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Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

by on September 29, 2010 · 43 comments

We really enjoyed David Lebovitz’s cream cheese brownie recipe and I will definitely make them again, but I had to test another idea. I wanted something seasonal, so instead of plain cheesecake swirled through brownies, I buried pumpkin cheesecake in the brownies. They’re still marbled on top, but because there’s almost a full bite of pumpkin cheesecake in every brownies, I decided to call them “layered” instead of “marbled”.

pumpkin swirl brownies

These were so good! They definitely taste better and slice cleaner on day 2, but you can cut into them after a few hours in the refrigerator.  Also, you’ll notice that the batter and filling take up an entire 9 inch pan going all the way to the top.  The brownies are very tall.

layered pumpkin cheesecake brownies

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
12 oz cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons brown sugar (dark or light)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg plus 2 tablespoons beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tablespoons flour

Brownies Batter:
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon plus a tiny pinch of salt
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (1 ½ cups), melted and cooled
1 cup (4.5 oz) Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.

Make the filling first. Beat the cream cheese and both sugars together with a mixer, then reduce speed and beat in the pumpkin, egg, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in the flour. Set aside.

In a second bowl, beat the butter, salt and sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the melted chocolate chips then stir in the flour. Pour all but about 3/4 cup of the chocolate mixture into the pan.

Spoon the pumpkin mixture evenly over the brownies layer.

Drop reserved brownie batter over pumpkin to give the brownies a splotched, marbled look.

Bake on center rack at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until brownies test done. That is, when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool for about two hours at room temperature and then chill for a few hours or overnight (the longer the chill, the better). Lift from pan and cut into 16 large squares.

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Published on September 29, 2010

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Amalia September 29, 2010 at 7:53 am

Oh yes, these are my kind of brownie! I love cream cheese and love pumpkin! Great!
I want my blog back! the goverment in my country is blocking wordpress and now I can’t blog. ): *sigh*
Lovely recipe! Thank god I can still see your site or I’ll die.

krista September 29, 2010 at 8:04 am

oh my! i have to try these… they look fantastic!

Brilynn September 29, 2010 at 8:36 am

Those look awesome! I love fall baking!

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy September 29, 2010 at 8:41 am

These look brilliant! Must try, thanks!

Sue September 29, 2010 at 8:46 am

What a GREAT idea!!

Katrina September 29, 2010 at 9:08 am

That’s it, I’m breaking out the cans of pumpkin in my pantry. After seeing these and some pumpkin whoopie pies over at Joe’s blog, I’m just gonna have to.

Camille September 29, 2010 at 9:21 am

Oooh holy moly. These look epic!

Fallon September 29, 2010 at 10:32 am

Adding pumpkin is a great idea. to the cheesecake brownie concept.

Karen September 29, 2010 at 11:25 am

I love love love pumpkin and chocolate and I think I have made every pumpkin/chocolate recipe you have ever posted. But I’m holding off on pumpkin for now, in denial about fall which is easy to do since we are finally having some summer weather in Northern California. But I predict that I’ll be making these before October is over!

Dee September 29, 2010 at 11:27 am

These look wonderful. Will definitely be making them.

Kristin September 29, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I have been craving pumpkin, brownies, and cheesecake for the past week or so but couldn’t decide what to bake. I was thinking the cream cheese brownies that you made the other day or Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Swirl brownies but either choice wasn’t totally appealing to me – something from my craving list would be missing. Well, as usual, I started my day by seeing what was on your agenda for the day and I’m so glad I did! These fit the bill, exactly what I knew I wanted without knowing it! Thanks Anna for being on the same track as me! I can’t wait to make these…

Darlia September 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Anna, some tips please.
Fund raiser for a boyscout troop. Friday, sat, sunday. I’m baking for them and donating all the baked goods, so they can have $$ to go to Camp Orr next year. Several of these families will be working the booth. I’m the baker, though. Tx, will make pumpkin brownies. Delish looking.

Carole Resnick September 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Yum!!! I have chocolate. I have cream cheese. I have a can of pumpkin. Maybe later today or for sure tomorrow.

MaryBeth September 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

**thud**

Anna September 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for the comments! I can’t wait to hear what you all think.

Darlia, I emailed you some of my favorite bake sale items. Good luck!

