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from my table: pumpkin swirl brownies

October 9, 2011

Surrounded by all the deepening colors of fall, this time of year makes me nearly giddy. So giddy, in fact, that I feel the need to eat a lot of brownies and sing at the top of my lungs and dance around. (A silly mental image, perhaps, but so true.) And what other kind of brownies would I want to eat during this time of year but the Pumpkin Swirl variety? I made these last year for a party I catered and I fell utterly in love. Deeply chocolate-y, comfortingly pumpkin-esque, and spiked with a tiny bit of cayenne pepper, these brownies are gooey and gorgeous.

Some people may balk at the idea of chocolate and pumpkin mixed together. Perhaps you’re a traditionalist and think pumpkin goes in pie and maybe muffins, but that’s it! None of this crazy mixing together of things for you! Well, to that I say, “Live on the edge!” And at this edge, there are brownies! Fudgy, luscious, autumnal, dreamy brownies!

So here’s the deal: you go bake these brownies and I’m going to go pounce around in the leaves for awhile. (Deal? Deal!)

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
From Smitten Kitchen

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 8-inch square baking pan or dish. Cut a length of parchment that will cover the bottom and two sides (makes it much easier to remove), and line the pan with it. Butter the lining as well.

Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. 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.


Pour half of batter (about two cups) into a separate bowl and stir chocolate mixture into it. If you find that it is a little thick, add a little more batter (a few tablespoons or so) until it is more pourable. (Note: You want both batters to be about the same consistency, so they swirl together easily.)

In other bowl, stir in the 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.


With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect.

Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 9, 2011 1:40 pm

    Lovely photos. AND I’ve got some extra pumpkin that needs using up – thanks!

  2. Scout permalink
    October 9, 2011 6:08 pm

    i am actually salivating right now. its kind of gross, i think the only cure is these brownies. baked by YOU.

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