No bake pumpkin cheesecake bars (small batch) can be made in about 20 minutes and ready to eat in a few hours. They're easy and have a great spiced pumpkin flavor. Use ginger cookies, graham crackers, or oreos for the crust!
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Pumpkin cheesecake is so good, but it's just a few too many steps for me. That's why I love these small batch no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars. No perfect baking or water bath needed. Just a couple mixing bowls and the fridge.
They're easy to double for a crowd or freeze for later (they freeze well!), so they're very versatile for you. Enjoy this pumpkin dessert for pumpkin season.
Not only are these no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars easy, and don't require baking, you can switch up the crust to use what you have or prefer. My favorite crust is the gingersnap cookies and oreos. So try both ways!
The gingersnap cookie crust is similar to my mom's gingersnap cookie crust for her divine pumpkin cheesecake. These bars remind me of that cheesecake, but they're easier and the perfect dessert- they're no bake cheesecake bars!
Top no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars with fresh whipped cream and leftover cookie crumbs for nice presentation without much effort.
One note about the gingersnap cookies, I think lots of US grocery stores do carry one type at least. My local WINCO carries one brand, and I found them with the specialty crackers and cookies in the cookie aisle.
Graham crackers and oreos might be easier to find, both are tasty crusts for these no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars!
Scroll down to the no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars recipe card for the amounts of each ingredient, but here's a quick visual + description of what's in this recipe.
- Gingersnap cookies: Ginger cookie crust is more flavorful than traditional graham cracker crust. The sharp ginger flavor pairs really well with sweet pumpkin. You can make a graham cracker or oreo crust too.
- Butter: Use enough butter for your cookie crust to hold together. Butter adds a nice flavor vs oil in these no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars.
- Kosher salt
- Heavy whipping cream: Most recipes call for folding whipped cream into your bars, but I didn't notice a difference in texture with that extra step.
- Cream Cheese: Use regular cream cheese or Neufchatel cream cheese. Room temperature cream cheese will mix into the other ingredients much better. You can heat up the fill
- Pumpkin puree: Canned pumpkin puree is my favorite, but you can use homemade pumpkin puree too.
- Granulated sugar: some sugar is needed to sweeten up the pumpkin puree and cream cheese for your no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars. Adjust it to your preference.
- Cornstarch: These bars are a bit soft, and pudding like. Adding a bit of cornstarch helps them firm up a bit, and also is easier to add than whipping cream.
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Vanilla extract
- Apple cider vinegar: A dash of acid balances out the sweet flavors in the no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars filling. You could use lemon juice or white vinegar too.
Scroll down to the no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars recipe card for more detailed instructions. Here's a quick overview + photos to see how to make this recipe in general.
1.Line pan with parchment paper. Crush gingersnap cookies (or graham crackers, oreos, or Biscoff cookies).
2. Stir melted butter and salt into gingersnaps (fine crumbs). Press into lined pan. You'll make your no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars in this pan.
4. Make cheesecake layer: Mix softened cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sugar, heavy whipping cream, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and salt with a hand mixer until smooth.
5. Pour pumpkin cream cheese mixture over crust, scrape out all filling with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Freeze for about an hour for more firm bars. They're a great make-ahead dessert.
6. Cut no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars with a sharp knife, serve with whipped cream and a little bit of crushed cookies on top, if desired. Enjoy delicious pumpkin recipes this time of year.
Store, covered in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week. You can freeze them for later too, enjoy your no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars frozen or let them come up to room temperature before enjoying.
- You can make a graham cracker or oreo crust for your no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars instead of gingersnap cookies. Just start with about ¼ cup melted butter, and add as needed until the crumbs stick when pressed.
- Biscoff cookies would be good too, you can probably just replace the gingersnap cookies for Biscoff.
- If making a graham cracker crumbs crust, you might want to add some sugar and/or pumpkin pie spice to it to add flavor. I added 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice to the graham cracker crust.
