Pumpkin spice cheesecake bars filled with the flavors and spices of fall…you won’t be able to have just one!
pumpkin spice cheesecake bars

Last night, at the gym, I sneezed.

This might seem not quite momentous to you, but I sneezed while standing on one foot and did not lose my balance. Like, not even a quiver.

Given that I did probably five failed experiments yesterday. It was kind of a big deal.

Quite the accomplishment. IfIdosaysomyself.


And then my brother called to tell me that he closed on an apartment. In Manhattan.

Like, he owns it. For real.

All of a sudden, my core stability did not seem so brag-worthy in the grand scheme of things.

I mean…it’s really stable. But NYC real estate value stable? Ehhhhhh probably not.

How grateful was I to have these bars in the fridge when I got home? And how many did I eat?

Let’s not talk about it.

Except to say that you should forget all other pumpkin cheesecakes (except maybe this one) and just make these bars instead. Not only is it way easier to bake up a cheesecake bar than it is an actual cheesecake. But…you get to cover these in cream cheese frosting. On top of the layer of pumpkin spice cheesecake heaven.

It’s a whammy. A very, very delicious whammy.

I also want to mention that these pumpkin cheesecake bars were made in honor of the OXO Cookies for Kids’ Cancer campaign! For every blog post submitted during the month of September, OXO will be donating $100 to the cause, up to $100,000. In ADDITION (and here’s where you can help out!), for every specially marked item sold, OXO will donate 25 cents in support of pediatric cancer research as part of its $100,000 pledge to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Here’s a list of OXO baking products that will be stickered!

And here’s where you can find OXO and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer on social media:

twitter: OXO | Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

facebook: OXO | Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

instagram: OXO | Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

pinterest: OXO | Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

*In 2013, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through specially marked baking tools, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.

Disclosure – I received some OXO kitchen tools for free but was not otherwise compensated for this post. My thoughts and opinions are my own!


Two years ago…Roasted Carrot and Red Lentil Ragout, Pasta with Oven Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini, Goat Cheese and Mint

Three years ago…Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Red Mole

Four years ago…Zucchini Spice Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars
Pumpkin spice cheesecake bars filled with the flavors and spices of fall...you won't be able to have just one!
Yield: 24 bars
For the sweet pastry dough
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
For the pumpkin cheesecake filling
  • 1 lb low fat cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 2 large eggs
For the cream cheese frosting
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Grease the sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper and then grease again. Set aside.
  2. For the pastry dough, put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse a few times, until it resembles coarse sand. In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg. Add it to the food processor and pulse just until the dough starts to come together, adding water by the tsp if it seems too dry. Pat the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.
  3. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper until it is a bit larger than the pan (9x13-inches). Turn the dough into the pan and lightly press it into the bottom and corners. Trim off any excess. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375.
  5. Line the dough with aluminum foil and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool while you make the filling. Reduce the oven to 300.
  6. For the pumpkin cheesecake filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium until it is smooth. Add the sugar and beat again until combined.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Add this to the cream cheese and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, combining well after each addition.
  8. Pour the cheesecake into the prepared crust and bake for 23-30 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool for and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  9. For the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese until well combined and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix until smooth.
  10. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting over the pumpkin cheesecake filling. Allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
Adapted from Baked Elements
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar


Now can we talk about something else that’s been consumed in my life way more than I’d care to be honest about?


Pret A Manger’s new line of DESSERTS. Now available in ALL US STORES.

And did I mention that they are totally devoid of all obscure chemicals, weirdo additives, and unseemly preservatives, as per the Pret mission statement?

Along with being UTTERLY DELICIOUS.

PicMonkey Collage

I was lucky enough to be sent a few of their new treats to try.

And by a few I mean…the Maple Frosted Banana Cake, Mocha Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Pecan Bar, Love Bar, and the Carrot Cake.

Was it love at first bite? (Of…all of them. In one afternoon. No comment.) I’ll let the photos below speak for themselves.

