I would like to officially welcome you to the fall season with these OFF THE CHARTS Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust. Yes, you heard me correctly…the base is made of gingersnaps! And, how pretty are they? Totally swooning over the look and taste of these.
What I like about this recipe is that they are in bar form, so no need for a spring form pan, water bath, or any of that nonsense. Just a good ‘ole square pan will do the trick here.
The cheesecake is so creamy and tangy, and when the pumpkin layer bakes into the cheesecake it thickens up and turns into what I can only describe as pumpkin butter consistency. Add in the spiced ginger snap crust, and it’s just the perfect combination.
There’s a reason we go nuts for pumpkin desserts here in America, and can we really be blamed? I mean, LOOK AT THIS BITE.
A few tips/notes:
1. Use full fat cream cheese (I always use Philadelphia brand – nothing else compares, honestly) and sour cream.
2. Make certain your cheesecake layer ingredients are all at room temperature. If not, you will have a lumpy batter (and no one likes a lumpy batter).
3. Don’t increase your mixer speed past medium low. If you incorporate too much air, your cheesecake will crack! Boo!
4. The gingersnap layer is crunchier than a classic graham cracker crust. Just don’t want you to be alarmed or think you did something wrong! It’s meant to be that way 🙂
Get to it, and feel free to leave a review or comment if you make these!
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust
- 8×8 inch pan
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment, or handheld mixer
- Parchment paper
- Food processor (or gallon bag and rolling pin)
- 2 cups ginger snaps crushed/ground
- 2 T granulated sugar 25 g
- 6 T unsalted butter melted (86 g)
- ⅛ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup canned pumpkin 220 g
- 1 T light brown sugar 13 g
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 16 oz cream cheese (full fat) room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar 150 g
- ¼ cup sour cream (full fat) room temperature (60 g)
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper overhangs so you can easily remove the bars after baking. It helps to lightly grease the pan first so the parchment sticks.
- Using a food processor (or gallon ziplock and rolling pin), grind/crush up about 30 ginger snaps to yield 2 cups of ground cookies and pour it into a mixing bowl. Add the 2 T of granulated sugar, the salt, then drizzle in the melted butter while mixing with a fork until all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan (I like to use the bottom of a measuring cup), taking care to press it into the sides and corners.
- Bake the crust for 8 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- While the crust is cooling, mix the pumpkin and spices in a bowl until combined and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), mix the cream cheese and sugar until together on medium low speed until creamy, then scrape down the sides. Add one egg and mix on low until incorporated, then add the second egg and mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, then add in the sour cream and vanilla and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down the sides once more, and give a quick mix on low again until fully combined. It’s important to keep the mixer on low to medium low speed so you don’t incorporate too much air.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture onto the cooled crust and spread evenly. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to a piping bag (Ziploc bag also works), cut a small opening and drizzle the pumpkin mixture over the top of the cheesecake layer. Using a butter knife, swirl the pumpkin through the cheesecake mixture to create a marbling effect.
- Bake the bars at 350 F for 45 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set but still jiggles in the center. If the center looks sloshy in any way, continue baking.
- Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the fridge to cool overnight (or at least 3 hours), uncovered. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper slings, cut into 9 (or 16) slices, and serve!