Christy September 29, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Oh Anna…this is right up my alley. There is a pumpkin shortage here. I make a wonderful pumpkin chocolate chip bread and haven’t been able to find any pumpkin. I did find out who has it though, so I will be making it as soon as I can get some!

x3Baking September 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Yay, another cream cheese recipe. The cream cheese filling and brownie go sooo well together. I know I wouldn’t be able to resist eating this if I made it. Thanks for sharing.

Cakelaw September 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm

These look amazing! Would love one with my cup of coffee now.

Therese B. September 29, 2010 at 8:08 pm

These brownies look delightful Anna!
Remember the Chocolate and Pumpkin Bundt Cake you made?
I will have to try and locate that recipe.
Fall is a great time for ANYTHING pumpkin!

Linda J. September 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm

So. I posted your photo on my FB, and told my friends/customers that I was making these tomorrow, and already have orders for FOUR pans of them! Can’t wait to actually make them and TASTE them, lol.
Thank you SO much for wonderful recipes, I’ve been a fan for a couple of years now, and you have never let me down.
HUGS! Linda J.

Betty @ scrambled hen fruit September 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm

These look so good! I’d love one of them right now. :)

Cookie Sleuth September 29, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I love pumpkin! These brownies are a must-try. Have you tried the Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread mix? I mix in some canned pumpkin, and it is just delicious!

Linda J. September 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Anna!!! I had to come back and tell you…GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY, these Brownies are some of the most AWESOMEST, DELICIOUS Brownies I have ever made!
I think my customers are going to swoon when they have that first bite. I just had a sliver of an edge, and it was so yummy!
I made a triple recipe, and divided it in 2 11×14″ lasagne pans (nice and deep). It was a perfect fit. I was able to get 40 medium browniesOnly made 2 changes to the original recipe; I decreased the cream cheese to equal 8oz per recipe (down from the 12oz) and substituted a tablespoon of cocoa powder for flour in the brownie base. I already have to make another pan tomorrow for another customer! lol
Thanks too for your sweet email :)
Hugs, Linda J.

Linda J. September 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm

That should say “40 medium Brownies per pan” :)

Anna September 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Hi Linda,

Thanks so much for the feedback! It really helps to get a second opinion on new recipes like this one. Also, thanks for specifying the pan sizes since that will come in handy for those needing to make larger batches. Thanks again for trying the recipe and noting your changes.

Shari (aka: fruitloopgirl) October 1, 2010 at 11:44 am

Absolutely MUST make these!

Sue October 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Despite my error these turned out really great for me. Everyone I shared them with loved them!

krista October 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm

i baked these this afternoon – i’m dying waiting for them to chill… i had so much batter that i had to make a little mini one in a 4oz ramekin! my pan was filled to the brim!!! perhaps its an 8 inch and not a 9… do you think these would work in a 9X13 with a shorter baking time?

Anna October 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Krista, it sounds like you did use an 8 inch. With a 9 inch, the brownies should come up pretty high, but not all the way to the top. I hope you like them! It’s hard waiting for them to chill.

krista October 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm

anna,
they were worth the wait!!! i brought them to my aunt’s house today and they were a hit with everyone there!!! going to have to make ‘em again in the proper pan. :)

Kristin October 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Hi,

I would like to make these for a Fall party. I am thinking about doubling the recipe and baking it in a 13 x 9 dish. What would you recommend for the baking time?

Any additional advice for doubling this recipe is greatly appreciated!

Thank you,
Kristin

Anna October 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Hi Kristin,

Since these are made in a 9 inch pan, a double batch would typically need the surface area of a 15×10 inch pan as opposed to a 13×9 inch. However, most American 15×10 inch pans are not tall enough so you wouldn’t have the right volume. You could go ahead and double the recipe for a 13×9 inch pan, but you will probably have a good deal of leftover batter. That being said, I don’t think a double batch will take that much longer to bake. I’d check at 45 or 50 minutes.

Another idea, you could make 1 1/3 the recipe. I took the liberty of adjusting the measures for you below. I think this would give you just the right amount for a 13×9 inch pan.

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies Increased by 1/3

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling:
16 oz cream cheese, softened
8 tablespoons brown sugar (dark or light)
2 1/3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons flour

Brownies Batter:
20 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon plus a tiny pinch of salt
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 1/3 cup (5.8 oz) Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch square pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.

Make the filling first. Beat the cream cheese and both sugars together with a mixer, then reduce speed and beat in the pumpkin, egg, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in the flour. Set aside.