PicMonkey Collage2

But seriously, the pecan bar was like pecan pie on a stick – buttery caramelly delicious, the love bar was like a granola bar but delicious, the brownies were totally fudgy and ridiculously rich, and the cakes were simple yet decadently smothered in cream cheese frosting.

If you find yourself near a Pret in the near future I would highly recommend picking one of these up!


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78 Responses to Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars

  1. I’m pretty sure this is one of those desserts where I’d continue to cut off little slices until the entire thing disappears… These just look so good! And congrats to Daniel!!!

  2. Oh wow, so many great layers of flavors going on in these bars!!

  3. I love the Love bar. It’s my go-to treat if I need a massive sugar hit when I am out and about.

  4. Sounds like some pretty damn impressive stability and balance if you ask me!

  5. SallyBR says:

    Phil is the anti-cheesecake guy by default. I know, what’s wrong with him?
    But I have the feeling he would like these bars, as the cheesecake nature is in disguise…

    (I’ve been enjoying the chia bars on a daily basis – thanks for recommending them!)

  6. Nice pumpkin cheesecake bars, Joanne, and the Pret bars look like something I need to check out! Thanks for the great double-hitter here!! Enjoy your weekend 🙂

  7. Shannon says:

    those look absolutely delicious, especially with that thick layer of cream cheese icing!

  8. These pumpkin cheesecake bars look divine with the frosting, Joanne.

  9. Tahnycooks says:

    I want to stick my fork in that yummy looking first photo! These look so good.

    I can’t say I have such good balance like you! I would also have to admit if I sneezed I probably would have pee’d myself. Babies…..they do that to you! Ask, any of the ladies at the gym, they’ll all tell ya the same thing!

  10. These look SO good for the fall! I love everything pumpkin, AND everything cheesecake. You have made my dreams come true! And congrats to your brother!

  11. What a lovely thing for OXO to do! This is what I love about the food blogging community. So supportive and thoughtful.

    Also, if I had these around, I would have eaten the whole batch as well.

  12. Sam says:

    I am never going to be able to own real estate anywhere in the 5 boroughs. Maybe pumpkins spice cheesecake bars will make me feel better about that? They look delicious!

  13. Ohhhhhh my gosh these are TO DIE FOR!!! I MUST HAVE THESE IN MY LIFE! Beautifully done Joanne! Great work! Mission to make me wanna eat this: Accomplished!

  14. grace says:

    cream cheese frosting on top of cheesecake? girl, you’re the right kind of crazy. 🙂

  15. gloria says:

    Joanne when I saw these pumpkin bars I think I have to make these, look delicious and I love pumpkin! I love the icing you put in the bars!!

  16. Pam says:

    I am really wishing I had one of these bars to go with my morning coffee. YUM.

  17. Woah. I don’t even want to think about how quickly I’ll eat an entire batch of these. They sound amazing!

  18. I LOVE cream cheese frosting…so likely making these would require me to live at the gym for awhile, haha.

  19. cquek says:

    omg i have never tried pumpkin cheesecake bar… would love to try it.

  20. Wow, such delicious looking pumpkin bars! I love them.

  21. I love pumpkin cheesecake, but I don’t always love making it….these bars are the perfect solution. It’s a win-win!

  22. Wow, congrats to your brother! I love how thick the frosting looks – makes me want to take a bite!

  23. Congrats to your brother!! And congrats to you too for making up such wonderful desserts. I’d totally be able to eat a whole pan full of these, they look scrumptious! x

  24. Oh goodness, these cheesecake bars are calling my name and whispering sweet nothings in my ear. I’m in love! <3 <3 <3

  25. Stacy says:

    Several things: 1. Pret a manger? Love their sandwiches when we are in London so I imagine their sweets are just as awesome. 2. Pumpkin with spice. 3. Cream cheese frosting! 4. In a sweet pastry crust? Oh, yeah!

