Halloween is quickly approaching which means I’ve entered into my annual pumpkin-obsession stage. From about mid-October to early December I am pretty solidly in this stage, consuming everything from pumpkin lattes to pumpkin ravioli. Of course the annual must-have is pumpkin pie for thanksgiving, although I’ve also experimented with a few other pumpkin-based desserts such as pumpkin cupcakes and this year’s masterpiece: pumpkin cheesecake bars.
This recipe is good because it is a lighter version of the traditional pumpkin cheesecake bars, which are absolutely delicious but very heavy. It uses light cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and very little sugar. Indeed, I feel I must put in a warning that the final product has only a hint of sweetness due to the limited sugar used. It goes very well with ice cream, for those who want that extra bit of sweetness alongside the pumpkin. I also topped mine with a candy corn (near impossible to find in Britain…very kindly brought over by a friend from New York!) to give it a particularly Halloween feel!
Light(er) Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 1 cup (200 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (80 g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (115 g) butter
- 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅓ cup (75 grams) unrefined or granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1⅓ cups (310 grams) pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup (54 grams) plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- Combine flour, powdered sugar and room temperature butter until coarse crumbs form.
- Put into greased pan (can also line pan with wax paper to avoid sticking) and bake for 15 minutes at 350F (176C).
- Remove from heat until filling is ready. Reduce oven to 300F (150 C).
- With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the eggs and mix until combined.
- Add the remaining cheesecake ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 35 minutes at 300 F (150C) or until the middle of the cheesecake bars appears set and no longer jiggles when you move the pan.
- Open the oven door and let the bars cool completely before removing from the oven. This is to prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
- Cover and store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.