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There’s no better time for some memorable holiday baking that brings family and friends together like Fall! Celebrate the season this year with this Brownie Bottom Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Fudge Sauce – a super chocolatey, fudgy brownie layer with a spiced and incredibly creamy pumpkin layer on top, plus a chocolate fudge sauce “cobweb” drizzle for a fun Halloween twist! It’s a delicious combination of brownie bottom cheesecake and pumpkin cheesecake brownies – the best of both worlds!
It’s just as well that the holidays line up with Fall, because when the weather gets cooler and the leaves change color, all I can think of is desserts and cocktails. Not that I need another reason to bake desserts of course. One thing I enjoy more than I ever thought I would since moving to the US is Halloween! 🙂 It’s one of my absolute favorite times of the year and I can only imagine how much fun I would’ve had if I celebrated it as a kid. It also puts me in a creative mood with the sweets and treats I make and then it’s double the fun! 🙂 Tell me again, why is it not a national holiday??
Mr K and I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional sense – except for the fact that we use it as an excuse to bust out our favorite food, drinks and desserts. One of our favorite Fall desserts is pumpkin cheesecake!
Over the last few years, it’s become a tradition of sorts for us to celebrate Fall by pairing pumpkin and chocolate in a dessert. Last year, we made these delicious pumpkin cheesecake profiteroles with a chocolate glaze that were a wonderful bite-sized treat and served as an alternative to pumpkin pie in our Thanksgiving spread. This year I wanted an upgrade on my pumpkin cheesecake, and this combination of decadent fudgy chocolate brownie with creamy, tangy, spiced pumpkin cheesecake was all that and more! Is it a pumpkin cheesecake brownie? Or a brownie bottom pumpkin cheesecake? I’d say it’s the best of both worlds and absolutely decadent!
Another fun project that I’ve taken up this year – teaching my hubs how to bake cakes! 🙂 He has baked a few occasional treats before, but never a cake or a cheesecake, so I decided to start him at the same place where I started – with a baking mix. I started all my baking adventures with a trusted baking mix – and I chose Pillsbury™ this time for that same reason.
I started baking with my mum when I was in kindergarten, helping her out in the kitchen, and while she always baked from scratch, she’d often get me my favorite baking mixes to get me involved as well. I still remember the first things I baked were chocolate cupcakes and bundt cakes, using these baking mixes. I still use baking mixes because they are a great shortcut, and with these Pillsbury™ Limited Edition Fall Flavor Baking Mixes, you’ve got a brilliant starting point for some truly memorable Fall baking this year for your family and friends!
And with Halloween just around the corner, Pillsbury is also offering (for a limited time) Halloween themed baking mixes. I was thrilled for the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Halloween Premium Brownie Mix, and loved giving my brownie bottom cheesecake a Halloween spin to celebrate the spirit of the season!
It’s a Fall flavored, Halloween themed Brownie Bottom Pumpkin Cheesecake, and a no-holds-barred indulgent treat, because that’s what a cheesecake is supposed to be. 🙂
NOTES ABOUT THE RECIPE
The brownie mix is very easy to make that even Mr K was able to do it all by himself! 🙂 We made it according to package instructions except that we did not add the orange, white and black Halloween funfetti to the mix. In addition we also added extra chocolate chips to make the brownie bottom super fudgy. Clearly the colored funfetti would not show in the brownie mix since that was the bottom layer, so we opted to sprinkle those on top of the cheesecake instead. I love the burst of color they add to this dessert, plus the crunch from the funfetti is also great!
The pumpkin cheesecake layer is just as easy. One important thing to remember when it comes to cheesecake is that – YOU NEVER want to overbeat your cheesecake batter. This can be one of the main reasons for a cracked cheesecake. Another reason is the baking temperature and sudden temperature changes in particular.
When making cheesecake, I always cream the cream cheese with sugar well, before adding eggs and other additions. These are then mixed through only until just combined. That way I avoid overbeating the batter. The pumpkin cheesecake here is wonderfully creamy with just a hint of sweetness. Since there’s a brownie bottom, I didn’t want the cheesecake to be too sweet, but it has just the right amount of sweetness to be enjoyed on its own too.
