October 31, 2013 posted by Dre

skinny pumpkin cheesecake bars {gluten-free}

for me, pumpkin is the essence of fall.

fall has finally arrived in texas.  and by “arrived”, i mean we now get a few cool, breezy days mixed in with the thunderstorms, hail, and sunny, 80 degree days.

skinny pumpkin cheesecake bars (gluten free)

texas weather.  it’s crazy.

enough weather reporting… on to fun stuff that will make you smile! :)

like my handsome husband…as ron burgundy for a costume party last weekend!

ron burgundy halloween costume

well…it makes me smile anyway. :)

for you, i have a special pumpkin recipe that i’ve been hoarding since last christmas! (i know.)

it’s actually a funny story.  i created this recipe last year, after seeing a flyer for an apartment-wide holiday baking contest.  i was excited and determined to win whatever (obviously forgettable) prize they were giving to the winner.  the flyer stated the entries needed to be dropped off at the clubhouse from 4-7pm, so i planned on getting there at 6:59.  on the dot.  besides accounting for my impressive procrastination skills, i wanted my dessert to be the last thing they remembered! ;)

i’ll just say that it didn’t all play out quite like i had planned.

i actually finished baking early.  i was so excited about the contest that i went to present my “winning” entry an hour and a half early, at 5:30…only to find the doors locked!!  my heart sank.  i see that the office closes at 5:00…but what about the contest!?!  where are the baking judges??  who am i kidding… nobody is staying after hours to judge an apartment baking competition.  haha!  quite the anti-climactic day.  but at least i had a whole tray of skinny pumpkin cheesecake bars in front of me!

skinny pumpkin cheesecake bars (gluten free)

so here we are almost a year later… and now you get to be the judge!

a creamy pumpkin spiced cheesecake center with a gluten free gingerbread crust and pecan-pumpkin-streusal on top!  oh my!! :)  these cheesecake bars are an awesome healthy dessert for thanksgiving or christmas parties!!  (i assure you, no one will know they are healthy!)  in addition to being gluten free, they are made with coconut sugar, so it won’t spike your blood sugar or effect your insulin levels (perfect for diabetics)!

skinny pumpkin cheesecake bars (gluten free)

after reading this “make it or buy it” post from {gluten free on a shoestring}, i decided to pull a “semi-home-made” and bought some gluten free ginger snaps from whole foods.  i can’t be the only one out there who is all for saving time!

skinny pumpkin cheesecake bars (gluten free)

skinny pumpkin madness.

competition worthy?? you tell me!! :)

skinny pumpkin cheesecake bars {gluten-free}

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes

skinny pumpkin cheesecake bars {gluten-free}


    gingerbread crust
  • 1.5 c crumbled/food processed gluten free gingersnap cookies recipe here
  • 2 tbsp organic coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp organic, grass-fed butter
  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil
  • cheesecake center
  • 11 oz neufchâtel cream cheese
  • 1/3 c plain or vanilla (0%) greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c canned pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 egg
  • pumpkin-pecan streusel topping
  • 2 tbsp brown rice flour
  • 1/4 c organic coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp organic, grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 c chopped pecan pieces


  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. line 8x11 glass baking dish with parchment paper and set aside along with a slightly larger baking dish (i used a 9x13 glass dish) for the cheesecake bath.
  3. mix together the dry crust ingredients together.
  4. melt both the butter and coconut oil and stir in with the gingersnap mixture.
  5. once combined, evenly press the crust down into the baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  6. bake at 375 for 12 min.
  7. once finished, set crust aside to cool and lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  8. cheesecake
  9. meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with a (stand)mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
  10. add the coconut sugar, blend together until smooth.
  11. next add greek yogurt, pumpkin and egg. add salt and spice last.
  12. pour mixture evenly over crust
  13. top with....
  14. streusel
  15. melt 1 tbsp butter.
  16. in a small bowl, combine brown rice flour, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice and pecans with a fork.
  17. add melted butter and mix together.
  18. bathe & bake
  19. reserve 1/4 of the streusel topping for later. evenly sprinkle remaining streusel on top of cheesecake.
  20. now for the bath: set the cheesecake dish in a larger dish (i used 8x11 and 9x13 dishes), and add just enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the larger dish.
  21. bake @325 until just set, 30 to 35 minutes. remove the cheesecake dish from the water bath, and set on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. you may now sprinkle remaining streusel on top!
  22. once cooled, ship it to the freezer for 3 hours or refrigerate overnight before serving.


i prefer it frozen... remove from freezer and let it thaw for only a few minutes (if necessary!) and it is amazing!!

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