Sep 27, 2018
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These pumpkin swirl brownies are the perfect recipe to bring to any fall and holiday gathering. They are moist, easy to make, and delicious!
Adding this creamy pumpkin swirl to the brownie base will take this dessert to another level.
The Best Pumpkin Brownies
You simply can’t beat brownies. Within five minutes of entering the oven, my entire house smells of warm chocolatey bliss…and with the addition of pumpkin swirl in this recipe, it’s fall meets chocolate. You simply can’t go wrong!
I love to make pumpkin everything. Pumpkin Pancakes, soups, chili, cookies, pumpkin scones…you could say I love the flavor, taste, and smell.
Of course, my kids will devour anything brownie. At the slightest hint of the aroma making its way through the house my kids come running and I simply can’t get them into their hands fast enough! Add a tall glass of milk and these pumpkin brownies will turn any ordinary night into something special!
Pumpkin Spice Brownie Ingredients
Get ready to make this ultimate fall dessert recipe with these easy ingredients!
- Butter: the key to a super soft brownie.
- Bittersweet chocolate: a bar of baking chocolate is perfect!
- Flour: regular all-purpose or a 1:1 gluten-free flour.
- Baking powder: helps the batter rise.
- Salt: brings out the chocolate and pumpkin flavors!
- Sugar: half goes into the chocolate, and the rest into the pumpkin spice mixture.
- Eggs: give the brownies structure.
- Vanilla extract: makes baked goods taste better!
- Pumpkin puree: be sure it’s puree and not canned pumpkin pie.
- Vegetable oil: moistens the pumpkin mixture.
- Cinnamon: belongs in any pumpkin treat.
- Nutmeg: is what makes pumpkin spice rich and fragrant.
*Check the recipe card at the end of this post for the ingredient amounts and detailed instructions.
How to Make Pumpkin Brownies
Since this is a homemade brownie recipe, it does require melting the chocolate on the stove-top. Below I give you step-by-step directions so you don’t miss a step and these turn out with those beautiful swirls AND that delicious pumpkiny chocolate flavor.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9 x 13-inch rectangular baking pan with parchment paper.
- Melt the Chocolate
In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, add the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Turn off the heat and leave the chocolate there until you need it.
- Combine the dry ingredients
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Cream the sugar and eggs
In a separate large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy and combined, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Make the batter
Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar and egg mixture and mix to combine.
Divide the batter between 2 medium bowls. Add the chocolate mixture to one bowl and the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the other bowl of batter, stirring thoroughly to combine.
Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Top with the pumpkin batter in a swirl-like way.
- Give it a swirl
With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the 2 batters to create a marbled effect.
Transfer the pan into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the pan.
- Time to eat!
Remove the brownies from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving.
Watch this recipe video to see these moist pumpkin swirl brownies come together in real time.
Can You Add Pumpkin to Boxed Brownies?
Yes, you can use a box mix to make this recipe. All you have to do is omit the brownie ingredients and follow the directions on the box to make the batter.
Once the brownie batter is mixed, you’ll combine the canned pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl. You’ll mix that pumpkin mix with half of the brownie batter to create the pumpkin-flavored layer.
If you use boxed brownie mix, it’s important to note that you won’t get the “orange” swirl like the photos, since when making the batter from scratch we reserved half of the batter (with a white-yellow color) before we mixed it with the chocolate.
That said, using a box brownie mix is also a simple way to make the base and infuse your brownies with a delicious pumpkin taste.
This is one of those recipes that just can’t be made one time and then forgotten. Year after year I bring it out, it’s a perfect way to welcome the fall season! Bring this recipe to any fall or holiday party and you’ll be a rockstar.
And if you’re the one hosting Thanksgiving this year, and need more ideas to complete your feast check out the recipes in my Giving Thanks menu. It has 23 tested, crowd-pleasing recipes to give you options for years to come.
More Pumpkin Desserts
If you’re thinking about making these brownies then chances are you’re on a pumpkin kick, here are more incredible pumpkin desserts that are simple to make and yield tasty results.
Still craving more? Grab a copy of my Clean Treats Cookbook for healthier desserts that taste AMAZING.
Pumpkin Brownie Recipe
- 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 rectangular baking pan or dish with parchment paper or grease with cooking spray.
- Place the chocolate and the butter inside a heat-proof bowl. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Set a heatproof bowl over the saucepan melt the chocolate and butter while stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Turn off the heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Using a hand mixer in a large bowl or stand mixer, mix the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, on medium speed until fluffy and combined, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix to combine, stopping periodically to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Divide the batter between 2 medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Add the chocolate mixture to one bowl and stir to combine.
