Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars With Walnuts & Browned Butter

If you have a sweet tooth, then these pumpkin cheesecake bars will satisfy that craving. Crunchy on the top, soft and delicious in the middle with that crumbly crust underneath, there is something for everyone in this fall dessert.

Three layered pumpkin cheesecake bars stacked on top of a white plate.

You’re Going to Love These Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin is one of those seasonal vegetables (technically a fruit) that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

These layered pumpkin bars are one of my ultimate pumpkin dessert recipes. They make a tasty alternative to pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and are the perfect snack during the fall.

Cheesecake is often a dessert many love thanks to the creamy richness of the filling, and the pumpkin is an excellent addition. The buttery biscuit base is in keeping with a cheesecake, and the soft filling is filling and sweet with a subtle warmth from the pumpkin. What makes these pumpkin bars really stand out is the crunchy nutty topping.

Walnuts are the perfect addition and add extra texture.

Once baked in the oven, these bars are ready to serve after a few hours to set. This helps to slice them and for the pumpkin cheesecake bars to keep their shape. It’s an ideal dessert to prep ahead.

These pumpkin bars were inspired by my white chocolate blondie bars. One of my favorite desserts! Serve with hot coffee or my warm vanilla custard milk.

And if you want more pumpkin desserts, try my Basque pumpkin cheesecake, my easy no-bake pumpkin cheesecake, or my pumpkin bundt cake.

Or, if you’re looking for a rich and savory pumpkin lunch or dinner — try my pumpkin risotto with mushrooms.

Equipment

  • 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  • Food processor.
  • Silicone spatula for spreading the pumpkin bar layers.
  • Bowls.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bar Ingredients

Pumpkin is in season during the fall, and this is the perfect dessert to combine cheesecake flavors with biscuits, walnuts, and a creamy pumpkin filling. All of the ingredients are either pantry staples or accessible at your local grocery store.

Keep it gluten-free by choosing a gluten-free biscuit and flour.

All of the ingredients needed to make these layered pumpkin bars with a cheesecake, pumpkin spice puree, and crunchy walnut crust layers.

Base Crust Ingredients:

  • Biscoff Lotus Biscuits | Biscoff Lotus Biscuits are a popular choice for their distinctive caramelized flavor and crunchy texture, providing a unique base for the cheesecake. You can use whatever biscuit or cookie you prefer though, even a gluten-free one! Graham crackers work great too.
  • Butter

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:

  • Cream cheese
  • Brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Pumpkin puree | You can use canned puree or roasted pumpkin. Do not use pumpkin pie puree.
  • Pumpkin spice | Pumpkin spice seasoning adds warmth and depth, evoking the cozy flavors associated with fall and pumpkin treats. You can also use cinnamon or a combination of cinnamon with added nutmeg and clove.

Crumble Ingredients:

  • Walnuts | Walnuts offer a satisfying crunch to the crumble topping, providing a contrast of textures. Pecans and hazelnuts are a good substitute. So are peanuts.
  • Brown sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour | You can also use your favorite gluten-free flour intended for baking. The King Arthur ‘Measure For Measure‘ brand is a great choice.
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Salt
  • Water or milk

❁ You’ll find the exact amount of each ingredient below in the recipe card. Make sure to select ‘cook mode’ to keep your screen from turning off as you make it. You can also print the recipe.

Instructions (Step-By-Step)

The biscuits are finely ground inside a food processor.

Step 1:

Prepare an 8×8″ (20x20cm) baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Place the butter in a small pot over medium heat and stir it continuously to keep it moving.

Once it’s melted, the butter will begin to foam and sizzle. Keep stirring.

In about 5–8 minutes, the butter will turn golden brown, and some foam will subside. It will smell intensely buttery and nutty.

Melted browned butter is added and mixed in the food processor.

Step 2:

Use a food processor to grind the lotus biscuits into fine crumbs. (A mortar and pestle works if you don’t have a processor.)

Add the melted, browned butter and process the mixture until the crumbs are slightly damp and form a cohesive, somewhat dry dough.

The finished browned butter and biscuit crust.

Step 3:

Transfer the crumbly dough to the prepared baking dish and press it down firmly against the bottom and sides to establish a solid biscuit base.

Bake for approximately 5-8 minutes or until the crust takes on a golden-brown hue.

Let the biscuit base cool entirely; you can prepare the pumpkin bar layers as the base cools for about 15-20 minutes.

Wipe out your food processor too.

The completed cheesecake cream cheese layer in the food processor.

Step 4:

For the first layer — the white cheesecake layer, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and cream cheese in the food processor.

Pulse until a creamy consistency is achieved.

The pumpkin spice mixture.

