These three-layered pumpkin cheesecake bars are everything you love about a decadent pumpkin pie and a rich cheesecake in delicious little squares! Every bite of these bars feel light and airy, not dense and heavy. After a big holiday meal, they are the perfect sweet treat!
- For Crust:
- 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- For Cream Cheese Layer:
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 package block-style cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
- For Pumpkin Layer:
- 1 can (15 ounces) 100% pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 cup sugar
Gather the ingredients.
Heat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and 1/3 cup of sugar. Stir in the melted butter. Pat into the bottom of prepared baking pan and set aside.
Beat the 2 eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Pour over the graham cracker crust and smooth out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool.
Beat pumpkin, egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, the milk, salt, and cinnamon in top of a double boiler. Cook over boiling water, stirring frequently until thick, about 5 minutes.
In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin in cold water. Stir over low heat just until dissolved.
Stir the gelatin into the pumpkin mixture. Set aside to cool completely.
When cooled, beat the egg whites in electric mixer until foamy. Gradually beat in the 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff and glossy.
Gently fold beaten egg whites into cooled pumpkin mixture.
Pour over the cream cheese layer in pan and refrigerate until very cold and set, at least 3 hours.
To serve, cut into 15 squares. Each square can also be topped with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
- Graham cracker crumbs can be purchased pre-made, or you can crush your own by using a food processor. Simply place broken up sheets of graham crackers in the base of the food processor and pulse until it forms fine crumbs. In this recipe, approximately 24 single graham crackers will yield the 1 3/4 cups of crumbs necessary.
- Make sure you have purchased a can of 100% pure pumpkin, not a prepared pumpkin pie filling. Especially around the holiday season, grocery stores often carry both items and stock them right next to each other in the store. Pure pumpkin is simply cooked and pureed pumpkin, while pumpkin pie filling is a convenience item that has already been sweetened and flavored with spices like cinnamon, clove, allspice and ginger.