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Layered Pumpkin-Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

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Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

I wanted to try a new dessert for Thanksgiving this year, so when a recipe with the words “pumpkin“, “chocolate“, AND “cheesecake” in the title graced my inbox, it sounded impossible to resist! Well, I’m happy to report that the finished product is impossible to resist too… a rich & creamy pumpkin top layer with a buttery chocolate & graham cracker crust. DELICIOUS!

Read on for a step-by-step pictorial + the full recipe.

And if you already have your turkey day desserts covered this year – not to worry because these dreamy little bars would be fabulous for Christmas & New Year’s too! There’s something about the combo of pumpkin & chocolate that just makes it feel like the holidays…

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

Most of these ingredients are basics that you might already have in your pantry/fridge – especially during the holiday season!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

1. Start by creating the graham cracker crumbs. You can use a food processor like I did, or just crumble and pound them out in a zip-loc the old fashioned way!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

2. Mix 1/4 cup sugar + 1/3 cup butter into the crumbs.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

3. Pour the crumbs into a pan, spread out evenly, and pat down with a spatula. Set the pan aside for now.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese + 1-3/4 cups sugar together.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

5. Gradually beat in eggs, one at a time until mixture is smooth.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

6. Next, add the canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and salt.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

7. Beat until smooth. Separate 1-1/4 cups of this pumpkin mixture into a medium bowl and set aside.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

8. Next, melt the chocolate and butter. You can use the stovetop or your microwave to melt the chocolate – just be careful not to overheat it or it will get too thick & grainy. Here are some helpful videos on melting chocolate chips and melting chocolate in general.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

9. Once the chocolate is smooth, mix in the 1-1/4 cups pumpkin mixture that you separated out from the big batch earlier.

Tip: The chocolate doesn’t need to be super runny like chocolate syrup – although if you’re able to get it that way, kudos to you!  Mine was more creamy than runny, but it still combined just fine with the pumpkin mixture.

The final chocolate-pumpkin mixture will look something like this:

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

10. Spread the chocolate-pumpkin mixture evenly on top of the graham cracker crust then bake for 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

Tip: Some of the graham crackers may want to lift into the chocolate while you’re spreading it out, so take your time. The good news is that it doesn’t have to look perfect! (There will be another layer on top of this one eventually.)

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

11. After the chocolate layer is baked for 15 minutes, pull the pan out of the oven and pour the rest of the pumpkin mixture on top, spreading out evenly. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 40 minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

12. Pull the pan from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. Once cool, mix the sour cream and sugar together, then spread it evenly across the top to create the final layer.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

13. Chill for at least 3 hours, then pull from the fridge & cut into bars. The inside should look something like this… YUM!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

14. Decorate the bars with sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice and shaved chocolate. To create these chocolate shavings, I just took a potato peeler to squares of semi-sweet Baker’s chocolate. Super easy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert


{recipe via BHG.com}


  • 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut up, or 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Garnish: pinch of pumpkin pie spice + chocolate curls or chocolate shavings


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in the 1/3 cup melted butter. Press mixture evenly into bottom of the prepared baking pan; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and the 1-3/4 cups sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
4. Beat in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt on low speed just until combined. Remove 1-1/4 cups of the mixture.
5. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the 6 ounces chocolate and the 2 tablespoons butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Whisk chocolate mixture into the 1-1/4 cups pumpkin mixture. Pour over crust, spreading evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.
6. Carefully pour the remaining pumpkin mixture over baked chocolate layer, spreading evenly. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes more or until filling is puffed and center is set. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
7. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and 1/4 cup sugar. Gently spread over cookies. Cool completely. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Cut into bars.
* Before serving, sprinkle with nutmeg and/or chocolate curls. Makes 24 to 36 bars.

Test Kitchen Tip:

  • To make triangle-shape bars, cut the cookies crosswise into four strips.
  • Then cut each strip into five triangles (you’ll end up with two half-triangles from the ends of each strip).

To Make Ahead:

  • Bake and chill cookies as directed; cut into bars.
  • Place in a single layer in an airtight container; cover.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Holiday Dessert


  1. Jen @ SecondCitySoiree November 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Ok, this is totally a “blogger” comment, but I am so impressed by the light in these photos!

  2. Carrie Rowe November 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I am totally making this!!!!

  3. Keli of I DO Belize Weddings November 24, 2010 at 1:44 pm


  4. Stephanie November 24, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I could use one of those abour right now!!

  5. Created by Christi November 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Those look amazing! Love the main photo too

  6. Betsy @JavaCupcake November 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    These look AMAZING. I must share them on my blog!!! :)

  7. Amy @ Blowout Party! November 24, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    omg these look amaaaaaaazing!

  8. jane November 24, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    you instructional photos are super helpful! thanks!!

  9. Ashley J November 25, 2010 at 8:00 am

    These looks amazing!!!! Can’t wait to try them.

  10. Nisha November 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    WOW! … looks fabulous – thanks for the detailed instructions and photos

  11. Dangerously Domestic November 28, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I can’t wait to try these! I missed making them for Thanksgiving… but that just means I can try them once before Christmas and then again FOR Christmas. Thanks for sharing – they look delicious!

  12. maureen anders November 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Scrumptious! Wow! I need to try those!

  13. WhoWhatLogos November 29, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Um, yum!

  14. jilly November 30, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I made these for Thanksgiving! They were a huge hit!! Thanks:)

  15. Aimee December 23, 2010 at 7:31 am

    LOVE this! I featured you here.

  16. Sarah Smith March 25, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Yum yum! Looks amazing!

  17. Amanda September 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Oh my gosh, I am so making these. I wonder if they travel well? I am taking a 5 hour train ride to my mother-in-law’s? haha

  18. SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen October 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    We are making these right now for Bible study tomorrow :) I can’t wait to try one.

  19. Lori November 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I just made these for a party and they were a big hit! Thank you so much for the recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.

  20. Marisol November 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Umm I’ll be making this or sure!! YUM!

  21. Shelley November 24, 2011 at 11:35 am

    My husband made these for Thanksgiving and they are AMAZING!!

  22. melissa January 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I made these and they are delcious ! They look just like the pictures too.

  23. John October 25, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Hi there. Thanks for the wonderful looking dessert! It’s chilling in the fridge as we speak. What would be the best way to transport these since I made two batches? :)

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