Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are the perfect low carb dessert to kick-off the fall season! Light, fluffy pumpkin cheesecake mousse on top of a coconut pecan shortbread crust. This decadent sugar-free dessert is topped with a vanilla cream fraiche and streusel topping.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars – Low Carb, Keto, Grain-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free
We’ve finally settled in to the Pacific Northwest. Boxes are nearly all unpacked, and everyone is back to work and school. It was an appropriate end of summer transition since there’s something poetic in the idea of the change of seasons mirroring our own lives. The signs of fall are already noticeable here; which was never quite the case in the Midwest. Summer often stretches into mid to late September. We have our windows open. Cool nights are calling for comfort foods. Leaves are starting to change.
Now that I can return to the kitchen and get back to creating, it seemed only appropriate to ketofy an old fall favorite: Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. This recipe has been in my box for over a decade. A buttery, nutty shortbread crust is topped with fluffy, light pumpkin cheesecake and finally a layer of vanilla cream fraiche and streusel. The crust has been converted into a grain-free version with the use of almond flour and shredded coconut. Luckily, the pecans add a wonderful toasty flavor that carry the shortbread with the absence of wheat. If you are in the mood for a traditional shortbread, my Salted Caramel Millionaire Bars make a pretty incredible dessert for cool weather, too.
I love this recipe because it just compliments the season. It stores well, travels well, and is just rich enough without being too heavy, making it perfect for Thanksgiving, watching the game with friends, or after a big bowl of my favorite fall soup: Zuppa Toscana. These healthy pumpkin pie bars are the ideal afternoon treat with a cup of tea or coffee. This recipe is just too good to pass up.
How to make Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Almond flour
- Salted butter
- Unsweetened Coconut
- Cream cheese
- Pure pumpkin puree
- Sour cream
Some tips, tricks, and take-aways about the low carb pumpkin cheesecake recipe and process:
Ditch your springform pan for this cheesecake. One of my favorite aspects of this recipe is how simple it is. No need for a special pan or water bath. You get all the tasty benefits of a cheesecake, but without all the tedious work. All you need is a food processor and a 9 x 9 x 2 baking dish.
Don’t forget to reserve part of the crust for a final topping. After blending your crust ingredients to create the pecan almond shortbread, reserve about ¼ to ⅓ cup for a final streusel topping. While not required, I do like the presentation and there’s something special about that buttery, brown sugar streusel topping that just works with pumpkin.
Each layer of the dessert bakes separately. No need to cool any of the layers between baking. Once you pull the crust layer out, pour on the cheesecake. After that bakes, spread the creme fraiche topping over the hot filling. Each layer will set up nicely.
Chill for at least one hour before serving. These pumpkin bars are best served cold. Let the finished dessert cool down to room temperature before covering and putting in the refrigerator. If you abruptly pop this into a cold fridge, you run the risk of cracking your filling and topping. While that has zero bearing on the taste, it’s a bit of a let down if you plan to serve this for guests or at Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin Pie Filling versus Pure Pumpkin
This recipe calls for pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. The two are not interchangeable. Pumpkin Pie Filling contains the characteristic warming spices, but it is also sweetened. If you are watching your sugar, this kind of product is going to be something best left on the shelf. With canned pure pumpkin, you control the spice and level of sweetness or sweetening product.
Other healthy pumpkin recipes to explore
Grain-free pecan shortbread crust with a light pumpkin pie filling topped with a vanilla creme fraiche.
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 2/3 cup brown erythritol (Swerve)
- 1 cup whole pecans
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chilled salted butter, cut into small chunks
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup granular erythritol
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 8 oz sour cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp powdered erythritol
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9 x 9 x 2 baking pan. Set aside.
- Blend dry crust ingredients in a food processor until a course meal forms. Add butter and blend until crumbly and incorporated, forming a soft dough. Reserve 1/4 cup of the dough for the topping. Pat down the remaining crust into the bottom of the baking pan to form an even layer. Bake 15 minutes until golden.
- Combine filling ingredients in the same food processor. Spread filling on pre-baked crust. Return to the oven to bake for 20 minutes until set and firm.
- Combine ingredients for top layer in a small mixing bowl. Spread topping evenly over hot filling. Crumble reserved crust over the top. Bake until topping sets - about 5 minutes. Remove and cool. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
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