It's not everyday that you get to enjoy both a cheesecake and a pumpkin pie—in under 30 minutes! Now you can with these delicious Healthy Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Bars. They’re creamy, sweet and perfectly spiced. Tis’ the season to feast on pumpkin cheesecake bars! For parties, get togethers, morning breakfast… no occasion needed.
Here's why I love this recipe
- easy to prepare
- made with healthy ingredients like pumpkin puree and fiber-packed coconut flour
- high-protein and high-fiber, so it'll keep you fuller longer
- the best guilt-free dessert & post-workout snack
Ingredients used to make Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Bars
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Protein Powder – My go-to protein powder is a vanilla plant-based protein powder, like this Orgain Protein Powder.
- Notes on using other Protein Powders in this recipe: Most frothy protein-shake type powders like whey, casein, pea, hemp, brown rice, egg protein powders should give you similar results, but slightly different textures. (Whey tends to produce gummier protein bars, for example). Collagen Peptides protein powder DOES NOT work with this recipe, so I highly recommend that you stick with the recommended protein powders. For collagen protein bar posts, check out this collagen page instead.
- Coconut Flour - Coconut flour is a great low carb flour that is gluten-free, wheat free, and grain-free. Coconut flour is also nut-free (even though it's called coco-nut) because it's made from coconut flesh (which is a fruit, not a nut) that’s been dried and then grind into small flour particles. Here is a brand of coconut flour I like to use.
- Pumpkin puree - I used canned pumpkin puree, which you can find in the baking aisle.
- Cream Cheese - I used low fat dairy cream cheese. For a vegan friendly recipe, try using dairy free (vegan) cream cheese made from almond milk or coconut milk.
- Cinnamon powder - or pumpkin pie spice powder
- Sugar of Choice – I used monk fruit sweetener in this recipe to keep this recipe low-sugar and low carb, but raw cane sugar, coconut, date, and maple sugars are perfectly acceptable substitutes.
- Chocolate Chips - you can use any chocolate chips. To make these protein bars low-carb, use a lower sugar, stevia-sweetened brand like this one below.
More Protein Powder Recipes (HERE)
Step by Step
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Bars
In a clean bowl, mix the dry ingredients: protein powder, coconut flour and sugar (I used monk fruit sweetener). Add cinnamon.
Next, add in the puree and the cream cheese, using your hands to knead and get the dough to combine together.
You can change the dough to a softer or firmer consistency you prefer. Add more coconut flour if the dough is too soft, add more of milk or water if the dough is too thick. TRY TO ADD A TEASPOON AT A TIME! The final dough should be firm, but soft enough that you can roll the dough into a ball without it falling apart.
Shape the protein dough into a rectangular mound. Then wrap in plastic wrap or an airtight container lined with parchment, and let the dough set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix ¼ cup of cream cheese with 2 Tbsp monk fruit sweetener. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the protein bar mound
Slice into bars. Keep the bars in the freezer until the next step. The longer they stay in the freezer the better!
*Those smaller pieces of dough you can shape into another bar, or roll into protein balls.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stirring in between. Dip the protein bars into the melted chocolate and then set it aside on a clean parchment paper.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- Feel free to experiment with natural flavoring / extracts. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (I didn't feel like it was essential so I left it out in this recipe), or other flavorings or extracts, such as coffee extract or maple extract
Just keep in mind that some extracts contain alcohol, and since this is a no-bake recipe, the alcohol won't have a chance to fully evaporate. If serving this to kids, or if you're sensitive to alcohol, be sure to use non-alcoholic extracts or flavorings. Here are some non-alcoholic brands, here: Non-alcoholic peppermint extract, non-alcoholic vanilla extract
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Bars Healthier
- Make this even healthier by adding a handful of nuts, seeds and old-fashioned oats to add texture and nutrition. Even better, add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.
- If the chocolate coating sounds too decadent, you can always serve these protein bars without the extra chocolate. Top with cream cheese, cut into bars and just enjoy the cheesecake bar as is! They're still delicious!
How to Store Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Bars
- For maximum freshness and best texture, it's best to store these protein bars covered in the fridge. They'll be fresh for up to 5-7 days.
- These protein bars also freeze very well! Seal them inside an airtight container or Ziploc bag and freeze them in a single layer so that they don't stick together. I recommend double-bagging if you want to keep out the fridge smell. They can be frozen for up to 4 months.
- For best results, use cream cheese that's softened to room temperature
- If you want to make the chocolate coating process easier, freeze the protein bars for an additional 2-3 hours before coating so that they're easier to handle.
- Also, I like to mix in 2 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil) to the melted chocolate. This thins out the chocolate and makes it easier to coat the protein bars.
Healthy Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Protein Bars (Low Carb, Low Sugar)
- In a clean bowl, mix the dry ingredients: protein powder, coconut flour and sugar of choice (I used monk fruit sweetener). Add cinnamon powder.
- Next, mix in the softened cream cheese and pumpkin puree, using your hands to knead and get the dough to combine together.
- Add more coconut flour if the dough is too soft, add a teaspoon or more of milk or liquid sweetener of choice if the dough is too thick
- Shape dough into a rectangular mound, then wrap in plastic wrap or an airtight container, and let the dough set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix ¼ cup of cream cheese with 2 Tbsp monk fruit sweetener.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the protein bar mound, then slice into 4 bars. Keep the bars in the freezer until the next step.
- In a clean bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stirring in between
- Dip the protein bars into the melted chocolate and then set it aside on a clean parchment paper. Drizzle with more chocolate if desired.
- Let the chocolate set. Enjoy!