Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake Bars

Whether it's coming in like a lion or like a lamb, it's hard to believe it's March. And whether it feels like it's here too soon or it's been lost in the mail for years (or both), I think we could all use a treat. So it's time for yummy cheesecake bars this time around!

This version includes creamy pumpkin puree in the cheesecake and a turtle candy inspired topping that will give everyone something to cheer about ... ideally, several somethings! I like working Greek yogurt into the mix, but you could also use sour cream if that's what you prefer or have on hand. Regular, chocolate, or even cinnamon graham crackers also work well in this fun dessert.

You can also double this recipe if you want to make a 9x13 inch pan of bars. I find that's a bit too much for my small family ... besides, that just gives me an excuse to make a different variety again next month!

Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake Bars

  • 1 ½ c. graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ c. butter, melted
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. Greek yogurt
  • ½ c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. caramel sauce (I used a salted caramel ice cream sauce I like)
  • 1 c. praline pecans or regular pecans, chopped
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chips
  • 1 T. coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 300° F. Prepare a small baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press the mixture into on the bottom of the baking pan; bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Mix until well combined with an electric mixer. Add the egg and mix again. Add the Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined with an electric mixer.

Bake the bars for about 25 minutes until the center does not jiggle. Cool completely.

To top the bars, drizzle the caramel sauce generously over the top of the bars. If desired, sprinkle the top of the caramel on the bars with praline pecans or chopped pecans. Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals until fully melted; drizzle the melted chocolate over the caramel on the bars. Cool completely in the refrigerator before slicing and serving. Store any unused bars covered in the refrigerator.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour