This Easy No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars recipe is the perfect fall dessert! It has a smooth and creamy spiced cheesecake filling on top of a buttery graham cracker crust. It comes together in minutes without turning on the oven!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
No Oven Needed - Pumpkin pie cheesecake bars are a delicious no bake recipe that sets up in the refrigerator so you don't have to bother with baking. It's such an easy dessert option!
Comforting Fall Flavors - The creamy pumpkin puree gives the cheesecake mixture richness while the pumpkin pie spice blend lends familiar cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg notes that are perfect for autumn.
Light and Creamy - Folding whipped cream into the filling results in a smooth, fluffy texture that's not too dense.
If you love pumpkin flavor then you've got to try my other pumpkin desserts like Pumpkin Donut Holes which can be made in the air fryer! Or the creamiest Pumpkin Pie! And Pumpkin Pie Hummus is the perfect addition to your holiday dessert buffet!
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
Graham Crackers - For the best texture, pulse whole sheets of graham crackers in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. You can also use store-bought graham cracker crumbs. Just make sure there are no bigger chunks, as fine crumbs hold together better.
Brown Sugar - My standard graham cracker crust recipe uses granulated sugar, but I love to replace that with brown sugar for no-bake recipes. The added moisture helps the crust hold together nicely. And the molasses flavor complements the fall spices so well!
Butter - Use salted butter, or add ¼ teaspoon of salt if you are using unsalted butter.
Heavy Cream - Use heavy cream with at least 36% milk fat. I think the flavor of homemade whipped cream is so much better than Cool Whip, but for an even more simple assembly, substitute 16 ounces of Cool Whip.
Cream Cheese - Use full-fat cream cheese and bring it to room temperature before mixing with the other ingredients.
Pumpkin Puree - Make sure you get pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. We just want plain pumpkin without anything added.
Pumpkin Pie Spice - If you do not have pumpkin pie spice then you can make your own by mixing 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon of ground cloves, and ⅛ teaspoon allspice.
What is the best pumpkin to use?
Be sure to use 100% pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling which has added sugar and spices. Use canned pumpkin puree for the best and most consistent flavor.
If you want to make your own pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkins, choose a sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin variety. Once pureed, the homemade pumpkin should be smooth without any stringy bits.
Drain off excess liquid by transferring the puree to a cheesecloth over a bowl for at least 15 minutes before using. This helps prevent a watery cheesecake texture.
2 cups of well-drained homemade pumpkin puree can be substituted for 15 ounces of canned.
Can I use a different type of crust?
Using a graham cracker crust gives this a traditional cheesecake flavor. But there are many more options that are delicious!
- Gingersnap or Biscoff cookie crumbs - Substitute an equal amount of cookie crumbs for the graham crackers for more warmth and spice flavor.
- Vanilla wafer crumbs - Use vanilla wafer crumbs for a sweet vanilla crust flavor.
- Pie Crust - Pour the filling into a full-baked pie crust for a pumpkin cheesecake pie.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
1) Make the Cookie Crust
- If you are starting with whole graham cracker sheets, place them in a food processor and pulse them until they are fine crumbs. You can also smash them with a rolling pin in a resealable bag.
- The finer the crumbs the better the crust will hold up.
- Whisk the crumbs with melted butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon.
- Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper so that you can easily lift the pumpkin bars out of the pan to cut them.
- Press the graham cracker crust into the bottom of the square pan using medium pressure.
- Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes.
2) Prepare the Whipped Cream
- Chill the bowl and beaters ahead of time for the best volume.
- Use cold heavy whipping cream. Do not substitute milk or half-and-half.
- Using the whisk attachment of your electric mixer, beat at high speed until stiff peaks stand firm when you lift the beaters out of the cream.
3) Make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
- Soften the cream cheese completely before mixing.
- Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth.
- Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and vanilla extract, and mix until smooth and uniform in color.
- Fold the whipped cream gently into the pumpkin mixture to retain airiness.
