These amazing vegan pumpkin swirl brownies are such a fun and tasty fall treat. It has a gooey dark chocolate base with a sweet and slightly spiced pumpkin cream topping, then marbled with more melted chocolate. Healthy and super satisfying.
Pumpkin season is still going strong over here!
I'm usually not the biggest fan of pumpkin everything, neither is my co-recipe-developer-sister, but this year I'm not sure what's going on because I want to pumkinize all sweet things. Especially the chocolate ones, don't you think that pumpkin and dark melty chocolate are meant to live together?
Last week, I shared my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (you see, chocolate!) which was a huge hit. Cookies-not-surviving-the-day kind of hit.
And since I'm more of a brownie girl, then I felt the urge to add a pumpkin twist on a gooey, fudgy and extra chocolatey brownie. I used my mini matcha brownies as an inspiration and swapped the matcha flavor for a soft and spiced sweet pumpkin pie filling top layer. And the result is outstanding!
So, if you don't quite get why people go bananas for pumpkin season, then these brownies might be the answer to get you on board with all of the pumpkin craziness!
Why you'll love these vegan pumpkin swirl brownies
- Extra rich, fudgy and decadent.
- Dense, soft and moist.
- Ultimate fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving dessert.
- Beautiful marbled colors.
- Egg-less, dairy-free and healthy.
- Plus, they hide fiber-packed white beans! (I promise, you won't know they are in there).
Ingredients you'll need
- Canned white beans: they make these brownies super gooey and soft in a healthy way, plus they are completely unnoticeable.
- Flour: I used this white whole wheat flour from King's Arthur, but regular all-purpose flour will work too.
- Ground flax seeds: they replace the eggs by forming a jelly texture once combined with water.
- Maple syrup: sweetener, can also use agave nectar. Do not substitute with granulated sugar.
- Baking powder: leveling agent.
- Coconut oil: choose refined to avoid a coconut flavor.
- Cacao powder: included in the chocolate layer. Use cocoa powder if that's all you have.
- Chocolate chips: use dark and dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Walnuts: they add a good crunch!
- Canned pumpkin purée: be sure not to use a pumpkin pie filling as it is packed with sugar.
- Pumpkin spice mix: feel free to make your own mix by combining cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger.
How to make it: Step-by-Step
Get ready: pre-heat the oven to 350º and line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
Step 1- Make the main batter
Start by making the flax egg: combine the ground flax with the water and give it a quick whisk. Set aside until ready to use, about 10 minutes. It will form a loose gel.
In a food processor, add the white beans, maple syrup, coconut oil, flour, baking powder and the flax egg. Process until smooth.
Remove ½ cup of the batter and set aside.
Step 2- Make the chocolate brownie layer
Transfer the remaining batter from the food processor to a medium bowl and add the cacao powder. Stir well until there are no clumps anymore. Use a spatula if needed to press on the clumps to incorporate them better within the creamy batter.
Then, add the walnuts, chocolate chips and stir.
Transfer the chocolate batter to the prepare baking dish and even the mixture with a spatula.
Step 3- Make the pumpkin layer
To the ½ cup of batter that you set aside, add the pumpkin purée, the extra ⅓ cup of flour, the extra ½ tsp of baking powder and the pumpkin spices. Stir well until combined and spread it over the chocolate layer (use a spatula to even its surface).
Step 4- Make the chocolate swirl and bake
Melt the extra 3 tbsp of chocolate chips in the microwave and roughly drizzle/dollop all over the pumpkin layer. Then, using a stick, create swirls.
Bake in the oven for 27 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then pull on the edges of the parchment to remove all of the brownies. Slice in squares. Enjoy!
Watch how to make it
- Don't forget to line your baking dish with parchment paper! Leave some extra length on the side so you can pull on them, and remove the whole brownie out of the dish. It makes it so much easier to slice.
- Be sure to let the white beans drain very well before adding to your food processor and process the beans very well so you don't feel their hearty texture (if not processed enough, their skins can remain intact).
- The chocolate base is a sticky batter, which can be tricky to spread, so take your time so it is nice and even. Use a spatula to press on the batter and remove the chocolate batter that sticks to it once in a while (it will stick more if the spatula is covered with the batter). Be sure to even it all the way to the corners! To help you, you can also cover the chocolate batter with parchment paper and use the bottom of a glass to gently press in it.
- The cacao powder clumps easily, so I usually simply use a spatula to press on the clumps to break them as much as I can. Also, feel free to use a fine mesh colander to dust to cacao powder over the batter.
- Don't overbake the brownies. Slightly underbaked is better, so watch carefully. I cook them for 27 minutes, but start watching from 25-26 min and don't let it go much longer than 27-28 min. They will also keep cooking slightly after out of the oven.
- When cutting the brownies, clean your knife in between the slices. This will ensure you get a clean cut!
Tips when making the swirls
- Try to scatter the melted chocolate all over the pumpkin layer, you won't be able to distribute it much more afterwards.
- I love to use a chop stick to create the swirls, but a butter knife or even a spatula would work. I find the tooth pick to be too small or thin in this case.
- You don't have to poke very deep, just try to stay within the pumpkin layer while making the swirls.
- You can start by going vertical with the stick (make a continuous movement up and down), but then change direction and swirl horizontally as well (side to side).
- You don't have to do the extra chocolate swirl (but why wouldn't you, really).
