Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Bar Dessert | Cheesecake | Fall

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

By Tessa Arias
  |  
October 22nd, 2019
4.91 from 10 votes
4.91 from 10 votes

Simple and easy Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars are luscious, thick, and smooth with a crunchy, buttery crust and swirls of chocolate. Wonderful fall treat!

Yield: 9 bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: I happen to love the combination of chocolate with pumpkin, especially when there's tangy cream cheese involved. To me, it feels like fall! Texture: Luscious, thick, and smooth with a wonderful crunchy, buttery crust. Ease: Much easier than baking a traditional cheesecake. Pros: Easy yet impressive dessert. Cons: You have to wait for these cheesecake to chill... simply torturous! Would I make this again? Oh yeah.

When I first starting becoming interested in cooking and baking back in high school I remember baking a pumpkin chocolate cheesecake similar to this recipe.

The memory is a little fuzzy (not like it was even that long ago!) but I recall being excited about how something I managed to make could be so insanely delicious. I wish I could remember the recipe or at least which magazine I tore it from.

Pumpkin chocolate cheesecake cut into bars

But it was that first sense of gratification and accomplishment from a recipe turning out better than expected that motivated me to keep trying new things in the kitchen. I went on to try making flourless chocolate cake and tiramisu and became totally hooked on baking.

That was over 10 years ago and now I can’t imagine my life without it! Baking is almost meditative for me. It’s totally calming and grounding and there’s a delicious reward in the end.

And now that we’re in the middle of fall it’s officially the best time to be in the kitchen. YAY!

Pumpkin chocolate cheesecake being cut into squares

Baking Tips for Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin cheesecake batter in pan with dollops of chocolate batter ready to swirl

The Trick for Smooth & Luscious Cheesecake:

Make sure all of your ingredients are completely at room temperature. The cream cheese must be totally softened. Also, be sure to use bricks of full fat cream cheese. If it’s a cold day, then the cream cheese will need to sit on the counter for several hours or you may need to nuke it in the microwave until it’s utterly soft (but not melted).

For a smooth lump-free texture, be sure to scrape down your mixing bowl thoroughly after adding pretty much every ingredient. Even if you have a beater attachment that scrapes as it goes. Those don’t always catch everything, especially at the very bottom of the bowl.

Luckily cheesecake bars are easier and more forgiving than full size cheesecake.

How to Make Beautiful Chocolate Swirls

Chocolate cheesecake batter swirled into pumpkin batter and ready for the oven
Drop dollops of the chocolate cheesecake batter evenly and then use a butter knife to swirl. The key here is to not over use the knife otherwise the swirls become to messy and don’t look like much of anything.

How to Tell When Cheesecake is Done Baking

You’re looking for the edges of the cheesecake to be slightly golden and darkened in color and for the top of the cheesecake to look dry. However, the key is for the center to remain slightly jiggly. It will continue to cook from the residual heat even after removed from the oven and then will firm up and set in the fridge.

How to Prevent Cheesecake Cracks

Avoid overbeating the batter and exposing the cheesecake to sudden changes in temperature. Allow the cheesecake to completely cool to room temperature after baking before chilling. You can even let it cool in the oven with the heat off for 15 minutes before allowing to cool to room temp!

How to Freeze Cheesecake:

Place the chilled cheesecake (cut or uncut) in the freezer until firm and frozen. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, wrap it well in heavy-duty aluminum foil and place in a resealable container. Store for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.

Pumpkin chocolate cheesecake cut into bars

More Cheesecake Bar Recipes

4.91 from 10 votes

How to make
Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 9 bars
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Chilling time 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Simple and easy Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars are luscious, thick, and smooth with a crunchy, buttery crust and swirls of chocolate. Wonderful fall treat!

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 10 (150 grams) chocolate graham crackers
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (244 grams) canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

Make the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan using the bottom of a measuring cup or glass. Bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.

