Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

These Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are everything you want need in a pumpkin dessert! That lovely, earthy pumpkin, sweetened with Dulce de Leche – smooth textured, cheesecake goodness, all nestled into a Gingersnap crust!

Remember to remove all of the refrigerated ingredients to come to room temperature before baking. This will help the batter be lump-free, and make the filling smoother.

Equipment needed: electric hand-held or stand mixer, and either a 9×9 Square baking pan or a 10″ Springform pan.

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 15-20 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes, plus 1 hour in oven afterward
  • Total Time: 3 hours, plus chilling
  • Yield: 18 slices 1x
  • Category: Cheesecake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


Units Scale

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups Gingersnap Crumbs (around 11 oz., I recommend Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Snaps)
  • 3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Melted, Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch of kosher Salt

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 16 oz. (2 – 8oz. bricks) Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • Half of 13.4 oz. can or jar (6.7 oz, 190g) Dulce de Leche (long-simmered Sweetened Condensed Milk turns to Dulce de Leche), (you’ll use the other half in the topping, below)
  • 115oz. can Pumpkin Puree (NOT Pumpkin Pie mix)
  • 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten, room temp.
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt, or 1/2 teaspoon Table salt

For the Caramel Topping:

  • Half of a 13.4 oz. can or jar (190g, 9 Tablespoons) Dulce de Leche
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt


Make the Crust:

  1. Grind 11.2 oz (320g) of Gingersnap cookies into about 2 cups of crumbs. You can do this in a Food Processor, blender, or by placing the gingersnaps into a zipper-locked plastic bag, and crushing with a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine might work, too – for rolling ;).)
  2. In a Medium bowl, mix together the crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt until it looks like wet sand.
  3. Butter or spray a 9×9 square pan (or a 10-inch Springform pan), and, if using a square pan, cover with parchment, leaving an overhang, then coat with butter or spray.
  4. Using buttered hands, press the wet-sand mixture into the bottom of the pan, and about halfway up the sides. Par-bake in a 350F oven for 6 minutes. While the crust is baking, begin to make the filling.

Make the Filling:

  1. After removing the crust from the oven, turn down the oven temperature to 325F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl and using a hand-held mixer, beat the room temperature Cream Cheese, along with 1/4 cup Sour Cream, and the granulated sugar,  at Medium Speed, for 4-6 minutes, scraping down the bowl after about 2 minutes, and mixing until it is light and fluffy and smooth, with no (or very few) lumps.
  3. To the cream cheese mixture, add the pumpkin puree, half (190g or 9 Tablespoons) the can or jar of Dulce de Leche and vanilla extract. Mix until evenly incorporated. Then, add the beaten eggs, mixing until incorporated, about a minute. Mix in the spices and salt, continuing to mix until just incorporated.
  4. Pour the filling into the par-baked crust, and return to the 325F oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the oven heat to 250F, and continue to bake cheesecake for an additional 60-70 more minutes, until the cake batter appears dry and feels firm to the touch, but with a slight wobble if you gently move the pan.
  5. While the cake is baking, mix together the topping ingredients, and set aside. After removing the cake, keep the oven on, and spread the dulce de leche-sour cream topping over the cake, to the edges, and return to the 250F oven and bake 10 more minutes. The cake is done when the top feels mostly firm, and there is just a bit of jiggle or wobble in the middle when you move the pan.
  6. At this point, turn the oven off, and crack the oven open a few inches and leave cake another 60 minutes. Remove cake, and let come to room temperature. 
  7. Once the cheesecake is at room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4-6 hours to 2 days before serving.
  8. Top with extra gingerbread crumbs and/or flaky sea salt before slicing and serving.


  1. Leftovers should be covered with plastic wrap and returned to the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for around 5 days. To freeze, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then cover with foil for freshness up to about 6-8 weeks.

Keywords: pumpkin cheesecake, Thanksgiving desserts, Christmas desserts, pumpkin recipes, dulce de leche, what to do with a can of dulce de leche, cheesecake recipes, easy cheesecake recipe

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