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Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 9 large bars or 16 smaller bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 4 hours 10 minutes

Tessa Arias

Creme Brulee Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars are SO much better than boring pumpkin pie and are loaded with incredible flavors and textures. LOVE.


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Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - so much BETTER than pumpkin pie! My boyfriend called said these were the best pumpkin dessert he'd ever had!

Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - we could not stop eating these!!

You guys, I love YouTube. Not just because it’s fun to create videos and offer you guys more than words and photos, but because I always turn to it when I’m in a bad mood and need a little pick me up. There’s always something so ridiculous and so funny, you can’t help but smile and laugh despite yourself.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t take criticism as well as I’d wish. And the other day I got a hefty dose of it and it brought me down. Luckily, most of my interactions online, both personal and here on Handle the Heat are wonderful. I rarely get mean or rude comments and when I do, they’re usually so silly I can just brush them off. But when something really hits home, it’s hard to say “whatever” or try to reason with yourself. It’s those moments where you feel that pit in your stomach, where you briefly question everything you do, that goofy videos on YouTube become a life saver. Namely, that ridiculous video of Jimmy Fallon interviewing Bradley Cooper and neither one of them can stop laughing to save their lives. That brought me right back around!

Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - SO MUCH BETTER than boring pumpkin pie!

I don’t know why but whenever I see someone cry in real life or on TV or movies, I almost always start crying. Luckily the same goes for delirious laughter. It’s just contagious! Does anyone else turn to funny videos when you’re having a bad day or feeling a bit down? I’d love to see your favorites!

Beyond videos, food is always something that can change your mood. Just knowing that these Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars are sitting in the fridge, waiting to be enjoyed, is enough to put me in a good mood! These cheesecake bars are the BOMB. They have every single flavor and texture I adore. Jared actually said that they were the “best pumpkin thing I’ve ever eaten.” I think I might agree! I hope you make these soon. They’re a little messy to eat, and you may want to let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes because the chocolate layer does get pretty firm, but they’re so worth any mess. Promise!

If you make these Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars, be sure to take a picture and tag it #handletheheat on Instagram. I love seeing your photos!

Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - OH MY GOD these are incredible. No exaggeration.

Recipe Rundown....

Taste: Jared said these were the best pumpkin dessert he’s ever had and I have to agree! The pumpkin flavor is perfect and I just LOVE it partnered with a generous layer of chocolate. Plus the caramelized sugar on top. Oh my. There are no words!
Texture: There are so many textures here I am obsessed!! The crust is buttery and crunchy, the chocolate layer is thick, firm, and rich, the pumpkin cheesecake is luscious and creamy, and the bruleed sugar on top is thin, shattering, and crisp. Ahhh.
Ease: Really pretty easy considering how impressive it looks and tastes! If you don’t have a kitchen torch you can always use your oven’s broiler, just keep an eye on it the entire time.
Appearance: Absolutely gorgeous.
Pros: About 1000 times better than plain boring pumpkin pie!
Cons: These are a little messy to eat but as long as you don’t mind getting a few crumbs on you, it’s wonderful.
Would I make this again? Absolutely yes every pumpkin season!

How to make Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 9 large bars or 16 smaller bars

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 4 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the crust:

9 whole graham crackers
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For the filling:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves

For the brulee topping:

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions

For the crust:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil, leaving an overhang.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned and set, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Bake for another 2 minutes. Remove from oven and smooth the melted chocolate chips with an offset spatula. Let cool and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

For the filling:

Place the cream cheese in a clean food processor bowl and pulse until smooth (you can also use an electric mixer). Add the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, flour, salt, and spices and pulse until combined and smooth. Do not overmix.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the cheesecake is set but still slightly jiggly in the center, about 45 minutes. Do no overbake.

Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack to cool completely in the pan. Cover and chill until firm, at least 2 hours. Using the foil overhang, transfer the cheesecake to a work surface and use a big sharp knife to cut into squares.

For the brulee topping:

On a heat-safe work surface, sprinkle the tops of each square with sugar and torch the tops with a kitchen torch until it turns a deep amber color. Alternatively, use a broiler to brown the sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Note that the chocolate layer does get a bit hard if these bars are very cold, so you may want to let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

About Tessa...

Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She's on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
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29 Responses to “Creme Brule Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars”

  1. #
    Audrey @ Audrey's Apron — October 31, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Pumpkin AND creme brulee!? That immediately caught my attention because I’ve never heard of that combination before. I bet they are awesome. I’d love to make these but I’m gluten free. I’m wondering if I could use GF graham crackers and sub GF flour. Just not sure if I need to add xantham gum for binding or not!

