The Speckled Palate
October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars

This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownies. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What’s not to love?

This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownies. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What's not to love?

Who’s excited for another round of Comfort in 1?

This month, we’re celebrating pumpkins! ‘Tis the season for pumpkin goodies, after all. And we’ve got some delectable recipes coming y’all’s way today (and this weekend.)

Don’t know what Comfort in 1 is? No problem! Check out our information here.

Interested in participating? Join in on the fun here.

We’ll be sharing pumpkin-centric recipes through the end of October, and we’ll share our PECAN (!!!) recipes from November 17th to the end of the month, so if you’re brainstorming some good pecan-centric goodies for November, please join us!

This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownies. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What's not to love?

When Rachel and I were discussing what to make for this month’s Comfort in 1, we quickly decided we wanted to work with pumpkin. How could we not?

After all, October is the perfect time for all kinds of pumpkin sweets, breakfasts and treats. And who doesn’t love a fresh take on a pumpkin dish this time of year, especially as Halloween draws near and the temperatures begin to dip?

This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownies. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What's not to love?

So. Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars…

These beauties started out as a seasonal take on my insanely delicious and addictive Ooey Gooey Bars and turned into something entirely different as they baked, forming a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie.

This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownies. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What's not to love?

They’re decadent, that’s for sure, but they’re kind of perfect for this time of year… and they’re definitely perfect for Comfort in 1.

These Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars are a comforting dessert, which can be eaten warm or cold. I, personally, prefer them warm, though my husband has been taking slices of these bars out of the fridge and eating them cooled without an issue.

Serve the bars up at the temperature you like along with a huge glass of milk, and you’re good to go.

This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownies. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What's not to love?

Here’s how you can make these beauts:

Comfort in 1: Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars // The Speckled Palate
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars

This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownie. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What's not to love?
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12 large squares
Author Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate

Ingredients

Brownie Base

  • 4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (four 1 oz. squares)
  • 6 oz. 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 8 oz. cream cheese , softened
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips
  • A sprinkle of ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13" baking dish with parchment paper, and grease well.
  2. Measure the baking chocolate and dark chocolate chips into a medium-sized glass bowl. Add the butter and applesauce. Heat in the microwave for 10-15 second increments to melt the chocolate, stirring after each round of heating until the chocolate/butter/applesauce mixture is melted and smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, crack the eggs, add the sugar and vanilla and beat with a hand mixer until the mixture creamy and light.
  4. If the chocolate mixture is still hot, temper the egg mixture, then pour the rest of the chocolate into the egg mixture, mixing until combined.
  5. Measure in the flour and salt, and using the mixers, beat until combined. This mixture will be very thick.
  6. Pour the brownie base mixture into the greased baking dish and spread with a rubber spatula until an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  7. In another bowl, stir the cream cheese and pumpkin together. (Washing the paddles on your hand mixer will come in handy because this step goes faster with the hand mixer.) Beat the mixture until it has lightened and is fluffy.
  8. Add the eggs to the cream cheese/pumpkin mixture, stirring until combined. Drizzle in the melted butter, and stir until incorporated.
  9. When the mixture is smooth and well combined, measure in the cinnamon and the powdered sugar gradually, stirring until the ingredients are completed mixed.
  10. Pour this cheesecake layer on top of the brownie mixture in the pan.
  11. Spread the additional chocolate chips on top of cheesecake layer evenly. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  12. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set.
  13. Let cool for 30 minutes, then slice into individual bars and enjoy warm or cold!

Recipe Notes

Please note that my oven is OLD, and your cooking time might be a little different than mine because of this. When your cheesecake bars hit the 35-minute mark, turn on your oven light and look in on them to make sure you don't overcook the cheesecake.

This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownies. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What's not to love?

What is one of your favorite pumpkin treats for the fall?

This decadent and fulfilling seasonal treat combines two much-loved favorites: cheesecake and brownies. And then we upped the autumn factor by creating a gorgeously smooth pumpkin cheesecake on top of a dense, rich dark chocolate brownie. What's not to love?

19 Comments

  1. Nancy

    These look amazing! I will definitely shoot you an email next time I am in your part of Texas 🙂 You bring the baked goods, I’ll bring the coffee lol Happy Friday 🙂

    • Erin

      Haha, sounds perfect!

  2. michelle

    These look so good! I’m pinning, they’d make a great addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table!

    • Erin

      Thanks, Michelle! These really would be a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table — let me know what y’all think!

  3. Becky

    I’m obsessed with everything pumpkin!! These sound amazing and perfect for fall gatherings! Thanks for sharing!

    • Erin

      You and me both, Becky! Thanks so much — these really are a fabulous fall dessert!

  4. Eileen

    These guys sound so good! And I would also get to eat them all myself, since I am the only cheesecake-eater in our household. I think I may have just talked myself into making some!

    • Erin

      You win, lady! I had to share this pan with my husband, which, honestly, was more than enough for both of us… but the thought of having it to myself sounds crazy tempting! If you give these a shot, I’d love to know what you think!

    • Erin

      Thanks, lady! These really are quite delightful!

    • Erin

      TOTALLY acceptable to drool all over your desk. Because these really are quite awesome. Drool-worthy, even.

    • Erin

      You definitely should, lady! These are amazingly decadent and delish!

  5. laurasmess

    Gorgeous layers… what a delicious idea Erin! And as for comfort food? ALWAYS ready. Particularly as the weather cools down, I’m all for some delicious indulgence! I’ve never tried pumpkin and chocolate before but after trying a few sweet spiced pumpkin things I am up for the challenge! xx

    • Erin

      Thanks, sweet Laura! Comfort food is absolutely the best, especially when the days draw shorter and the weather grows chilly. You should absolutely give the chocolate and pumpkin combination a shot when you’re experiencing some fall weather in Australia! It’s quite wonderful!

  6. Elaine @ Dishes Delish

    Erin, these look so delicious! I can’t wait to make these!

    • Erin

      Thanks so much, Elaine! These are a favorite of ours, and I hope they become one of yours, too!

  7. Elaine @ Dishes Delish

    Erin, these look so delicious! I can’t wait to make these!

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