Make the filling:

  1. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, sugar, and pumpkin at medium-high speed until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add the flour, spices, and salt and beat until combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Add 1 cup cheesecake batter and stir to combine.
  3. Pour the pumpkin cheesecake batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Drop dollops of the chocolate batter mixture and swirl with a butter knife. Bake at 350°F until the edges are slightly golden and the cheesecake is set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 40 minutes. Do not overbake.
  5. Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack to cool completely in pan. Cover and chill in the fridge until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Using the overhang, transfer cheesecake to a cutting board to cut into squares before serving.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : fall

This post was originally published in 2012 and recently updated with recipe improvements, tips, and new photos. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Juliana — October 5, 2022 at 11:51 am

    Hi! I can’t find chocolate graham crackers anywhere, not even on Amazon. Is there an alternative, like Oreos perhaps?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 6, 2022 at 9:27 am

      Hi Juliana! I’m sorry to hear that chocolate graham crackers are proving a challenge to find! You can try using Chocolate Teddy Grahams, if you can locate those instead! That would be the best substitute. If you can’t find those, either, you can definitely try using Oreos – they just might lend a slightly more powerful, sweeter flavor than the chocolate graham crackers would have, but they should work just fine! Just be sure to remove the Oreo filling before placing in the food processor! Alternatively, if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can try making your own chocolate graham crackers – King Arthur has a great recipe here! I hope that helps! Good luck and happy baking 🙂

      • #
        Juliana Marciniak — October 18, 2022 at 2:41 pm

        THANK YOU!!!! I will definitely try one of those options. Can’t wait!

        • #
          Anne Chelekis — November 17, 2022 at 6:33 am

          Couldn’t find chocolate graham crackers at any store near me, either. In desperation, I bout a box of chocolate espresso biscotti. I weighed 150 grams and processed with the rest of the ingredients, but it looked like it wasn’t enough to cover the bottom sufficiently, so I just used the whole box (minus one, which I tasted before using :). They turned out fine. The crust might have been slightly more crumbly at first, but after chilling, it held together just fine. They looked beautiful, and were a big hit with my family.

          I’m going to make them again for one of our Thanksgiving desserts, and although the recipe was amazing, mine did develop some cracks along some of the chocolate swirls. Should I try a water bath this time? Or put a pan of boiling water on the rack below while it bakes? If it cracks again, should
          I try to fill in with a little more melted chocolate?

          • #
            Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 17, 2022 at 10:15 am

            Hi Anne! So glad your replacement cookie worked out well for the crust! I would otherwise recommend using chocolate Teddy Grahams for the crust – those work great! AS for the cracking, check out Tessa’s tips in the Tip Box above the recipe, for how to best avoid cracking! We haven’t tried these bars with a water bath, so I can’t recommend that, sorry! We also haven’t tried filling the cracks a little with some more melted chocolate, but it may help camouflage them – and it’ll taste great!

  2. #
    Bev N. — December 29, 2021 at 11:04 am

    These were sooo good! We ate them up so fast!

  3. #
    Dee — November 24, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Very disappointed. I baked this for 40 minutes as indicated in the recipe. Even before then the sides were getting a bit too brown. But after 40 minutes the middle was firm to the touch, sides were brown. I put in the fridge after cooling, for 4 hours. I took it out to cut and it raw in the center!!! I put it back in the oven to try and get it to bake through. After another 20 minutes my toothpicks came out clean. Cooled again and when I cut into it is was raw again!! I’m no slouch baker. Cheesecakes I love to bake so this should’ve been a no brainer but I am very disappointed!

    • #
      Emily — November 24, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      I’m sorry to hear you had issues with this recipe, Dee! What kind of pan did you use? Also, do you have an oven thermometer? It sounds to me like the edges/top of your cheesecake baked much more quickly than the interior, which typically happens when using a darker colored pan. If your cheesecake has a well developed exterior crust, that crust can actually scrape some of the crumbs off when testing, giving you an inaccurate sense of doneness. We suggest using a light colored metal baking pan, like this one from USA Pan. I really hope you give this recipe another try, I’d love for you to enjoy these bars the way they’re meant to be!

  4. #
    Pam — November 4, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    Forget my previous comment — I forgot to press zero on my scale before I weighed the butter.

