Thanksgiving is an American celebration and it’s just a few days away. We don’t celebrate it but the images on Pinterest in particular have been tempting me to bake. I’ve wanted to make Pumpkin Brownies for a while now but been hesitant to mix pumpkin and chocolate together. I finally caved into temptation this year. We do love chocolate and I’m especially partial to brownies. I also had a bit of really good pumpkin, a gift from my generous neighbour. The children in the family are at home for the holidays and they’re the best excuse for me to bake.
I’ve noticed that pumpkins are seasonal in the fall in the US. Pumpkins are almost always in season out here where I live. So if you’re like me, you can make these Pumpkin Brownies anytime you crave them. However, the warmth of the spices (pumpkin pie spices) that’s perfect for cooler weather.
There are different ways of making these brownies. One way is to mix the pumpkin puree into the brownie batter. The other is to keep the chocolate part and the pumpkin part separate and then swirl the batter. The layers can be kept separate too. This keeps the pumpkin and chocolate taste separate and visually more attractive as well.
This particular recipe is for a cakier brownie than a fudgy one. Using brown sugar, melting butter or using oil, using fewer eggs and little or no baking powder will give you a fudgier brownie. I personally prefer cakey brownies with just a hint of fudginess, and this recipe is just that. The chocolate portion tastes nice and chocolatey while the pumpkin part has a delicate hint of spices. Be a bit careful with swirling the batters, and take this from someone who isn’t very good at it. Too much swirling will result in chocolate layer and flavour over powering everything. You’ll just end up with a moist brownie, and spices barely visible.
We get two varieties of pumpkin more commonly where I live. One is a mottled green coloured pumpkin which is pale yellowish orange on the inside. This is excellent for cooking savoury dishes. We also get a more orange coloured pumpkin which is deeper orange on the inside and a lot sweeter. You can make these brownies with whatever pumpkin you can find. Canned pumpkin works well too. If you’re making your own pumpkin puree steam cook the pumpkin. You can avoid too much moisture in the puree this way.
You can use pumpkin pie spice if you have that, or make your own instead of the spices listed in this recipe. It is important to let the brownies cool really well before cutting them. I made them last thing at night and left them to cool overnight.
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 175 gm butter melted
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp finely grated nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp powdered dried ginger
- 1/4 tsp powdered cloves
- Lightly whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Keep aside. Line an 8” x 8” or a 10” x 7” baking tin with parchment paper.
- In another larger bowl, beat together the melted butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well till properly incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix till just combines. Do not over mix.
- Transfer half of this batter to the now empty flour bowl. Mix in the cocoa powder into one half of the batter. Into the other half, mix in the pumpkin puree and the powdered spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves).
- You will now have two batters, a chocolate batter and a spiced pumpkin batter. Drop alternate dollops of the chocolate batter and the pumpkin batter into prepared baking tin. Draw a spatula or butter knife through the dollops and the chocolate batter in a swirling pattern a couple of times.
- Alternatively, scrape the chocolate batter into the baking tin. Then drop tablespoons of the pumpkin batter in dollops on top of this. Create a swirling patterns with a spatula.
- Bake at 180C (350F) for about 45 minutes or till a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares and serve. Transfer to a tightly sealed container. It should keep at room temperature for a couple of days and longer if refrigerated.