Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Earlier this month, when I made a batch of maple-walnut ice cream, I mentioned how any mention of maple reminds of a classic episodes of Friends, as well as Buddy the Elf. Truth be told, both Ross and Buddy knew what they were talking about. Maple is such a pure, clean flavor, and unfortunately, it often times takes a backseat to other favorite fall baking ingredients, like pumpkin and apple. In an effort to increase my maple syrup consumption leading up to multiple viewings of Elf starting in November, I picked up a ginormous bottle of pure maple syrup and hit the kitchen. This recipe certainly encompasses the best that fall has to offer – maple, pumpkin, gingersnaps and cheesecake, not to mention cinnamon and the usual suspects when it comes to fall spices. If you’re looking for fall flavors, these bars are a total win.

While I love, absolutely love cheesecake, there’s no denying that it’s a lengthy process to make one from scratch. They are totally worth the effort, but between the long bake time, cool time and chill time, sometimes you don’t get to taste your creation until the next day. These bars are the perfect compromise. They are essentially a pumpkin cheesecake filling, spiked with maple, and poured on top of a gingersnap crust (which means they can be thrown together quickly), but you can eat them as soon as they cool to room temperature. There are plenty of times in life when we need to practice patience; eating these bars is not one of those times. You can save up your patience for a trip to the doctor’s office, or the grocery store on a weekend morning 😉

I love that these bars encompass all of my favorite flavors and textures of the season, and that they are contributing to my seasonal maple consumption. What’s your favorite flavor to bake with during this time of year?

One year ago: Salted Caramel Popcorn, Pretzel & Peanut Bars
Two years ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip & Pecan Granola Bars
Three years ago: Potato Rosemary Bread
Four years ago: French Toast
Five years ago: Soft Pretzels, Part II

Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

A maple pumpkin cheesecake filling sits atop a gingersnap crust, for a fantastic fall dessert. No forks required!


For the Crust:
42 gingersnap cookies (about 9 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
2 eggs
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch ground cloves


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper so that it extends over each long side of the pan.

2. Make the Crust: In a food processor, pulse together the gingersnaps and sugar until they become fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a few more times to incorporate. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

3. Making the Filling: While crust is baking, prepare the pumpkin filling. Beat together the cream cheese and the brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix on low speed until completely incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the evaporated milk, maple syrup and vanilla, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves and mix on low to incorporate.

4. Pour the filling over the prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake until the filling is set in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Once the bars have cooled to room temperature, you can cut and serve them, or you can refrigerate them and serve them chilled.

5. Using the parchment paper overhangs, lift the bars from the pan and onto a cutting surface. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream and candy corn, if desired. Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

(Recipe adapted from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy)


52 Responses to “Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars”

  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on October 23, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Yummy!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your page’s new makeover!! It looks awesome


  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on October 23, 2012 at 2:05 am

    I love that these bars incorporate all my fave flavors and textures, too! Pumpkin, cheesecake, maple and nothing tops a gingersnap crust!


  3. Debra on October 23, 2012 at 3:08 am



  4. Coleens Recipes on October 23, 2012 at 3:16 am

    I’m definitely going to serve this at our next family gathering…my family is going to go nuts over this!! Thank you.


  5. Esther on October 23, 2012 at 3:51 am

    I just know i will love these bars! It has all my favourite flavours too, thanks for sharing this recipe, i must learn to make this pronto!


  6. buttercream bakehouse on October 23, 2012 at 5:51 am

    looks amazing.


  7. Penny Wolf on October 23, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Pumpkin with cinnamon is a favorite for me which makes this recipe on point.
    Maple syrup has me baffled! It’s tapped in the Spring, it’s flavor marries so well with anything, how did it get labeled an Autumn flavor?


  8. Lee on October 23, 2012 at 6:48 am

    When you say Maple and Pumpkin. It sounds like the two won’t mix well together. However when you actually do it and taste it it works perfectly. The maple just gives the whole thing a smooth flavour.


  9. Tracey on October 23, 2012 at 7:42 am

    These sound amazing, I can’t get enough maple this fall!


  10. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on October 23, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Ohhh, fabulous recipe!!! Yum!! I love maple and pumpkin together!


  11. angela on October 23, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I’ve been experimenting with pumpkin and cream cheese and I’ve found you don’t really need the eggs (which is not intuitive.) I’m going to give these a try egg free and see what happens. The maple is nice touch of added flavor.


    • Andrea on October 24th, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Maybe that is why mine turned out a little thin? I think I’m going to try more cream cheese next time for a thicker consististy


  12. Abby@ Totes Delish on October 23, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Pumpkin and cheesecake?! Sing me up!


  13. Barbara | Creative Culinary on October 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I love all things maple and have before ‘Friends’ was a glimmer in someone’s eye! It is funny that it seems so associated with fall but it sure is for me; my favorite turkey is cooked with bacon and maple syrup and my favorite pie for Thanksgiving is pumpkin with maple syrup! I know I would love these.


  14. Delishhh on October 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Your new site looks AMAZING!! Very nice! And these pumpkin bars are to die for!


  15. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on October 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I love baking apple-cinnamon treats, but this maple & pumpkin combo sounds delish!!


  16. Connie on October 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Love the new look here at Brown Eyed Baker! Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars sound perfect for the upcoming holidays, especially for Thanksgiving dessert.


  17. Tricia @ Saving room for dessert on October 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Lovely recipe! Beautiful dessert and love the ginger snap crust. It is time for more pumpkin!


  18. Georgia-Mae on October 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    What. These look SO GOOD. Fall will be the death of me haha all I want to do is sty inside and eat delicious bakes goods! Oh well!:)


  19. Christine @ Cooking Crusade on October 23, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Maple candy always reminds me of Ross from Friends, haha. These cheesecake bars look delectably good!!


  20. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on October 23, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    This combines my two favorite things! Love it!!


  21. Laura Dembowski on October 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I love maple syrup and agree it sould take a more prominent place in desserts. Elf is such a great movie. I could definitely use another viewing.


  22. sally @ sallys baking addiction on October 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Michelle I’m cracking up! I love the friends episode when ross gets a sugar high from the maple candy in vermont!!! Hysterical! I need to watch that episode again soon – i have the series on DVD! And buddy the elf – my favorite! Candy corns remind me of him too 🙂 LOVE maple and pumpkin together too. Yum!


  23. Allison Day on October 24, 2012 at 3:29 am

    I am so much a fan of cheesecake, but totally agree that it can take way too long to make sometimes! Combine that with the fact that I’m totally in a pumpkin-everything mood right now, and always adore maple anything, and these sound amazing.


  24. Toni from KitchenSter on October 24, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Oh yummy !! These look amazing !


  25. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen on October 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I totally agree on the maple flavor. I have a little in my fridge right now, but not enough to ever satisfy that craving! Cheesecake is one of my favorites…


  26. Renee on October 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    These look amazing! Maple makes everything better!


  27. Home Inspections Chicago on October 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    sounds yummy and perfect for fall!


  28. Christmas desserts on October 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    It is absolutely so not fair to show us those incredible photographs when we can’t reach through the computer screen and sample a taste of your Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. The photos are just stunning.

    My favorite flavors are maple, nutmeg, pumpkin, eggnog and the smells of baking bread.



  29. Jessie on October 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Yum! Those look amazing. Love your flavor combos!


  30. Cara on October 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    While making the batter, I thought it was oddly thin. I was afraid I’d forgotten something, but I wasn’t. It’s sitting in the oven now, can’t wait to see how it turns out.


    • Amber on October 31st, 2012 at 12:50 am

      How did yours turn out? Mine are in the oven now and the batter was as thin as milk when I put it in 😐 Hoping it sets after I take it out!


      • Lori on October 31st, 2012 at 5:48 pm

        Mine are in the oven now and seem really thin too. I measured everything by weight and volume, but every still seems thin. Guess we’ll see when they’re done.


        • Lori on November 1st, 2012 at 1:12 pm

          Mine came out a bit thin at room temp, but I refrigerated them and they were fantastic!


          • Cara on November 15th, 2012 at 10:26 pm

            Totally forgot to check back on this. While the batter was thin, it set really well while baking, but it did take longer than the listed baking time for that to happen. About 10-15 minutes longer if I recall correctly..


  31. Gemma on October 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Oh my! They look so terribly tempting and delicious! I’ve never tried a recipe with pumpkin and I love cheesecake….so…I guess it’s about time to try your recipe! 🙂
    Greetings from Spain!


  32. Emily on October 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Made these yesterday and they are AMAZING. I have to get them out of my house before I eat them all by myself! I actually think I’m going to use the crust of these bars with your pumpkin pie recipe this Thanksgiving. It’s delicious and a fraction of the work of traditional pie crust!


