Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares

by Tuesday, October 4, 2011 Permalink 0

I love cheesecake and I love pumpkin pie equally. Well actually I retract that statement, I think I like pumpkin pie more. I think it has something to do with my love of Fall.

This weekend I was in the mood for both but I didn’t want to go through the process of making a whole pie or a whole cheesecake- I was super busy and being really lazy.  I wanted something bite size that I could just pick up and eat as well as something really easy to make – again, I was super busy and being really lazy.

So with that said I ended up with Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Squares – the best of both worlds. Well, all worlds really- cheesecake, pumpkin, easy and delicious. And cheesecake.

pumpkin swirl cheesecake squares

The crust makes the cheesecake. I prefer mine sweet and moist.

After your process your graham crackers and Nilla wafers, pour them into the sheet pan and begin to level them out.

The great thing about this is you can experiment with many types of cookie crusts.

pumpkin swirl cheesecake squares

The cheesecake. Technically the recipe requires you to do the cheesecake ingredients in steps (see recipe below) but I choose to put them all in one bowl and go for it.

All of my ingredients were totally room temperature so that helped avoid lumps and other unsightly issues that can arise when you are skipping steps or being really lazy.

pumpkin swirl cheesecake squares

Mix, mix, mix. Plop the cheesecake mix onto your crust and smooth out.

pumpkin swirl cheesecake squares

Next up the pumpkin butter swirlage (I love making up words). Just dollop the pumpkin butter and swirl with the skewer. You can do circles or lines like me. Anything goes. Regarding the swirling, less is more.

I ended up making my own pumpkin butter because I was a bit early for the Trader Joe’s version which isn’t in stores yet. I was a little annoyed being October and all and the fact that I was being lazy and didn’t want to make my own. So, I dejectedly took myself home and figured out how to make it. The recipe is below.

One note though – if you aren’t going to use the pumpkin butter for anything else, I suggest you either half, or even quarter the recipe or purchase mason jars so that you can give it away. The recipe makes a lot of pumpkin butter. I’m talking like, a lot.

Or you could just stockpile some from Trader Joe’s when its in stores.

pumpkin swirl cheesecake squares

After its done baking and cooling you want to take it out of the pan and slice it up, cleaning your knife every once and awhile to ensure clean cuts. Check out how even that crust is. I even impressed myself.

I cut the edges off for the sake of my photos but you can just leave them on. More crust, more cheesecake.

pumpkin swirl cheesecake squares

Yeah, ummm – I have no words. These were good. You need to make them. I have nothing more to say. Enjoy.

much love!



Pumpkin Butter

1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (fresh ground)

Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.

Transfer to sterile containers and chill in the refrigerator until serving.


1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker and Nilla Wafers
3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
½ cup melted butter
Add cookies and sugar in a food processor; pulse until ground. Add in butter and pulse. Press mixture into a 13×9 buttered or parchment lined pan.


3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
3 eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.

Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined. Pour over crust and evenly smooth out.

Pumpkin Swirl Assembly

Add dollops of approximately ½ teaspoon of prepared pumpkin butter (recipe above) every few inches. Take a wooden skewer and run it gently through the pumpkin butter and cheesecake mix to make swirls.

Bake for approximately 35 – 40 minutes or until set. Let cool and then chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hrs before slicing.


  • Natalie
    October 4, 2011

    Delicious recipe! These bars look fantastic!

    • Jessica
      October 4, 2011

      Thanks Natalie!

  • Anna
    October 4, 2011

    I will definitely try this. So that is where the lumps are coming from…I will have to remember that all my ingredients should be room temperature. Thanks for the tip!

    • Jessica
      October 4, 2011

      Hi Anna!

      I had a few lumps myself but eventually they all came out 🙂

      By the way, love your site!


  • Jessi
    October 8, 2011

    This looks fabulous!! Just to clarify, is it 1 1/2 cups of the cookies and graham crackers combined, or 1 1/2 cups of each?

    • Jessica
      October 10, 2011

      Hey Jessi!

      Thanks for reaching out and sorry that wasn’t more clear. It should be 1.1/2 cups of each, so 3 cups total.

      Let me know how they turn out.


  • nola
    October 18, 2011

    great, easy recipe! is it possible to freeze some for later? how many days will this keep in the fridge?

  • Stacey
    November 22, 2011

    These look delicious, I can’t wait to make these for Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jessica
      November 22, 2011

      You are so welcome Stacy. They are so easy and everyone loves them.

      Happy Thanksgiving.


  • Maia
    November 23, 2011

    Thanks so much for this easy cheesecake recipe!!! I’ve just made them for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal and they are delicious.

    • Jessica
      November 25, 2011

      That’s wonderful Maia!!

  • katherine
    November 26, 2011

    I made these for Thanksgiving to replace pumpkin pie, and they were such a hit! I added some nutmeg, extra vanilla and cinnamon to the cheese batter, to give them more of a Thanksgiving/pumpkin pie type flavor, and used a whole jar of TJ’s pumpkin butter (delicious stuff! I licked the spoon). I found that I needed more butter for the crust than you suggested, but I may have been using more crumbs- I didn’t really measure, just sort of estimated. I baked them til just set, then refrigerated overnight.
    My boyfriend, who doesn’t like cheesecake, his mom, who doesn’t like sweets, and his aunt, who is fussy about her desserts, all loved them! Everyone else was a given. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jessica
      November 26, 2011

      Hi Katherine!

      I’m so glad that everyone loved them. Your adjustments to the recipe sound like they worked perfectly.


  • Samantha
    December 7, 2011

    Thank you so much for this recipe. These are soo delicious! Easily a 5 star recipe. They are so addicting; I can’t stop eating them!

    • Jessica
      December 8, 2011

      Thanks Samantha!

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