Pumpkin pie is a classic fall dessert, but in my family there are always a few holdouts that want some chocolate after dinner instead of a traditional pie. These Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies are a new fall classic that combine rich, fudgy brownies with a layer of spicy pumpkin cheesecake, making a dessert that will satisfy the whole family!
The recipe starts with a brownie base that has a deep dark chocolate base. A small portion of the batter is set aside to help create the marble look in the finished dessert. While I sometimes swirl the cheesecake and brownie base together directly in cheesecake brownie recipes, this cheesecake is much lighter in texture and the recipe works a bit better when the layers are more separate. This is because the cheesecake also includes pumpkin puree, so it’s really a hybrid between cheesecake and pumpkin pie.
The cheesecake batter is best when it is made in the food processor, as it will be able to easily get any lumps out of the mixture and ensure a smooth cheesecake. You can mix it up by hand, but be sure that your cream cheese is very well softened before starting. The cheesecake also includes pumpkin pie spice – a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves – to really give it a fall flavor, as well as a dash of vanilla and salt to bring out the flavors of the cream cheese. A small portion of the batter is added to the reserved brownie batter, then that mixture is swirled into the finished cheesecake to create the dessert’s marbled look.
Bake the brownies until the cheesecake layer is completely set. The brownies will still be quite fudgy underneath, but they will provide a stable base for the creamy cheesecake once the dessert is chilled. Since the cheesecake is tender, I do recommend refrigerating this before slicing for best results. Serve slices on their own or top them with a dollop of whipped cream to dress them up!
Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Add in cocoa powder and stir until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisking steadily, pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until batter is uniform.
Transfer 1/4 cup of brownie batter to a small bowl. Add chocolate chips to the remaining batter and pour into prepared pan, spreading it into an even layer.
In a food processor, blend cream cheese, pumpkin puree, sugars, eggs, spices, salt and vanilla extract until smooth. Remove 1/2 cup of cheesecake batter and add it to small bowl with reserved brownie batter, then stir to combine
Pour remaining pumpkin cheesecake over the brownie layer and spread evenly. Drizzle chocolate cheesecake mixture over the top and gently swirl it in with the regular cheesecake batter using a knife.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are firmly set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
Cool in the pan completely, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 16-20 brownies.