Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars

Oh, lord. Here I go with the cheesecake again.

I mean, it’s pretty much impossible not to love cheesecake, so why not one more push for pumpkin? Or wait…I might have yet another post in the pipeline with that lovely form of orange squash. Can you take one more after this?

Either way, this one is quite a literal winner. I entered these bars in a D.C. top chef-style contest a few years ago, and they cleaned up. I won not only the dessert category, but also the overall grand prize. So believe me, you want to make these.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars

Thanksgiving makes me bubbly excited, which is kind of nice. I like seeing people, I like eating pie, and I really like the Macy’s parade. It’s very reassuring to have these annual traditions, especially with all the turmoil and sadness surrounding us in the world right now.

It’s hard to know what to tell my children sometimes. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. How do we explain evil? How do we even begin to get into all of that when we don’t understand it ourselves?

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars

I used to think that adults had the answers, and one of my largest moments of disillusionment occurred when I realized that nope, they don’t know a whole lot more than kids do. Who can truly give us answers? Who can protect us? Who can make sure this world stays safe for our children?

If I knew, I’d tell you. A lot of survival depends on having faith that all will be okay, but of course, that’s not a guarantee. It’s hard to live without letting fear take too much hold.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars

It’sย in those moments of fear and doubt that I hide in a closet with dessert. It’s dark and I can just close my eyes, wipe my mind of everything but the flavors in my mouth, and forget for just a minute that our world is in some serious trouble.

Oh, and I should probably stop watching episodes of Heroes Reborn. It’s a lot of fun, but according to the show, the world is ending. Maybe I should watch more cute, funny TV. Or more reality baking shows. There can never be enough!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars

And there can never be enough cheesecake on top of brownie. This time of year, it’s pumpkin cheesecake. I really don’t have anything more to say about that, except that if you eat this, you will be very happy. I have some in the fridge waiting for another moment of panic.

Asย a bona fide grown-up, I wish I had more answers. Instead, all I have is dessert. So I guess that will have to do for now!


Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars


1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
Pumpkin Cheesecake
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa into the melted butter until it dissolves. Add the sugar and stir again. When the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and flour, mixing until just combined.
  3. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes until nearly, but not quite done.
  4. While the brownies are baking, prepare the cheesecake batter. In a mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Then add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat again until all ingredients are thoroughly and evenly incorporated.
  5. Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie layer and put the bars back in the oven for 25-30 minutes until firm and set.
  6. Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares and serve. Store chilled.


I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat.

    Those look like award winning cheesecake brownies, and I never get sick of pumpkin so I am definitely okay with seeing more recipes with it! And I agree, it’s so hard to know what to tell your kids when it comes to the horrible things going on. I tend to shield them from it, but I’m fairly certain that won’t last forever. Oh well, there’s always dessert!
    Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Chocolate Chip Pumpkin BreadMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I’m definitely trying to shied them, but they also hear and see things outside of my control. Oh, well. It’s just a scary time!

  2. Jasline (Foodie Baker)

    It is no wonder you win the prize, these brownie bars look so gorgeous and delicious!
    Jasline (Foodie Baker) recently posted…Mango Juice JelliesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Jasline! They were very popular!

  3. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    I don’t think you can ever go wrong with cheesecake, especially when pumpkin and brownies are involved! This looks fantastic, Mir! I love the mash up of desserts! I know this would be the hit of the dessert table on Thanksgiving!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Honey Glazed Pumpkin Banana BreadMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Nope, cheesecake wins every time. Thanks, Gayle!

  4. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary

    Unfortunately evil is a part of life. I don’t think its possible to protect our children or loved ones from it, or from hurt. You just have to live your life like every moment could be your last… or at least that’s how I live mine, without fear. Life is short and precious, it’s meant to be enjoyed with abandon. AND with LOTS of these bars! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can totally see why these won a competition, girlfriend (<– congrats BTW)! These look totally awesome. Brownies + Cheesecake + Pumpkin = HECK YES. This is a total winner for more than just Thanksgiving! Cheers, my dear! <3
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Egg, Turkey & Stuffin’ Muffins {with Blender Sage Hollandaise}My Profile

    1. Mir

      I’m full of admiration that you can live that full life without fear, Cheyanne. It’s something I’m always working on!

  5. Rachel @ Bakerita

    Can’t go wrong with combining pumpkin, cheesecake, and brownies!! These look so incredibly delicious, definitely award winning worthy ๐Ÿ™‚
    Rachel @ Bakerita recently posted…Paleo Cranberry SauceMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Rachel. It’s a pretty sweet combo!

  6. annie@ciaochowbambina

    This is a prize-winning bar if ever there was! I am feeling for the young parents of today…my kids were little during 9/11 and what I found was that going with their flow was our best option. We didn’t watch a lot of the media coverage and there were a lot of nights we’d stay at their bedside ’til they fell asleep. Tough tough times – it is hard to know what to say, I think it comes down to making them feel as safe as possible through consistent routines, things they can reliably count on, and lots of hugs and kisses! <3
    annie@ciaochowbambina recently posted…Ragรน Finto via โ€œBest Food Writing 2015โ€My Profile

    1. Mir

      That was also a scary time. I moved to D.C. on 9/11 in 2001 and I was sure my life was in danger. So yep, it’s not easy to think about these things, and now that I have children, it’s even harder. But the hugs and kisses are always a good idea!

