Gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bars
Cheesecake,  Dessert,  Food,  Gluten Free,  Holidays

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars (Gluten Free)

These gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bars are a great alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving and fall holiday gatherings.

Gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bar on a plate.

This is a guest post by Diana Girtain.

I was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which benefits from a gluten free diet. I’d gone gluten free/low gluten years ago because I’d started to notice that I felt remarkable better without it, so it was satisfying to have a doctor’s explanation for my improved quality of life — it wasn’t just all in my head!

Since that diagnosis and my dietary adjustments, I’ve been on the search for a good gluten free pie crust for years.

Spoiler: they’re not easy to find.

I’ve actually thrown pies away because the crust is my favorite part of a pie and … most gluten free crusts aren’t great. I always feel this let-down the most around Thanksgiving when I’m craving pumpkin pie.

I’ve tried store bought gluten free pie crusts and attempted countless recipes to no avail, so I’ve abandon the search and turned, instead, to a pumpkin pie crumble- /bar-type desert to fulfill my craving. I reached out to Liza to see if she could help.

While she didn’t have a gluten free pumpkin recipe at hand, she suggested trying to alter her gluten free raspberry cheesecake bars.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bar on a plate.

After reading Liza’s recipe and looking at a variety of pumpkin pie recipes, I came up with this recipe for gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bars.

I stuck pretty closely to Liza’s original shortbread recipe, omitting some of the sugar and substituting almond milk, because while in the middle of baking I realized I was out of cream — the almond milk worked great! I also omitted the oats and poppy seeds from the raspberry recipe because I wanted a smoother texture for the pumpkin ones, though I think this recipe would be yummy with the oats.

And next time I make this, I’m adding chopped pecans to the topping!

These gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bars turned out sooooo scrumptious and totally satisfied my need for pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving season.

Making gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bars, step by step.

Bonus: My three year old loved it and has asked already to make it again! #parentingbakingsuccess

Gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bars

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 12 Bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours

These gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bars are a great alternative to traditional pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

For the crust:

For the cream cheese filling:

  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the pumpkin filling:

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice

For the topping:

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup oats (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or spray bakeware.
  2. Combine 2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup sugar together in a medium mixing bowl. Use a fork or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it's about the size of large peas (it doesn't have to be perfect). Press this crust mixture into the bottom (and up the sides a little) of a 9x13" baking dish, and then bake it for 15 minutes until it's golden brown.
  3. Mix the pumpkin purée, egg, almond milk, sugar, and pumpkin spice in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Blend the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar together in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer for 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla, then continue blending for 1 minute more. Pour the mixture over the warm crust once it's done baking.
  5. Sprinkle the pumpkin mixture evenly on top of the cheesecake filling. Using a toothpick, swirl the cream cheese and pumpkin mixtures together. Sprinkle the topping evenly over top (recipe below).
  6. Bake the gluten free pumpkin cheesecake bars for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the cheesecake filling is just set.
  7. Let it cool to room temp on the counter before transferring it, covered, to your fridge to chill completely before serving, at least 2 hours.

For the topping:

  1. Use a fork to combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, sea salt, and 1/2 cup of butter (oats and/or pecans, too, if you choose).

Notes

I liked it the first day, but definitely loved it the following day after chilling overnight.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 581Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 405mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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Hi, I'm Liza, a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting sucked into whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life, and as a foodie at heart, I relish the chance to both cook and eat. (No picky-eater here!) I'm always on the hunt for the perfect mojito, inspiration for another tattoo and time to finish my novel.

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