Desserts

Halloween Shortbread Cheesecake Bars

Halloween shortbread cheesecake bars that scream fun and festive vibes! A buttery pumpkin cookie shortbread crust paired with a creamy and tangy indulgent cheesecake. These treats are perfect for celebrating the Halloween season.

How are all of you Halloween-ing this year? Parties? Passing out candy with the kiddos? Home with the lights off in your jammies watching scary movies? I’ll be at our house in Mexico, so it’s Dia De Los Muertos for me! It’s always a fun experience.

Until then, I’ve been having a ton of fun conjuring up some wicked sweets and cocktails for you! These shortbread cheesecake bars are easy, adaptable, and fun for the kids too!

I added pumpkin cookie crumbs to the crust for a seasonal flare, but you could swap them out for a chocolate one, such as Oreo cookies, and you can get playful with Halloween colors and decorations.

Instead of swirling the food coloring through the cream cheese filling, divide it up and make solid colors for a more whimsical and dramatic look. They’re a must-have treat for anyone looking to infuse a dose of spooky charm into their Halloween gatherings.

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions

Unsalted butter ~ for the crust. If you use salted, omit the salt in the recipe.

All-purpose flour ~ I have not tried this recipe with alternate flour

Pumpkin cookies ~ I used a crispy store-bought one. You could substitute a chocolate cookie such as Oreo.

Brown sugar ~ for the crust. I prefer brown over white for a boost in flavor.

Cream cheese ~ ( didn’t show up for the photo shoot, lol) full fat. Don’t Stay away from the lite version; They often contain more water and will affect the flavor and texture.

Sour cream ~ adds to the creaminess and a little more tang

Granulated sugar ~ for the filling. Balances out the sour cream and cream cheese for the perfect flavor

Egg ~ gives the filling structure and a slight hue of color

Helpful Tips For Perfect Cheesecake Bars

Ever fight with the parchment paper to get it to fit in the pan?  Here is a great hack! 

  • Scrunch up the parchment paper and quickly run under tap water. You don’t need to soak it; just dampen it. Flatten it out and wipe the excess water off both sides and voila! Easy peasy!
  • Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature for the cheesecake layer. It helps the filling blend together better (sans lumps!) and allows it to whip up, creating a fluffier texture.
  • A cut above! To get nice, even, and clean squares. Wipe the knife clean (very carefully!) in between cuts.
Close up of a Halloween Shortbread Cheesecake Bar sitting atop a pumpkin

How To Make Halloween Shortbread Cheesecake Bars

Here is a quick run-through. Keep scrolling down to find the printable version of the full recipe and instructions.

  1. Whisk the flour, sugar, pumpkin cookies, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the softened butter and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs but holds together when you press it. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, creating an even layer.
  2. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes or until it’s lightly golden. Let it cool while you prepare the cheesecake layer.
  3. Beat the softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy with an electric mixer. Add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Pour the mixture over the crust, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheesecake is set.
  4. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan. Once cooled, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to allow it to firm up. When ready to serve, lift out of the pan and cut into squares.

For More Halloween TreatsHalloween cheesecake And Cocktails

Devils Double Chocolate Cookies

Grave Digger’s Apple Orchard Cocktail

Dracula’s Blood Cocktail

Witchy Brew Cocktail

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Halloween Shortbread Cheesecake Bars


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  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 55 minutes- Does not include the time to chill the bars
  • Yield: 1214 1x

Description

Halloween shortbread cheesecake bars that scream fun and festive vibes! A buttery pumpkin cookie shortbread crust paired with a creamy and tangy indulgent cheesecake. These treats are perfect for celebrating the Halloween season.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Shortbread Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground pumpkin cookies ( substitute any crisp cookie-such as oreos)
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • A pinch of salt

For the Cheesecake Layer:

  • 12 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


Instructions

For the shortbread crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line an 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper. *See notes below for a cool pro tip! 
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, ground pumpkin cookies, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the softened butter and mix using a fork, your fingers, or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs but holds together when you press it.
  3. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan, creating an even layer. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes or until it’s lightly golden. Let it cool while you prepare the cheesecake layer.

For the Cheesecake Layer

  1. Beat the softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy with an electric mixer.
  2. Add the egg, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Scraping down the sides as needed to prevent any lumps.
  3. Pour the mixture over the crust, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheesecake is set. It should be a slight jiggle when you shake it.
  4. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan. Once cooled, refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to allow it to firm up. When ready to serve, lift out of the pan and cut into squares.

Notes

* Ever fight with the parchment paper to get it to fit in the pan?  Here is a great tip! 

Scrunch up the parchment paper and quickly run under tap water. You don’t need to soak it; just dampen it. Flatten it out and wipe the excess water off both sides and voila! Easy peasy!

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

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