  2. #
    Susan — October 31, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Wow! Tessa, I think you’ve outdone yourself with these. I don’t eat desserts and I don’t bake. However, this recipe I’m saving. Who knows, I might have a dessert emergency… 🙂

  3. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — October 31, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Not only am I seriously into the pumpkin/cheesecake/chocolate combo, but that brulee topping is killer! Love it!

  4. #
    Chineka @ Savor The Baking — October 31, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    The Brûlée topping looks inviting and I’m sure that the flavor combination in the bars tastes lovely.

  5. #
    Laureen — November 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Love the Brûlée top, can’t wait to try baking them!

  6. #
    Gaby — November 1, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I love this combo, YUM!

  7. #
    Janice Herrin — November 2, 2014 at 1:58 am

    I just want to say that you are an excellent cook! I love your recipes! Girl….let the haters hate… I want to encourage you to keep on keeping on! I know there has to be a lot of love put into every recipe. So glad to be the recipient!!

    • #
      Tessa — November 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Awh thanks so much!

  8. #
    Meriem @ Culinary Couture — November 2, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    These sound phenomenal!

  9. #
    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen — November 5, 2014 at 1:44 am

    I was just having this conversation with someone LAST night. When people make even off-handed JOKING comments that hit too close to home, it’s so hard to brush it off. I also binge watch Jimmy Fallon on youtube! I’d also totally binge-eat these cheesecake bars if they were in my house right now!

  10. #
    Genevieve — November 19, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Do you think these would freeze well? Or would that ruin the brulee topping?

    • #
      Tessa — November 20, 2014 at 10:48 am

      You could freeze them before doing the brulee topping 🙂

  11. #
    Cathy — November 19, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    I would like to make a double batch for a potluck; do you think I could double the recipe to make a 9 x 13 pan?

    Thank you.

    • #
      Tessa — November 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

      I don’t see why not!

  12. #
    Liz — November 23, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Could pumpkin pie spice be used alternatively for the separate spices? If so, how much? Thanks!

  13. #
    Brianna — November 23, 2014 at 8:21 am

    thanks for the incredible recipe. Just wondering if the 9×13 is the way to go when doubling the recipe. I Want to make these for thanksgiving and don’t want to mess them up!

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Yep – that pan is double the capacity so it should work fine. Since you’re cutting so many more bars, I would definitely follow the tip about letting the bars sit at room temperature until the chocolate layer softens slightly so they’re easier to cut. You might just want to cut them before Thanksgiving dinner 🙂

  14. #
    Mimi — November 26, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Would this work as a a 9″ pie or in a tart pan as well?

    • #
      Tessa — November 26, 2014 at 8:49 am

      I would use a tart pan with a removable bottom because I think it would be much easier to cut into slices outside of the pan (if baking in a pie shape, the brulee topping and chocolate layer make this recipe a bit more difficult to cut than a regular pie).

  15. #
    Brianna — November 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    If i am baking this in the ninebythirteen pan do you suggest i increase the time?

    • #
      Tessa — November 26, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      I would estimate a 9×13 pan would need another 10-15 minutes, though I can’t be sure as I’ve never done so. Bake until it’s set but still slightly jiggly in the middle, it’s better to err on the side of underbaking than overbaking.

  16. #
    Mimi — November 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Thank you for your reply! I used a tart pan with removable bottom and it worked beautifully…was the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. (though there was about a cup too much of the filling that I couldn’t use so the next time I will try a springform pan with removable bottom to get every delicious bit…fabulous recipe!)

  17. #
    Tatiana Anderson — December 5, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Made these last night and these totally blew my mind and my families! I loved it!

  18. #
    Michael — December 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I’m curious, what if this recipe was done using a waterbath? Would that affect it in any way since it is like a cheesecake but in a square pan?

  19. #
    Sherry — November 24, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Would gingersnap work well for the crust?

  20. #
    Sherry — November 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Would gingersnap crust work well?

  21. #
    Deebi27 — July 6, 2016 at 11:01 am

    My mouth is watering! Cheesecake (baked) is my absolute favorite! Add a brûlée topping…overload yumminess:) I am thinking, vanilla wafers and gram crackers combo!

  22. #
    ambs — November 5, 2016 at 5:39 am

    How would a glass dish same size work with this recipe?

  23. #
    Isa — November 13, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Hi there, I’m really impressed by this recipe and plan on making it this Thanksgiving. I was a little confused about the brûlée topping. I don’t have a kitchen torch so I will use my oven’s broiler. Do I put the sugar on top of the bars and put everything in the oven together? Do you know how long and at what temperature? Do I risk baking more of the cheesecake when I do this?

    Something tells me I should just buy a kitchen torch! lol!

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