Step 5:

Take a portion of the white cheesecake mixture you just made, along with pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree, and blend until the mixture transforms into a fluffy texture and a uniform orange color. You can use a silicone spatula for this.

A food processor is mixing nuts and other ingredients.

Step 6:

For the crumble, combine walnuts and sugar in the food processor first.

Pulse until the walnuts are just coarsely chopped, maintaining a chunky texture.

Add flour, pumpkin spice, salt, melted butter, and a teaspoon of water or milk.

Pulse again until the mixture forms crumbly bits and looks approximately like the photo.

A big dollop pf the cream cheese mixture on top of he finsihed and cooled crust.

The cheesecake cream cheese layer neatly and evenly spread onto the crust.

Step 7:

Once the biscuit layer is cool to the touch, it’s time to add the first layer to your pumpkin bars.

Carefully pour the white creamy mixture over the pre-baked biscuit to form the first layer.

It helps to add the mixture into the center and then spread it towards the edges with a silicone spatula. Make it uniform and even.

The pumpkin spice layer neatly spread onto the bottom layers.

Step 8:

Pour the orange-colored pumpkin layer on top of the white layer and spread evenly.

*For the neatest layers, you may want to refrigerate the first layer first so that it firms up before this second layer is added. This is optional.

Golden brown crust top view.

Step 9:

Once the second layer is spread, scatter the chunky crumble on top and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the crumble achieves a golden-brown hue.

Top view of the 9 completed pumpkin bars.

Step 11:

Allow the baked pumpkin cheesecake bars to rest at room temperature until cool, then refrigerate them for 2-4 hours or overnight before slicing.

Multiple layered pumpkin cheesecake bars on small white plates ready for serving.

Step 12:

After refrigeration, carefully remove the cheesecake from the baking dish.

Trim the edges and divide each side into three sections, resulting in nine
bars.

Clean your knife between slices to maintain clean edges and neat layers.

Hint: Spread the crumble evenly over the cheesecake to ensure every bite gets a balance of flavors and textures.

The finished layered pumpkin bars on parchment paper. Each layer is clearly defined and neatly layered.

Optional: Sprinkle some caster sugar or toasted coconut flakes on top as a finishing touch.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Decoration | Once the pumpkin bars have been refrigerated and sliced, you could add a caramel drizzle, toasted coconut flakes, powdered sugar, or additional pumpkin spice.
  • Serving | These would be great with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite flavor of ice cream.
  • Spice | If you want to add a different flavor, then cinnamon and nutmeg would be great substitutions for pumpkin spice.
  • Gluten-free | Layered pumpkin cheesecake bars are easily made completely gluten-free by using standard gluten-free flour and biscuits/cookies for the base crust. There are no special instructions needed to make the recipe work, it’s versatile.

Storage & Freezing

These delicious pumpkin spice bars need to be refrigerated.

You just need to add them to an airtight container and then store them for 3-4 days.

If you want them to last even longer, or you have some left over, then you can also freeze them. They can be frozen individually and then added to a freezer-safe container. They will last for 2-3 months.

Allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before you enjoy them.

Top Tips

  • Bake the cheesecake until it’s firmer and drier in texture. It’s better to slightly under-bake than over-bake, as over-baking can result in a dry cheesecake bar and will affect the overall texture.

FAQ

Why do my baked cheesecake bars need to be refrigerated?

This helps the cheesecake bars to keep their shape and also be sliced. The flavors also have a chance to meld together.

How do I get clean slices of these pumpkin bars?
The trick is to use a sharp knife and wipe the blade clean each time you cut into the cheesecake bars.

How do you get the perfect base crust?
When making the base crust, ensure the biscuit crumbs are well combined with melted butter. The mixture should hold together when pressed, forming a cohesive crust. Pre-bake the crust until it’s golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Be vigilant to prevent overcooking, which could lead to a hard texture.

Looking for other recipes like these pumpkin bars? Try:

The finished layered pumpkin bars on parchment paper. Each layer is clearly defined and neatly layered.

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

These layered pumpkin cheesecake bars need to be made ahead, but they're so delicious and simple!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9
Calories: 552kcal
Author: Jana Dziak

Equipment

  • 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) baking dish lined with parchment paper
  • Food Processor
  • Silicone spatula
  • Bowls

Ingredients

Base Crust Ingredients:

  • 250 grams Biscoff Lotus Biscuits 1 pack is typically 250 grams so check the label. Use whatever biscuit or cookie you prefer (like graham crackers) including gluten-free ones.
  • 7 tablespoons Browned Butter 85 grams. Start with 8 tablespoons of butter to brown to make up for water loss. If you find that your browned butter comes up to less than 7 tbsp, add water or milk to make up the difference.

