These swirled Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars feature the flavors of pumpkin pie and creamy cheesecake on a graham cracker crust.
▢ 15 whole rectangular graham crackers
▢ ¼ cup granulated sugar
▢ 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
▢ 1-¼ cups pumpkin puree
▢ 1-½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
▢ 1-½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
▢ 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
▢ Three 8-oz packages full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
▢ 1-⅔ cup granulated sugar
▢ 1-½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
▢ ½ cup full fat sour cream
▢ ⅛ teaspoon salt
▢ 3 large eggs, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.
Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process until the graham crackers are in fine crumbs (you should have just over 2 cups of crumbs). In a separate bowl, combine crumbs, sugar, and melted butter and stir until combined. Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan and press it into an even layer (I use the back of a measuring cup).
Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes until it is just beginning to turn golden brown and fragrant. Place the crust on a wire rack to cool slightly while you make the filling.
In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, spices, and flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla, sour cream, and salt, and beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, and turning off the mixer as soon as the last egg is fully incorporated.
Measure out 1-½ cups of the cream cheese mixture and add it to the reserved pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined.
Alternate scoops of cream cheese filling and the pumpkin filling all over the top of the crust. Use a sharp knife to drag/swirl the two mixtures together (I do figure eights). Be careful not to drag the knife all the way down into the crust.
Bake in the center of the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the center still has a very slight jiggle but the edges are set. Place on a wire rack to cool completely, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill (this will take several hours).
Use full-fat cream cheese and sour cream for ths recipe. Low-fat alternatives can have stabilizers in them that might affect the texture.
Make sure you buy pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling (which is already sweetened).
Don’t overbeat the cheesecake batter. If you add too much air it can crack when it is baking.
You need to allow at least 8 hours for this cheesecake to cool. It should first cool to room temp, then chill completely in the refrigerator.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 1 month.