These rich, creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars get an added flavor pop from the spicy gingerbread crust making them the ideal holiday dessert.
For the crust
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
For the cheesecake
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish or spray with cooking spray.
- Mix the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt to a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Mix the wet ingredients. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-low speed until combined. Add the molasses, egg and milk. Continue mixing until smooth. Slowly add the flour mixure and continue to beat until all ingredients are incorporated. The batter will be quite thick.
- Make the crust. Spread the crust evenly into the greased baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Make the cheesecake layer. While the crust is baking add the cream cheese and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low until smooth. Add the pumpkin and beat again until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once. Add the egg, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Beat again until fully incorporated.
- Bake. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the gingerbread layer, using the back of a spoon to smooth as needed. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until the chesecake is set in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
- Set the cheesecake. Once partially cooled, place the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Top with chopped pecans and serve.
- You can make the cheesecake while the cake layer is cooking so the total hands-on time, including baking, for this recipe is really closer to 60 minutes.
- You need to plan for at least an hour for the cheesecake to cool and set so I recommend making this early in the day.
Keywords: Thanksgiving desserts, holiday desserts