Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies


Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies |

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies |

There are a few things in life that I procrastinate on. One thing I tend to procrastinate on is spending money on something that I really don’t want to spend money on and feel that the money could be spent on something else aka things I actually want. What I’m talking about is, I have been procrastinating buying a new pair of work shoes for a really long time. I think I needed a new pair over a year ago but I seriously cannot justify spending $50 on a pair of work shoes. Call me cheap or selfish, but I’d rather put $50 into a pair of shoes I can wear on any other day but work days. I have a different outlook on work attire than others. People I know love dressing up for work. They say it’s the only time they can dress up and show off cute new outfits. Um, hello. Not true. You can make time & go on cute dates with your husband and dress up. Anyway.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I hate dressing up for work. Maybe that’s my nerdy IT developer mindset because I know some people see clients on a day to day basis so that’s why they probably need to dress up, but me? I come to work, sit in front of a computer all day, attend maybe one or two meetings a week, and that’s it. I just don’t have this urge to dress up so that’s why I hate buying stuff for work. When I deem something that’s “for work,” I do not wear any of it outside of work because it just gives me a weird vibe. I don’t want to feel like I’m at work outside of work, you know? Or you don’t? I’m just weird, huh?

SOOO YEAH. Long story short (or not really): I need a new pair of work shoes and I refuse to spend over $50 for them and I have been procrastinating like a kid who doesn’t want to clean up their playroom. It’s gotten to the point where the shoes I’m wearing are destroyed (like the heel is dunzo) so I’m forced to look for a new pair of work shoes.

Any ideas where I can go to look for cute work flats? DSW? Target? I haven’t had much luck with both those in a while…thoughts??

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies |

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies |

I love pumpkin, I love cheesecake, and I love brownies. The trifecta that are in these pumpkin cheesecake swirl brownies is pretty dang awesome. The brownies are SUPER moist on the inside (as you can see from that picture above) and the pumpkin cheesecake on top is just fantastic. I loved smelling this while it was baking in the oven. I think this would be the perfect dessert to bring to a friendsgiving party or to have on your Thanksgiving menu. :)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

Pumpkin, cheesecake, and chocolate, all in one decadent brownie - a trifecta of flavors!

Servings: 16
For the brownies:
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso, optional
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
For the pumpkin cheesecake topping:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  1. Adjust oven racks to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x9" baking pan with parchment paper and leave a one-inch over-hang on either side. Spray with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk cocoa, espresso, and boiling water in a large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk in butter and vegetable oil. The mixture might look a little funky, but it's ok. Add eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract and continue to whisk until mixture is smooth and everything is combined.
  3. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated then whisk in flour and salt. Fold in the bittersweet chocolate pieces.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and set aside while you make the pumpkin cheesecake topping.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin puree, egg, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat until mixture is smooth and incorporated.
  6. Taking a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls of pumpkin cream cheese batter onto the top of the brownie batter in no particular pattern. Take a toothpick or knife and drag it throughout the batter, swirling the pumpkin and brownie batters together.
  7. Bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is still jiggly. You don't want to over-bake these otherwise they'll be cakey!
  8. Let the brownies cool in the pan for 20 minutes then lift the brownies out of the pan with the parchment paper, and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Prior to cutting, place brownies into refrigerator for 30 minutes then use a sharp knife to cut them into squares. Clean off the knife every now and then if it gets too gummy.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Recipe Notes

Brownie recipe from Cook's Illustrated



Posted on October 30, 2013

dinner for two by julie wampler



Perfect for: singles & couples, newlyweds, empty-nesters, college students, YOU!


Order now:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo | IndieBound

Digital: Kindle | Nook | iBook | Google Play

Leave a Comment

Thank you for taking your time to leave a comment! I will do my best to respond to all comments that require a response.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 I have read and agree with the privacy policy.

  1. Kristyn
    10/30/2013 at 7:23 am

    These look fantastic, Julie! Awesome photos as always!

    • 10/30/2013 at 10:08 am

      Thanks so much Kristyn! :)

  2. 10/30/2013 at 7:26 am

    Why must you tempt me with this chocolate pumpkin goodness!?! :D P.S. I totally feel you with the dressing up thing. I’m so thankful that my work clothes are usually yoga gear. Is there a stitch fix equivalent to shoe shopping? If so, you should totally try it. :)

  3. 10/30/2013 at 8:33 am

    These brownies are gorgeous and totally awesome since I only just recently started to get into cheesecake. Now am I making cheesecake everything and these are making the list!
    Oh and the shoes? I have to say, I am the same way. I never want to spend money whether I want the item of not. I am just plain cheep as ever. LOL!

  4. 10/30/2013 at 8:52 am

    Wonderful!! Can I have these for breakfast?? ;)

  5. 10/30/2013 at 8:52 am

    I’m a lover of brownies as you can tell from my blog. With a pumpkin twist? Yum. 2 awesome flavors rolled into one!

