Easy homemade 'cheat' treats: Pumpkin cheesecake and apple pecan bars

Here's a pair of cheater recipes that will cut in to your prep time and still result in great tasting pumpkin cheesecake and apple pecan bars.  Photo: Krusteaz Easy Desserts / Krusteaz

CYPRESS, Calif., December 7, 2013 – Purists who prefer to cook from scratch might disapprove but these desserts taste better than store bought, and they are perfect for holiday gatherings. Plus, they come together fast enough to make great weeknight treats. The most time consuming task will be in slicing and peeling the apples.

Pumpkin Cheesecake 

Makes 10-12 servings


1 package Krusteaz Pumpkin Pie Bar Mix (one pouch for each crust mix and filling mix)

Krusteaz Pumpkin Cheesecake

Krusteaz Pumpkin Cheesecake

3 tbsp butter, melted

16 oz cream cheese, softened

4 eggs

1 cup (8 oz) sour cream

3 tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Crust Method

Stir together crust mix and melted butter with a fork until moistened. Press into bottom of lightly greased, 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350°F for five minutes.

Cheesecake Filling Method

Place filling mix, cream cheese and eggs in medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix on low speed until smooth. Pour over hot crust. Bake 40 minutes or until set.

Topping Method

Stir together sour cream, sugar and vanilla until blended. Spread over cheesecake; bake an additional five minutes. Cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.

Cinnamon Apple Bars

Makes 24 servings


1 package Krusteaz Cinnamon Crumb Cake & Muffin Mix (1 pouch each cake mix and cinnamon topping mix)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

Krusteaz Apple Bars

Krusteaz Apple Bars

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Vanilla ice cream (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Place full pouch cake mix, butter and flour in medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, mix on low speed until dough forms. Press dough evenly into bottom of lightly greased 13x9x2-inch pan. Arrange apple slices over dough. In small bowl, mix together full pouch cinnamon topping mix and nuts. Sprinkle over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.


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Linda Mensinga

Linda Mensinga was editor of Culinary Trends for 15 years, now a contributing writer. Researching restaurants and hotels, she interviews the best and brightest chefs, not necessarily the most famous, to learn their secrets and recipes. Their talent and dedication never cease to inspire her. 

Mrs. Mensinga is happily food obsessed and fortunate enough to be married to a chef. 

Contact Linda Mensinga


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