Pumpkin Crumble Cheesecake Bars

There are a whole lot of pumpkin recipes floating around these days but I’m really hoping you aren’t pumpkined out yet because these pumpkin cheesecake crumble bars are worth overdosing on pumpkin for, I promise.

A happy accident, I stumbled upon these bars while researching and tweaking recipes for a good, classic pumpkin cheesecake (coming soon!). In my effort not to consume 24 pumpkin cheesecakes through trial and error in less than two weeks, I settled on consuming these pumpkin cheesecake crumble bars instead. Justification is a wicked thing indeed.

I’m not going to lie, I was a little scared by the sour cream topping but I gratefully remembered the success of similar sour cream toppings in these dreamy orange cream bars and this over-the-top pomegranate cheesecake, so I forged onward and my fortitude was rewarded. The buttery, nutty crust is wonderfully complemented by the creamy pumpkin cheesecake filling and the light sour cream topping gives the perfect contrast to the richness of the dessert and the irresistible crumbly topping.

Apparently, these bars in one variation or another have been around since the ’70’s. Considering that’s the decade of my birth, I feel like it was meant to be that I found these, made them, and subsequently ate about five too many. Long live pumpkin season, baby!

Pumpkin Crumble Cheesecake Bars

One Year Ago: Classic Macaroni and Cheese
Two Years Ago: Potato Puffs {a.k.a. Homemade Baked Tater Tots}
Three Years Ago: Chicken Corn Chowder

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars

Yield: Makes 16 squares

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, diced
  • 1 cup pecan halves (about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick rolled oats
  • Filling:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (light or regular), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pure pumpkin (a little less than a full 15-ounce can)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Topping:
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9X13-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. Blend the flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter by pulsing (in a blender or food processor) until the texture is like coarse meal. Add the pecans and pulse until the nuts are chipped. Add the oats, and again pulse until the mixture is moistened by not clumping. Press about 3 cups of the crumbs onto the bottom of the prepared 9X13-inch pan. Transfer the remaining crumbs to the lined baking sheet. Bake the crumbs until golden, stirring once, about 8-10 minutes. Cool crumbs. While they cool, bake the crust until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while preparing filling. Keep the oven turned on.
  2. For filling, blend all the ingredients in the same blender or food processor (no need to clean it in between) until smooth. Spread the filling over the warm crust and bake until it is slightly firm to the touch and the edges are just slightly risen, about 18-20 minutes. Keep that oven on!
  3. For the topping, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Spread the topping evenly over the hot, baked filling. Bake until the topping sets and bubbles at the edges, about 5-7 minutes. Cool the bars completely in the pan set on a cooling rack. Once cooled, sprinkle the golden crumbs over the topping and gently press them into the topping. Cover the bars and chill until cold, about 2 hours. Cut into squares and serve.

Recipe Source: adapted from epicurious.com

35 Responses to Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars

  1. Kate says:

    My food processor was apparently not up to the job because I had to do things in two batches after it was not chopping the nuts into the streusel. Even after that it clumped and didn’t turn out even. But it all baked and browned nicely and tasted delicious!! I also used low fat items for the cream cheese and sour cream and it turned out wonderfully. I subbed the ginger out for a pinch of each nutmeg and cloves. Definitely a delicious pumpkin recipe that I will make again!

  2. Jackie says:

    These look wonderful! Do you know how far ahead of time they can be made and refrigerated? I would love to include them in our Thanksgiving but definitely don’t want to be baking that day. Thanks 🙂

  3. Luda says:

    Thank you for the recipe, i always like to make my own changes, i cut sugar in half for crust and filling, it was so sweet i can not imagine having a whole cup of sugar.
    I used butternut squash from my garden which i baked, and simply put the crumbs on top of the filling instead of doing sour cream on top, it was delicious.

  4. Erin says:

    Had these today after choir practice and they were a hit!

  5. Sharon says:

    This was delicious. I make a cheesecake with a gingersnap crust, so I wanted to do that here. (Pecans are so expensive) But, 4 little munchkins managed to eat most of the gingersnaps. So, I threw some chocolate chips in with the few cookies I managed to rescue. Even with that huge change, it was out of this world. Can’t wait to make it again. Thank you.

  6. […] was going to ask if it had to be pie. Pumpkin cheesecakes crumble bars. They are delicious. Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars I didn't have pecans so I used chocolate chips and a few ginger snaps for the […]

  7. Mel says:

    Hi LB – you might try making a streusel completely out of oats. I’ve never tried it but a quick google search may give you some ideas. Good luck!

  8. LB says:

    Mel- Can you sub something for the pecans in the recipe? I want to make it for some people who have nut allergies. Thanks!

  9. These pumpkin cheesecake bars are looking so good!

  10. […] tend to mess up a recipe if I have to modify it. I modified this and it still turned out. Success! Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars My modification: I did not use pecans, I used a few gingersnaps and chocolate chips for the crust. […]

  11. Wendy says:

    These were wonderful!

  12. Rachel R says:

    These were delicious!!! The timing on the pumpkin cooking was a little off for us. It took at least 2x as long to get it baked, other than that they were a hit!

