These pretty brownies just scream "fall," and are perfect when you want to dress up your favorite brownies in seasonal party clothes. The light cheesecake layer swirls together plain and pumpkin spiced batters and will delight all you pumpkin spice fans out there. Pumpkin and chocolate are such a great autumn combo!
We started with our favorite boxed brownie mix, from @ghirardelli, and mix by hand exactly as listed on their recipe.* You can use your favorite boxed brownie mix, but make sure it's a thick, not cakey, style batter so the cheesecake topping won't sink. If you have a favorite made-from-scratch recipe, just add the topping for the same effect. This recipe yields a medium-thick brownie from an 8x8 inch pan.
We used SideSwipe on our smaller KitchenAid stand mixer to mix the cream cheese toppings. You can use a handheld mixer or mix the cheese and pumpkin by hand with a whisk as well.
We baked our brownies at the normal temperature and for the normal length of time listed on the mix box. We suggest you start there and check to see if the choose appears to be set.
*NOTE: We buy jumbo packs at our local Costco, which has 6 inner bags of triple chocolate brownies (includes chocolate chips). So good, and it's easy to adapt to the quantity, thickness and volume you need. This post isn't sponsored by either organization. We just like to share where to find good deals on our favorite items.
INGREDIENTS AND EQUIPMENT
- Boxed brownie mix (we like Ghirardelli)
- Brownies' listed ingredients like egg, oil, water
- 8 x 8 metal pan (glass can overbake brownies, especially on the edges
- 4 ounces full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice, according to your taste
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin/ puree
- Set out cream cheese and eggs at least one hour before to soften. Grease and line an 8x8 metal pan with parchment, allowing a little to over hang the edges for easy removal.
- Heat oven to temperature listed on your recipe (ours was 325°F)
- In the bowl of your mixer fitted with SideSwipe or your flat paddle, beat the softened cream cheese and granulated sugar on low to medium speed until creamy, 1-2 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla. Beat on low to medium speed until well incorporated. This batter should be fairly runny and pourable.
- Scoop out about half of the cheese mixture into a measuring cup or small dish that you can pour from.
- Add the pumpkin and pumpkin spice to the cream cheese mixture that is still in the mixer.
- Beat on low to medium speed until well incorporated. Scoop the pumpkin batter into a measuring cup that you can pour from.
- In a separate bowl, mix your boxed brownie mix according to its instructions. We hand mixed our Ghirardelli mix.
- Pour the brownie batter into the pan. Shake or use a spatula to smooth the top.
- Pour the pumpkin batter across the brownies in thick lines, leaving space for the plain cheese between the lines.
- In the spaces, pour the plain cream cheese batter
- Using a knife or pointed scribe tool, drag widely spaced lines across the pumpkin and cheese lines (in the opposite direction.) You only have to go about halfway down into the batter. Be careful not to drag metal implements across your baking pan!
- For a more swirly effect, draw circles in the same manner where you'd like the topping to have more pattern.
- Bake according to your brownie mix directions. Check to make sure the topping has set and no longer looks wet. It's best to err on the undercooked side for most brownie recipes.
- Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then lift the parchment and brownies out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serves 9 as a main dessert or 12-18 as part of a dessert selection. Keeps at room temperature for a couple of days, in the fridge for several more and can be frozen, tightly sealed in plastic, up to 2 months. (Not that you'll have it that long!)