  6. 10/30/2013 at 8:58 am

    Those look so good! What a great way to enjoy some pumpkin!

  7. 10/30/2013 at 9:08 am

    You just articulated my exact feelings about work attire! Button downs? No thanks unless it’s plaid flannel. ;-)
    Pumpkin cheesecake swirl brownies have to be one of fall’s greatest gifts to dessert kind. Love this trifecta!
    Side note if you have a second–what brand of dutch process cocoa do you like? I need to buy some and am wondering if there is a big difference between brands.

    • 10/30/2013 at 2:06 pm

      I don’t have a particular brand! I just grab whatever is at the store. I’ve used a Droste before and I’ve also used Hershey’s, if that helps! :)

  8. 10/30/2013 at 9:14 am

    Oooo, really beautiful Julie!! Nom Nom Nom!

  9. 10/30/2013 at 9:35 am

    i like dressing up for work but I spent more money on outfit rather than shoes. I have got couple pair from here and I use them only for work. They are super comfortable and will last you forever. On a side note, can I have them for breakfast?

    • 10/30/2013 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks for the heads up! I found some on there that I adore – might have to hit up the Naturalizer outlet this weekend to see if there are some steals ;) thanks!

  10. 10/30/2013 at 9:55 am

    These are amazing Julie. I don’t know about the shoes, but if you find some cute ones, PLEASE let me know!! Oh, try Macy’s- they get a lot of designers creating affordable lines.

  11. 10/30/2013 at 10:20 am

    These would sure hit the spot right about now with my coffee! Must make these!

  12. 10/30/2013 at 10:30 am

    Oh, have got to try these!! YUM!!

  13. 10/30/2013 at 10:45 am

    Oh my g. These look sooooo good.

    For work shoes, you cannot go wrong at DSW, or Marshall’s if there’s one nearby. Both have a great selection and really, really good prices. DSW has all the rewards points you can earn too!

    • 10/30/2013 at 2:08 pm

      Ah Marshall’s! I always forget about them! Thank you!

  14. Dawn
    10/30/2013 at 10:45 am

    I am looking forward to making these brownies this weekend!
    As far a practical, comfortable, cute work shoes…you have to get some Aerosoles. They make the best “work” shoes. I have gotten two pair of them at TJMaxx but you can get them other places and on-line as well. My favorite are a pair of red patent leather driving shoes .

    • 10/30/2013 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks for the Aerosoles tip! I’ve had a pair of them before and you’re right – they’re super comfy!

  15. 10/30/2013 at 11:15 am

    Wow, these brownies look amazing! Just might have to make them this weekend : )

    Ok, I hate getting dressed up to. The *best* place for cheap flats is Old Navy. You can order them online too. So many cute colors to choose from. You must try. And always search for coupon codes, I can almost always find a 20% off one.

    • 10/30/2013 at 2:08 pm

      Will have to go run to Old Navy next to my house to check those flats out!! Thanks!

  16. 10/30/2013 at 12:12 pm

    DSW yes. And these brownies. Yes. :)

  17. 10/30/2013 at 12:14 pm

    I used to hate having to buy work clothes and shoes. I always went to the clearance route :)
    Love the brownies, they look so fudgy!

  18. 10/30/2013 at 12:31 pm

    DSW for life!! And I too hate buy work clothes. Such a wast of money! Pass me these brownies!!!

  19. Kristy
    10/30/2013 at 1:12 pm

    For my “corporate attire shoes” i usually hit up the sales at Kohls. If you get a good sale then it’s well worth it. I get my flats there and spend anywhere from 19-40 for them and they last for a good 3 months of constant wear for 8-15 hours a day sitting/standing.

    • 10/30/2013 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks for the tip! I love Kohl’s!!

  20. 10/30/2013 at 1:48 pm

    I’m with you on work clothes, it sucks. But your brownies sure don’t – these look great!

  21. 10/30/2013 at 2:01 pm

    We both have brownies on the brain today! Love these!

  22. 10/30/2013 at 2:44 pm

    These look so amazing! I’m rushing to the store to make this tonight:)

    • 10/30/2013 at 3:41 pm

      Oh fun! Enjoy them :)

  23. 10/30/2013 at 2:51 pm

    I’m the same way with work clothes! Ok, my situation is a bit different because I work outdoors, but I will not let any of my work clothes touch my other clothes! I take them off in the laundry room the minute I get home, jump in the shower, and then put on ‘real’ clothes. I get ya. Totally.

    For shoes: Zappos. Seriously. If you are hesitant about ordering online, returns are SO easy. Just rebox, print a mailing slip, and drop off at UPS. Free returns. I ordered 4 pairs of shoes and kept 1 last month.