- Feel free to play around with the spices as well. The spice flavor is rather subtle, so add more if you want.
- You can use ground chia instead of ground flax depending of what you have. In either case, you can buy them already ground or grind them yourself using a high-speed blender.
- If you are not into nuts, then just omit the walnuts all together. Also, swap them with chopped pecans if you prefer.
Make vegan Halloween pumpkin brownies
You can easily transform your vegan pumpkin swirl brownies into a fun Halloween dessert!
It is quite simple: follow the recipe as described, but instead of creating chaotic swirls of chocolate, you can use the chocolate to draw a spooky Halloween design!
To help you draw, then transfer some melted chocolate (you might need more than the 3 tablespoons recommended) into a piping bag. Here are a few ideas:
- Spooky large spider webs. Check out this video from sweet wise to help you draw spider webs easily.
- A jack-o-lantern. Use a circular baking dish to bake the brownies and draw over the pumpkin layer to create eyes and nose (make small triangles for these) and a large mouth representing a jack-o-lantern carved pumpkin. You could also simply display the unmelted chocolate chips to create this design.
Storage and serving suggestion
You can keep them at room temperature for about a day, but then cover them and transfer to the fridge so they stay fresh longer. Also, cut them all first so you can just grab-and-go. They will get harder after cooled down, but simply warm them up only for a few seconds in the microwave so they regain their gooey soft texture. They will get softer too if taken out of the fridge 20 minutes or so before enjoying.
Also, a fun way to serve them is to cut the brownies in small bite size cubes, then, in a see-through glass, alternate layers of cubed brownies with a spiced whipped cream or vegan ice cream to make a delicious brownie parfait!
Yes! Pre-slice them, then transfer to a freezing container making sure to separate the squares with parchment paper to make it easier to grab one piece at the time.
I tried this recipe with canned cannelini and butter white beans and they both worked great. I don't recommend to use chickpeas as they can be dryer. If you only have a can of chickpeas, then check out this vegan chickpea blondies recipe.
Completely omit the walnuts and make sure your chocolate chips are free of nuts to make this recipe completely nut-free.
No. I used regular wheat flour to make them and haven't tried using any gluten-free flour. You can try using this King Arthur 1:1 gluten-free flour instead as it usually works well. Other kinds of gluten-free flour like oat or almond flours won't work well for this recipe.
Other autumn sweet recipes you might like
- Cinnamon oatmeal cookies
- Pumpkin and orange overnight oats
- Vegan spiced zucchini muffins
- Vegan pumpkin chocolate chips cookies
I hope you enjoy these pumpkin brownies as much as we do! If you try them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how they were. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Pumpkin Swirl Brownies (Healthy and Fudgy)
- Food processor
For the base
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds (+ 2 tbsp water)
- 15.5 oz canned white beans (cannelini or butter) - rinsed and drained
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup refined coconut oil - solid, room temperature
- ½ cup flour - white whole wheat or all-purpose
- 1 tsp baking powder
For the chocolate layer
- 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup walnuts
For the pumpkin layer
- 1 cup pumpkin puree - homemade or canned
- ⅓ cup flour - white whole wheat or all-purpose
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice mix - or ½ tsp cinnamon + ¼ tsp nutmeg + ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º. Cover a 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper (keep the edges longer so you can pull on them after baked).
Make the base
- In a small bowl, combine the ground flax seeds with the water, whisk and set aside to set for about 10 minutes.
- In a food processor, add the flax seed mixture with the white beans, maple syrup, coconut oil, flour and baking powder. Process until very smooth.
- Measure ½ cup of the white batter and set aside for later.
Make the chocolate layer
- Transfer the remaining white bean batter from the food processor to a medium bowl and add the raw cacao powder. Stir to combine until uniform (make sure there are no clumps anymore, you can sift the cacao if desired)). Then, add the chocolate chips and walnuts, stir to combine and set aside.
Make the pumpkin layer
- Transfer the ½ cup of white bean batter you set aside into a medium bowl and add the canned pumpkin purée, the extra ⅓ cup of flour, the extra ½ tsp of baking powder and the spices. Stir to combine.
Combine and bake
- In the prepared baking dish, pour the chocolate batter and smooth it out using a spatula. The batter is very sticky, so take your time and make sure it goes all the way to the corners. Then, add the pumpkin mixture over and smooth the surface as well using a spatula.
- Melt 3 tbsp of chocolate chips in a small bowl using the microwave (warm for about 60 seconds) or the stove (warm on low for a few minutes). Let the chocolate chips rest for about 1-2 minute, then stir to help them melt completely.
- Distribute the melted chocolate all over the pumpkin layer by scattering a few dollops/drizzle and then, using a stick of a butter knife, create swirls as you wish.
- Bake in the over for 26-28 minutes. Let the brownies slightly cool down before removing it from its baking dish and slicing in squares. Enjoy!
- Store at room temperature for one day, then transfer in the fridge covered for up to 5 days. You can also cut them and then freeze, making sure to separate them with a layer of parchment paper so they don't stick together.
- Make sure not to overbake them! Slightly underbake is better for extra gooey brownies. I cook mine for 27 minutes, but start watching them after 26 minutes and let them cool down before slicing, they will keep cooking a little longer.
- To make them nut-free: omit the walnuts and make sure to use nut-free chocolate chips.