Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie Bars Recipe with a Soft Ginger Crust

Loving these easy pumpkin cheesecake bars baked atop a soft ginger cookie crust. These are a from-scratch treat with all the spices that invoke the holidays – but why wait until the end of the year to enjoy these?

Pumpkin desserts

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These bars have just the right amount of sweetness needed to complement the pumpkin. The combination of the textures is the element that makes these bars a best seller at my bakery – a creamy, pumpkin cheesecake and a soft ginger cookie crust. For a variation on the recipe, sprinkle a few handfuls of pecans over the top of cheesecake layer before baking and you’ll have even more texture changes in this bar.

Tips for Making the Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

  • Ingredients:
    • Bring your eggs and butter to room temperature before embarking on this recipe.
    • Bring your cream cheese to room temperature – this is important for most cheesecakes. Cold ingredients take longer to mix and encourage overbeating the batter, which may result in a fallen center in a cheesecake. Cold ingredients also often lump during mixing resulting in less smooth batter.
    • Use the canned pumpkin puree you can find in the baking aisle at the grocery store – don’t use pumpkin pie mix.
  • Baking the Bars:
    • These bars will be baked twice: first with the ginger cookie crust only and second with the pumpkin cheesecake. The crust needs to be partially baked first in order to ensure it is fully baked and so the topping does not blend into the crust. Trust me – this extra effort is worth it!
    • Cool the bars completely before removing from the pan and slicing. Leftovers – if you have any – should be refrigerated and covered with foil or plastic wrap for 2 – 3 days.
pumpkin cookie bar recipe

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with a Ginger Cookie Crust

A pumpkin cheesecake baked over a soft ginger cookie crust.
5 from 8 votes
Course Dessert
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Ginger Cookie Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake Topping

  • 16 Ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature Use full fat cream cheese
  • 130 Grams Granulated Sugar (⅔ Cup)
  • 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk, room temperature
  • ¾ Cup Pumpkin Puree (canned) Don't use pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Salt

Instructions
 

Make Ginger Cookie Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Spray 10" x 10" pan with nonstick baking spray and place strips of parchment paper in bottom of pan so the parchment extends over the four pan sides. (note: a 9" x 13" pan may also be used)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, begin creaming the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy (2 – 4 minutes on medium speed). Scrape the bowl as needed.
  • Add the egg and molasses to the bowl and mix on medium speed until incorporated. Scrape the bowl as needed.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
  • Pour the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Using your hands, lightly press the dough down so it evenly covers the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Note: crust will be partially baked; it will finish baking after the Pumpkin Cheesecake topping is added to the pan.
  • Let cool before making the Pumpkin Cheesecake topping.

Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Topping

  • Place cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Run mixer on medium speed for one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium speed for another minute.
  • Add granulated sugar and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing between each addition.
  • Add pumpkin puree and spices. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Pour Pumpkin Cheesecake topping over the partially cooked ginger cookie crust. Spread mixture evenly.

Bake and Unmold

  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. The cheesecake portion will be a little jiggly but it will set up when it cools completely.
  • Cool at room temperature for one hour. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours to set completely.
  • Unmold by pulling up on sides of parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Remove parchment from bottom of the bar. Cut into desired shapes.
Keyword dessert bar recipes, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake bars
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