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Pumpkin Dessert Bars Recipe

Pumpkin Dessert Bars Recipe

For a different dessert other then the traditional pumpkin pie, try this recipe. It still has the pumpkin taste but in a new different form. —Tena Huckleby, Greeneville, Tennessee
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 20 min. + chilling YIELD: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 eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Whipped topping and ground nutmeg, optional


  • 1. In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/3 cup sugar; stir in butter. Press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir into pumpkin mixture; set aside.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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. Yield: 15 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 284 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 104mg cholesterol, 257mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (29g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

Reviews for Pumpkin Dessert Bars

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bubsboys User ID: 120992 222251
Reviewed 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 User ID: 6613215 214331
Reviewed 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 User ID: 1182152 73563
Reviewed 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 User ID: 8030520 160809
Reviewed Oct. 10, 2014

"Sounds fantastic!

Could I substitute in the canned pumpkin pie filling for the pure pumpkin and spices part of the recipe?"

wolfmommy User ID: 6325648 144440
Reviewed 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 User ID: 2601109 114390
Reviewed Nov. 13, 2013

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

Maiden Faire User ID: 5247517 91691
Reviewed 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."

amyheatwole User ID: 5298480 160443
Reviewed 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 User ID: 199572 166335
Reviewed 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!"

Evies45 User ID: 3500280 73561
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2012

"I'm with Lori Z on this one - my egg whites never got glossy - in fact, what they did was start to cook in the pan! This recipe takes WAY TOO MANY PANS to make. It did taste pretty good, but the egg whites never mixed into the pumpkin mixture properly, so it wound up looking curdled. I threw it out, too."

Sue Zappa User ID: 1094741 166334
Reviewed Sep. 28, 2012

"Just make the meringue the usual way--beat the egg whites & sugar in a bowl & fold into the pumpkin mixture. I think the cooked method is a "bow" to food safety standards that can be ignored in this case because the dessert is refrigerated--no chance of food poisoning as long as it's kept cold. Delicious & easy recipe made the old-fashioned way!"

mikimouse User ID: 5423135 98624
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2010

"I've made pumpkin cheese cake before but this recipe was far and away better than anything others I have tried. It came out with a real professional appearance and taste. Major crowd pleaser. There are standards in this recipe (the crust, the cream cheese and the meringue, so I knew it would turn out fine) I was attracted to this recipe because of the meringue mixed in with the pumpkin. If you have never made a meringue or a 7 minute frosting before this recipe may be a challenge. You could always subsitute the meringue with whipped cream or an easier meringue done in a stand mixer (look up italian meringue buttercream and skip the butter). You will lose some of the fabulous texture but it will still come out yummy."

DJCOLLINS1122 User ID: 238253 73560
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2010

"I have not yet tried this recipe, but do intend to. Regarding the fact that the egg white and sugar mixture did not stand in stiff peaks as the previous reviewer mentioned, this sounds to me as if it is a very stiff 7-minute icing, which is done in a double boiler over simmering water. I wonder if the reviewer followed this step?"

Lori Z User ID: 3783184 73559
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2010

"I have been baking for well over 40 years, so I do think I know a thing or two. I have read and re-read the how to of the saucepan, mine NEVER got glossy and I beat that stuff so long my mixer actually got HOT! I never throw away anything, so I mixed this as is directed, it did not get nice and fluffy, but it did taste pretty good, but way to much work for this dessert. And the crust was hard you literally had to take your fork and break it apart! definite thumbs down!"

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