    Now you owe me a pan of these brownies ;)

    • 10/31/2013 at 8:01 am

      Ok, so I have a $18 credit at Zappo’s and I’m on their VIP account so I guess I have no excuse to NOT order from there, huh? Guess I’ll just have to go check it out. It’s so overwhelming though cause they have SO much and sometimes the filters don’t really work. Lol, I’m being annoying. I’ll gladly make a pan for you, love ;)

  24. 10/30/2013 at 3:03 pm

    OMG. Drool! These are all that I want right now. Perfect flavor combination, Julie!

  25. 10/30/2013 at 7:01 pm

    I need these brownies in my life, love the swirl!

  26. 10/30/2013 at 8:21 pm

    These are a request of my daughter’s friend since I owe her for scoring in their last soccer game, so now I have my recipe! I swear by Nordstrom Rack for shoes, it’s the only place I’ll go and now have such a hard time paying full price!

  27. 10/30/2013 at 8:23 pm

    Julie, I’m the same way about buying things that I don’t totally want to spend my money on… I can always think of 10 other ways I could spend that money. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies look so good! I’d gladly spend the money to get the ingredients. Recipe is pinned!

    • 10/31/2013 at 7:59 am

      Haha, that’s funny – I’m glad you’ll spend money on the ingredients :) these babies are worth it! Thanks girl!

  28. 10/30/2013 at 9:15 pm

    The swirl on these brownies has me cheering with happiness!

  29. 10/30/2013 at 9:20 pm

    I just cooked for three days straight but these make me want to jump right back in the kitchen!!

  30. 10/30/2013 at 9:58 pm

    These look so rich and decadent! My kinda dessert ;)

  31. 10/31/2013 at 11:57 pm

    Great-looking brownies, Julie!

  32. 11/01/2013 at 10:31 am

    I hate buying clothes for work – and I would rather be cute on dates with my husband, too! I work in construction, I mean this is no place to be all fance. And I will need new work clothes regardless – because dude, these have my heart in pieces!! YUM

  33. 11/01/2013 at 12:56 pm

    Do you ever shop @ I always get cute shoes from there. It’s a sample sale situation; rotating deals daily.

    P.S. I want to eat these. NOW.

  34. 11/03/2013 at 10:43 am

    These brownies look freaking awesome. I love pumpkin and chocolate together. The color always pops!

    Get a pair of Danskos! This may be a New England Crunchy Granola mom look though, not sure if they are “in.” But I live in mine. You can dress them up for work and they are also a life saver while working in the kitchen. I have back issues so I swear by them. They are more than you want to spend ($120ish) BUT they will last years. Mine are going on 5 years old and still look fine.

  35. Hilary
    11/04/2013 at 2:53 pm

    Can you also use box brownie mix or do you need to do homemade for it to turn out?

    • 11/05/2013 at 8:00 am

      You sure can use brownie mix, Hilary! The homemade brownie is just chewier and more moist so that’s why I made it that way. If you’re going to do this with boxed brownie mix, I’d read the instructions on the box on how long to bake it to ensure it’s cooked all the way through!

  36. 11/04/2013 at 3:45 pm

    Oh, Julie…I am SO with you on the work wardrobe budget thing! I like to wear nice clothes, but for work I don’t want to spend too much and would rather invest in nicer attire, like for dates with hubby as you mentioned. (These days I work from home, so no problem.) I always buy good shoes from Nordstrom as they started in shoes and carry the very best brands. So, for the discounts, visit your local Nordstrom Rack. These brownies ROCK! Love that you used the Cook’s Illustrated’s brownie recipe and your own pumpkin cheese cake swirl. Thanks for sharing! Pinning!

  37. 11/06/2013 at 2:57 am

    I actually want to dress up for work and look professional! LOL. But, that`s only because I just started working. I might not feel this way in a month…. :P

    These are a trifecta, indeed! Sounds and look amazing!!

  38. Diana
    11/08/2013 at 9:06 am

    I also HATE spending money on clothes, shoes you name it. BUT I’m in a wedding this winter which has forced me to look for cute, dressy, closed toed flats-and I won’t spend more than $20. I found a pair for $25 that I almost bought at Charming Charlie, but they had some of the same type marked down to $15-gonna wait to see if the color I want gets marked down, but I highly recommend!

  39. Adriana
    09/27/2017 at 2:24 pm

    Hi! This recipe looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it, except I will be using coconut oil instead.
    Oh! Have you thought about checking out your local thrift shops or online shopping on Poshmark (for new or gently worn shoes)? I bet you’ll like it, considering your stance on spending and shopping for work attire. Best wishes!

    P.S. You have the best taste in recipes!!!

    • Julie
      09/28/2017 at 8:46 am

      Thank you!

Back to Top