- Pour the pumpkin filling over the crust. Smooth top with offset spatula.
- Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Chilling allows flavors to meld and cheesecake to set.
- This crust does not have to be baked, but if you do bake it at 350°F (177°C) for 8-10 minutes it will hold up better.
- For best results, beat the heavy cream until it has reached stiff peaks. This is an important step in ensuring the bars set fully.
- The cream cheese must be softened so that it mixes smoothly with the other ingredients and you don't have chunks in the batter.
- If you forget to set your cream cheese out in advance, cut it into 1-inch cubes and place it on a plate. Fill a bowl with boiling hot water for several minutes, then empty the bowl and turn it onto the plate. Leave it for 10 minutes to soften the cream cheese.
- For a darker orange-colored filling you can add a couple of drops of orange food coloring.
- Instead of piping the whipped topping, try spreading it evenly over the cheesecake layer.
- Lift the bars from the pan by pulling straight up on the parchment paper. Place it on a cutting board to slice.
- For smooth slices, dip the knife in hot water between each cut. Wipe the knife dry before slicing.
Make Ahead and Storage
- No bake cheesecake bars are a great make-ahead dessert for parties as they can be made 1-2 days in advance. Prepare the crust and filling, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator until ready to finish and serve.
- The cheesecake will continue to firm up as it chills. When ready to serve, pipe whipped topping onto each piece.
- Leftover cheesecake bars can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Transfer the leftovers to an airtight container before placing them in the refrigerator.
- Freeze the bars for up to 2 months. Just thaw the bars in the fridge overnight before topping with whipped cream and serving.
How long do I chill pumpkin pie bars?
It is recommended to make the bars in advance and them for 4-6 hours, or overnight. This will allow them to firm up completely.
Why is my cheesecake filling runny?
There are a few reasons why your pumpkin filling may be runny. Make sure that you use full-fat ingredients and whip the cream until it is stiff. Then chill it completely, which takes at least 4 hours.
Can I make these no bake pumpkin bars in a 9x13 pan?
Yes! When you need to serve more people, simply double the filling ingredients and spread them over a 9x13 graham cracker crust.
More No-Bake Cheesecake Recipes
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No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake BarsRecipe by:
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs about 16 full graham cracker sheet2
- ¼ cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 6 tablespoons salted butter melted
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 ounce cream cheese (2 packages) room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- If using full graham cracker sheets, place them in a food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs. You can also crush them in a large resealable bag.1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- Place the crumbs in a mixing bowl with the melted butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon. Mix well.¼ cup light brown sugar, 6 tablespoons salted butter, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, then press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Place the crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Whipped Cream Topping
- In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream on low speed until it is frothy.1 ½ cups heavy cream
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, then gradually increase to high speed and continue beating for 2-3 minutes, until stiff peaks form.¼ cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Reserve 2 cup of whipped cream for the filling, then cover the remaining whipped cream with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the brown sugar on medium speed using an electric mixer. Beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.16 ounce cream cheese, ¾ cup brown sugar
- Once the cream cheese mixture is smooth, add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and extract and beat on medium speed until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the filling is uniform in color.1 cup canned pumpkin puree, 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Gently fold 2 cups of whipped cream into the pumpkin cheesecake mixture.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the pumpkin cheesecake mixture over the prepared crust.
- Refrigerate for 4-6 hours until set.
- When ready to serve, cut the cheesecake into squares and pipe the reserved 1 cup whipped cream on top of each portion.
- 8 ounces of Cool Whip can be used instead of the whipped cream ingredients.
- If you do not have pumpkin pie spice, mix together 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon cloves, and ⅛ teaspoon allspice.
- It is very important to beat the whipped cream to stiff peaks.
- Use room-temperature cream cheese so that it will blend smoothly with the other ingredients and not leave chunks.
- For a sturdier crust, bake the crust at 350°F (177°C) for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before adding the cheesecake filling.