If you can’t decide between pumpkin pie and cheesecake then it’s time to make these Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars. Why not have both? These pumpkin bars are perfectly spiced, mixed with cheesecake batter then baked on top of a salty pretzel crust.
They’re perfect for a sweet snack on-the-go! They go great with coffee in the morning for breakfast, afternoon sugar rush or after dinner dessert. They’re easy to make and super easy to eat.
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars are essentially pumpkin pie and cheesecake made into a bar. Dessert bars are one of my favorite things to make because they’re simple and very versatile.
Fall themed desserts are so comforting and delicious. If you’re a fan of fall desserts then my Pecan Upside Down Cake is a rustic cozy treat you would really enjoy!
What is a Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bar?
You make Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars out of three main parts.
- The pumpkin pie filling – This contains pumpkin puree, eggs, heavy cream, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt and spices
- The cheesecake batter – This contains cream cheese, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla extract
- The pretzel crust – This contains pretzels, butter and granulated sugar
You swirl the pumpkin pie filling and cheesecake batter together on top of the salty pretzel crust then bake it. Let the bars cool then it’s time to dig in!
How to store Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
You can store these pumpkin cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can also be store on the counter top in an airtight container for 12 hours then they need to be refrigerated. They taste the best after they’ve cooled and sat for 24 hours.
Can I freeze Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars?
Yes! It works best if you cut the bars, separate them then freeze them on a large sheet tray. Remove them from the freezer then wrap them in plastic wrap individually. From there you will transfer them to an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.
Why pretzel crust?
I love a little extra salt in my sweets so I decided to use a pretzel crust. I think the saltiness goes really well with the pumpkin and the cheesecake. If you’re not a fan of pretzel you could make a graham cracker or shortbread crust instead.
I do recommend at least giving the pretzel crust a shot though! It might end up being your new favorite combo!
Ingredients in Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
- Pumpkin Puree – I traditionally use Libby’s pumpkin puree but have used Aldi’s brand as well
- Eggs – Make sure your eggs are room temp (see tips)
- Heavy Cream – This helps give a silky smooth texture to the pumpkin pie part of this bar. This should also be room temp
- Brown Sugar – I use brown sugar to sweeten it up a bit because I love the addition of molasses with pumpkin
- Vanilla Extract – Vanilla gives a great flavor to most baked goods
- Kosher Salt – Salt really brings out the flavor of the ingredients
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is a lovely addition to pumpkin and fall spiced items
- Ginger – Ginger is one of the “must have” ingredients for pumpkin spice
- Cloves – Cloves are part of the “must have” spices for pumpkin spice
- Nutmeg – The final “must have” for my pumpkin spiced recipes
- Cream Cheese – This is the base for the cheesecake batter and should be room temp as well
- Granulated Sugar – Used to sweeten the cheesecake batter
- Pretzels – Salty pretzels are the base of the crust for this bar
- Butter – Butter helps bind the crust together so it doesn’t fall apart
Tips for the best Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
- Make your Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars a day ahead of time. They need to completely cool before slicing and really taste best after 24 hours so this is your best bet
- Make sure the dairy and eggs are room temp
- If you forget to pull your eggs out to come to room temp you can fill a bowl with warm water and place the egg in it for 5 minutes
- If you forget to set out your cream cheese so it comes to room temp you can put in in the microwave at 50% power for 30-45 seconds. Be careful not to get it hot
- Same thing with the heavy cream. Put it in the microwave at 50% power for about 30 seconds
- Blend the pretzels really fine. The crust will hold together better the smaller it is
- Do not over mix the eggs into the cream cheese
- Do not overbake the pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars. The sides will be slightly puffed and the center will be slightly wobbly when done
How to make Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Preheat the oven to 350°F then spray and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Spray non stick cooking spray over the top of the parchment paper as well.
Blend the pretzels to a fine mix in the food processor. Mix in the granulated sugar then add the melted butter. Stir the mixture together then press it into the bottom and sides of your parchment lined pan.
Bake the pretzel crust for 8 minutes then remove it from the oven and set it to the side.
In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, yolk, cream, brown sugar and vanilla. Do not overmix. In a small separate bowl whisk together the salt and spices. Whisk the spices into the pumpkin mix just until combined.
Whisk together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla. Do not overmix.
Pour the pumpkin batter over the top of the pretzel crust, reserving about 1/2 cup. Dollop the cheesecake batter in rows on top of the pumpkin mix. Dollop the remaining pumpkin mix in between each dollop of cheesecake batter then stir the mixture around using a butter knife.
Once you make the swirls then bake the pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars for about 40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. Serve and enjoy!
If you make these Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars please leave me a rating and/or review!
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Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
- food processor
- electric hand mixer
- 1.5 cups pretzels finely ground, measure 1½ cups AFTER grinding them
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- ¼ tsp salt
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 15 oz pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs room temp
- 1 egg yolk room temp
- ¾ cup heavy cream room temp
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 8 oz cream cheese room temp
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Making the Pretzel Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8 pan with non stick cooking spray then line it with parchment paper and spray it again
- Finely ground the pretzels in the food processor on low speed
- Mix the pretzel crumbs and granulated sugar in a medium sized bowl
- Add the melted butter and mix until fully incorporated
- Spread the pretzel mixture evenly across the bottom of the parchment lined pan then press down firmly. Bake for 8 minutes then set aside
Making the Pumpkin Pie Filling
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, yolk, cream, brown sugar and vanilla just until combined
- In a separate small bowl whisk together the cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves and nutmeg then whisk it into the pumpkin mixture just until combined
Making the Cheesecake Filling
- In a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes
- Add the egg and vanilla then beat just until combined
Baking the Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling on top of the pretzel crust, reserving 1/2 cup
- Dollop the cheesecake filling by spoonfuls across the pumpkin filling in 3 lines
- Take the reserved 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling and dollop it between the cheesecake dollops
- Using a butter knife swirl up and down through the pan and in a couple circles to make the swirl
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the edges are slightly puffed and firm and middle is slightly wobbly
- Cool completely before cutting and serving. Best if cooled for 12-24 hours. Enjoy!