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving enough parchment on the two opposite ends to create handles for lifting the cheesecake bars out of the pan.
- Add broken cookies and melted butter to food processor and process until cookies are ground into fine crumbs. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared baking pan.
- Press the cookie crumb mixture evenly across the bottom of the baking pan using your fingers, a flat bottom drinking glass, or small offset spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove baking pann from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Cool completely
Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add all-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and fine sea salt to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Add cream cheese to stand mixer. Beat on medium for 4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula.
- Add sugar and beat on medium for 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula.
- Add pumpkin puree, vanilla bean paste, and flour mixture. Beat on low for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula.
- Add eggs one at a time. Beat just long enough to incorporate after each addition.
- Pour the cheesecake batter over the cooled gingersnap crust. Spread evenly with a small offset spatula.
- Dollop Nutella over cheesecake using a teaspoon.
- Using a sharp knife run the blade back and forth through the Nutella to create swirls in the cheesecake batter.
- Bake the cheesecake bars 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheesecake is set along the edges and a slight jiggle in the middle.
- Remove the cheesecake bars and cool on wire rack to room temperature. Chill 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Run a paring knife around the edges of the cheesecake bars. Tilt pan slightly and using the parchment paper on one side of the pan, lift the cheesecake bars up and slide them out of the baking pan.