I may never make another pumpkin pie again. A chewy spiced crust, silky pumpkin cheesecake center and a gingersnap crumble on top have made gingersnap pumpkin cheesecake bars my favorite pumpkin dessert ever.
This is not a drill!!
Stop, drop and roll that pumpkin pie right on out of here.
There’s a new pumpkin dessert in town and while it’s not in a traditional circle NO ONE is going to care because the flavor is out of this world.
I’ve loved a well made Pumpkin Pie since I was a little girl. A dollop of freshly whipped cream on top and I’m a happy girl.
Then I grew up and could never miss out on a slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner, but Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake quickly took over as one of my favorite pumpkin desserts.
This year things are changing and if you don’t make these gingersnap pumpkin cheesecake bars you are missing out on the
BEST PUMPKIN DESSERT EVER.
Now listen, if you still want a pumpkin pie, but you’re afraid to try your hand at your first pie like I linked to above I think you should totally try our No Bake Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust.
BUT! If you’re willing to merely have a different shape, these gingersnap pumpkin cheesecake bars are the most delicious dessert we’ve made this year.
That’s a big statement!
And don’t worry, it tastes more like a pumpkin bar than a cheesecake but still has the silky, creamy goodness of a cheesecake so you’ll please everyone no matter their faves.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
These gingersnap pumpkin cheesecake bars are the best dessert ever. The crust has so much flavor and it holds up really well versus crumbling or a soggy pie crust. It’s chewy, spicy and so delicious.
But then there’s that filling too. It’s a simple pumpkin cheesecake that does not require any water bath or anything! It’s light, creamy and tastes like fall.
Don’t forget the topping! On top we’ve created a gingersnap crisp or crumble that you can barely even notice but just wait until you take that first bit! It’s everything you love about gingersnap cookies, pumpkin pie and cheesecake all rolled into one bar.
The whipped cream on top isn’t necessary but I personally love how it lightens up the dish.
How to Make Gingersnap Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
These bars are made up of three different layers, but the layers come together very quickly and with lots of fattening ingredients so it’s a fun way to fatten up your guests.
Gingersnap Cookie Cake Crust
To speed up the process of making a tart crust we are going to use crumbled gingersnap cookies and a yellow cake mix.
Before you start
- Separate a portion of the cake mix into a bowl for the topping.
- Separate some of the gingersnap cookie crumbs into the bowl with the reserved cake mix.
For the crust
- Mix together the remaining cake mix and cookies.
- Add the butter and egg and stir to combine.
- Press the batter into the bottom of a pan. See hint below.
- Set aside.
Tip for Pressing out Crust Batter
Pressing out a dough batter in a pan like with our caramel brownies can be a little annoying. You’re trying to get it all over the bottom of the pan but it’s not like you have a ton of dough to work with.
Instead of using a spatula or your fingers, try using your knuckles and quickly rolling and dabbing them across the pan in order to work the dough to all of the corners.
Center the Dough
Speaking of, it’s best if you start with the dough in the very center of the pan versus working all the way from one end to the other.
What Can You Substitute For Cream Cheese?
Because these are cheesecake bars there isn’t a great substitute that will turn out exactly like cream cheese other than neufchatel cheese, but those are pretty much the same thing.
If you absolutely cannot get cream cheese you could try Ricotta or a thick, whole fat Greek yogurt, but again, the results will be different.
Can You Use Fresh Pumpkin Instead Of Canned Puree?
You can totally use fresh pumpkin and the results will be even more silky and wonderful.
How to Make Fresh Pumpkin Puree
Only use baking pumpkins from the grocery store, never a Halloween pumpkin. Baking pumpkins are small and round. Ask your grocer if you’re worried.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the pumpkin in half, scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then bake on a sheet pan for about 1 hour until the meat is tender.
- Scoop out all the pumpkin from the skin, and puree in a Blender (you get 20% off with our code: OHSWEETBASIL20) until smooth.
- Let the pumpkin puree strain in a colander lined with cheesecloth or a damp, thick paper towel for an hour or so, to remove some of the water from the pumpkin puree.
- Remove 2 Cups to use for the recipe.
What Can You Substitute For Pumpkin Pie Spice?
If you need a substitute for pumpkin pie spice try this:
- 3 Tablespoons Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons Ginger
- 2 teaspoons Nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons All Spice
Place everything into a jar with a lid and keep in your pantry.
Can Pumpkin Cheesecake Be Left Out?
I mean, for a little bit… but no. You gotta get that baby in the fridge as it’s packed full of dairy.
A cheesecake can sit out for 4 hours max.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Cheesecake?
You can freeze these bars by wrapping with plastic wrap and foil and freezing for up to 6 weeks.
What is Stabilized Whipped Cream?
Stabilized whipped cream holds its shape for a few days without deflating because unflavored gelatin is added upon beating the mixture.
Have you ever made whipped cream, piped it on the top of a dessert, and then within 30 minutes its just a deflated mess or even a puddle on top?
I hate that!
Back in the day I thought I wasn’t whipping my cream enough.
It’s just a different kind to make.
I never make stabilized unless I’m presenting a dessert as it is a longer process.
How to Make Stabilized Whipped Cream
- Chill your bowl and beaters for 10 minutes for the best results. I’ve skipped this which is fine too.
- Pour 2 teaspoons of water in a small microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan, sprinkle a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin on top.
- Let sit for 3 minutes.
- Place the bowl with the gelatin in the microwave and warm it up for just a few seconds or over low heat just until dissolved.
- Set aside.
- Beat 1 cup of heavy cream with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until fluffy.
- With the beaters on, drizzle in the gelatin and then beat until stiff peaks just start to for.
- Put in a piping bag and pipe onto dessert.
Do Gingersnap Cookies Help Nausea?
Ginger cookies can help settle a weak stomach, but let’s be honest, when I was in the hospital with Hyperemesis Gravidarum there was not a cookie in the world that would have helped.
Gingersnap Pumpkin Bars
- 1 Package Cake Mix, yellow
- 1 Cup Cookies, ginger snap, crushed
- 1/2 Cup Butter, melted
- 1 Egg, large
- 1 Package Cream Cheese, softened, 8 ounces
- 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar, we prefer dark
- 3 Large Eggs, whisked
- 1 Can Pumpkin Puree, 29 ounces
- 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Cookies, ginger snap, crushed
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Butter, cold, cubed
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Set aside 3/4 Cup of the cake mix in a separate bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine gingersnap cookies and remaining cake mix. Mix until well combined.
- Add butter and egg and stir to combine again then press into a parchment lined 9x13" baking pan. (We prefer this gold one because testing has shown it to achieve the most even bake and color.) Set aside.
For the Filling
- In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth.
- Completely scrape the pumpkin out of the can and add it, the cream, spices and vanilla to the bowl and beat only until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.
- Pour over the crust and use a rubber spatula to spread evenly.
For the topping
- In the bowl with the reserved 3/4 cup of cake mix, add the cookie crumbs and sugar. Mix to combine so it makes an even topping.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling evenly.
- Carefully move the bars to the center rack of the oven to bake at 325 for 70-75 minutes or until the center reaches 160 degrees and only has a slight jiggle. Cool for 2 hours then serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Store in the refrigerator.