Pumpkin Swirl Brownies {revisited}

What are your pantry staples? Currently I can’t live without spare cans of pumpkin. I get uneasy if I’ve only got one can left. They hang out in the cupboard with black beans, half-full boxes of noodles, and honey.

I also like to buy giant bars of chocolate from Trader Joe’s that I can cut up and put in cookies or brownies like these! When I cut up chocolate I like to transfer it to a bowl using wax paper or parchment. Then you don’t lose any of the little morsels and shavings.

Otherwise I get chocolate everywhere! So I’m thankful for wax paper keepin’ it real in the chocolate transferring business.

I made these guys before. They were the first time I realized how good pumpkin and chocolate are together! It’s as if they met in college on a fall day like today, noticing each other’s good looks, and loving each others shoes.

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart via Smitten Kitchen


  • 8 T (1 stick), unsalted butter
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups solid-packed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • handful of chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish, or line the pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. (The foil technique makes for super easy clean up and easy cutting. Once removed from the oven, simply lift the brownies out of the pan using the tin foil and cool on wire rack. This may be old news to you, but it’s exciting to me!).
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave for short spurts at a time), stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in another large bowl and beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in flour mixture.
  4. Pour half of batter into a separate bowl and stir chocolate mixture into it. In your mixing bowl containing the non-chocolate batter stir in the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  5. 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.
  6. With a small spatula or butter knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, if using.
  7. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares (or a various other amount and shapes…like me. I have trouble cutting equal sizes, in case you didn’t notice).
Good thing Trader Joe’s lets you return anything!*
*I didn’t want the one with peanuts, instead just one for casual baking.

11 thoughts on “Pumpkin Swirl Brownies {revisited}”

  1. These look SO incredibly good!! They’re gorgeous! I’ve never baked with pumpkin before, but I will have to try this. I love that they have cayenne in them.

  2. Beckie – thanks! You totally should bake with pumpkin this fall, I can’t stop!

    Laura – exactly! I get jittery too!

  3. you are so right, life is totes about balance. I love your wax paper trick! did that weirdo try to fist bump you when you returned your accidental chocolate?! he definitely doesn’t get no brownie for that business!

  4. I just made theese and they smell so good I’m just waiting for them to cool down enough to be handled. They’re a lttle raw in the middle but my oven is old and not always reliable I figured undercooked is better than raw.

  5. I have been making your recipes over the years and this one is probably my favorite. I use a 4oz bar of bittersweet chocolate since we don’t have 6oz size and it works just as well. I love your recipes! Thank you so much for sharing them 🙂

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