Gingersnap Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares – a freezer friendly cheesecake dessert square recipe that combines the great flavour of pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crumb crust in a satisfying smaller portion alternative to an entire slice of cheesecake. Perfect for Holiday entertaining; just pull a few out of the freezer at a time to serve after thawing for about 20 minutes.
I’m probably not the only one who’s noticed a resurgence in the popularity of pumpkin recipes in the last couple of years. Fans of good old pumpkin pie seem to be growing exponentially and the flavour combination of pumpkin and fragrant spices has found its way into more and more dessert recipes.
Pumpkin in particular seems to be the most popular Autumn flavour for cheesecake and in today’s recipe I’ve decided to use it in one of my favorite ways, a cheesecake dessert bar.
Making an entire cheesecake is very often overkill because, unless you are serving about 16 people, you are going to have a lot of leftover dessert. We all know what that means for trips to the fridge in the following couple of days.
Making cheesecake bars is a terrific way to make a much smaller dessert and is far easier to portion control as well. When a dessert is as rich as cheesecake, a little goes a long way anyway so why not enjoy it in a more manageable serving size.
It was Spouse’s idea to use gingersnap crumbs for the crust , which isn’t surprising considering her love of anything ginger. I love the combination of chocolate and gingerbread, so it was my idea to drizzle a little of it on top of the bars. This is of course, optional; the bars are perfectly delicious without it and if you are not fond of gingersnaps, a standard graham crumb crust is easily substituted.
The fact that these are very freezer-friendly is an additional bonus in that you can pull out just a few at a time and let them thaw for 20-30 minutes at room temperature before serving. Just the perfect thing for last minute guests or entertaining during the Holidays.
Note, you can use canned pumpkin to enjoy these at any time of year andif you have some of it left over you can even make my moms famous Pumpkin Bread which also freezes very well.
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- 1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- pinch ground cloves
- pinch ground nutmeg
Mix together the gingersnap crumbs melted butter and 3 tbsp sugar.
Press firmly into the bottom of the parchment lined 9x9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Cream together the cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree until smooth.
Beat in the egg.
Beat in the sour cream and spices.
Pour over the prepared crust and bake for 25-35 minutes at 300 degrees F until the center sets and no longer jiggles.
To ensure even baking you can place the baking pan into a larger baking pan and fill half way up with boiling water. This may slow down the cooking process and require a little extra baking time but the cheesecake will bake more evenly from the edges to the center.
Cool completely before cutting into bars and serving. Store in the refrigerator or freeze until needed.
I either pre-cut them into bars and freeze them in airtight containers with each one nestled inside a paper muffin tin liner to easily pluck out as many as you need to thaw at a time. I also freeze an entire batch, uncut, in case I need larger servings to serve as a decadent dessert for unexpected dinner guests.
If you want to drizzle them with chocolate, just melt together 1/2 cup chocolate chips with a couple of tablespoons of whipping cream in a double boiler or in the microwave. This can be done before freezing or when you serve them.
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