Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Brownie Bars

Happy  Thanksgiving all! I’m sure that you’re knee deep in preparations but I couldn’t resist posting one last “Thanksgiving-y” recipe. I’ve had this idea running around in my head for awhile now. It involved brownies topped with a pumpkin and cream cheese swirl. Yesterday afternoon I finally had the opportunity to try them out. I was so pumped, thinking about how good they were going to be! I had pulled some cream cheese out of the fridge a couple of hours before so it was nice and softened. I started melting some chocolate and butter together (really can’t go wrong there!) and then began pulling the rest of the ingredients out of the cupboard. Which is when I realized I was completely out of sugar! A travesty! I was also without a vehicle yesterday, so know quick run to the store was an option. Not that dragging my 4 kids out to the store would have been a desirable option anyway:-)

I was at the point of no return people. I had gone too far to turn back. Well, not really, but I wanted those brownies! So I subbed a mix of brown sugar and powdered sugar for the sugar. My rational? Yeah, I didn’t really have one. I didn’t think that either one would really work ideally as a replacement so I used both!

And you know what? These are really good! They don’t really seem like a brownie to me, which is why I called them a “brownie bar”. They are an interesting cross between cakey and fudgy and the pumpkin cream cheese swirl is delicious. I would be interested to see how they are with white sugar, but these are definitely delicious in their own right!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Brownie Bars

  • 6 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar*
  • 1/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and sugar together over low heat. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt, and corn syrup until light and fluffy.
Stir the flour into the chocolate mixture. Fold the chocolate batter into the egg mixture, stirring to combine. Spread the batter into a greased 9×13 pan.
For the cream cheese/pumpkin swirl: with a mixer beat together cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Drop in even spoonfuls over brownie batter.
Bake for  30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out just a bit moist.
*Note – I used 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, they were delicious (I wouldn’t share them otherwise) but I’m anxious to hear if any of you try them with white sugar. Let me know!
Brownie component adapted from King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion.



  1. says

    I would choose brown sugar over the finer white granules, anytime…except perhaps when decorating or when sprinkling for a sweeter taste. But for batters, mixtures or any other cooking preps, its gonna be the coarser variety, for me. The less processed perhaps is the main reason, I don’t know or just plain preference. Anyway, your brownie bars look really amazing…Love the mix with cream cheese which is another fave in our household. Happy Thanksgiving…I am ready to dive in the preparations in a few…

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