Pumpkin cheesecake bars
Pumpkin is everywhere right now, and they don’t just have to come out for Halloween carving. Whilst more popular in the US, pumpkin based recipes are making a resurgence here in the UK, and you don’t have to make the traditional pumpkin pie and be done with it.
If you are a bit lazy like me, you don’t even have to prepare your pumpkin fresh from scratch – canned pumpkin is now readily available for about £1 a can from most Waitrose stores which makes it super easy and super cheap to make any sort of pumpkin recipe or cake. If you can’t find pumpkin anywhere, butternut squash is often a great (and easily available) replacement).
I love making traybakes – they are easy to cook, easy to transport and often go down really well with all ages, so I whipped up this twist on a traditional pumpkin cake for a halloween party last week. The colour of the cake, the creamy filling and the beautiful pattern on the top makes this easy bake look really special – and your friends and family will think you’ve gone to loads of effort when you haven’t!
For the cake -
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 300g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 425g can of pumpkin (available widely from Waitrose)
- 260g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 60ml water
For the cream cheese filling -
- 225g cream cheese
- 50g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius and sppray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (Tesco do some great reusable foil trays which are also perfect for transporting tray bakes).
- Mix the butter and caster sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and water until well mixed.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, all the spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well, then put about 2/3 of the mixture evenly into your baking pan.
- Now mix the cream cheese, egg, caster sugar, and vanilla for your filling, and spread this across the mixture in your pan.
- Pop the remaining pumpkin cake mixture over the cream cheese, and then use a knife to swirl the cheese and pumpkin mix together.
- Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back. Cool completely in the pan, then cut into squares.
Top tip – I didn’t actually have ground cloves so didn’t add them. They tasted great without them, so don’t feel you have to buy these just for this recipe. Please don’t add whole cloves instead!