In a second bowl, beat the butter, salt and sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the melted chocolate chips then stir in the flour. Pour all but about 1 1/2 cups (this is a guestimate) of the chocolate mixture into the pan.

Spoon the pumpkin mixture evenly over the brownies layer.

Drop reserved brownie batter over pumpkin to give the brownies a splotched, marbled look.

Bake on center rack at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until brownies test done. That is, when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool for about two hours at room temperature and then chill for a few hours or overnight (the longer the chill, the better). Lift from pan and cut into 16 large squares.

Kristin October 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Hi Anna,

Wow, thank you so much for doing this for me! I really appreciate it! The party is in a couple weeks so I will let you know how this came out.

This weekend I am making pumkpin cupcakes with a maple ganache filling and maple buttercream. I am using your idea of placing the ganache balls on top of the batter right before cooking so wish me luck! It will be my first time doing that as well :)

Thanks again and happy baking!
Kristin

Emily October 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I made these this weekend and they were a HUGE hit! I had multiple requests to send the recipe to friends. I did a slight variation and used the boxed Ghiradelli brownie mix instead of making the brownie part from scratch. I also used RF cream cheese instead. I baked the brownies for approx 48 min and they were perfect! Definitely worth the wait while the refrigerate though. My boyfriend couldn’t refrain ourselves and tried them while still warm. They were good but not nearly as delicious as when they were refrigerated.

Thanks for the recipe!
Emily

Anna October 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Hi Emily,

Thanks for testing with brownie mix! It’s good to know that particular shortcut works.

Debbie October 27, 2010 at 12:19 pm

These sound wonderful. Do you have any idea about how well they would freeze? I love things I can do ahead and have in the freezer to pull out as needed.

Anna October 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Debbie, I didn’t freeze this batch, but I am almost positive they’ll freeze well. You could freeze a cut brownie to test, but since cheesecake freezes well and brownies freeze well, I don’t see why these wouldn’t.

Julie October 29, 2010 at 6:53 pm

These were great! Made them last night in a double batch and in 8 inch pans. Ended up baking for 65 minutes, at which my skewer test still wasn’t clean but after a good long chill they were awesome. I am getting text messages left and right from people at work and my boyfriend is becoming the most popular guy at his work.

Thanks for posting the recipe! Found you through tastespotting.

Debbie October 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I made a double recipe and put it in a 10 X 15 Lasagne Pan – deeper than the typical 10 X 15 jelly roll. It was perfect! Like Julie, I had to cook it about 65 minutes.

Amanda November 17, 2010 at 2:59 am

Anna, I am a new baker, new to your blog, and new to comment here. I just have to say, this brownie recipe is perfection. I recently moved to a small studio apartment and bought a 9″square pan today specifically to make this recipe. What I did forget were mixing bowls, so I had to make do with the two pots I own. I don’t own bowls, yet alone a hand mixer and got quite a workout with this recipe. Despite my poorly equipped kitchen, these turned out exactly like the picture. My boyfriend assured me they would be a hit this Sunday when we celebrate Thanksgiving with his family. He waited a whole 45 minutes before cutting into them. They were still heavenly.

Thank you for such a wonderful holiday recipe. I’ll let you know how the family reacts. If they love them, I’ll give you full credit and refer them to this site! If not, I’ll just say, “It was my first time baking, what did you expect?”

Sandy A. November 18, 2010 at 6:02 am

For those who don’t have a 9″ square pan, the following common pan sizes can be substituted with little difficulty.


7″ x 11″
10″ springform
(make sure it doesn’t leak)

I just made these in a 7×11, and they came out great (the batter did rise past the top of the pan, but nothing spilled). I used a Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bar and made up the rest with 90% cocoa bittersweet chocolate, rather than the chips (it’s all I had lying around).

Elisabeth October 27, 2011 at 7:21 am

Made these the other night and brought to work – EVERYONE loved them!

Elaine October 30, 2011 at 9:54 am

I just had to tell you this–I made these brownies yesterday, and messed up almost every step, yet they still turned out delicious! I used Trader Joe’s truffle brownie mix because I’m visiting my brother and he, uh, doesn’t have much to bake with, and tried to do the cheesecake according to the recipe. I accidentally dumped in way, way too much pumpkin pie spice, and I baked it in an 8×8, and the cream cheese wasn’t very soft when I creamed it with the sugar. Refrigerating them is absolutely the key to these brownies! They were so good chilled. Thanks for the great recipe that not even I can ruin!

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