  13. Anissa says:

    Melanie….These were a great hit at our house today. I topped it with some carmel sauce I picked up at the Ghirradelli Chocolate Square while visiting San Fransico last weekend. The result was amazing….Thank you once again for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I haven’t tried as many new recipes the last 2 years ,do to gaining guardianship of my 2 little grand-daughters (and becoming full-time grandma mom) while still raising my two youngest 10 and 11 yr olds …. but/knew that a recipe of yours would not dissappoint my two and 1/2 year old granddaughter said hmmmm TASTY !!

  14. Kasandra says:

    These were a hit, thanks Mel!

  15. Emily says:

    While I rarely adjust your recipes (since they’re always ridiculously perfect) I must say that I didn’t love the ginger addition to the bars. Mind you, they’re still great, but I think next time I may sub it out for some nutmeg or a little homemade pumpkin pie spice, or even just add extra cinnamon. Thanks again for another keeper–this will be made again 🙂

  16. I’ll be happy to ‘overdose’ on pumpkin if it is for these cheesecake bars! : )

  17. cara says:

    Hi Mel,

    Love the book list for boys. I’ve found 3 series that our 8 year old son has enjoyed. The Scrappers series by Dean Hughes, the sports books by Dan Gutman, and the series of Droon books by Tony Abbott. All were a big hit at our house. Thanks again for the great book list.

  18. Wendy Smith says:

    Ok… duh… I’m crazy and must read too fast. Just saw that you sprinkle the crumbs on after that last baking and cooling. Did I miss that the first read? lol Either way, these are being baked this weekend! Thanks!

  19. Wendy Smith says:

    Hi, Mel – Definitely going to make this one! But I do have a question too… In the pic it looks like the crumbs (which were toasted leftovers from the crust part of the recipe) should go on top of the top layer of sourcream goodness. But in the last paragraph you don’t mention sprinkling them on. Do we put them on before the last 5-7 min baking? Thanks for the top tier blog!!

    I have said it before but it bears repeating – the pumpkin scones from your blog is the best thing I’ve seen done with pumpkin in a loooooong time. So good. I’ve already made 3 batches this season to take places.

  20. teresa says:

    these look awesome!

    ps, we’ve now made your pumpkin blondies twice, and they’ve yet to survive longer than a day. SO GOOD!

  21. Beth says:

    There are never too many pumpkin recipes. Yum!

  22. Teresa R. says:

    These pumpkin bars are on my to do list for the weekend. Thanks again for all the deliciousness you’ve added to my family’s life!

  23. Shelley says:

    Hey Mel, Love the website and I love your recipes! Quick question about this one: in the pictures the cream cheese looks like it is separate from the pumpkin filling but in your instructions you say to blend them together. Do we just blend it a little bit so that the pumpkin and the cream cheese are still a little separate?


  24. Janet says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thank you for this awesome recipe and all of the others I have made from your site. I came on here tonight needing help for quick meals…….which I found aplenty….but couldn’t resist stopping by this bar recipe too!!!
    I noticed you moved to Minnesota recently from Wisconsin. We just moved to MN from Idaho and from Montana before that and Las Vegas before that!! Coming to MN was a huge cultural change for us but we are loving it……since leaving Las Vegas over 20 years ago, we haven’t lived in/near a big city and now we are in the burbs of Minneapolis…..thus the culture shock! And our church is now 10 miles away instead of 1/2 block away!! On the flip side, Costco is 5 minutes away instead of 75 miles away!!

  25. Brittany C. says:

    I am so making these for book club/craft night tomorrow! Oh I can’t wait to try them! Thanks for sharing, Mel!

  26. Beatriz C says:

    Yum! This recipe looks fabulous. I can’t wait to make it–I love everything pumpkin! Thanks for sharing it.

  27. Vanessa says:

    Oh my! I’ve been seeing pumpkin everything lately but these just look so deliecious!

  28. Tori says:

    Yum! Can’t wait to try these!

  29. Lisa says:

    Any chance on getting that classic pumpkin cheesecake recipe by Friday? I was going to make one for my birthday on Saturday-and I know anything from you turns out amazing. Pretty please!

  30. I love anything pumpkin! These look yummmmy

  31. Jen T says:

    Anything pumpkin I love! Your pumpkin blondies with chocolate chips are amazing! Have the missionaries for dinner tonight, so this will be our dessert! Thanks!

  32. Lucy says:

    Both pumpkin recipes I’ve made so far this fall have come from your blog. I think the next one will too. These look delicious! I also make a pumpkin cheesecake pie and your bittersweet chocolate pudding pie for Thanksgiving every year!

  33. Kim in MD says:

    ‘Tis the season of the pumpkin! I can’t get enough pumpkin right now. I’m drinking it in my lattes and adding it (and squash) to many sweet and savory recipes. I’m always on the hunt for new pumpkin desserts, and this one looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it, and I’m excited about your perfect pumpkin cheesecake recipe, too! I make pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving every year, and if you post your recipe in time I will make your recipe this year. 🙂

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