An important note about the pan I used – I have used 8 inch and 9 inch pans to make this. If the sides of your pan are less than 3 inches in height, you will need to insert a parchment paper collar to make sure the sides are high enough for your cheesecake (like I have here). If you have a high side cake tin, then use that instead. If you have a high side Springform cake pan, even better. But definitely line it with parchment paper to make it easier to release the cheesecake from the pan.
If you use an 8 inch cake pan, this recipe will give you a cheesecake layer that’s a little larger than the fudgy brownie layer. With a 9 inch cake pan, the layers will be more equal since the cheesecake spreads out a little more. But that’s just a minute detail that doesn’t take anything away from how indulgent this treat is!
I also coated the sides with some white chocolate ganache, but that’s completely optional! I just like the smooth sides that the ganache creates and how it adds to the aesthetics of this dessert. If you have a sweet tooth, that white chocolate ganache is perfect. If not, you can leave it out altogether.
This brownie bottom pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate fudge sauce truly is the best of both worlds. A very chocolatey, rich, fudgy brownie layer with a touch of coffee flavor, and a creamy, indulgent cheesecake layer with some warming spices, and with all the colors and flavors of Fall – this is perfect for Thanksgiving. Then the addition of the fudge sauce “spider web” and funfetti transform this into a Halloween dessert too!
Here’s to some decadent holiday baking this year! 🙂
- 1 box of Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Halloween Premium Brownie Mix
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup of oil
- ¼ cup of water
- ½ cup of chocolate chips
- ½ tsp instant coffee granules (optional)
- 3 cream cheese packets (24 oz)
- ¾ cup / 175g white sugar
- 10 oz pumpkin puree
- 2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt (to enhance flavor - optional step)
- ¾ tsp pumpkin spice
- ¼ cup cream
- 4 oz white chocolate
- 1.5 oz cream (in weight)
- ⅔ cup heavy or whipping cream
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 1 espresso shot
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, I used Valrhona natural cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp of kosher salt
- 7 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a 9 inch pan (at least 3 inches in height) with parchment paper.
- Prepare the brownie batter according to package instructions, but do not add the funfetti.
- Dissolve coffee granules in 2 tsp of warm water and mix this into the brownie batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
- Let it cool slightly. Lower oven temp. to 300°F.
- Using a hand beater, whip the cream cheese and sugar together until creamy and smooth.
- Add the pumpkin puree, cornstarch, eggs, egg yolk, salt, cream, pumpkin spice and vanilla to the cheesecake batter and mix on medium speed until all ingredients are combined. Do not overbeat.
- Using a spatula fold the mix to ensure the batter is smooth and mixed well.
- Pour this on top the of the slightly cooled brownie layer.
- Bake in preheated (300°F) oven for 1 hour, until the cheesecake is set, but slightly wobbly in the middle when you gently shake it.
- Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool inside the oven while leaving the door ajar.
- Remove cheesecake from the oven, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Peel off the parchment paper to decorate and serve.
- Heat the white chocolate and cream together in the microwave in 30 second bursts, while stirring in between, until the chocolate chips have melted.
- Mix until you have a smooth white chocolate ganache. Let it cool slightly.
- Using an angled spatula, coat the side of the chilled cheesecake with a thin layer of white chocolate ganache.
- Place all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan.
- Heat pan on medium high heat and whisk the mix to melt the sugar and cocoa powder.
- Bring the mix to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate and butter.
- Pour the chocolate into a glass jar and let it cool completely before using.
- Drizzle chocolate fudge sauce along the edge and sides of the cheesecake to create a drip down effect. Drizzle the sauce in a thin stream to form a “cobweb” on the surface of the cheesecake.
- Sprinkle Halloween funfetti on top.
- Slice with a warm knife for clean edges and serve (with or without whipped cream). Enjoy!
Head over to your local Target store to grab a few boxes of Pillsbury™ Limited Edition Fall Flavor Baking Mixes, including the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Halloween Premium Brownie Mix. You can find them in the HALLOWEEN CANDY AISLE (not the baking aisle!) along with plenty of Halloween themed candies and decorating tools.
These Pillsbury™ Fall flavor baking mixes and other baking mixes and frostings are now 10% off for a limited time at Target with the Cartwheel offer. Offer available: 10/23 – 10/29
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