- Use premade pumpkin pie spice, or make your own. I used this Pioneer Woman recipe for mine. Making your own is easy if you already have the ingredients.
- You can substitute the cream cheese for neufchatel cheese, it's a low fat cream cheese, that should act similarly to regular cream cheese, and taste the same in these no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars too.
- To double the recipe, you can double the filling and cut smaller pieces, or double the filling and crust and use an 8x8 inch pan for your no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars. Make the perfect fall dessert for a gathering!
- Freeze before serving, or serve and enjoy immediately. These bars soften after sitting out for about 30 minutes or longer. See photo above to see how soft they can get.
- If you'd like to make these no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars for a crowd, and the will sit out, I recommend assembling them in jars or small bowls, so it's like a pudding, with cookie crumbles instead of bars.
- Make the whipped cream even better by adding some maple syrup or powdered sugar, you could even add some sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for more tanginess. There are so many options to add fall flavors!
- Other great toppings: Chopped nuts, fresh fruit (raspberries would be great with the pumpkin), oreo pieces, whipped cream, ice cream, candied ginger, chocolate sauce. Lots of toppings for no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars.
You can use whipped cream or cornstarch to help no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars set. I'll be honest though, I've tested it with multiple ways to set, and these bars never firmed up as much as typical dessert bars do.
I recommend eating them right out of the fridge or freezer for the best texture. Adding enough cornstarch to keep it set changes the flavor, and in my experience, adding whipped cream wasn't any better than cornstarch.
What to do with leftover ingredients
When you're cooking for one, you often have leftover produce, cans of whatever ingredient, etc. Here are a couple ideas on how to use up the leftover ingredients. It'll help you save money by wasting fewer ingredients.
- Gingersnap cookies: they're really good with pumpkin anything, my mom enjoys crushed gingersnap cookies over pumpkin ice cream. Or make more no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars.
- Pumpkin Puree: Easy Pumpkin Cake (use pumpkin pie spice, heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese too), Pumpkin Turkey Chili, Pumpkin Curry Soup.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Top Strawberry Banana Milkshake, Small Peach Cobbler, or Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix with fresh whipped cream
- Cream Cheese: Chicken Bacon and Mushroom Pasta.
Did you make these no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars? Leave me a comment & rating to share how it turned out!
No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Large mixing bowl
- medium mixing bowl
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Measuring cups, spoons
- Large serving spoon
- 8x8 square pan
- Parchment Paper
- lid or plastic to cover pan for chilling
- 1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ heaping cup granulated sugar or adjust to preference
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or adjust to preference
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Line 8x8 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- (using a food processor or high powered blender, crush cookies to sand texture). Also, set out cream cheese at least 30 minutes before making filling, to get to room temperature (see notes for tips if it's not soft enough)
- Stir together 1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs, ¼ cup melted butter, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt. Crumbs should be wet looking, and hold together when pressed. Adjust butter if needed.
- Press cookie crumbs into pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it together.
- Mix the following ingredients until smooth: 8 ounces cream cheese, ¾ cup pumpkin puree, ¼ heaping cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt.
- Transfer to pan, smooth over crust.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
- Slice and enjoy.
- Crust options: graham cracker and oreo crusts are great with this pumpkin filling. Crush cookies, and start with adding ¼ cup melted butter, ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt. Add additional butter until crumbs stick together when pressed.
- If making graham cracker crust, you can add an additional teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the crumbs.
- If your cream cheese isn't softened enough, you can mix it with the ingredients, then heat in microwave in increments, mixing between heating it. Repeat until cream cheese flecks are softened and filling is smooth.
- Adjust pumpkin pie spice in filling to your preference. I already add more than in most recipes, so you could start with ½ teaspoon instead of ¾ teaspoons.
- These are best right out of the fridge or freezer. The filling does soften if it's out for a while. If serving and they'll be out, consider dividing up the filling into individual cups/jars, and top with the crumbled cookies or press crust into each cup.
- Freeze for an hour to get an easy, clean cut with these bars.