Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

I happened upon this recipe via Smitten Kitchen and of course it’s a Martha originally.  I was tempted by the juxtaposition of chocolate and pumpkin because I’m usually not a huge fan of pumpkin-only sweets, always too much cinnamon or nutmeg or something, but the bittersweet chocolate balances it nicely.  The brownies came out cakey like others who commented on Smitten Kitchen but since I also followed Deb’s advice to use less sugar than the original called for, it came out to be a perfect coffee cake like treat!

I made the pumpkin puree by seeding and peeling a sugar pumpkin, chopping it up into cubes and steaming it until tender and then processing until smooth in a food processor.  It made about 3 cups.  And I toasted the pumpkin seeds for a nutritious snack!*

With the left over pumpkin puree I made Pumpkin Ice Cream from Simply Recipes.  A really great and easy recipe, but I had no brandy and so the ice cream hardened fast, rich and thick.  I have no photos to share unfortunately.  My friend, Elizabeth, recommended I pour (or spackle)  the ice cream into a pie crust as a filling which I thought was a brilliant idea!  So maybe I’ll take a photo of that later this week.

Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (I used 1 cup)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
  4. Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don’t set.
  5. With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.
  6. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.  I cut them into bite-size pieces that I placed in cupcake cups.


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2 Responses to Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

  1. liz says:

    im pretty sure there arent any brownies left after this weekend!

  2. ophile says:

    no, you guys didn’t’ completely clean me out like I’d hoped! but there is plenty of ice cream left! I’m going to try your pie idea!

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