  33. steph on October 30, 2012 at 8:35 am

    these look so good and are definitely the next pumpkin recipe i am trying!! i love a good gingersnap crust


  34. Susan on November 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    While I am not a big fan of cheesecake, the combination of the various flavors in this recipe – maple, pumpkin, ginger and other spices – sounds very enticing! The recipe also seems like a fairly easy one to put together. I’m always looking for pumpkin recipes that vary from the usual pumpkin pie variety. So, I’m definitely going to try this. And perhaps it will make a cheesecake fan of me yet! Thanks for sharing the recipe!


  35. Jocelyn on November 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I made these bars today, and they are delicious. They are so much easier to manage than a whole cheesecake. Of note, mine took quite a bit longer to cook than the recipe recommends.


  36. Sarah on November 14, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Hey Michelle,
    After reading some of the other posts about the mixture coming out too thin, do you think this could be made in an 8X8 dish? How would you adjust the baking time/temp?
    Thanks so much! Love your site!


    • Michelle on November 15th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Hi Sarah, I think it might be a bit close in an 8-inch square dish, and I wouldn’t want to risk overflowing. If you decide to try, I would recommend placing an empty baking pan on the rack below to catch any spills, just in case.


  37. Dianne on November 23, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    So glad to see others are also finding it thin and taking much longer to bake. I wish I’d added another egg or less milk.


  38. Nicole A Go Go on December 20, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Tried making this tonight and am not pleased with the results. They sound amazing but I don’t think the proportions of ingredients provided work. The cheese cake filling came out reeeaaaally thin even though I followed the instructions. I baked it longer than the recipe advises to because the filling would not set. In the extra bake time the filling still didn’t set and the crust burnt. I will try it again but without eggs and a bit more cream cheese! Hoping to at least salvage the filling from this first try once it cools.


  39. Brandy Yekel on September 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I made these bars and I love them. However, I don’t notice any flavor of maple syrup and they seem more pumpkin pie like, than cheesecake.


  40. Audrey on November 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Just not good–proportions are off—wondering if this was even tested. Needs more spice, less evap milk, maybe another yolk and time was too short.Maple flavor gets lost–such a small insignificant amount–really needs extract if you want that flavor to come through. Problem with blogs is that recipe testing is sketchy. Even after baking longer , cooling and refrigeration still too loose in texture. For those who review without even making the recipe think again–it might sound like it will taste good but you must actually PREPARE the recipe to give an accurate review.


  41. Jenny on November 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I just made these to bring to our Thanksgiving tomorrow….They are cooked but way too soft and you can’t taste anything but the cream cheese. I should have went with my gut and added more ginger and cinnamon. would it be OK to sprinkled some on with powdered sugar?


    • Michelle on November 27th, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      Hi Jenny, I’m sorry you weren’t happy with the bars. You could certainly sprinkle powdered sugar on them.


      • Jenny on November 28th, 2013 at 10:19 am

        Thank you for responding. A night in the fridge seems to have made them better. I am making a topping of ginger, cinnamon and powdered sugar to dust on before serving:).


  42. Kari on August 12, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    I make these once before. And the second time I remembered to keep them in the oven a little longer (10 minutes). They look great so far and am them letting cool. Can’t wait to eat them!


  43. Elaine on October 14, 2014 at 12:15 am

    My family enjoyed this at (Canadian) Thanksgiving tonight. As there are several gluten-free folks in the group, made the crust with Sunstart gluten-free Stem Ginger Cookies (2 pkgs). Thanks for the recipe.


  44. Marnie on October 14, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Made these for (Canadian) Thanksgiving this past weekend. Had to comment after reading the weirdly negative reviews above. These were AMAZING.
    Regarding timing – I baked as directed “until the centre was set”. It wasn’t set at 30 mins so I baked a while longer – maybe 10 mins. Also chilled it over night in the fridge and it set and cut up PERFECTLY. There is cream cheese in it so one shouldn’t be shocked at the cream cheese taste – stick to pumpkin pie if that is what you are after. If you are a cheesecake/maple/pumpkin fan then this will not disappoint. Texture was glorious, flavor was better than I had hoped and everyone was VERY quiet while enjoying their dessert after dinner.

    My only variation was that I was short on the spices so I used a “gingerbread blend” that I had on hand. I also dusted with Maple Sugar that I picked up at Costco and a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream. These were so good that I am kicking myself for leaving the leftovers at my Sister’s house. I am going to bake a second batch today for an encore.


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