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Fudgy scratch brownies swirled with creamy pumpkin cheesecake.
If you were a brownie and needed to dress yourself up for fall, what would you do? Swirl yourself with pumpkin? Because that’s exactly what we’re doing today.
I think I’m calling these my “basic” brownies. Not quite the same as my “base brownie recipe,” but my Basic with a capital B brownies, because I’m pretty sure one bite of these brownies will want you throwing on your Ugg boots and sipping a PSL.
I nearly guarantee it.
And since 2020 is all about those brownies, it only made sense to throw pumpkin into that mix, too.
So you’ve definitely seen these brownies before. They’re a spinoff of my chocolate chip cheesecake swirl brownies from many years ago.
Those brownies begin with my homemade fudgy brownie batter (as do all of the brownies on my blog) and then get swirled with chocolate chip cheesecake.
I took the chocolate chip cheesecake portion of those brownies and changed a few things around in order to fit the mold for these pumpkin cheesecake brownies (side note: if you want to keep the pumpkin cheesecake party going, check out my pumpkin cheesecake swirl sheet cake next!).
We know that in baking, pumpkin adds ridiculous moisture. Sometimes too much. Which is why I completely removed them from my pumpkin spice cookies.
The same applies here, where I removed the egg from the pumpkin cheesecake batter in order to keep a good amount of moisture rather than bring soggy cheesecake to our brownies.
I also sweetened the cheesecake with just a touch more sugar than the cheesecake batter for my chocolate chip cheesecake swirl brownies because we completely removed the chocolate chip aspect and to me, the pumpkin cheesecake portion needed to be juuuuust a touch sweeter to account for that.
I added just a teeny bit of pumpkin pie spice to the pumpkin cheesecake batter to amp up the flavor without losing too much of the brownie element.
A quick swirl of the pumpkin cheesecake batter into the brownie batter and we’re left with gorgeous orange swirls amid dark chocolatey ones. I was afraid these brownies would be ugly, but they’re totally not at all.
Though it’s possible I am pretty biased since orange is my absolute favorite color.
It was so hard to wait for these pumpkin cheesecake brownies to cool before cutting them, but the wait was definitely worth it.
The pumpkin cheesecake swirls are such a nice complement to the already rich chocolate of the brownie, and if you’re unsure about chocolate + pumpkin together, these brownies will definitely make you a believer.
Dense, chocolatey, bursts of spiced pumpkin cheesecake in every bite… These brownies just scream “FALL.” And “BASIC,” because, yes.
You gotta try ’em.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter cut into 6-8 slices
- 8 ounces (227g) semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup (150g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature preferred*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (112g) cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 4 ounces (111g) pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon (65g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently until completely smooth. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir gently until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- In a medium size bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until completely smooth. Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the prepared brownie batter. Use a knife to create swirls by dragging it through the batter.
- Bake brownies for 38-42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares. Store brownies covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 2 months.