    • #
      Emily — November 5, 2021 at 9:36 am

      Phew! I was worried when I read that haha, your bars would have been incredibly buttery! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  5. #
    Pam — November 4, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    For the crust, I think that the correct measurement is 485 grams of butter, not 85. Delicious recipe — everyone really enjoyed it!

  6. #
    Robin Michaels — October 16, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    This Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake was delicious! So creamy! The flavor was amazing! My coworkers loved it! Can’t wait to make it again soon!

    • #
      Emily — October 18, 2021 at 2:50 pm

      Yay! So happy to hear that they were such a hit!

  7. #
    kathryn kuzyk — September 26, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Doubled the recipe and still had enough for a whole tray of mini cupcakes. Too cute.
    All is still cooling so haven’t tried them yet but the smell is divine. Hoping it all freezes well.

    • #
      Emily — September 27, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      So fun! Hope they were delicious!

  8. #
    Jorjean Murphy — October 24, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    Totally is cheesecake….just easier! Creamy, pumpkiny goodness. The chocolate crust and marbling make it even better. I’ll be making this again. Yum!

  9. #
    Lana Anne Abrahams — October 17, 2020 at 3:26 am

    Hey Tessa!

    We don’t have canned pumpkin puree here in SA (unless it’s baby food, yuck!) can I steam fresh pumpkin then blitz with a blender and add that instead?

  10. #
    Patti — November 19, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Would I just double the recipe for a 13×9 pan?

  11. #
    Lada — November 10, 2019 at 10:37 am

    This came out well, but I find the taste of the cloves kind of overwhelms the other flavors and lingers on the tongue. I don’t usually use cloves in pumpkin spice items. If I make this again, I’ll leave out the cloves.

  12. #
    Sabrina — October 26, 2019 at 10:58 am

    yum, fun cheesecake Hallloween twist, thank you!

  13. #
    Amanda Scarlati — October 24, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    I love this idea, I can’t wait to try it! I think I might make these for Halloween!

  14. #
    Vivian @ RISVK — October 24, 2019 at 4:14 am

    Detailed information, I will make this recipe and will let you know after i have made it

  15. #
    Josh Bingham — October 22, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Can this be doubled, using a 9×13 pan? Also, can you use glass pans or are metal preferred?

  16. #
    Patty — November 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    thanks so much!! BTW.. I made two batches to take to a football banquet and they were a hit! (the second batch did not crack at all) Everyone enjoyed them!! I will def make again! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — November 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Awesome!!

  17. #
    Patty — November 9, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Made these tonight and then while cooling a crack formed in the middle. Does this mean I overcooked it? I have no experience making cheesecakes 🙁 They smell amazing! But, haven’t tasted them yet since they are still setting. Any suggestions for the next time I make them?

    • #
      Tessa — November 10, 2013 at 8:24 am

      Hi Patty – cheesecake can crack when the batter is over-beaten or when it’s overcooked. Sometimes it just happens but it has no effect on the taste or texture though. They may shrink a little when they cool too so the crack may be less obvious.

  18. #
    Renee — October 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Yes! Chocolate and pumpkin! Yes and yes!!!

  19. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — October 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    These are beautiful!!

  20. #
    Matt — October 23, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Excellent idea, especially with Halloween coming up!

    That reminds me – this newsletter I subscribe to is putting on a recipe for the holidays. If anyone has an idea, feel free to submit it:

    https://apps.facebook.com/whcontests/the-natural-knowledge-247-holiday-recipe-contest

  21. #
    Alexandra @ Brighteyedbaker — October 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I love these! They look insanely delicious, and I’m not even a typical cheesecake person. Love the swirling pattern on top, and of course the combo of chocolate and pumpkin, one of my favorites! This looks like one to try. 🙂

  22. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — October 22, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    these look gorgeous and so soft and smooth!

  23. #
    Natalie from Oven Love — October 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Looks yummy and the photo is beautiful! Your photography is looking great these days. 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — October 22, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you!!

  24. #
    Miriam @ Overtime Cook — October 22, 2012 at 4:52 am

    These look absolutely amazing! I was thinking of making pumpkin swirled brownies, but this cheesecake is really talking to me instead…

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]