  7. Shashi at RunninSrilankan

    CONGRATS on winning that D.C. top chef-style contest – with these bars! BTW – they look and sound totally scrumdiliumptious!
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Candied Ginger Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten Free)My Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Shashi! It was a good day, winning all that stuff!

  8. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Mir, so much to say. . first off, congrats on winning the dessert category and the overall grand prize in that contest!! these pumpkin cheesecake brownie bars look amazing!!! secondly, with the state of the world. . gosh. . so much sadness and bad shit going on. . what do you say to the kids?!!! Our kids are young. . mine don’t even know what’s going on outside of our family. . I don’t know how to explain terrorism to them and not sure I want to. . anyway, I guess all I can say is. . I’m thankful for my family and for our health . . and we should all take time to pause on the good things. . this week . . because if we stop and think about the bad, it can be overwhelming.
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower + A Giveaway!My Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Alice! That contest gave me the confidence to bake in public, or in this case, in blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ As for the scary stuff, yep. I’ve lived in D.C. since the day the terrorists struck on 9/11/01 (I had a pretty scary moving day, that’s for sure), and it’s hard sometimes to feel as though my children are going to have to deal with this kind of world. But you’re right, we’ve got to focus on the good stuff and just keep hugging the kids!

  9. Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks

    These pumpkin cheesecake brownies totally look like first place to me! I can’t get enough pumpkin or cheesecake right now! And about this end of the world TV watching – I recommend you change the channel to something a little happier like Dancing With the Stars or General Hospital! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks recently posted…Bourbon, Maple, and Brown Sugar Roasted Baby Rainbow CarrotsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Reality TV is much better, Rachelle. I’ve got to skip the news!

  10. mira

    Congrats on winning Mir! I can tell these are a winner by just looking at them! And your cheesecakes are always gorgeous! Pinning! And of course there is so much going on, I don’t have kids yet, but I can only imagine how it feels and how hard it is to explain what is going on, because we, ordinary people rally have no explanation…
    mira recently posted…Crepes With Whipped Chocolate Coconut CreamMy Profile

    1. Mir

      No, we can’t explain the worst stuff out there. I wish we didn’t have to have this as part of our reality, but at least there’s cheesecake!

  11. Amanda

    I’m not surprised that you won a contest with these. They look fabulous and very snazzy. I love cheesecake, but sometimes it can be a real endeavor to make one, so cheesecake in bar form is always a real winner with me!
    Amanda recently posted…Corn TorteMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I like snazzy, Amanda! And bars are so much better than doing the whole cheesecake.

  12. Manali @ CookWithManali

    congrats on winning the contest Mir, the bars look amazing so I am not surprised ๐Ÿ™‚
    Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Homemade Pie CrustMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Manali! It was a cool day!

  13. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    I just close my eyes and turn off the TV and shove cookies in Jordan’s face. Because she always has so many questions I can’t answer. And then she gets freaked out and then it’s just a THING. But since we’re spending holidays with family…they have no filters, so… BRING ON THE CHEESECAKE!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Peanut Butter Cup Cake RollMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Sounds like a good strategy, Dorothy. I have a no politics rule in my house discussion-wise at the holiday table, but people still try to break it. So frustrating!

  14. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    Who doesn’t love cheesecake? And brownies? These bars have it all ๐Ÿ™‚
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Garlicky Kale Salad with Balsamic Tofu & BroccoliMy Profile

    1. Mir

      We all love them both!

  15. Michele @ Alwayzbakin

    This dessert looks absolutely heavenly! Awesome that it won too. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Cheesecake is my downfall!
    Michele @ Alwayzbakin recently posted…Book Review: Food52-BakingMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Mine too, Michele!

  16. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    Congrats on winning – that’s amazing. Your blog is definitely the place to go for anything cheesecake related, especially when they contain pumpkin too.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Dip by DanniiMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Dannii! I do love the cheesecake bars!

  17. Aimee @ ShugarySweets

    Seriously, you can’t go wrong with cheesecake. And brownies. And chocolate. And pumpkin. These are a winner!!
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets recently posted…Pecan Pie Cheesecake BarsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Totally agreed. It’s a winning combo!

  18. Mary @ LOVE the secret ingredient

    Beautiful monologue in the article, sometimes the strongest thing we can do is having loving time with our family, make delicious dessert, and hope that our love for eachother can spread out and make an impact on other people we cross paths with.
    Mary @ LOVE the secret ingredient recently posted…Quick Weeknight Pasta and Tuna DinnerMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Exactly, Mary. Thanks!

  19. Jan

    This looks wonderful! I’ve got to try making them for Thanksgiving………forget the pumpkin pie! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Jan recently posted…Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie BarsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Jan! Hope you enjoy!

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