  26. Christine says:

    Cheesecake-iness topped with cream cheese wonderfulness…heaven! Bookmarking this right now. Sorry to hear about your experiments. At least it’s Friday. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

  27. Beth says:

    I still think the standing-on-one-foot achievement is pretty awesome. Congratulations! (Oh, and same to your brother.)

  28. Dude! Not sneezing while standing on one foot is pretty incredible. So is closing on a Manhattan apt (WUT!?) but… you’ll get there someday, too! One step (or sneeze) at a time 🙂

  29. Kate says:

    I was doing yoga yesterday and was having trouble balancing on one foot without sneezing! You’re a rock star.

  30. Eileen says:

    Ooh, pumpkin and cheesecake, together at last. I am having some most delightful visions of eating a couple of these with a big mug of steaming coffee. Yay!

  31. Hotly Spiced says:

    Congrats on your accomplishment! And your brothers! I don’t think there would be a more difficult place to purchase your first home than Manhattan. You sure would need deep pockets. I love the look of these as the combination of cream cheese frosting with pumpkin would be incredible xx

  32. debbie says:

    Congrats to your brother..wow. I can only imagine how expensive apartments must be in NYC these days! Those pumpkin bars look so good. I could just eat that icing alone!!!

  33. Amy says:

    Your brother bought an apartment in Manhattan. Wow. Has he been saving his pennies since birth? OR did you make 10,000 of these bars, sell them, and he collected the profits? That seems more plausible.

  34. Susan says:

    I timed a sneeze perfectly at the end of the cool down song in my hip hop abs class. It was somewhat awesome. Also how’s this for core shocking, my brother owns two apartments in Manhattan and is currently making them into one, with a laundry room. Jealous much? Yes, I think I am. I will drown myself in your cheesecake bars.

  35. These bars look insane!!! I cannot look at the screen too long without drooling all over it!!!
    Congrats to your bro on his Manhattan apt purchase!!! My sis has lived in Manhattan for the past 10 years but never took the plunge!
    These cheese cake bars would be a GREAT house warming present 🙂

  36. Heather M says:

    These look divine. I am totally pinning AND trying this recipe. They WOULD make a great housewarming gift…..if they make it out of the house. ;D

  37. CCU says:

    That is fantastic, congrats to your brother 😀
    And these bars look delicious, I really want to feel them melting in my mouth 😀


  38. Wow, congrats to your brother for closing escrow!
    My husband and I love all things pumpkin. We can probably finish the entire batch ourselves! Happy Friday Joanne! 🙂

  39. These cheesecake bars look crazy amazing! Love Oxo brand…what a great cause.

  40. “I sneezed while standing on one foot…”
    Were you expecting to levitate or something?
    Woman you crack me up.
    Love the thick-ass frosting on these babies!

  41. Your cheesecake looks wonderful Joanne 🙂

  42. Barbara says:

    I love pumpkin anything! Your cheesecake bars look wonderful, Joanne…almost more frosting than pumpkin! 🙂 This is not a bad thing.
    Never have heard of Pret bars…will look in Whole Foods. I like the sound of the pecan one.

  43. My mom loves pumpkin cheesecake. I so need to make these for her. They look so creamy, and I love that you skipped the traditional graham cracker crust for pie crust!

  44. Seasonally perfect!!! These look delicious. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

  45. Pumpkin and cheesecake is my JAM. I need these bars!

  46. Lynn says:

    Wish I had one of those right now! Love pumpkin baked goods. 🙂

  47. With fall finally upon us, and from the sound of all the comments, it sounds like I’ve finally found a support group for my pumpkin-loving addiction. lol. Just this last week, I’ve made a total of 3 different pumpkin related recipes. For breakfast, I’ve been making a pumpkin oatmeal….I also made pumpkin muffins and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. These pumpkin spice cheesecake bars look delectable….I will definitely have to add them to my repertoire of fall treats/recipes to do by the end of the season! Thanks for the great blog post. I loved the pictures!

  48. Jessie says:

    My sister bought her first house recently, and I was like, man, it’s going to be a long time before I get one of my own! On the plus side, now I can visit her new home! It’ll be nice to see your brother’s new place 🙂

    These cheesecake bars – yum! As for Pret, I really, really wish we had one here.

