Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Why choose between cheesecake and brownies? With these rich and decadent Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies, you don’t have to decide! Easy homemade brownies topped with a smooth and creamy layer of pumpkin cheesecake are the perfect fall dessert!

pumpkin cheesecake brownies on a white plate.

Despite the unseasonably warm weather, there’s no denying that fall is in full swing.  Pumpkins line the steps to rowhomes in our neighborhood.  Everyone is thinking about Halloween costumes for their kids.

And I’m finally willing to step on the pumpkin dessert bandwagon.

It’s not that I don’t like pumpkin desserts — I do!  It’s just that I can’t get into them until it really feels like fall — which is not early September.  Sorry, folks.

But now that we’ve hit the second week of October, it’s about time.  So this week, I’m bringing you not one, but two, pumpkin desserts!

Where are you in the fall dessert scheme?  Team pumpkin? (Find all my pumpkin recipes here!) . Team maple?  (Maple recipes here!)  Team cranberry?  (Cranberry recipes here!)

Personally, I like all three.  But only in season!  (No pumpkin, maple, OR cranberry recipes before October, thank-you-very-much.)

Let’s start with these easy, delicious pumpkin cheesecake brownies.  Simple homemade brownies topped with a smooth and creamy layer of pumpkin cheesecake. Perfect for sharing — or keeping all to yourself!

The perfect combination of rich brownie, smooth and creamy pumpkin, and chocolate coating.  What a delicious way to welcome fall!

five pumpkin cheesecake brownies on a baking sheet.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Butter: The recipe is written for unsalted butter. Decrease the salt added to the recipe if you bake with salted butter.
  • Sugar
  • Eggs: Let them sit out at room temperature for a bit before baking.
  • Cocoa Powder: Use Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe.
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Flour: To keep these brownies gluten-free, use a 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free baking mix containing xanthan gum.
  • Cream Cheese: Bring the cream cheese up to room temperature first so it’s easier to mix!
  • Pumpkin: I always bake with canned pumpkin because it’s consistent in water content, but you can use homemade pumpkin puree if you have some on hand!
  • Brown Sugar: I love the extra flavor from brown sugar in the cheesecake layer, but if you don’t have any on hand, use granulated sugar instead.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spices: The recipe uses cinnamon and nutmeg, but add any other fall flavored spices you like – cardamom is delicious here, too!
  • Chocolate: Use chopped chocolate or chocolate chips for the ganache – chopped chocolate is always smoother and melts better, but chocolate chips also work if it’s what you have on hand.
  • Heavy Cream: Stick with heavy cream for the ganache – don’t try to substitute in milk or half-and-half!
  • White Chocolate: Optional, but I love the look of these brownies with a drizzle of white chocolate on top!
pumpkin cheesecake brownie on a plate with a hand holding a fork.

Easy Brownie Recipe

First up, the brownies!  These are easy homemade brownies — we’re talking mix by hand in one bowl easy.  Like, shouldn’t possibly be so easy to make something so delicious brownies.

If you’re not into baking brownies from scratch, you can absolutely use a boxed mix instead. Follow the directions on the box and bake in a 9″ square baking dish.

To make the brownies, whisk together the melted butter and sugar in one mixing bowl and combine the eggs, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and vanilla extract in a second bowl. Add the butter and sugar mixture into the cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth. Finally, fold in the flour, stirring until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into a 9″ square baking dish.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer

Next up: pumpkin cheesecake layer.  You’ll probably want to pull out your mixer for this one, unless you have some serious arm power to beat that cream cheese.  But it’s also super easy — just dump the ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Try not to overmix to keep the cheesecake layer nice and creamy!

Pour the cheesecake layer over the brownie batter and bake for 55-60 minutes.

Once they’re baked, we’ll make these finger-food friendly.  No one wants to hold on to a layer of cheesecake.  We’ll solve this problem by adding a layer of chocolate ganache on top, and then a few white chocolate drizzles.

one pumpkin cheesecake brownie on a plate with one bite removed.

Refrigerating Cheesecake Brownies

This is one of the most commonly asked questions I get about these brownies.  And in order to answer this, we need a little… kitchen chemistry!

Kitchen Chemistry

Sugar acts as a preservative.  Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water.  It can draw the water out of dairy, thus reducing the amount of water available for the growth of bacteria.  Butter, cream, and cream cheese are stabilized by all the sugar, and thus safe to store at room temperature for up to three days if the sugar content is sufficient.

Cream cheese is roughly 33% fat and up to 55% water.  You’d need (roughly) one pound (4 cups) of sugar half-pound (8 ounces) of cream cheese to stabilize the cheesecake layer enough to let it sit out at room temperature.

Of course, these are baked, which does dry out some excess moisture.  But there is still not nearly enough sugar (1/3 cup) to account for all the liquid in the cheesecake layer (cream cheese AND canned pumpkin) to safely store these without refrigeration.

So the answer then is: yes!  These cheesecake brownies should be stored in the refrigerator. And the good news is: they’re delicious straight out of the fridge.  The brownie feels extra dense and fudgy when cold – the perfect compliment to the smooth cheesecake layer.

overhead angle of pumpkin cheesecake brownie with two forkfuls removed.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

  1. Use High-Quality Ingredients: Select high-quality cocoa powder, real pumpkin puree, and good quality cream cheese to enhance the flavor of your brownies and cheesecake layer.
  2. Pumpkin Spice: While the recipe calls for nutmeg and cinnamon, feel free to add your favorite fall pumpkin spices, like cloves or cardamom, or use a premade “pumpkin pie spice” blend.
  3. Avoid Overbaking: Be cautious not to overbake the brownies, as this can dry out the pumpkin cheesecake layer. Bake until the edges are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs
  4. Chill for Optimal Texture: After baking, allow the brownies to cool at room temperature for a bit before transferring them to the refrigerator to chill. Chilling helps the cheesecake layer set properly and enhances the overall texture.
  5. Store in the Refrigerator: Pumpkin cheesecake brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes:

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Yield: 12 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Chilling: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Why choose between cheesecake and brownies? With these rich and decadent pumpkin cheesecake brownies, you don’t have to decide!


For the Brownies:

  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups (297 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (63 grams) Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) all-purpose flour

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake:

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (227 grams) canned pumpin
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (71 gams) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 cup (170 grams) semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (42 grams) white chocolate, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a 9″ square baking dish with parchment paper, extending the paper over the edges to form handles and grease.
  2. Combine the melted butter and sugar in a small bowl, whisking until smooth and shiny. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Whisk by hand for about 5 minutes, until well combined. Add the melted butter mixture to the cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth. Add in the flour, stirring just until the flour is incorporated.
  3. To make the pumpkin cheesecake layer, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  4. Spread brownie batter in prepared pan. Pour the pumpkin cheesecake layer evenly over the brownie layer. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean. Leave at room temperature until cool, then refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 1 minute, stirring well. Repeat until the chocolate ganache is smooth. Pour ganache over the brownies and smooth with an offset spatula. Return to refrigerator until ganache is set. Melt white chocolate and drizzle overtop brownies. Cut into 12 bars and serve. Store covered in the refrigerator.


Pumpkin cheesecake brownies can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, wrap a full pan in foil or freeze individual bars on a cookie sheet, then wrap in foil, and once fully frozen store in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies: Easy homemade brownies topped with smooth and creamy pumpkin cheesecake. The perfect fall dessert!