If you are looking for an easy to make, Fall dessert recipe, then you must try these No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.
This dessert is a light and refreshing alternative to standard cheesecake. You still get that creamy pumpkin flavor on top of a crispy graham cracker crust.
However, this no bake recipe is easier to prepare than cheesecake and there is no cooking involved!
It is the perfect dessert to serve for your Fall Harvest parties and also at Thanksgiving and Christmas!
No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Granulated sugar
- Cream cheese
- Pumpkin puree
- LIght brown sugar
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Whipped topping
Optional Topping Ingredients:
- Whipped topping
- Chopped pecans or walnuts
The first step in making this no bake pumpkin cheesecake bars recipe is to prepare a baking dish. Do this by greasing an 8 x 8inch baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Then crush an entire package of graham crackers to make fine crumbs. You can do this using a couple of different methods to do this.
How To Make Graham Cracker Crumbs
1. Food Processor
The easiest and fastest way to make the crumbs is to break the graham crackers along their perforations and place them in a large capacity food processor. I have a 12 cup Hamilton Beach Food Processor, and I can fit all of the graham crackers in the container at once.
Then push pulse several times until find crumbs form. Between pulses you may need to loosen a few stuck graham cracker pieces from the blades.
Be sure to use the pulse button and not the high or low setting. Otherwise the graham crackers will turn mushy rather than becoming fine, sand like crumbs.
2. Rolling Pin/Mallet
If you don’t have a large mouth food processor, or don’t want to pull it out from the back of your cabinet, there is another option to make your no bake pumpkin cheesecake bar crust.
Place the graham crackers in a large plastic resealable plastic bag. Seal the bag and then use a rolling pin to roll over the top of the bag.
Occasionally shake the bag to bring the larger chunks of the graham crackers to the top surface. Continue to roll until the graham crackers break down and become fine crumbs.
Or instead of using a rolling pin, a meat mallet will work just as well.
3. Purchase Graham Cracker Crumbs
If you live near a large grocery store, you may be able to find pre-packaged graham cracker crumbs at the store.
They are located in the same aisle that you will find a box of graham crackers or in the baking aisle where you find pre-made graham cracker pie crust.
Prepare The Crust
Now that you have the graham cracker crumbs, it is time to make the crust. Start by melting a stick of butter in a medium size, microwave safe bowl.
Once melted, add the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar to the bowl and mix until combined. Then pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Firmly press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. You want the graham cracker crust to be tight and firm.
Then place the baking dish in the freezer and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Prepare The Filling
While the crust is in the freezer, prepare the no bake pumpkin cheesecake bar filling.
Start by placing a bar of room temperature cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. It is very important that your cream cheese is softened and not still cold from being in the refrigerator.
Otherwise, you will end up with lumps of cream cheese in your filling. The best way to soften cream cheese is to remove the cardboard packaging and let it sit at room temperature for 45-60 minutes.
However, if you are like me, sometimes you forget to set it out to give it plenty of time to soften. No worries! There are other methods that can help soften cream cheese faster.
How To Soften Cream Cheese Quickly
Follow these quick tips to soften cream cheese before making your No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars.
- Open the cream cheese packaging and cut the entire block into 1- 2 inch cubes. Then place the cubes of cream cheese on a plate, at room temperature, for about 20 minutes.
- If you live in a warm environment, remove the cream cheese just from the cardboard packaging, leaving it in the foil package. Then set the block in a safe, warm spot outdoors.
- Use water to help you soften the cream cheese by removing the cream cheese from the cardboard packaging but leaving it unopened in the foil package. Then submerge the cream cheese in lukewarm water for approximately 10 minutes.
- And if all else fails, use the microwave. Take the cream cheese block out of both the cardboard and foil package. Then place the whole block on a microwave safe plate. Set the microwave for 10 seconds at full power. Once the time expires, flip the cream cheese block over and microwave for another 10 seconds. Repeat this process 1 more time. Remember, you want it soft, not melted.
Mix The Filling
Once the cream cheese is soft and in the large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin puree to the bowl. Then beat until smooth.
Next, add the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and then continue to beat until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Be sure to continue to mix until no clumps are visible in the batter.
Then gently fold and mix in the thawed whipped topping. Continue to mix until the whipped topping is fully incorporated in the filling and the color is consistent throughout.
Then remove the baking dish from the freezer and spoon the prepared filling on top of the crust. Use a silicone spatula to evenly distribute the no bake pumpkin cheesecake bar filling evenly over the crust.
Smooth the top as much as you can. Then place the dish back in the freezer and let it chill for 1-2 hours or until firm and set.
When ready to serve, slice into 12 bars with a sharp knife. Then add additional whipped topping or chopped nuts if desired.
Other Delicious Pumpkin Dessert Recipes
If you are all about pumpkin flavor this time of the year, be sure to check out some of our other favorite pumpkin inspired recipes.
- Pumpkin Stuffed Brownies
- Pumpkin Mini Muffin Bites
- Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Roll
- Easy Pumpkin Cookies
- Classic Pumpkin Cookies
- No Bake Pumpkin Dip
- The Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- Classic Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
Mary and Jim
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- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 8 ounce tub whipped topping, thawed
- whipped topping
- chopped pecans or walnut
- Grease an 8x8 baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter until combined. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Place in the freezer and chill for at least 20 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice continuing to beat the mixture until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the whipped topping.
- Remove the crust from the freezer and spoon in the filling, smoothing the top.
- Chill in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
- Prior to serving, add additional whipped topping or chopped nuts if desired.
One standard package of whole graham crackers equals approximately 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 177mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.