Pumpkin cheesecake bars are arguably one of the most popular Fall desserts. Let’s bake them with a nut crust and swirl in your favorite jam!
These pumpkin cheesecake bars are everything you want for Fall, and even the Winter season as well! They have a little extra pumpkin and eggs than some classic pumpkin cheesecakes, making them feel a little pumpkin pie-like. Also, the spice mixture is absolute Fall perfection and the swirls of jam add wonderful flavor, making this dessert one of my favorites ever.
I wanted to make a nut crust for these pumpkin cheesecake bars because even though we’re already eating dessert, it’s slightly healthier. Plus, I just love nuts. Their flavor, texture, everything! They compliment the pumpkin cheesecake so well, too.
However, if you’d prefer to make a classic graham cracker crust, you can! Check out my Strawberry Chocolate Almond Bar recipe and just copy the crust part.
- Pecans, Walnuts, Hazelnuts – If you prefer to use only one or two types of nuts, you can! Just make sure you use the same amount as all the nuts combined, 2 ¼ cups!
- Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour – If you’re not gluten-free, you can use regular all-purpose flour.
- Agave – You can also substitute maple syrup here.
- Cream Cheese – I used full-fat, and did not test the recipe out with reduced fat cream cheese, although you are welcome to try.
- Pumpkin Puree – Don’t get the pumpkin pie mix, just the plain pumpkin puree.
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Allspice, Cloves – If you like to substitute pumpkin pie spice here, you definitely can! Use the same amount as all the spices combines, 2 ½ teaspoons.
- Jam – I used raspberry jam, but have also made this with blackberry jam in the past. You can definitely use whatever you’d like. If making for Thanksgiving, it could be festive to go with cranberry jam, or even canned cranberry if you want a tart flavor. If you use a jam like apricot, it will be the same color as the cheesecake and you won’t see the swirls.
Nut-Crusted Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 9×9 Inch Square Baking Pan
- Parchment Paper
- Stand Mixer or Large Bowl with Electric Hand Mixer
For the Nut Crust:
- ¾ cup oats
- ¾ cup pecans
- ¾ cup walnuts
- ¾ cup hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free all-purpose
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons agave
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
For the Filling:
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream at room temperature
- 15 oz. can pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie mix
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- Kosher salt
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- ¼ cup jam of choice
For the Nut Crust:
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Place the oats, pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine until coarsely ground. Add the flour, coconut oil, agave and a pinch of Kosher salt, and pulse until combined and sticky.
- Press evenly into the bottom of the parchment-lined baking pan. Bake on the middle rack for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
For the Filling:
- Place the sugar and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixed fitted with the whisk attachment (Alternatively, use a large bowl with an electric hand mixer). Whisk on medium-high until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides when needed. Add the sour cream, pumpkin puree, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, and a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine. One by one, add the eggs, pausing between each to let them fully whisk into the batter before adding the next.
- Pour the batter on top of the cooled crust and dollop the jam on top. Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, swirl the jam into the batter.
- Bake on the middle rack for 50-55 minutes, until almost set but still slightly jiggly in the middle. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door open a crack, sticking the handle of a wooden spoon in the door to prop it open. Let the oven cool completely with the cheesecake bars inside, this should take about an hour. Once cooled, refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Remove from the pan and cut into 16 squares. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.