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These easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies are the perfect treat for pumpkin season. A brownie mix swirled with a pumpkin spiced & pumpkin cheesecake batter. With some shortcut ingredients you can make this easy pumpkin brownie recipe anytime!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Recipe (With a Boxed Brownie Mix)
Give me all the pumpkin recipes! Once September hits I just can’t get enough of all the things pumpkin spice. These easy to make brownies are a mix of two of the best desserts – fudgy homemade brownies and pumpkin cheesecake in one dessert.
It starts with a doctored-up brownie mix, a homemade pumpkin pie spice pumpkin cheesecake mixture, and then they get swirled together to create this really pretty swirl pattern on top of the brownies. The recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of pure pumpkin so it’s the perfect recipe to use up that little bit that might be left in the can.
Ingredients Needed To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
First Layer : Chocolate Brownies
- Brownie Mix – The recipe calls for a dark chocolate brownie mix but any brownie mix can be used. Milk chocolate, chocolate fudge, etc. I like the Ghirardelli brand brownie mixes, some of the other brands are slightly smaller in size (like 18.4 oz) and those should work just fine as well.
- Mini Chocolate Chips
- Large Eggs
- Melted Salted Butter
- Half and Half
Second Layer : Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
- Cream Cheese – For the best flavor and thick rich texture I recommend using full-fat cream cheese. Make sure it’s softened to room temperature to avoid lumps in the cheesecake batter.
- Light Brown Sugar – The recipe calls for this to be ‘packed’ which simply means to press and pack it into the measuring cup. When you dump it into the bowl it should hold it’s measuring cup shape. That’s how you know that it was packed correctly.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Large Egg
- Pure Pumpkin – Make sure you are using 100% pure pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling. The labels and cans look similar but they are completely different and cannot be interchanged.
- Extra Mini Chocolate Chips – This is technically an ‘optional’ garnish but I totally recommend using them.
How To Make This Easy Pumpkin Recipe (Recipe Card Below)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside for later.
In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the brownie mix, mini chocolate chips, eggs, melted butter, and half and half until well combined.
In a separate bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until combined, lighter in color, and fluffy looking.
Beat in the egg and pumpkin, on low speed, just until combined.
Evenly spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out into an even layer.
Layer the cream cheese pumpkin mixture over top the brownie layer.
Use a cookie scoop or spoon to drop scoops of the remaining brownie batter over top.
Use a butter knife, or a toothpick, to slightly swirl the pumpkin layer and brownie layer together. Because the brownie batter is thicker than the pumpkin cheesecake batter, you may need to lightly scoop it up to swirl the two batters together.
Sprinkle the top with additional mini chocolate chips
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the edges are set and slightly pulled away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out with just crumbs on it and not wet batter.
How To Store Leftovers
These easy pumpkin cheesecake bars can be stored either at room temperature (because the cream cheese was cooked fully), in the frudge for a chilled treat, or freeze them!
- Room Temperature : Store in an airtight container, for 3-5 days.
- Fridge : Store in the fridge for up to 7 days, in an airtight covered container, but they may dry out more if stored in the fridge.
- Freeze : To freeze the bars, individually wrap each brownie in plastic wrap and then again in foil. Store the wrapped brownies inside a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 2-3 months.
Enjoy them frozen/chilled from the freezer, thaw to room temperature, or heat it up in the microwave for a fresh-from-the-oven taste and smell.
Tips For Creating The Perfect Swirl Pattern On The Pumpkin Brownies
The trickiest part of making these pumpkin brownies with a cheesecake swirl is the actual swirling of the batters together. Because the brownie mixture is thicker than the pumpkin cheesecake mixture, it might seem impossible, but it will work! Here are a couple tips to help.
- Don’t worry about placing the other half of the brownie batter evenly over top the pumpkin cheesecake batter. Allowing the brownie mix (the top layer) be scooped on randomly makes the result more unique.
- Don’t be afraid to mix the two batters a bit. You can’t hurt them! You may need to mix the pumpkin and brownie batters a bit to get an actual swirl in them. That’s just fine. Even if the two are not perfectly swirled together it will still turn out delicious and beautiful.
- Use a butter knife to swirl the batters together – it works much easier than a light-weight toothpick. Go all the way to the bottom of the pan when swirling.
- Full Fat Cream Cheese : I recommend using full fat, regular cream cheese and not the lite or reduced-fat cream cheese. The full fat stuff tastes much better, has a thicker and richer texture, and just makes desserts much better. Of course, the reduced-fat cream cheese can be used if needed.
- Don’t Sub The Half and Half : Use the half and half! The recipe needs the fat and thick rich texture of the half and half milk. If you really need to use something else, I recommend not going any lower than whole milk.
- Brownie Mix : Don’t follow the box directions! I also recommend using a fudge brownie mix or regular brownie mix, and not a brownie mix labeled ‘chewy’. I love the dark chocolate brownie mix in this recipe but any type can be used – milk chocolate or chocolate fudge.
- Oil : Because the recipe calls for the butter to be melted, you can substitute canola oil or vegetable oil if needed. Measure it out and use the same amount of melted butter that is called for in the recipe (1/2 cup). Melted butter provides more of a rich, buttery taste to the brownies so I definitely recommend using it instead of oil.
More Pumpkin Desserts You’ll Love
- Pumpkin Scones
- Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts
- Easy Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake
- Pumpkin Magic Cake
- Sheet Pan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars
- Caramel Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- No Bake Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Pie Pecan Cobbler
- Banana Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- 1 box (19 oz) dark chocolate brownie mix (or chocolate fudge)
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter melted
- 1/4 cup half and half
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
- 1 bar (8 oz) cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
- mini chocolate chips (optional garnish)
- Prep : Preheat the oven to 350℉. Grease a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray OR line with parchment paper or foil for easy removal later. Set aside for later. * I like to spray the pan first and then lay a piece of pre-cut parchment paper inside the pan. The cooking spray helps adhere the paper to the pan. If using foil, spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.
- Brownie Mix Layer : In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the brownie mix, eggs, mini chocolate chips, melted butter, and half and half until well combined.1 box (19 oz) dark chocolate brownie mix, 2 large eggs, 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, 1/4 cup half and half
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer : In a separate bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until combined, lighter in color, and fluffy looking.1 bar (8 oz) cream cheese, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Beat in the egg and pumpkin, on low speed, just until combined.1 large egg, 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
- Layer Batters In Pan : Evenly spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Layer the cream cheese pumpkin mixture over top the brownie layer. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to drop scoops of the remaining brownie batter over top. Use a butter knife to swirl the pumpkin layer and brownie layer together. * Because the brownie batter is thicker than the pumpkin cheesecake batter, you may need to lightly scoop it up to swirl the two batters together. Push the butter knife to the bottom of the pan and then create the swirl patterns. * When adding the pumpkin cheesecake layer over top the brownie layer, it's easiest to dump it all over the brownie mix instead of one big pile in the center. Try to spread out the pumpkin cheesecake batter over top the brownie layer as best as possible when poring it, it's easier to spread it that way instead of trying to use a spoon or spatula to spread it.
- Sprinkle the top with additional mini chocolate chips.mini chocolate chips
- Bake : Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the edges are set and slightly pulled away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out with just crumbs on it and not wet batter
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow them to cool, at room temperature, for about 1 hour before cutting into squares and serving. You can eat these warm or at room temperature.* A warm pumpkin cheesecake brownie topped with a scoop of ice cream is really good!