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! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

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Pumpkin Streusel Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

Gingersnap Crust*

  • 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 pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (285g) pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1/3 cup (80g) plain Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, or sour cream*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH ground clovesground nutmeg, ground ginger*

Streusel

  • 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 icing or whipped cream for topping

Instructions

  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 icing or top with whipped cream if desired.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Crust: A graham cracker crust would be just as tasty as the gingersnap. Try this graham cracker crust recipe.
  3. Yogurt: 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.
  4. Spices: Instead of these spices, you can use 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Double Batch: You can easily double this recipe to feed a crowd! Double the ingredients, pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 9×13 pan, and bake the bars at 325°F (163°C) for roughly 55 minutes, give or take. Keep your eye on them after 45 minutes.
  6. Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook Spiced Pumpkin Bars.

Keywords: pumpkin streusel bars

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

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

102 Comments

    1. Agreed. These look quite heavenly. I too am in love with gingersnap but confess I have never used it as a crust before. Unlike you, I’m more of a vanilla glaze fan than a gingersnap fan. And that vanilla glaze looks so versatile, I see myself using on on other desserts as well.

      And the creme cheese layer, thanks for talking about how it didn’t work and was “loose” without it. I’d be tempted to skip the creme cheese layer to be honest because I’m not a huge creme cheese fan but now I won’t as to hold it all together. I don’t want soupy bars for Thanksgiving! All great tips Sally =)

  1. The gingersnap crust and brown sugar streusel topping and the fact that the filling is cheesecake + pie in one…there’s seriously a little bit of everything in these! Love all the flavors and textures! And sounds like you’ve been baking up a pumpkin storm! 🙂 pinned

  2. Pumpkin pie always struck me as something that would be fabulous with a graham-cracker or gingersnap crust, but it’s always made with that gross, cardboard-y pastry! These bars are the best take on pumpkin pie EVER! I love streusel, and cheesecake, and finally pumpkin gets the treatment it deserves 😉

  3. These pictures are so tempting, Sally. I mean, you have streusel. And pretty drizzle. And a cheesecake-y layer. And those awesome candy pumpkins that I eat when nobody is looking!
    Love the gingersnap crust. It goes with pumpkin so much better than just graham cracker!

  4. Everybody will want seconds?! Sally -I’m talking thirds and fourths here!! These look incredible. The gingersnap crust sounds divine. Such a warming little treat! Pinned x

  5. Yum yum Sally! This recipe warms my little fall-loving heart! Great flavor combo and textures! Can’t wait to give this one a whirl 🙂

  6. Oh, I’m looking forward to making these on Sunday for a meal at church. Can’t wait for everyone to ask me for the recipe (they always do when I make ANYTHING from S.B.A.). 🙂 But I have a HUGE decision to make…whipped cream on top or vanilla glaze. Ahhh… that’s too hard of a decision! I’ll have to ask my dessert-loving hubby for the answer. Thanks for another winner Sally!

  7. Geez Sally…..I’m at the point now where I feel like tossing out all my other dessert recipe magazines and books. Who needs ’em with you around?! I’ve been in a baking frenzy lately making a number of your recipes and all have come out fabulously. In my rather limited baking experience, I have worked with a gingersnap crust before (for a very nice pumpkin swirl cheesecake I made last year). And it was great. I love this recipe not only for the gingersnap crust and the combination of pumpkin and cream cheese, but for the streusel as well! I love a streusel topping, so this is a win, win, win for me! Excuse the novice question here…I assume you mean I should use an 8 or 9 inch square (not round) baking pan and that you can expand it to a 9 x 13?.

    1. Hi Barbara! So glad you enjoy baking my recipes. I would love to make a pumpkin cheesecake soon – with a gingersnap crust. Yum. And yes, I’m referring to a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.

  8. This is pumpkin pie on steroids. The older brother if you prefer. Haha! You can never, ever go wrong with streusel.

    And I am definitely a whipped cream person. If it’s just me eating a piece of pumpkin pie, I bring the can with me and every forkful gets its own squirt of whipped cream. If it was socially acceptable, I would do this at holiday parties, but others might get jealous. Haha!

    1. every forkful gets whipped cream – YES. I couldn’t agree with this statement more. The more, the better. Laur, I’m going to be at William’s Sonoma in the KoP mall this Saturday 12-4pm signing cookbooks if you are around!

  9. I have yet to make anything pumpkin flavored so far this season, but these pumpkin streusel bars are where it’s at! I love making crusts with gingersnaps. It just adds so much flavor! And I love that the filling for these bars is a combination of pie and cheesecake. These would be perfect with a cup of coffee in the afternoon. 🙂

  10. These look amazing, just like all of your recipes. Seriously loving the snappy gingery base. Gingersnaps, for me, are the essence of Autumn. Great idea with the cream cheese in the filling. I thought I had hear about adding it before and then I remembered that it was in your cookbook! Pinned x 😀

  11. I am sure I can’t be the first person to admit this but “my name is Dayna and I have a Sally’s Baking Addiction addiction”. So I love a dessert display and when you suggested also baking the Salted Caramel Apple Pie version I thought the perfect third addition to the display would be a cranberry orange bar. I looked through your bar recipes and thought maybe I could make the lemon blueberry recipe but with cranberry orange. I know the cranberries won’t work the same so how about it Sally? would you create a cranberry orange cream cheese streusel bar that would be equally as beautiful as the pumpkin and apple version? image how gorgeous on my maple leaf shaped dessert plates. Autumn get together heaven on a plate.

    1. Dayna! I love your thinking. That’s the ultimate trio of fall flavors. I don’t think I’ll be making those this fall, but you can absolutely try it. How about making the lemon blueberry cheesecake bar – orange for lemon and cranberries for blueberries (maybe a few less cranberries because they have an overpowering flavor). Then top with this streusel. Then bake. Delicious!

  12. Wow! These look DIVINE! I am crazy about all things pumpkin right now. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes. They work out every single time!

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