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Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

I created this by taking my favorite cheesecake brownie recipe, which is about 40 years old, and kicking it up with pumpkin and spices. These will disappear fast, so consider doubling the recipe. —Judy Castranova, New Bern, North Carolina
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • CHEESECAKE BATTER:
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  • In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, dissolve coffee in water. Stir in the pumpkin, eggs and chocolate mixture. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture. Transfer to a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  • For cheesecake batter, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Beat in the sugar, vanilla and spices. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined. Spoon over chocolate batter. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl the cheesecake portion. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • If you're feeling adventurous, add a small amount (1/8 teaspoon) of cayenne pepper or chipotle chili pepper to the brownie batter. Tastes just like Mexican hot chocolate!
  • For an extra flavor boost, sprinkle 1/2 cup of toasted pecans over the top of your batter with the chocolate chips.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 bar: 197 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 157mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.

    Reviews

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    Average Rating:
    • Kathy
      Mar 20, 2020

      This was delicious,do to the virus I used a sugar free brownie mix and added pumpkin then I made the cheesecake filling.i put chocolate chips and chopped walnuts on top. It was so good my son ate most of it the first night. I will defiantly make this again.

    • spencer
      Jan 24, 2020

      best brownie EVER!!!!

    • Lynette
      Oct 23, 2019

      Can you omit the coffee or can I substitute something else for the coffee

    • Brandon
      Oct 11, 2018

      Good flavors in this recipe. Like others said, expect a cake to come out of the oven. This will definitely not produce a fudgy brownie-like product. Way too much flower and leavening for that. A lot of the negative reviews seem to focus on how its not like a brownie or there's not enough cheesecake. Some modifications I would try are: -Go ahead and use a full stick of butter, and don't melt it. Soften it instead and then cream the sugar in before adding the other wet ingredients. -Cut way back on the baking soda. Maybe 1/4 teaspoon, and even then you may not need that. Creaming the sugar into the solid butter will help with lift. -I have a feeling some flower could be left out, but I'd have to play around with how much. -Use a sugar/brown sugar mix, maybe start with a 3/4:1/4 mix and go from there. -If you want more cheesecake, you could probably double it up but I think you'd really have to change the baking process. Probably bake the chocolate base first for a few minutes, then pour the cheesecake on top. Also I wouldn't try this with the stock recipe. You'll probably end up with a mess in the oven.

    • JGa2595176
      Oct 21, 2017

      My kiddos declared they loved these bars. As others mentioned, I used a 13x9 pan, for a thicker bar. I agree, they should not be called cheesecake bars, they are surely a cake. The cheesecake layer, is maybe 1/4 of the bar thickness and that's in the 13x9 pan). That all said, good taste all around. I did bake a bit longer, by maybe 10 minutes, and they set perfectly. Would make again.

    • SusanCEA
      Dec 14, 2013

      Disappointing. Description said brownie recipe - it would have been good if the cake part remotely tasted like brownie

    • Irish One
      Nov 12, 2013

      Made these today and was disappointed. Used the 15x10x1 pan and baked for 25 minutes and yet the middle brownies were a ittle gooey. Husband said they were "OK" and that was probably better than I would have given them, the recipe is in the trash.

    • justmbeth
      Nov 3, 2013

      very good. I used milk chocolate chips because that was all I had on hand.

    • Danielle_09
      Sep 17, 2013

      Great taste! I was a little disappointed that it was more cakey than cheesecake. I expected to have a mouthful of cheesecake and that wasn't the case. Very thin topping of cheesecake mix. I also used a 9x13 pan and it did take longer to cook but I just kept my eye on it. It's definetly better the next day after it is settled and chilled.

    • Cheryl Clawson
      Oct 14, 2012

      No comment left