Pumpkin Brownies Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min.
Love fall baking? Our pumpkin brownies start with decadent, chocolaty brownies but then take an unexpected turn with a delicious pumpkin swirl running throughout.

Updated: Jun. 13, 2024

Our pumpkin brownies aren’t just brownies with pumpkin puree hidden inside as a diminished ingredient used to replace oil. No, these brownies celebrate everyone’s favorite fall flavor by turning pumpkin puree into a pumpkin pie filling-like batter that’s layered, twirled and swirled into homemade chocolate brownies.

The pumpkin batter creates a bright orange garland that trails throughout the tender brownies, so you’ll be able to bite into a warmly spiced, velvety, uber pumpkin-y filling within decadent chocolate brownies.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Brownies

  • Sugar: We sweeten the brownie batter and pumpkin batter with granulated sugar. At first glance, it looks as though there are a lot of different ingredients for this recipe. However, both the brownie batter and pumpkin batter use almost all the same ingredients. Just make sure you have enough for both.
  • All-purpose flour: You’ll need 3/4 cup all-purpose flour for the brownie batter, plus 1 cup for the pumpkin batter.
  • Baking cocoa: Whenever I make brownies, I find a huge difference in taste when I use one of the best cocoa powder brands. A good cocoa powder should be both sweet and bitter, with a very dark brown, slightly reddish hue.
  • Baking soda: Double-check that your baking soda hasn’t expired. We use it in both batters for this recipe, and it would be a shame if they didn’t rise properly!
  • Canola oil: Neutral-flavored canola oil creates a soft, tender texture. Feel free to use melted butter if it saves you a trip to the store.
  • Eggs: If you can remember, take the four eggs out of the fridge 30 minutes before starting this recipe to bring them to room temperature. Room-temperature eggs will make for much better emulsion in both batters.
  • Vanilla extract: Just 1 teaspoon vanilla extract is a small way to enliven this pumpkin brownies recipe with sweetness and delicate floral flavors.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: We pack in the flavors of fall with 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.
  • Canned pumpkin: Grab one of the best canned pumpkin brands from the store. Stock up on a few if you plan on making more pumpkin desserts, like a classic pumpkin pie or this contest-winning pumpkin cheesecake, before the season is out.

Directions

Step 1: Mix the brownie batter

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment, letting the ends extend up the sides. Grease the parchment with baking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, all-purpose flour, baking cocoa, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Step 2: Create the pumpkin batter

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, all-purpose flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Step 3: Layer and swirl the batters

Evenly spread half the brownie batter into the prepared pan to all edges and corners of the pan. Don’t be alarmed if the layer seems thin—it should be! Then drop half the pumpkin batter by tablespoonfuls over the top. Gently spread the pumpkin batter to cover most of the brownie batter. Drop the remaining pumpkin and brownie batters by tablespoonfuls over the pumpkin layer. Gently swirl the batters on top with a knife or toothpick.

Step 4: Bake the pumpkin brownies

Bake the pumpkin brownies until a toothpick comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the brownies in the pan on a wire rack at room temperature. Lifting with the edges of the parchment, remove the pumpkin brownies from the pan. Cut them into bars and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Add some mix-ins: Try throwing in some different mix-ins! If you like nuts, stir 1 cup chopped walnuts into the pumpkin batter before adding it to the pan. You can also add 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the brownie batter—just keep in mind that it’ll be a little more difficult to spread a thin layer over the bottom of the pan.
  • Finish with a topping: Want to take this pumpkin brownies recipe over the top? Drizzle on a sticky salted caramel sauce, a thick and creamy fudge frosting, or something lighter like a nutty hazelnut whipped cream.
  • Bake in a different pan: Don’t have a 13×9-inch pan? No worries! Instead, bake these pumpkin brownies in a 12-inch skillet, two 9-inch round pans or two 8-inch round pans.

How to Store Pumpkin Brownies

Store these pumpkin brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Just make sure they’ve cooled to room temperature first before storing. To extend the brownies’ shelf life by a couple of days, store them in the fridge.

Can you freeze pumpkin brownies?

Absolutely! Once the pumpkin brownies have cooled to room temperature, place the pieces in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to enjoy your pumpkin brownies again, let them thaw in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for an hour.

Pumpkin Brownie Tips

Can you use homemade pumpkin puree instead of canned?

You can use homemade pumpkin puree if you have it on hand, but our Test Kitchen cooks actually prefer to use canned pumpkin for fall baking. The water content can vary in homemade pumpkin purees, altering the texture and taste of your pumpkin dessert recipes.

Canned pumpkin, however, will always have the same texture as the can of pumpkin next to it on the shelf. And, honestly, we just find that canned pumpkin tastes better too. Perfectly silky and vibrantly orange, canned pumpkin is the all-around winner for us.

What can you serve with pumpkin brownies?

They’re delicious by themselves or as the base for a fall brownie sundae. If you do decide to add ice cream, go for an autumnal flavor: Homemade pumpkin ice cream is perfect for these brownies if you have an ice cream maker at home. A pint of the best vanilla ice cream or the best chocolate ice cream from the store works well too.

After-dinner drinks like port or whiskey make excellent sippers with pumpkin brownies. A creamy milk stout or a porter with coffee and caramel notes complements the sugary pumpkin and complex chocolate notes. Or, grab your favorite pumpkin ale or pumpkin cider, because ’tis the season.

Pumpkin Brownies

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 25 min
Yield 20 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • PUMPKIN BATTER:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13x9-in. baking pan with parchment, letting ends extend up sides; grease paper. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk oil, eggs and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. For pumpkin batter, in a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk pumpkin and eggs; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Spread half the cocoa mixture into prepared pan (layer will be thin). Drop half the pumpkin mixture by tablespoonfuls over top; gently spread to cover most of brownie mixture. Drop remaining pumpkin and cocoa mixtures by tablespoonfuls over pumpkin layer. Gently spread and swirl.
  3. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Lifting with parchment, remove from pan. Cut into bars.

Nutrition Facts

1 brownie: 189 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 37mg cholesterol, 165mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

Chocolate and pumpkin pair up to make a family-favorite fall dessert. These pumpkin brownies are fantastic for parties and picnics. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen