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.
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!
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!
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.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
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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
* 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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