Fall season will not be complete without these no-bake pumpkin cheesecake bars! These mousse like bars have the perfect pumpkin flavor and a crunchy gingersnap cookie crust, making it the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. The best part is that this recipe is completely no-bake, leaving you plenty of oven space for the rest of your holiday recipes!
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Why these No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are the Best!
Smooth and creamy cream cheese with the perfect balance of pumpkin flavor and pumpkin pie spice are what make the perfect pumpkin cheesecake bars. And do not forget the amazing crust has a wonderful spiced flavor from the gingersnap cookies, making every bite irresistible! If you like a classic pumpkin cheesecake, you will love these no-bake cheesecake bars. They are the perfect dessert for the holiday season!
Not only are these bars delicious, they are surprisingly easy to make and of course there is no baking required! This is a huge win for me when I feel my oven is on non-stop during the holidays!
Making pumpkin bars ahead of time is actually essential to this recipe. This is great when planning for your Thanksgiving dinner. These can be made a few days in advance, leaving you less stressed on the big day!
cream cheese- use the full fat variety for this recipe. Cheesecake is not meant to be healthy!
pure pumpkin-use canned pumpkin puree, making sure not to use pumpkin pie filling.
heavy cream- is a must when making homemade whipped topping. This will give your cheesecake an amazing flavor and smooth creamy texture. Cool whip is sometimes used in no bake cheesecake recipes but I prefer the taste of real cream!
gingersnap cookies-have a great spiced flavor and are perfect when paired with pumpkin. To make the perfect cheesecake crust, buy crunchy gingersnap cookies and pulse in your food processor.
Start by making your crust by pulsing the gingersnap cookies in a bowl of a food processor. You need 2 cups of crushed gingersnaps to make the crust for the pumpkin cheesecake. If you prefer you can use graham crackers to make the crust, but I love the spiced flavor of the gingersnap cookies, as it goes perfectly with the pumpkin!
After pulsing into fine crumbs, measure and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and brown sugar and stir well with a spoon or a spatula.
Add the crust ingredients to a 13x9 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Press the mixture into the corners of the dish, packing very tightly. Because this is a no-bake recipe place the gingersnap crust in the freezer while preparing the pumpkin filling.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, use a whisk attachment to beat heavy cream until stiff peaks. Making whipped cream will take about 5 minutes which is why I prefer using my stand mixer. However, you can always use a hand mixer.
Once the cream is light and fluffy, scrape it into a bowl and set aside. Using the same mixing bowl add your blocks of cream cheese. Don't worry about washing the bowl, everything is eventually going to be mixed together. You definitely need to make sure your cream cheese is soft for it to mix well. To beat the cream cheese you will need to change to the paddle attachment. Mix for a minute until cream cheese is smooth.
To get the right consistency it is important for the cream cheese to be at room temperature. This makes it easier to beat with the mixer and insures there are no lumps.
Add the pumpkin purée, both types of sugar, vanilla extract and spices to the cream cheese. Turn mixer on medium speed and mix for a minute. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl.
Once thoroughly combined, add the whipped cream to the pumpkin mixture. I like to mix this in by hand with a rubber spatula so not to completely deflate the cream.
The whipped cream is what makes this recipe light and airy. Plus it gives amazing flavor that tastes better than Cool Whip.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the baking dish and spread in an even layer over the crust.
Now comes the hard part: we must wait for our no bake cheesecake to set. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the dish and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Once the cheesecake has set up, you can cut it into bars. I find the best way to do this is to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Use a sharp knife to run around the edge of the pan to loosen it from the edge. Then use the parchment paper as handles and carefully lift the cake to a cutting board.
Cut into 20 bars, whipping the knife with a paper towel between each cut for a clean slice.
I prefer this cheesecake cold, straight from the refrigerator. Add a dollop of whipped cream to decorate if desired. If you are serving this for the holidays it is best not to let sit out for longer than a couple of hours. Because of it containing so much cream it will become very soft the longer it is sitting out.
No-bake cheesecake must be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. When properly stored cheesecake will last for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze a no-bake cheesecake by wrapping tightly with a double layer of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Allow cream cheese to come to room temperature before making the pumpkin cheesecake filling. It will mix better, free from lumps and give a light creamy texture to the no-bake cheesecake.
- For the best results, use cold cream from to make whipped cream. You can even go a step further and chill the bowl and whisk attachment in the refrigerator, a tip I learned from my grandmother. The colder cream will create smooth stiff peaks in a shorter amount of time.
How long does a no-bake cheesecake last?
Keep your cheesecake stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Is no-bake or baked cheesecake better?
Because baked cheesecake contain eggs while no-bake cheesecakes do not the texture of these desserts are completely different. Baked cheesecakes have a slightly firmer texture while a no-bake cheesecake is more like mouse. They are both delicious!
Looking For Other Holiday Desserts? Try These!
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and a 5- star rating. I would love to hear from you! Subscribe to get new recipes sent straight to your inbox!
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 2 8 ounce blocks cream cheese
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- In a food processor, add the gingersnap cookies and process until the crumbs are a fine texture.
- Add the gingersnap cookie crumbs to a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and the ¼ cup of brown sugar. Mix to combine, the texture will look like wet sand.
- Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper so that the sides are overhanging slightly.
- Spread the cookie crumb mixture in the baking dish and use your hands to pat down the crumbs in an even layer to make the crust.
- Place baking dish in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. This process will take about 5 minutes.
- Scrape the whipped cream into a bowl and set aside. In the stand mixer switch to the paddle attachment and beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin, both types of sugar, vanilla extract and spices. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is mixed thoroughly.
- Add the whipped cream to the pumpkin mixture. Use a spatula to gently mix the whipped cream into the cream cheese.
- Once combined scrape the filling mixture onto the crust. Use a spatula to smooth into an even layer.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6-8 hours or longer if making ahead.
- When ready to serve, run a butter knife along the edges to release the cheesecake from the pan. Use the parchment paper as handles to lift the cheesecake to a cutting board.
- Cut into 20 bars, wiping the knife with a paper towel between each cut for a clean cut.
- Serve with extra whipped topping if desired.