- To the non-chocolate mixture, add the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir to combine.
- Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Next, pour the pumpkin batter over the chocolate in a semi-swirl way. With a small spatula gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the pan.
- Remove from the oven and allow the brownies to cool on a wire rack before cutting into 16 squares.
I made this pumpkin brownie recipe twice. Once with the box mix and once with your ingredients. With the homemade version they definitely looked better because the pumpkin swirl was visible. The boxed mix was a shortcut to achieve the taste/flavor but the orange swirl is a light brown swirl. Both worked great as the end result.
I had the same “middle goo” problem. Also, I would recommend using about a cup of batter with the pumpkin — both for more orange and for better marbling. Wondering if it would make more sense in a larger pan since the brownies overall ended up being so tall in the pan. It was more cakelike brownies than gooey brownies. Appreciate the concept – didn’t work for me.
I don’t think this recipe adapts easily to using a boxed brownie mix and simply picking up at step 4. The boxed brownie mix is all chocolate versus the non-chocolate half of batter used for the pumpkin swirl in step 4. If using a boxed brownie mix, one would have to omit the first 2 ingredients, use half of the next 6 ingredients to make the non-chocolate batter which is then mixed with the last 4 ingredients for the pumpkin swirl.
Hi Laura, I only have a baking tray that measures 11.5 x 8.5 inches. This will make me 12 brownies. What measurements should I go by? If I half those ingredients it doesn’t sound like it will be enough?
That pan size will work, your brownies will not be as tall.
Could I blend a pumpkin myself as an alternative for canned puree?
You can, but the result will be thinner in consistency than canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is thicker and more concentrated. I haven’t tried it so I cannot advise on the texture.
I puréed and used my own roasted pumpkin and it came out great! My husband and picky daughter were surprised how good it was with the pumpkin in it! My boys devoured it! Great recipe! Will make again. Thank you!
Thank you for using my recipe, Christina! Thrilled everyone enjoyed it.
Per Martha Stewart’s recipe, she also had 1/4 tsp of cayenne and the sugar was increased by 1/4 cup. Wouldn’t that make a difference in taste?
Hi Bessie, as mentioned, I adapted it from her recipe. I did not add cayenne and I reduced the sugar. Mine came out great.
Can I do this using a box of brownies and a whole can of pumpkin? What should I do differently? My prep time is limited depending on how long my baby naps but these look so yummy!
I imagine you can use boxed brownie mix and just follow the directions starting at step 4.
Thank You for this recipe, it was great.
All year long, wow those look good!!
Thanks Matt! my pictures look almost as mouthwatering as yours. almost.
How much butter do you melt with the chocolate and how much butter is creamed with the sugar and eggs? There’s a bit of a mismatch in the instructions in the first part and in the recipe itself, so it’s unclear. Thanks!
Thank you for catching that discrepancy. The word butter should have been eggs in the post. The recipe card at the bottom is correct. the sugar is creamed with the eggs only. the butter is melted with the chocolate.
I made these tonight (on my “to-do” list forever), and baked in a 9×9 for 45 minutes. My husband checked them for me at 45 min at 350°, and pulled them out since I told him they would be gooey by your recipe. I’m super bummed that they are way undercooked in the center. Any idea what I did wrong besides not cooking them long enough? Also, what speed do you beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla? I guessed and used a medium speed.
Oh no! I’m not sure what happened but these should form up definitely by 45min. I beat my butter, sugar, eggs.. Etc on high but that should t matter. Do you have an oven thermometer ? Sounds like the oven could be running cold (just a 25deg diff will slow down cooking). So sorry!
I just realized that I used aluminum free baking powder. Do you think that may have made a difference?
It should not.
I think i divided the batter unevenly.the choc is thicker so i dint achieve the swirl
Is there any substitute you would recommend for the butter. Would like to make these dairy free if possible.
you can use ghee, coconut oil, or vegetable oil.
These are STUNNING!! Making these today!!
Made these yesterday to bring to a party for work tonight and was a bit dubious since they came out kind of dense and not as “pretty” as the posted pics. They tasted great, though, and my husband came up with a brilliant–if rather indulgent–way to make them prettier: we added a thin layer of pumpkin butter and a drizzle of heated nutella to the top. I’m writing this to tell you that they disappeared from the party food table before anything else. Probably didn’t even need the “prettying up” of those toppings, but they sure didn’t hurt. Thanks for the recipe!
