Preheat oven to 350º and adjust ove rack to the lower third position. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment, or grease it.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer (or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment), beat butter for 1 minute on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat on medium/high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla on high. Then beat in the pumpkin. Make sure to scrape down the sides every so often.
In another bowl, whisk your dry ingredients together. Flour, baking soda, spices and salt. While on low speed, slowly mix in your dry into the wet until just combined. Do not overmix.
This is the part I screwed up so don’t do what I did and make sure to do this step properly for the best swirls. Spread 2/3 of the batter evenly into you 9×13 pan. Set aside the rest of the batter into a separate bowl if using your stand mixer. If using a hand held mixer, grab a fresh bowl for step five.
Make the cheesecake swirl in a medium bowl. This is why I screwed up because I wanted to just use my mixer again and poured everything into the pan so I would have a clean bowl. So in a FRESH bowl, beat the cream cheese for one minute until smooth and creamy. Then add your sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat on high until smooth.
Make the swirl! Now that you have 1/3 of the pumpkin batter and your cheesecake mixture, you’ll just dollop spoonfuls on top of your pumpkin batter layer in your pan. The pumpkin batter will be THICK so it’s a little tough to do this if the spoonfuls are big. With a knife, gently swirl it together.
Bake the bars for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Allow bars to cool completely at room temp before cutting. This is also easier to do if they chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.