  49. What yummy looking bars.And a great cause.

  50. I have not make pumpkin cheesecake before but it sounds great. This would be a nice addition to my pumpkin recipes 🙂

  51. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Oh man, I could take one of these right now, okay okay I’d need more than just one 😉 it looks delicious!

  52. Betty says:

    These would surely take care of the pumpkin craving I’ve had ever since the weather cooled down. Yum!

  53. Looks so delicious… I just made pumpkin bars last week. Love pumpkin. Wow, your brother owns an apt in NYC, now that’s a major accomplishment.

  54. How cool to have a place in NY..congrats!
    I could not stop with these bars, I finish the whole in a day and crave for more.

  55. These bars look amazing. I think I would struggle not to eat the whole batch even if I hadn’t just had a day of 5 failed experiments and a brother zooming up the property ladder 🙂 Truthfully though? I’m more impressed with your core stability because (i) I know I’d have toppled to the floor in that sneeze scenario and (ii) NY real estate seems so unattainable it’s not worth me thinking about!

  56. These bars look so decadent! Truly amazing. Pumpkin and cream cheese are just meant for each other, end o’ story. Pinning!

  57. Oh man, that is a big deal – owning an apartment in Manhattan (even I know that…and I’ve never even been to New York) ;). But so is a solid core – for reals. These cheesecake bars are so sinful..I need at least one!

  58. Awww <3 absolutely yummy! I feel the need for one now!

  59. Sarah says:

    Can I substitute pumpkin pie spice for the individual spices listed in this recipe?


    • joanne says:

      I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why you couldn’t! I would use 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice in the recipe to replace the individual spices. Let me know how they turn out!

  60. Monica says:

    Congrats to your brother…I’m also impressed with your balance! ; ) These pumpkin cheesecake bars look like the kind of treat people would line up for at a certain coffee shop!

  61. Foodiewife says:

    Wow. I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin cheese cake but it’s a lot of work to make. These bars have everything luscious that I adore. Pinning!

  62. Monet says:

    Gorgeous. And girl I so relate to the sibling stuff. More than I can say here! These look luscious and creamy and just perfect for an October day. Can you believe October is almost here? Thank you for sharing (and thanks for all your help and advice lately!) xoxo

  63. I really enjoyed reading your post. I live in NYC and the market is brutal. But, we focus on the good stuff: am so happy that pumpkin season has arrived!

  64. Woo for your bro! HATE the NYC housing market…you don’t even want to know my horror stories…I could have used several of these bars when I was dealing with everything!

  65. Megan says:

    Those pumpkin bars look great! I love how you did three different layers.

  66. These bars sound yummy, what a great way to use pumpkin.

  67. Danielle says:

    One would NEVER be enough for me! These bars look delicious!!!! ?

  68. Reeni says:

    Everything about these is screaming my name! Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting? Yes, please! I want like 5 of them in my face right now.

  69. I’m really loving this fantastic OXO campaign, and the delicious treats that everyone is posting! I wish I could have participated!

  70. These bars are absolute perfection! And kudos to your brother – that’s amazing!

  71. Jules Lamb says:

    HUGE HIT at our house! Thank you for further indulging my obsession with all things fall and pumpkin. Yum.

  72. What a nice cause Joanne for cancer kids. These bars are a little dangerous for me, Because I Love these bars, I can eat the entire plate!!

  73. Ashley says:

    I’ve been drooling over these bars for over a week now… darn this catching up on my feedly! These look absolutely divine, Joanne!

  74. My attempts at pumpkin cheesecake have all failed. Spectacularly. Which makes me so sad because I love it sooooo much. These look awesome! Pinned! For when I get brave again!

  75. […] pistachio cornmeal muffins, sweet and salty cake, salt-n-pepper sandwich cookies, grasshopper bars, pumpkin spice cheesecake bars, or one of the other five trillion things I’ve made from them over the past five […]

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