These Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Dream Bars have a Pumpkin Spice Mini Wheat crust, a cheesecake middle, and a pumpkin top layer & make the ultimate fall treat.
This is my most favorite time of year. The kids are back in school, the leaves are changing, and pumpkin-everything has taken over. Oh yes.
Now, don’t let the fact that this treat has layers cause you concern. Its really not that tricky to make and the final result is so rich and delicious that a little bit goes a long way. That’s why its the perfect make ahead treat – you can just cut yourself or your kid a small piece, pack it up in a little container, and then proceed to make everyone around you very jealous.
Everyone knows how easy it is to make a graham cracker crust, right? All you have to do is combine graham cracker crumbs with some sugar and melted butter and you’re done. Well, I figured why not do the same thing with Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini Wheats? Want to know something? It was awesome. It gave this pumpkin cheesecake bar the best crunchy base and the Pumpkin Spice flavor really added such a nice touch. Of course, you can definitely just make a standard graham cracker crust and these will be equally amazing.
The cheesecake layer couldn’t be any easier to make. All you do is blend the heck out of some cream cheese and sugar until its silky smooth and then gently mix in a couple whole eggs. Then, bake to perfection and that part is ready.
Top that with your pumpkin layer and then stick it in the refrigerator to set and you’re done! I was a bit worried because I filled that entire baking dish right up to the top but everything set absolutely beautifully. It was easy to slice into pieces and actually traveled with me to work exceptionally well. I cut some small pieces for my kids and kept them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They were so excited to eat this treat when they got home from school today that I just about thought their eyes might pop out of their cute little heads.
You totally want to make this now, don’t you? I knew it.
The best part is that its so rich and delicious that a small piece goes a very long way. To make mine even better, I actually used freshly roasted pumpkin instead of canned, but you can totally use canned pumpkin if you want.
I call this triple layer YUM!
- 2 cups shredded wheat crumbs (started with 4 cups cereal) *you may substitute graham cracker crumbs if preferred
- 1/2 cup (1 cube) butter, melted
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (I use freshly roasted)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 cup sugar
- Whipped cream and ground nutmeg, optional
- Use a food processor to transform your Mini Wheats into crumbs. Combine with melted butter in small bowl. Line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment or foil and press mixture into bottom of pan to form an even layer. Set aside.
- In bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar until smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping down sides occasionally. Hand mix in 2 eggs just until blended. Pour over crust. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the three egg yolks, pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Cook and stir over medium low heat for 10-12 minutes or until mixture is thickened and is hot to the touch (about 160° F). Remove from the heat.
- In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold 1/4 cup of water; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir into pumpkin mixture; set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine reserved egg whites and 1 cup sugar. Constantly stir well with a wire whisk. Your goal is to completely dissolve the sugar without cooking any of the egg which takes about 8-12 minutes. Once the sugar is dissolved, transfer mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat on medium speed with whisk attachment until stiff glossy peaks form.
- Fold into pumpkin mixture; spread evenly over cream cheese layer. Everything should just barely fit into baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight until set.
- Serve with whipped cream and nutmeg if desired.