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Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars

Here are a few reasons why you should make these Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars instead of, or at least to go along with, your pies this fall:

  1. They taste like a cross between pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake.
  2. Minimal dishes will get dirty while making them.
  3. You don’t have to deal with pie crust.
  4. They can easily be adapted to be gluten-free in case you or your guests follow a gluten-free diet. You don’t have to give up dairy to go gluten-free!

There are two ways you can make these creamy pumpkin pie bars. If you have a food processor, this is the method I used and recommend. You can make both the crust and the filling in it. If you don’t have a food processor, no problem. Crush the graham crackers in a freezer bag using a rolling pin them put them in a mixing bowl with the rest of the crust ingredients. For the filling, simply whisk it all together in a large mixing bowl.

Let’s talk about what makes these creamy pumpkin pie bars so creamy. It’s one of my favorite ingredients to use in baking—plain Greek yogurt. I have lots of recipes that use Greek yogurt to lighten them up, like Cinnamon Maple Greek Yogurt Squash Casserole.

I love using Greek yogurt as a replacement to heavier ingredients because it’s nearly undetectable in many recipes. Unless you say something, most people won’t know the difference. Greek yogurt if full of protein (six ounces typically contains 14–17 grams of protein), which keeps you full longer.

If you’re still not sure what to make for dessert this Thanksgiving or want to try something other than traditional pumpkin pie, I highly recommend giving these Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars a try!

Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars

Photo of Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars
  • 10 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • 3 hours 10 minutes
  • 9 bars

Ingredients

To Make the Crust:
9 graham crackers (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

To Make the Filling:
1 3/4 cups full fat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and spray an 8x8 square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add in the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt and pulse until combined. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until combined. Dump the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to firmly press the crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool for several minutes before pouring in the pumpkin filling.
  3. While the crust bakes, wipe out the bowl of the food processor then add in the Greek yogurt, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Purée until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add in the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt and cornstarch. Purée again until everything is incorporated and smooth. Pour the filling over the baked graham cracker crust and tap the pan a couple times on the counter to get out any air bubbles. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the center jiggles just slightly when you shake the pan.
  4. Cool the bars to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 2 hours. Serve the bars topped with real whipped cream and cinnamon.

Comments

  1. How can I adjust to gluten free? I’d love to have something to offer my brother’s girlfriend who can’t have gluten.

    1. Hi Heather! To adjust the recipe, you can use gluten-free graham crackers to make the crust. Dairy is naturally gluten-free and the rest of the ingredients are gluten-free as well. Please let us know if you have any other questions, we hope you enjoy the recipe!
      -Tristen, ADA Mideast Communications Specialist

    2. Hi Heather, the recipe says to use 1 1/2C graham crackers for the crust, so you could either use gluten-free graham crackers or I was going to use almond flour in place of them. As, many keto recipes use almond flour to make a graham cracker like crust for their desserts.

  2. Hi! I do not use cornstarch to cook with, as I do not like the taste of it. Was looking up substitutes that I might have & it gave the suggestion of either Xanthan gum or psyllium husk, so was wondering if you had any idea how much of either of these to use? I also have unflavored gelatin packets that I think could possibly be a replacement as well. Thanks!

    1. Hi Shana! You can substitute the same amount of xantham gum for cornstarch in the recipe. You can also substitute 1/2 tablespoon of psyllium husk for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
      -Tristen, ADA Mideast Communications Specialist

    1. Hi Shelby! You can certainly use ginger snaps instead of graham crackers. The flavor of the crust will be slightly different, but should still work very well with the pumpkin filling!
      -Tristen, ADA Mideast Communications Specialist

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