Yield: 8″ pan pumpkin cheesecake brownies // Total Time: 1 hr. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.
Fudge brownies, crackled tops, and pumpkin cheesecake all wrapped up into one delicious recipe!
Pumpkin cheesecake brownies
Today we’re taking my perfect fudge brownies and transforming them into something that’s even more perfect for fall: pumpkin cheesecake brownies. These brownies are thick, fudgy, and rich, have that desirable crackled top, and are swirled with a whole bunch of pumpkin cheesecake. They may seem a little intimidating but the most time you’re going to spend on these is waiting for them to bake and cool long enough to be eaten!
Pumpkin cheesecake brownies recipe tips
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient which can turn your brownies from rich and fudgy to tough and chewy. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Mix the dough carefully
When adding in the flour, only fold the mixture just until no flour streaks remain. Overmixing the dough leads to more gluten formation, which can make the brownies tough and chewy rather than fudgy.
Get those perfectly crackled brownie tops
The secret to getting those perfectly crackled tops is actually quite simple! All you need to do is whisk together the eggs and sugar to get them nice, light and fluffy prior to adding them to the rest of the brownie batter. Whipping up the eggs and sugar brings more air into the batter, which after baking collapses, forming that perfectly crackled top. And if the thought of bringing air into your brownies sounds scary, don’t worry, these brownies are super fudgy!
How to get perfect brownie slices
Brownies and bars can be annoying to cut, especially when they start dragging the batter and it seems like half of the brownies have ended up on your knife! To get perfect brownie cuts, get a clean knife and a tall glass of hot water. Dip the knife in the hot water, then make a slice in the brownies. Continue dipping and slicing to be left with perfectly cut brownie slices!
Ingredients and substitutions
For the brownies:
All purpose flour: lends some structure to the brownies and makes them slightly chewy.
Salt: helps balance and bring out the sweetness and flavor of the brownies.
Unsalted butter: makes the brownies tender and gives them that melt-in-your-mouth feel. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the brownies.
Semi-sweet chocolate: where the main flavor of these brownies comes from! I use chocolate chips as I have noticed that they are better for bringing out that crackled top when compared to using a baking bar. Make sure you use good quality chocolate chips here as this part makes up the entire flavor of the brownies!
Granulated sugar: sweetens the brownies, helps lock in moisture in the batter, and helps contribute to that perfect crackled top.
Dutch process cocoa: lends a deeper chocolate flavor to the brownies. I love using dutch process cocoa because it has a deeper and richer flavor than natural cocoa, but natural cocoa can easily be substituted in here.
Eggs: binds the brownie batter together, adds moisture to the brownies, and is the main contributor in getting that perfectly crackled top.
For the pumpkin cheesecake:
Cream cheese: the base of any cheesecake! I recommend using full fat cream cheese but Neufchatel will work here as well.
Canned pumpkin: for flavor! Make sure you are using 100% pure pumpkin.
Granulated sugar: we will only use a little bit of sugar here to sweeten up the cheesecake filling and take away a little of that pure cream cheese taste.
Vanilla: for flavor. I use and love this vanilla extract!
How to make pumpkin cheesecake brownies
1. Make the pumpkin cheesecake. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese a little just to smooth it out. Then, beat in the pumpkin, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate. Start by melting together the butter and chocolate, either in the microwave or on the stove top. Once the mixture is completely melted and smooth, whisk in the cocoa powder and set aside.
3. Whip up the eggs. This step is super important in getting that classic and desirable brownie crinkle top. It seems excessive, but you’re going to need to beat the eggs and sugar together on high speed for 4 minutes. Trust the process!
4. Combine. Gently whisk the chocolate mixture into the beaten eggs, then whisk in the dry ingredients just until no flour streaks remain.
5. Swirl the batter. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan, then smooth it out into an even layer. Use a spoon to place blobs of the pumpkin cheesecake randomly over the brownies, then use a knife to swirl it around.
6. Bake. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the brownies only slightly wobble when the pan is moved.
7. Serve and enjoy! Slice the brownies once they have cooled to room temperature, then enjoy!
Pumpkin cheesecake brownies Q & A
Can I double these pumpkin cheesecake brownies?
Of course! Simply double all of the ingredients and bake the brownies in a 9×13″ pan, or bake them in two 8″ square pans. Be sure to keep an eye on the brownies if baking in a different sized pan, as the bake times may vary.
How to store pumpkin cheesecake brownies
Because these do have cheesecake on top of them, I highly highly recommend storing them in the fridge for the best food safety practices. They will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you aren’t a fan of cold brownies, simply let them come to room temperature for no more than 1 hour before eating.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
8 inch square pan: I absolutely love USA pan products because none of my bakes ever stick to their pans. Here is their 8 inch square pan that I used.
Kitchen scale: the best thing that I ever purchased for recipe development and baking. Here is the one I currently use. It is a bit on the pricier side, but here is the one I used to use and is perfect for starting out!
Parchment sheets: perfect for lining your pans and for photography. I cut these in half when I use the 8 inch square pan, which makes it the perfect size for double lining the pan if desired!
Vanilla: I love using Rodelle vanilla extract. Not only is it a great quality product, but it’s on the lower end of the price that vanilla can be! This is the one I use.
For a full list of tools, equipment and ingredients that I use and love, you can check out this page here.
Did you make these pumpkin cheesecake brownies?
If you made these fudge brownies I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- 226 g cream cheese (1 c.) room temperature
- 50 g granulated sugar (¼ c.)
- 60 g pumpkin puree (¼ c.)
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 113 g unsalted butter (½ c.)
- 180 g semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 c.)
- 24 g dutch process cocoa (⅓ c.)
- 2 eggs
- 200 g granulated sugar (1 c.)
- 80 g all purpose flour (⅔ c.)
- ½ tsp. salt
- In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese to smooth it out a bit. Then, beat in the sugar, pumpkin and vanilla until fully combined. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease and line a 8" square pan with butter and parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat (or in the microwave), melt together the butter and chocolate. Turn off the heat, then immediately whisk in the cocoa powder.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat together the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes.
- Slowly whisk the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
- Add in the flour and salt. Whisk together just until no flour streaks remain.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out to an even layer. Place the pumpkin cheesecake in blobs over the brownie batter, then use a knife to swirl it around.
- Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until the brownies are set on the outsides and only slightly jiggle in the middle.
- Wait for the brownies to fully cool before cutting. Serve, and enjoy!
Is there an egg in the cheesecake? Because up at the top when you are going thru the steps, there is an egg mentioned. However, in the ingredients and the steps underneath, there is not one listed. Thanks!
Hi, sorry for the confusion – there is no egg in the cheesecake part! The pumpkin takes the place of the egg for these.