Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars are made with pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, sugar, light cream cheese, and pumpkin pie spice for the ultimate dessert. Ready in under an hour and topped with a show-stopping cream cheese swirl, these pumpkin bars are perfect for weeknight treats and dinner parties alike.

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Autumn might be long gone, but I’m currently on a pumpkin roll. In fact, ever since I first tried these pumpkin cream cheese bars I’ve been churning out them out of the kitchen like there’s no tomorrow. Can you blame me? Cream cheese is my weakness and when paired with some spiced pumpkin, the final result is pure comfort and bliss.

These delicious cream cheese bars are made with store-bought pie crust to save time and light cream cheese to cut back on fat. You won’t find heavy cream or butter here and trust me, they won’t be missed! These pumpkin cream cheese bars are more than delicious without any of that stuff.

Whether you’re looking for a healthier snack for after-dinner treats, the ultimate potluck dessert, or the perfect way to impress the guests at your next dinner party, look no further than this pumpkin bars recipe. Once you’ve taken that first bite, I guarantee you’ll be hooked. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Ingredients for pumpkin cream cheese bars including pumpkin puree, cream cheese, evaporated milk, eggs, cinnamon, and pie crust.

Key Ingredients

To bring these pumpkin cream cheese bars to life, you’re going to need the following key ingredients:

  • Pie crust: You can use a store-bought pie crust or make your own at home! I’ve used a reduced-fat store bought pie crust for this one to save on time, but a homemade graham cracker crust would work great too.
  • Pumpkin puree: Check the label before buying to make sure the only ingredient is pumpkin. You don’t want to wind up with pumpkin pie filling, which is made with tons of sugar and added spices.
  • Eggs: These act as a binder to hold everything together and help us achieve a really smooth, silky consistency.
  • Evaporated milk: This is creamier and denser than regular milk, without all the extra fat of heavy cream. It’s the perfect tool for getting the creamiest, best pumpkin cream cheese bars.
  • Cream cheese: I prefer to use light cream cheese (reduced-fat) to keep this dish on the lighter side, but use whichever kind you like.
  • Sugar: You will need brown sugar, white sugar, and powdered sugar for this dessert recipe. The first two are used in the delicious pumpkin filling, while the powdered sugar is used in the decadent cream cheese swirl.
  • Pumpkin spice" A staple in any pumpkin dessert recipe, you can easily whip up your own blend with my Homemade Pumpkin Spice recipe.
  • Salt.:The salt really helps to bring out all of the flavors, so don’t skip it.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars Recipe Tips

Want to make the best pumpkin cheesecake bars ever? Here are some of my top tips and substitutions to help you do just that:

  • Let them cool. Once these bars are out of the oven, let them cool completely before you start cutting into them. By waiting, you’ll end up with bars that have a cleaner and more even cut.
  • Double the recipe. If you’re preparing the recipe for a bigger crowd, just double it up. Just use a larger baking dish (or two same-sized baking dishes) and increase the baking time if needed.
  • Warm the cream cheese. Before you add your cream cheese to the mix, make sure that it’s softened. Using it while it’s cold and hard would make for a lumpy mixture, which could result in cracks in the bars.
  • Add some nuts. If you’re looking for a crunch, feel free to add some chopped almonds or pecans to the mix. You could also use them as a topping once the bars are out of the oven.
  • Play around with toppings. For an easy and delicious way to upgrade this dessert, play around with some toppings. Some streusel toppings, a drizzle of caramel or hot fudge, or even some Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds—you’ll fall in love at first bite!

Pumpkin cheesecake bars with pie crust stacked on a plate with a wire rack on the side with more pumpkin bars.

How to Store Pumpkin Bars

You’ll need to store them in an airtight container if you have extras (which never happens in my house, to be honest). Since these bars have swirls of cream cheese (dairy), I like to stay cautious and keep them in the fridge instead of on the counter. You can store them like this for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze cream cheese bars? Yes! All you have to do is place the bars in the freeze on a baking tray until mostly frozen (20 minutes or so), then wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or bag. Then, you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this pumpkin cream cheese bars recipe

No! While the two look very similar and you’ll probably find them in the same aisle at the grocery store, they couldn’t be more different. Condensed milk is much thicker and sweeter and would end up overpowering the other flavors in the bars.

Using cold ingredients and overbaking are typically the main causes of cracked bars. But don’t worry, they still taste just as good and you can always sprinkle some toppings to cover the cracks up. Just something to keep in mind for the future!

The toothpick method works like a charm! If you think your cheesecake bars are done baking, just stick a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, the dish is finished.

Cream cheese and pumpkin bars sliced into squares on a wire rack.
The Recipe
Pumpkin cream cheese bars with a pie crust base sliced into squares on a wire baking rack.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

TOTAL TIME: 1 Hours, 5 Min
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  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (store bought)
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs (divided)
  • 12 oz. can nonfat evaporated milk (divided)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 8 oz light cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar

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Spread the pie crust out in a 9 X 13 glass dish coated with cooking spray. Par-bake according to package directions. Set aside.

Pie crust in a baking dish with fork marks in a baking dish.

Change the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Remove 1 tbsp of milk from the can of evaporated milk and set aside for the cream cheese swirl. Combine the pumpkin, the remaining milk, 2 eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Pour over the crust.

Pumpkin puree mixed with eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and evaporated milk in a bowl with a whisk.

Melt the cream cheese until soft in the microwave. Whisk in 1 egg, the reserved 1 tbsp of evaporated milk, and the powdered sugar.

Cream cheese mixed with egg, powdered sugar, and evaporated milk in a bowl with a whisk.

Using a knife, swirl the cream cheese mixture into the pumpkin.

Pumpkin and cream cheese bars before being baked in a dish.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Turn down to 350 and bake for 30-35 more minutes.

Pumpkin cream cheese bar on a plate with pumpkin custard and cream cheese swirls.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving
Calories 234
Calories from Fat 82
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
Saturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 58mg
Sodium 246mg
Total Carbohydrate 33g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 21g
Protein 6g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the authorMeet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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