bar none October 25, 2009

Pumpkinbar 001 In the "I rarely have a sweet tooth" weirdness that is my gastronomic cravings, there is a sub-topic that makes people really clutch their pearls: I don't really like cheesecake. I feel like I should like it because it's the decadent cousin to all the sweets I do like: creamy mousses, panna cotta, ice creams. Not the case. As it turns out, I'm even pickier about cheesecakes than I am most other desserts. It's often a texture nightmare and, quite frankly, it's too dense and too sweet a lot of the time. Oh yeah…and that "cheesecake" with the commercial grade cherry or strawberry sauce on it? Oy.

What I do like is pumpkin. I also like tiny doses of dark chocolate. Having both of them in the cabinet was just screaming for me to combine them. I don't make bar desserts nearly enough and it's something that everyone really does love. I figured this way, I could make them, have a little sample, and send them off with my sweetie to work.

That's exactly what I did because these bad boys are RICH. I used bittersweet chocolate (from Scharffen Berger. thanks, BlogHerFood!) to cut some of the sweetness. I went a little crazy with my swirls on top – if you want perfectly made desserts, go see Helen's blog. These are what I look for in a bar: rustic, gooey and sweet. The recipe says it makes 16 bars – you could EASILY cut this recipe into smaller pieces and everyone's sweet tooth would be taken care of.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars – makes 16 generous sized bars – original recipe found here


  • 20 chocolate wafer cookies, (half a 9-ounce package)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 2 packages bar cream cheese, (8 ounces each)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
– In a food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup crumbs); add butter, and pulse until moistened.
– Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press gently into bottom. Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
– Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; process until combined. Set aside. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.
– Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl. Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang, transfer cake to work surface. With a knife dipped in water, cut into 16 squares. Serve.


Patti Davis Oct 25, 2009 08:10 am

I may have to make this for the pumpkin carving party I’m going to tonight. OMG.

Darina Oct 25, 2009 08:10 am

Pumpkin and chocolate. Sounds delicious. I can always use a good bar recipe, since I’m baking challenged and bars are easier than cakes. And who doesn’t like bars?

tami Oct 25, 2009 08:10 am

Make sure you give them enough time to to set up in the fridge. They are a huge hit with everyone so I’m sure folks at your party would love them :)
– t*

tami Oct 25, 2009 08:10 am

I’m not the best baker in the world either, especially since I don’t try and do it very often. I agree – everyone likes bar desserts!
FYI: Love your blog! Thanks for stopping by. I’ve added you to my RSS reader :)
– t*

Jekemp Oct 25, 2009 08:10 am

Yum, need to try this one out.

The Broke Socialite Oct 25, 2009 09:10 am

Oh even I could not mess these up…they sound so delightful. *inserting recipe in my ‘To Try’ pile for next week*

tami Oct 25, 2009 10:10 am

J.Kemp – Lemme know what you think if you try em!
Miss Broke :) No…they’re foolproof…especially if you don’t get too picky/anal about the swirls on the top. Be loose about it and just enjoy them!
– t*

Caitlin Oct 25, 2009 10:10 am

I just had an image of myself clutching my pearls, and nearly had a conniption. Luckily, I’m not a huge fan of cheesecake either, so that scenario can’t really occur :) Unluckily, I LOVE pumpkin and chocolate, so these might need to be made soon…

The Frugal Hostess Oct 25, 2009 01:10 pm

Yum, looks good. I’m with ya on cheesecake – it tastes uncooked to me. As well as gross. And icky.

bettyjoan Oct 25, 2009 02:10 pm

Yum. I will definitely have to attempt these sometime soon.

Carl Black Oct 25, 2009 08:10 pm

Oh, these sound pretty darn amazing. Thanks for posting the creation!

Stephanie - Wasabimon Oct 25, 2009 10:10 pm

Tami! These looks great – I wonder if they would be de-glutenable? Must give this a try.

lisa (dandysugar) Oct 25, 2009 11:10 pm

These look great- pumpkin and chocolate is a fantastic combination. Sounds even better with dark chocolate. I’m not a big cheesecake fan either, but these are another story…. Oct 26, 2009 08:10 am

I love cheesecake, pumpkin, and chocolate, so these sound like a food dream come true, however, I don’t like things that are hyper sweet. Do you think cutting the sugar in the filling by half a cup would cause problems with the bars setting up?
Many thanks for posting the recipe!

Tony Clark Oct 26, 2009 02:10 pm

You had me at cheesecake!

Lauren Oct 29, 2009 10:10 am

This recipe was great – thanks for sharing it!!