OH.my.gosh!!! Nutella and pumpkin batter as a topping? delish!
Hi Laura, I know it’s an older recipe of yours but I just found it and looks awesome. I have some pumpkin ready to be used and just made some of your pumpkin pie muffins the other day that my daughter loves. Anyway, just wondering if you’ve tried this with coconut oil as substitute for either the butter and/or the vegetable oil? Also, do you think apple sauce and flax egg mix could substitute for the 4 eggs? Thanks.
Yes, I use coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil all the time! I have not tried the flax egg and I know the apple sauce won’t work 100% to substitute for the eggs. Sorry!
Can you freeze this? Looks amazing!
Yes! I usually bake, slice, and freeze.
Made this one too!!! My family,(especially my husband) loved it!! Oh, I made it gluten free too. Keep the recipes coming please! I think you have a fan 🙂 Also, just read about how you came up with your nick name “Super Glue Mom”, very horrifying! I pray for God to give me that kind of patience.
I’m so glad everyone loved them and that you were able to make them GF! Well, that was 5yrs ago… but yes… patience is something I continue to work on 🙂
Want to try the Pumpkin Swirl Cake,love pumpkin but cant buy it in tins in Australia.
Betty, you can make your own pumpkin puree. cook the pumpkin, puree and add a little cinnamon.
Recipe and pictures look divine!!!…….I have no time, working mom about to host Thanksgiving. Can I just add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg to brownie mix??
You can definitely mix the recipe instead of separating the batch. it won’t be as “pretty” with the swirls but the moisture and flavor is great!
The recipe says 9 in square but the picture looks more like a 9×13. Would you please tell me which is correct? Thank you.
It’s a 9square as in the recipe. I doubled the recipe to photograph since I was making a much bigger batch for company.
Wondering if I can use cocoa powder rather than bittersweet chocolate? Anyone know?
Powdered chocolate is not a substitute for “block” chocolate in this recipe. You can try substituting dark chocolate chocolate chips (the baking kind).
This is true! I used the cocoa powder because I didn’t read the comments and it did not turn out! I’m so bummed! I had to throw them away…they were so nasty! I am going to try it again though…this time the right way! I just wish I didn’t 1 1/2 the recipe! 🙁
I thought that’s what might have happened… 🙁 sorry!
If you did use dark chocolate chips like you suggested to one of the reviewers instead of the bittersweet chocolate, would it be sweetened chocolate or unsweetened?
I’ve used semi-sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips. Both have been sweetened.
Have you tried it with dark powdered cocoa?
Yes, you’ll just achieve a richer cacao flavor. If this is typically how you bake, you know that for a not so empowering flavor you need to reduce the amount by as much as a 1/4 th. Again, this is for dark cocoa, not the traditional powdered cocoa most people have (like Hershey’s).
Can you make this egg free? If yes, how? Thanks!
Hi…is there anything I can use as a substitute for eggs ? I am allergic to eggs.
Ishta, I have not tried this recipe without eggs. Sorry!
Kelly @ The Nourishing Home
Absolutely beautiful! And SO fun because I made a similar GF version for a baseball party and have yet to post on it. Your photos are SO incredible! They make me want to reach right through the screen and grab one!! I wish I lived next door! xoxo, Kelly
I wish you lived next door too!
This recipe looks amazing and I know the little people in my house would think they won big if I made it… Is there any way you would try a gluten free way of making it to share with those if us who are GF?
Thank you in advance 🙂
Jessica, you can use all purpose gluten free flour instead and it will work! 🙂
Just wanted to tell you how AMAZING your Pumpkin Swirl Brownies are! I had to bring something for our Football Homecoming Weekend (short notice) and made 4 trays of these for 150 people. So so many people kept coming to me asking where I bought them! I told them to look the recipe up here! They were a huge hit and will be a staple in our house now!
Thank you so much for letting me know that it was such a huge hit!! wow! you are brave making this recipe for 150 people!!! Go YOU!!!
Can they be made with almond meal instead of flour?
Jessica, I have not tried to make this recipe grain free. I’ve had it since 2004 way before I ate mostly grain free. sorry!
Do you think these would work with gluten free flour?
These Are Delicious! Do they Need To Be Refrigerated?
I usually make them when we have company so we rarely have many leftovers. I would refrigerate at the end of the day. 🙂