About four years ago, I took a big risk. I nixed my usual Thanksgiving dessert, chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream frosting, for these pumpkin cheesecake brownies.
I'd brought my cupcakes to Thanksgiving for almost six years and they'd become quite a staple, so changing things up with my foodie family wasn't easy. Luckily, these brownies turned out to be so delicious, those cupcakes weren't too missed.
Since then, I've always baked a batch of these decadent treats for our Thanksgiving feast, but I've also gotten braver and added desserts like cake pops to the mix. This year, I've decided pie pops will tag along.
I've adjusted this recipe a bit over the years and so far this mix has worked best for me. I've made my brownies from scratch, but the box works just as well when tweaked and is a little quicker to prepare.
1 box brownie mix (you can make your own, too)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons brewed coffee
2 tablespoons water
For Pumpkin Cheesecake
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
First, bring your eggs and cream cheese to room temperature. This is essential to a smooth cheesecake!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Next, prepare your brownie mix. In a large bowl combine the packaged mix with the other ingredients. Use a wooden spoon so that you don't over mix!
Set your brownie mix aside. In another large bowl, cream your pumpkin puree and cream cheese together. I do recommend using a standing mixer for this if you can since it gives the cheesecake a more airy, creamier texture, but a hand mixer will do the job almost as well.
Once the pumpkin and cream cheese are smooth, add in the egg. Then, mix in your confectioner's sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and vanilla extract. Set the cheesecake mix aside.
Pour 3/4 of the brownie mix into the greased pan. On top of that even layer, dollop heaping tablespoons of the cheesecake mixture. Follow that with dollops of the remaining brownie mix. Use a butter knife to create a marble effect by dragging it in a swirl motion throughout the batters.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely, then cut.