Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

{Healthy, Low Calorie, Vegan- and GF-adaptable} Celebrate the season with these rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars! A few simple ingredient swaps make them a lighter, healthier dessert, and with vegan and gluten-free options, they are easily adaptable to your dietary needs.

Celebrate the season with these rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars! A few simple ingredient swaps make them a lighter, healthier dessert, and with vegan and gluten-free options, they are easily adaptable to your dietary needs.


{Healthy, Low Calorie, Vegan- and GF-adaptable} Celebrate the season with these rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars! A few simple ingredient swaps make them a lighter, healthier dessert, and with vegan and gluten-free options, they are easily adaptable to your dietary needs.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

This post was originally written for The Melrose Family.

 

It’s my blog’s birthday, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with these pumpkin cheesecake bars!

I am a self-confessed pumpkin addict. There is always at least a can or two of pumpkin puree in my house, but never am I more pumpkin-crazy than I am in autumn. From the beginning of September until the very last forkful at Thanksgiving, I will try to cram as much pumpkin in my mouth as humanly possible. 🙂 From pumpkin oatmeal cookies to pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, I take pumpkin season very seriously.

{Healthy, Low Calorie, Vegan- and GF-adaptable} Celebrate the season with these rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars! A few simple ingredient swaps make them a lighter, healthier dessert, and with vegan and gluten-free options, they are easily adaptable to your dietary needs.
I am also serious about cheesecake. Cheesecake is my family’s ultimate favorite dessert– the one we can all agree on. If we’re celebrating something– whether it’s a holiday or a birthday or a special event– the chances are good that we’re also eating a cheesecake. These pumpkin cheesecake bars are a great way to put the finishing touch on a special meal, and they are an especially great addition to a holiday dessert lineup.

And as a bonus, they are healthier than your average cheesecake recipe. The crust is made without oil or butter. The bars are made with Neufchatel instead of cream cheese, which means they are lower in both fat and calories– and if you want them even healthier, you can substitute half of the Neufchatel with a cup of Greek yogurt! You won’t need any eggs, so they are easily made vegan with an appropriate cream cheese substitute. Need them to be gluten-free? There are a number of GF graham crackers on the market.

Making healthier swaps doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor, though, and these bars are delicious (and approved by people less interested in healthy desserts than I am)!  The warm spices bring out the best in the pumpkin, and everything comes together perfectly with the slight tanginess of the Neufchatel cheese. The rich flavors combined with the smooth, creamy texture make these a lovely and festive dessert for a beautiful time of year!


Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 12-16 bars

Ingredients

    for the crust:
  • 8 graham cracker sheets
  • 3-4 tablespoons almond milk (or milk of choice)
    for the cheesecake bars:
  • 16 oz. Neufchatel cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup baking stevia, or granulated sweetener of choice
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • dash ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 pan with aluminum foil. Grease the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, crush the graham crackers into crumbs. Add your milk a tablespoon at a time until the crust begins to come together. Press the crust firmly into the prepared pan.
  3. Process the Neufchatel cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin, sweetener, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves and continue to process until everything is evenly combined.
  4. Smooth the cheesecake mixture evenly over the crust and bake for 20-22 minutes.
  5. Allow the bars to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator. Chill for at least 4-6 hours before slicing.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://courtneyscookbook.com/2016/11/07/pumpkin-cheesecake-bars/

Notes:
– for an even healthier, lower calorie option, substitute 8 ounces of the Neufchatel cheese with 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
– make them gluten-free with GF graham crackers
– make them vegan with an appropriate cream cheese substitute

Click here to see some of the tools and ingredients I use to make my recipes!



{Healthy, Low Calorie, Vegan- and GF-adaptable} Celebrate the season with these rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars! A few simple ingredient swaps make them a lighter, healthier dessert, and with vegan and gluten-free options, they are easily adaptable to your dietary needs.

Shared at Meatless Monday with Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands; Meatless Monday with Running on Happy and The Fit Foodie Mama; Tips & Tricks Link Party; Wow Us Wednesdays; Thoughts of Home on Thursday; Weekend Potluck; Healthy Vegan Fridays with Rock My Vegan Socks and VNutrition; Sunday Fitness & Food Link-Up with Marathons and Motivation and IlkasBlog; What’s Cookin’ Wednesday. For a complete list of where I share, click here.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use and recommend. If you purchase through those links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

{Healthy, Low Calorie, Vegan- and GF-adaptable} Celebrate the season with these rich and creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars! A few simple ingredient swaps make them a lighter, healthier dessert, and with vegan and gluten-free options, they are easily adaptable to your dietary needs.

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72 comments

  1. Quin says:

    These look divine! Im also a very serious pumpkin eater 😉 and I love that you’ve also given some lower calorie substitutions. Going to have to try these, for sure!

  2. Yum Girl says:

    Welcome to Yum Goggle! We are following you on all your social media and hope you will follow us back. We will try to tag you each time we promote your posts. Kelli at YG!

  3. Vanessa says:

    Yummy! I love pumpkin and I am giving these a try. Thank you for sharing your recipes I am love to see what you have been up too. Thanks again and we love having you at Dishing it and Digging it link party.

  4. Nicole says:

    I pinned this pumpkin cheesecake bar recipe to my Thanksgiving board. Thanks for sharing your recipe at the #HomeMattersParty – hope you’ll link up again on Friday!

  5. Susan Jasper says:

    Did you really use 1/3 c of stevia? My experience is that you only need a fraction of the amount of regular sweeteners when using stevia as it can be bitter. Let me know, I’d like to try these.

    • Courtney says:

      Yes, I used a baking blend. You do have to be careful with stevia, but you can’t taste it here– I think the cream cheese and the spices cover it up. 🙂 You can also substitute it with a different granulated sweetener, if you prefer.

      • Susan Jasper says:

        Baking Blend? What brand? I work at a natural food co-op and that would be fun to play around with in other recipes!
        thanks 🙂

        • Courtney says:

          Hi, Susan! I usually use either Truvia or NuNaturals– whatever’s cheaper when I need to buy some. 😉 Sometimes it takes experimenting with stevia– there are recipes where it needs another granulated sweetener to cover up any bitterness, and recipes where it’s fine alone. It takes some trial and error. 🙂

  6. Debra @ Bowl Me Over says:

    This looks just amazing. What a delicious recipe and your pictures are beautiful! Wanted to stop by and do some sharing and also to let you know I’m feature your recipe this week on Foodie FriDIY – come back and share again! Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Miz Helen says:

    Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us. Enjoy your new Red Plate and come back real soon!
    Miz Helen

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