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese 454 grams, at room temperature.
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar 100 grams — or any sugar substitute you like: coconut sugar, maple sugar, white sugar etc.
  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch 30 grams
  • 1 cup Pumpkin puree 160 grams
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice Or cinnamon with a scant 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg.

Crumble Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Walnuts 125 grams — or use pecans, hazelnuts, or peanuts.
  • cup Brown Sugar 65 grams — or any sugar substitute like: coconut sugar, maple sugar, white sugar etc.
  • ½ cup All-Purpose Flour 64 grams — or your favorite gluten-free flour.
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice Or cinnamon with a scant 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg.
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter 56 grams — melted.
  • 1 teaspoon Milk or water

Instructions

  • Prepare an 8×8" (20x20cm) baking dish lined with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Make browned butter: Place 8 tablespoons of butter in a small pot over medium heat and stir it continuously to keep it moving. Once it's melted, the butter will begin to foam and sizzle. Keep stirring. In about 5–8 minutes, the butter will turn golden brown, and some foam will subside. It will smell intensely buttery and nutty.
  • Use a food processor to grind the biscuits into fine crumbs. Add 7 tablespoons of the melted, browned butter and process the mixture until the crumbs are slightly damp and form a cohesive, somewhat dry dough. If you have less than 7 tablespoons, add water or milk to make up the difference.
  • Transfer the crumbly dough to the prepared baking dish and press it down firmly against the bottom and sides.
  • Bake for approximately 5-8 minutes or until the crust takes on a golden-brown hue. Let the biscuit base cool entirely; you can prepare the pumpkin bar layers as the base cools for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Wipe out your food processor so that it is clean to make the pumpkin bar layers.
  • For the first layer — the white cheesecake layer, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and cream cheese in the food processor. Pulse until a creamy consistency is achieved. Transfer to a bowl.
  • For the second layer — the pumpkin layer — take a portion of the white cheesecake mixture you just made, along with pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree, add it to the food processor, and blend until the mixture transforms into a fluffy texture and a uniform orange color. Transfert to a bowl. Wipe out your food processor.
  • For the crumble, combine walnuts and sugar in the food processor first. Pulse until the walnuts are just coarsely chopped, maintaining a chunky texture.
  • Add flour, pumpkin spice, salt, melted butter, and a teaspoon of water or milk. Pulse again until the mixture forms crumbly bits
  • Once the baked biscuit layer is cool to the touch, it's time to add the first layer to your pumpkin bars.
  • Carefully pour the white cheesecake mixture over the pre-baked biscuit to form the first layer. It helps to add the mixture into the center and then spread it towards the edges with a silicone spatula. Make it uniform and even.
  • Pour the orange-colored pumpkin layer on top of the white layer and spread evenly.
  • For the neatest and crispest layers, you may want to refrigerate the first layer for about an hour so that it firms up before this second layer is addedThis is optional.
  • Once the second layer is spread, scatter the chunky crumble on top and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the crumble achieves a golden-brown hue.
  • Allow the baked pumpkin cheesecake bars to rest at room temperature until cool, then refrigerate them for 2-4 hours or overnight before slicing.
  • After refrigeration, carefully remove the cheesecake from the baking dish. Trim the edges and divide each side into three sections, resulting in nine bars. Clean your knife between slices to maintain clean edges and neat layers.

Notes

Hint: Spread the crumble evenly over the cheesecake to ensure every bite gets a balance of flavors and textures.
Substitutions & Variations
  • Decoration | Once the pumpkin bars have been refrigerated and sliced, you could add a caramel drizzle, toasted coconut flakes, powdered sugar, or additional pumpkin spice.
  • Serving | These would be great with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite flavor of ice cream.
  • Spice | If you want to add a different flavor, then cinnamon and nutmeg would be great substitutions for pumpkin spice.
  • Gluten-free | Layered pumpkin cheesecake bars are easily made completely gluten-free by using standard gluten-free flour and biscuits/cookies for the base crust. There are no special instructions needed to make the recipe work, it’s versatile.
Storage & Freezing
These delicious pumpkin spice bars need to be refrigerated. You just need to add them to an airtight container and then store them for 3-4 days.
If you want them to last even longer or have some left over, you can also freeze them. They can be frozen individually and then added to a freezer-safe container. They will last for 2-3 months.
Allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before you enjoy them.
Top tip
Bake the cheesecake until it’s firmer and drier in texture. It’s better to slightly under-bake than over-bake, as over-baking can result in a dry cheesecake bar and will affect the overall texture.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 552kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 684mg | Potassium: 358mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 4695IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 3mg
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