The first time I ever had cheesecake was this blueberry cheesecake at Delhi’s famous Big Chill Cafe. It was the first of its kind in Delhi and that place made me fall in love with a variety of cheese desserts, including an Oreo Mouse Cheesecake – it was rich, had a soft and velvety texture and lay on an oreo crust topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. Since I miss these cheesecakes, I decided to try and make a version of a cheesecake that also allowed me to use an ingredient that is part of my current obsession – pumpkin. These cheesecake bars are not as thick as traditional cheesecakes, making it possible to have small bites instead of having 400 calories in one sitting. The recipe also uses whole-milk yogurt or full-fat Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream, making it even lighter.
Recipe adapted from Texanerin Baking
For the graham cracker crust
- 12 full-size graham crackers (about 6 1/2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) sugar, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) water, optional
For the cheesecake:
- 7 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅓ cup (75 grams) light brown sugar (though you can use granulated white sugar as well)
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1⅓ cups pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- See instructions on how to make a graham cracker crust.
- With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the eggs and mix until combined.
- Add the remaining cheesecake ingredients and mix just until combined. If there are still clumps of cheesecake remaining, blend the mixture together to make sure it is smooth.
- Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 35 minutes or until the middle of the cheesecake bars appears set and no longer jiggles when you move the pan.
- Open the oven door and let the bars cool completely before removing from the oven. This is to prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
- Cover and store the bars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.