Three layer Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies are the perfect Halloween Fall treat! Easy brownies and a cream cheese pumpkin layer topped with chocolate ganache.
As if I didn’t love brownies enough, these pumpkin cheesecake bars knock any traditional brownie out of the park. They are dressed up with fall-colored sprinkles to make your Halloween or fall party worth something to celebrate.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Starts with a box brownie mix. Our favorite box mix is Ghirardelli.
- Fluffy no bake pumpkin cheesecake filling.
- Silky chocolate ganache on top.
- Makes a small 8×8″ pan.
Three Layer Brownies
So what are the three layers of these pumpkin cheesecake brownies?
- Brownie. A box brownie mix works great, but you can make homemade brownies if you’d like.
- Pumpkin Cheesecake. A delicious no bake filling that you’ll whip up in minutes. With real pumpkin puree.
- Chocolate Ganache. Made from semi-sweet chocolate.
Make the Brownies
The first layer starts with a boxed brownie mix. Make it according to package directions. If you choose a 9×13 brownie box size and bake them in a 8×8 baking pan, they’ll end up thicker. We like to follow the “cake-like brownies” instructions.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer
The pumpkin cheesecake layer is a no-bake pumpkin cream cheese mixture. Add a little brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and salt…then fold in whipped cream so the mixture is light and fluffy.
If you’d like the pumpkin layer to be a little more “orangey”, making it festive for the holiday, add a drop or two of orange food coloring.
Be sure the brownie layer is cool before spreading this delicious pumpkin cheesecake flavored mixture on.
How to Make Chocolate Ganache
The top layer of these brownies is chocolate ganache. Chocolate ganache sounds fancy and you may think it is hard to make, but it really isn’t.
Heat the butter and heavy cream together until it is very hot, but not yet boiling. Add the chocolate and push it down so the cream is covering it. Allow the mix to sit for 3-5 minutes. During this time, the chocolate will melt. Then stir the chocolate/cream mixture until it is fully mixed…shiny and smooth.
Allow the ganache to cool (but not harden) before spreading it on the pumpkin cheesecake layer.
Be sure to allow the ganache to set before you cut the bars. They will cut much more cleanly this way.
Easy Halloween Brownies
To keep these brownies festive for the holidays, we sprinkled on some fall colored sprinkles while the ganache was still wet. Leaf or Halloween themed sprinkles would be cute, too.
How to Store Brownies
It is best to allow these bars to chill before serving. Place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator.
Because these bars have a cheesecake layer, it is necessary to refrigerate them. If you’d like them not to be cold, remove them from the fridge 2 hours before serving so they can come to room temperature.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
- 1 box brownie mix (around 18 ounces)
- Ingredients called for on the back of the brownie box mix for cake-like brownies (usually egg, oil and water)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch of salt
- 2-3 drops orange food coloring (optional)
- 8 ounces heavy cream (whipped to stiff peaks)
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, set aside.
- Mix the brownie mix according to the package directions (for cake like brownies) together in a large bowl. Spread in the prepared pan and bake according to package directions until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- While the brownies cool, make the ganache. In a microwaveable bowl, heat the heavy cream and butter for 30-60 seconds until butter is melted and the cream is warm to the touch, but not boiling hot. Add the chocolate, submerging it completely beneath the cream for 4-5 minutes, then stir well until combined. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and beat until thoroughly combined.
- Gently fold in the whipped cream and food coloring (if using). Spread the cheesecake mixture on top of the cooled brownies, evenly smoothing the top with a spatula.
- Pour the cooled ganache over the pumpkin layer and spread it in an even layer. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before slicing into squares and serving.
- Store the brownies in the refrigerator.