My family always saves room for these brownies and for good reason! Those luscious swirls of cream cheese running through these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies infused with all the best fall spices make them an extra special dessert for your holiday dinners.
I think that pumpkin and cream cheese are a match made in heaven. They just go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like rock and roll. Like bread and butter. But better.
Even though I call these bars “brownies,” there’s not one dab of chocolate in them. Nope. All pumpkin and spice. And cream cheese. And all yummy! They also have my favorite nut – pecans.
These Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies with warm spices and nuts have the texture of a cake-like brownie. They’re nice and springy with that delicious sweetened cream cheese layer swirled all throughout.
- Pumpkin Puree (You’ll need canned, pureed pumpkin for this recipe, not pumpkin pie mix.)
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, and Ginger (These are the classic ingredients for pumpkin pie spice and used in many pumpkin desserts. Purchase the ground version of each.)
- Cream Cheese (Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before using it.)
- Powdered Sugar (Also known as “confectioner’s” sugar.)
You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
How to Make the Brownies
Let’s Go Step-by-Step
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.
Preheat the Oven
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8×8 baking pan and set it aside.
Combine the Wet Ingredients
Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl for 2 to 3 minutes until well combined. The butter and brown sugar will have an appearance similar to grainy melted caramel.
Beat in the vanilla and eggs until light and creamy.
Add the pumpkin and beat until combined.
Be sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix. The puree is pure pumpkin where the pie mix contains spices and sweeteners.
Mix the Dry Ingredients
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices.
Add Dry Ingredients to Wet Ingredients
Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low speed of mixer. Stir in the pecans.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
Make the Cream Cheese Mixture
Add all ingredients for the cream cheese batter to a medium bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth.
Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. Cold cream cheese will not produce a smooth mixture.
Swirl the Layers
Spoon dollops of the batter on top of the pumpkin layer.
Lightly swirl the two batters together with a table knife.
Top with Pecans
Sprinkle the top with remaining pecans.
Bake the Brownies
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool completely. Cut into squares and serve. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Serve at room temperature.
To make cutting easier and cleaner, chill the brownies in the refrigerator before cutting.
How to Store
The brownies can be kept at room temperature in a sealed container for a day or in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. They can be wrapped tightly and frozen for 3-4 months.
Of course, you can omit the pecans in these brownies or substitute them with walnuts.
You can use fresh pumpkin in your brownies. It’s a bit more work, but not difficult. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy stuff. Cut the pumpkin into chunks. Bring about an inch of water to the boil in a saucepan and add the pumpkin. Let the water return to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for about 30 minutes or until a knife easily pierces the pumpkin. Drain and cool the pumpkin. Mash with a fork or potato masher and proceed with the recipe.
If I needed more brownies for a big family dinner or other occasion, I’d double the ingredients and divide the mixture between two 8×8 pans.
Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies
For the brownie batter:
- 6 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie mix
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ cup chopped pecans divided
For the cream cheese batter:
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl for 2 to 3 minutes until well combined. The butter and brown sugar will have an appearance similar to grainy melted caramel. Beat in the vanilla and eggs until light and creamy. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low speed of mixer. Remove mixer from bowl and stir in the pecans.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
- Add all ingredients for the cream cheese batter to a medium bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth. Spoon dollops of the cream cheese onto the pumpkin batter. Lightly swirl the two batters together with a table knife. Sprinkle the top with remaining pecans.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely. Slice and serve. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
- Use canned, pureed pumpkin for this recipe, not pumpkin pie mix.
- Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before using it.
- Powdered sugar is also called “confectioner’s” sugar.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on October 27, 2015. It has been updated with additional information.