Pumpkin, chocolate and pecans come together in these decadent seasonal brownies.
Long-time readers will probably remember that I’m not the biggest fan of pumpkin desserts. You can keep your PSLs and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, thank you very much. I prefer to keep my coffee and cookies uncontaminated.
That being said, I have found a few exceptions. And these brownies are just that exception. A little bit of cinnamon-spiced pumpkin cheesecake swirled together with plenty of rich brownie batter is the kind of fall dessert I can really get behind.
What are your favorite chocolate + pumpkin desserts? Because I think I’ve found that’s the key to me surviving pumpkin season.
These brownies are ooey gooey and are both all about the chocolate and all about warm fall flavors at the same time. The pecans are optional, but I’m a big fan of nuts in my brownies and I love how they tie everything together.
Serve these brownies as is, or warm them up and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
baking tip:The best way to slice and serve browies
I know waiting for brownies to cool before diving in is hard, but it definitely makes serving them a whole lot easier and prettier. Here’s how to do it:
- Line your pan with parchment paper or greased foil with enough overhang to use as a handle to lift them out after baking.
- Let them cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then lift out the brownies and set on a wire rack.
- Once the brownies come to room temperature, put the brownies in the fridge for about an hour.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the brownies, cleaning the knife occasionally if it gets too gummy.
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies with Pecans
For the brownies:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (113 grams), cut into cubes
- 6 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate (170 grams), chopped or use chips
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (145 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips (85 grams), optional
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (50 grams), optional
For the pumpkin filling:
- 4 ounces cream cheese (113 grams), at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (28 grams)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (15 grams)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (96 grams)
To make the brownies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or greased foil.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over medium low heat, stirring until smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and the salt.
- Stir in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
- Stir in the flour and cinnamon and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans if using, reserving a few for the top of the brownies.
To make the pumpkin filling:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a bowl and hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and sugar until combined and creamy.
- Add the egg and mix until smooth.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Add the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth.
- Spread half of the chocolate brownie batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
- Dollop spoonfuls of the pumpkin filling on top of the brownie batter, alternating with dollops of the remaining brownie batter.
- Take a knife and run it through the batter, swirling the brownie batter and pumpkin filling together. Sprinkle the top with remaining chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
- Bake until edges are set but the middle is still slightly jiggly, about 25-30 minutes. For cleanest slices, let cook completely before serving.
- Store brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week and tightly wrapped in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Recipe originally published October 2013. Photos have been updated.
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