Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Pumpkin Streusel Bars.

Instead of pumpkin pie this season, try my pumpkin streusel bars. With a gingersnap crust and brown sugar streusel topping, everyone will want seconds.

Instead of pumpkin pie this season, try my pumpkin streusel bars. With a gingersnap crust and brown sugar streusel topping, everyone will want seconds!

Pumpkin season is in full swing and while I have yet to bake a traditional pumpkin pie this season, I’ve made enough cupcakes to clean my grocery store’s pumpkin supply out.

In addition to pumpkin cupcakes, I made this nutella swirled pumpkin pie over the weekend. Because if there’s any way to mess with traditional pumpkin pie, it’s with nutella swirls and gingersnap cookies. I also made today’s pumpkin bars.

It was a very merry pumpkin weekend, yes.

Instead of pumpkin pie this season, try my pumpkin streusel bars. With a gingersnap crust and brown sugar streusel topping, everyone will want seconds!

Today’s pumpkin streusel bars are the epitome of dessert bars. And you 1,000% percent have got to try them. Let me explain why: first, you have a snappy (couldn’t help myself) gingersnap crust. I freakin’ love gingersnap cookies. There’s nothing like biting into a soft gingersnap molasses cookie, but for this crust – you’ll need the crunchy kind. Crunchy, hard gingersnap cookies. I admit, I bought a box of them from the store.

Don’t want to use store-bought gingersnaps? Feel free to make a graham cracker crust instead. Just as tasty. A graham cracker crust is what I use for the pumpkin bar recipe in my cookbook. Try those next.

Butter, gingersnap cookies, a little sugar. All good things in this crust.

Instead of pumpkin pie this season, try my pumpkin streusel bars. With a gingersnap crust and brown sugar streusel topping, everyone will want seconds!

Second. The middle layer is both pie and cheesecake. (!!!)

Spiced pumpkin pie meets creamy, thick cheesecake. I like to add cream cheese to this layer not only to get that cheesecake taste, but to give the center some structure. I tested this recipe twice and felt the bars were slightly disappointing without the cream cheese. The filling was a little… loose. That sounds horribly disgusting and guess what? It was. The cream cheese is the crème de la crème of the middle layer. You will love how creamy the filling is– the perfect contrast to the crunchy crust and crumbly streusel topping.

Speaking of. The third reason you have to try today’s pumpkin dessert? All that crumbly, brown sugar streusel! I’m all about streusel. I use the exact same streusel that sits atop my beloved apple pie bars. And now would be a good time to encourage you to make both those apple pie bars and today’s pumpkin bars. At the same time. I love fall.

Instead of pumpkin pie this season, try my pumpkin streusel bars. With a gingersnap crust and brown sugar streusel topping, everyone will want seconds!

The bottom line is this: these pumpkin streusel bars are exactly the kind of pumpkin dessert that you need to try and that everyone will love.

Pumpkin Streusel Bars

Instead of pumpkin pie this season, try my pumpkin streusel bars. With a gingersnap crust and brown sugar streusel topping, everyone will want seconds!


Gingersnap Crust1

  • 1 and 1/4 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (use crunchy gingersnap cookies and grind in processor - I prefer Nabisco or Trader Joe's brand)
  • 2 Tablespoons (23g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted

Pumpkin Filling

  • 8 ounces (225g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (285g) pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1/3 cup (80g) plain Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, or sour cream2
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground ginger3


  • 1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup (70g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • Optional: vanilla glaze or whipped cream for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Mix the cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter together in a medium bowl until combined. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. The crust will be thick. Bake the crust for 10 minutes as you prepare the filling.
  3. Turn oven up to 350°F (177°C).
  4. Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl on high speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On medium speed, beat the vanilla, pumpkin, yogurt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger in. Continue beating until everything is combined and creamy. Pour the filing into the warm crust. Set aside.
  5. Make the streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks (or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over filling.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bars with aluminum foil around the 30 minute mark. The foil prevents the top from getting too brown. The bars are done when the edges are lightly browned and the center is set-- this could be slightly before or after the 40 minute mark. Allow to cool in the pan set on a wire rack at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3 additional hours - or overnight. Lift the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. I usually cut them into 16 smaller bars, but you can cut them into 12 larger bars.  Drizzle bars with glaze or top with whipped cream if desired.
  7. Make ahead tip: The bars stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can freeze the bars for up to 3 months. Then, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving and glazing.

Recipe Notes:

  1. A graham cracker crust would be just as tasty as the gingersnap. Try this graham cracker crust recipe.
  2. For the yogurt/sour cream - I always use low fat for these bars; full fat would be just fine. Try to avoid fat free - you can taste the difference.
  3. Instead of these spices, you can use 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.

Larger batch: You can easily double this recipe to feed a crowd! Double the ingredients, pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 9x13 pan, and bake the bars at 325F for roughly 55 minutes, give or take. Keep your eye on them after 45 minutes.

Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction Cookbook Spiced Pumpkin Bars

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See more pumpkin recipes. There’s certainly a lot of them!

Here are my salted caramel apple pie bars for you to try next.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

These pumpkin streusel bars are so much easier than pumpkin pie and everyone LOVES them!


