Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

What's orange and brown and chocolatey all over?

brownies, cream cheese, pumpkin
Serving Size: Makes 24 brownies

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

I decided to take my favorite brownie recipe, the one I published in The Mom 100 Cookbook a handful of years ago, and turn them into something that says “Hi, pumpkin season, how’ve you been?

The bottom layer is a fudgy brownie, dense, and with a serious hit of chocolate.  The top layer is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, scented with those great fall spices.  Then a bit of the brownie mixture (which you will reserve) is dolloped on the top and swirled into the cheesecake mixture for a beautiful brown and pale orange marbled effect.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

These are beautiful, they are thick, they are rich, and they are the kind of dessert where you’re going to end up feeling pretty pleased with yourself.   It’s a dessert to impress, with no fancy baking techniques required.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

These would be a great thing to bring to a Halloween party (though I will admit the idea of bringing a dessert, even one as super-seasonal and color coordinated as this one) perennially strikes me as odd…aren’t we all just intent on riffling through our children’s bags?  To me a little collection of “fun-sized” candy bars trumps a brownie on Halloween.

So, maybe Thanksgiving then.  Definitely Thanksgiving.  Fall potlucks.  Tailgating.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

You can store these at room temperature in a tightly sealed container for a day, or in the fridge for several days.   You could also wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, then slip them into a freezer-proof zipper top bag and freeze them, I think for about 3 or 4 months.

They’re best served at room temperature.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies—the bottom layer is a fudgy brownie; the top layer is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, scented with those great fall spices.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

Print

For the Brownie

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pureed canned pumpkin
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Generously butter or spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies—the bottom layer is a fudgy brownie; the top layer is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, scented with those great fall spices.

2. Make the brownie batter: Melt together the butter and chocolate in a medium-sized pot over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, then blend in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stirring quickly so they don’t have a chance to cook at all before they are blended in. Blend in the flour.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies—the bottom layer is a fudgy brownie; the top layer is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, scented with those great fall spices.

3. Scrape about 3/4 of the thick batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Set the pan and the remaining brownie batter (about one cup) aside.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies—the bottom layer is a fudgy brownie; the top layer is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, scented with those great fall spices.

4. Make the pumpkin cheesecake batter: In a large bowl bet the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves and beat, scraping down the sides, until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the pumpkin and cream until smooth. Spread the pumpkin cheesecake batter over the brownie batter in the pan, then use a tablespoon to dollop remaining brownie batter over the top in spots. Use a dull knife to swirl the mixtures together on top, making sure to leave it very streaky, and not blend too much.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies—the bottom layer is a fudgy brownie; the top layer is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, scented with those great fall spices.

5. Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the brownies comes out clean.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies—the bottom layer is a fudgy brownie; the top layer is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, scented with those great fall spices.

6. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Cut into 24 squares.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies—the bottom layer is a fudgy brownie; the top layer is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake, scented with those great fall spices.

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