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Pumpkin Dessert Bars

Put a twist on traditional pumpkin pie with this recipe. It packs the spicy pumpkin flavor you love, but in a new crowd-sized form. —Tena Huckleby, Greeneville, Tennessee
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 20 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    15 servings


  • 1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Optional: Whipped topping and ground nutmeg


  • In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/3 cup sugar; stir in butter. Press into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs just until blended. Pour over crust. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, separate remaining eggs and set whites aside. In a large saucepan, combine the yolks, pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, salt and cinnamon. Cook and stir over low heat for 10-12 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reaches 160°. Remove from the heat.
  • In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Cook over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir into pumpkin mixture; set aside.
  • In a large heavy saucepan, combine reserved egg whites and remaining sugar. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating over low heat until mixture reaches 160°, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; beat until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
  • Fold into pumpkin mixture; spread evenly over cream cheese layer. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Garnish with whipped topping and nutmeg if desired.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 284 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 104mg cholesterol, 257mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (29g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

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  • bubsboys
    Mar 7, 2015

    I made this recipe for my wife & she raved about it. My neighbors wants more any time I feel like baking. Yes I am the cook & the baker in my house. Love it. Love it. Bub, Vt.

  • Davena
    Dec 8, 2014

    I cooked the egg white/sugar mixture in a double boiler over simmering water, as one reviewer suggested, and it came out perfect. I found it took quite awhile to prepare this recipe and did make quite a few dirty dishes but the taste was worth it in the end. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • fishrgal
    Nov 15, 2014

    What a delicious dessert! I made this for a baby shower and it was a big hit. It did take a lot longer than the time specified, but I feel it was well worth it for a special dessert. I made two small changes. I added 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and it really tasted like a pumpkin pie, but better!

  • Bakingmama11
    Oct 10, 2014

    Sounds fantastic!Question:Could I substitute in the canned pumpkin pie filling for the pure pumpkin and spices part of the recipe?

  • wolfmommy
    Oct 1, 2014

    If you are afraid of salmonella, you can always use a meringue powder. Wilton has a great one that I use on occasion. Salmonella cases are way down, and I know where my eggs come from, so I'm not afraid of meringues. Just don't criticize a recipe because it contains something you are uncomfortable with. Make adjustments for yourself.

  • pumpkin51
    Nov 13, 2013

    A new twist on a thanksgiving dessert .this will be the frist dessert to go .

  • Maiden Faire
    Nov 6, 2013

    Actually Meliska while your point is important in most situations it does not apply to what Sue Zappa said. Last Christmas I was watching Food Network where the chef was making (non-cooked) egg nog from scratch. I do not understand the chemistry of it, according to the chef you do not need to worry about Salmonella from uncooked eggs because when beating sugar together with eggs the sugar has the exact same effect as cooking the kills the Salmonella. If still uncomfortable with it, use pasteurized eggs or pasteurize them yourself.

  • bgboop47
    Jan 31, 2013

    No comment left

  • amyheatwole
    Oct 17, 2012

    i really liked this dessert. it did take a long time to make but for something special it was worth it. it was different for a pumpkin dessert. it was fluffy and light. very good

  • Meliska
    Oct 16, 2012

    To Sue Zappa... you are mistaken about not being able to get food poisoning as long as it is kept cold. The danger in raw or undercooked eggs is Salmonella, especially for children or the elderly, or anone with immune problems. Keeping it cold is no protection! Either make per the directions, or skip it!