  1. Hi Sally, Which size pan is actually better for these bars, the 8″ or the 9″

    • An 8 inch will yield slighter thicker bars. That’s the only difference. Bake time is about the same.

      • Thank you, I will use that size. I just love your website and your recipes. I have made a lot of your recipes and they have all been great.

  2. Well I bought a 3 pack of canned pumpkin at Sam’s the other day intending to make some good stuff. Yesterday I save two recipes from here, pumpkin pie and the pumpkin bars. Went to make supper and my stove starts beeping towards the end if cooking. It would not stop. Had an f11 code flashing. So I ended up shutting the breaker of to it.  Called the company cause the stive is less than a year old and now have to wait till Friday for someone to even come look at it. Also, even though I was told what the code is for and googled the code myself, the appliance people still have to do their own diagnostic then have to wait till they get the part in.. Looks like it will be late next week till I can bake again, and when I cook the stove beeps the whole time… Ahhhh

  3. Hi! These are in the oven now and smell delicious!! They have already been in for 40 but don’t look anywhere near done. Still extremely gooey. How long should they stay in? Should they still be jiggly in the middle? Help. Lol I don’t want these to get ruined, they look and smell too good.  Thanks!

    • I am having the same issue. Not sure if jiggly is “set!” My bars have been in for 50 min and are looking good on the edges but the middle still wiggles…?

  4. I just made these last night for a Thanksgiving feast at my son’s daycare today, and I couldn’t help but try one – they are AMAZING! I double the recipe and made it in a 9×13, baked at 325 for 50 minutes. SO GOOD! When I’m looking for a no-fail recipe, I know I can come here. Thank you, Sally!

  5. Hi again Sally, for like the 6th time this week! I’m making these bars for my brother today for Christmas. He’s a pretty picky eater BUT… he devours these like nothing I’ve ever seen 🙂 Thank you again Sally!

  6. Can’t wait to try these guys out!! I just finished a double batch and I’m pretty sure I cooked it twice as long as suggested.. in 10 minute increments after 45min.. edges are brown and pulling away from the pan and the center isn’t quite so jiggly. Fingers crossed my guinea pigs (coworkers) like it tomorrow. Smells magical!! 

    • Holy moley.. they are delicious!! The crust is amazing. I did a double batch for the drizzle (which it would probably be just as good without).. I hope there are leftovers to take home for the weekend. GREAT recipe!! Apple version in queue for next week 🙂

  7. I love the flavor but the crust has been greasy both times I made them. I compared the measurements with my favorite graham cracker crust and this recipe has even more ginger snap crumbs ratio to butter. I used Nabisco gingersnaps. Has anyone else had this problem? I can experiment with portion but curious if this is a feature of the ginersnaps. I used a 8X8 pan and the filling was thicker than what I think of as a bar,

  8. This recipe just did not work for me. It took double the time to bake, a lot of work, a never ending list of ingredients for what? Super dense gooey bars that lacked in appearance and in flavor. All that time and effort to be disappointed, what a waste. 

  9. Hi Sally,

    I double batched this recipe and found that the filling took much longer to set than 55 minutes. I used a 9×13 glass pan and followed the recipe, but I’m not sure why the hiccup? It was close to 2 hours before the center was no longer jiggling. Thanks for the awesome recipe! 

    • 2 hours in the oven!? Oh my goodness, that’s quite a long time. I can’t imagine what the issue would be. I’ve made these in a 9×13 pan with no issue before. So sorry– but I’m glad you like them!

  10. Sounded so good. Followed the recipe exactly. However, like others, I found this does not cook in the amount of time in the recipe. Not even close. Should the oven temperature be higher than 325? To me “set in the middle” means I can put a knife in and it comes out clean. Is that the author’s definition? To get there I baked an 8 x 8 pan for an hour and ten minutes at 325 and then increased the temp to 350 and baked for 10 more minutes. I have recently checked my oven temperature so I know it’s correct. There is definitely something wrong with this recipe as posted. 

  11. These are very underwhelming. I made these instead of a pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving and it was a mistake. I love your recipes Sally and go to them every time I need a fantastic dessert. This one
    disappointed me.

  12. It looks delicious. Thank you.

  13. I used homemade pumpkin butter instead of plain pumpkin and it was beyond amazing. I love this recipe and it’s cousin (the raspberry streusel bars)!

  14. how many cookies do you need to make the 1 1/4 cups of crumbs?

  15. Just reporting that I substituted whole spelt flour for the all-purpose flour, a spelt and walnut crust for the gingersnap crust (as I didn’t have gingersnaps on hand), and added black pepper to the filling (as you’ve done in other pumpkin recipes). Wanting more ginger flavor, I also added about a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger to the streusel topping. As the filling seemed very thin when it went into the pan, I decided to add the streusel topping after the bars’ first half hour in the oven, so that the streusel wouldn’t sink into the filling. That worked. The The overall result was delicious and I would make it again with the same substitutions.  

  16. Same issue. Stuck a carving fork in and it didn’t come out too wet. Will cool for an hour and refridgerate for 3 hours. Will set up in fridge! I hope, I hope
    Making bourbon whipped cream to go on top. Hoping for deliciousness!

  17. Any suggestions on how to make this recipe a bit more healthy? Looks delicious but want to be a bit more guilt-free. Thanks!

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