Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirled Brownies / by Chelsea Zwieg

It's time for pumpkin brownies! I realized that, with the exception of pumpkin ale mac and cheese, I haven't posted a pumpkin recipe yet this fall. What. is. happening. Pretty sure I have mentioned my love of pumpkin in every post since I started this blog, and yet somehow we have made it to the second week in October without some pumpkin desserts happening? Unacceptable. My normal non-blog work life is so full of pumpkin spiced baking every day that I am worried you all are sick of it until I remember that you're not there. Oh, but I wish you were. We could all bake pumpkin cakes and muffins and cheesecake parfaits all day long. It would just be the best. 

Speaking of work, I am currently in Las Vegas for the IBIE (baking convention!!) and I am so excited I could pee my pants. Classes, demonstrations and a giant expo hall full of bakery-related things. Yes. Just YES. I feel so lucky to be here and, as if I wasn't already constantly talking about baking, you better hope you don't run into me for a good month after this because I'm way too excited now and I can't turn it off. 

So on that note, let's talk about BAKING. More specifically, super fudgy brownies with a dreamy pumpkin cheesecake swirl. It's no secret that when it comes to desserts, I am definitely a cookie person. But for some reason lately I have fallen for brownies and fallen hard. But not just any brownies. None of this cakey business. It's got to be a brownie so fudgy that you're not quite sure if you're eating a chocolate truffle or a brownie. The kind of intense dark chocolate that hits you in the back of the throat. Ugh, I just can't get enough of it. Add in a pumpkin cheesecake swirl and you have fall meets brownie perfection meets all my dreams come true. Not to mention, the Halloween color scheme is spot on. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine 

Makes an 8x8 pan

Cheesecake Swirl: 

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Brownies:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined, scraping the bowl as you go. Add the egg, sugar and pumpkin pie spice and beat until combined. If you want a stronger pumpkin spice flavor, you can definitely add more seasoning, the swirl will just not have as vibrant of an orange color. 

In a large bowl, microwave the butter until melted. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. If necessary, microwave the chocolate and butter in 10 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and eggs, one at time, whisking well after each addition. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. 

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Drop spoonfuls the pumpkin cheesecake batter across the brownie batter. Top with spoonfuls of the remaining brownies batter. Use a knife to swirl the brownie and cheesecake batter together. Be careful not to over-swirl or the cheesecake will disappear. 

Bake 35-40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pan and slicing.