These vegan pumpkin brownies are fudgy and full of pumpkin flavour with milk chocolate swirl and chocolate chips! They are easy to make, completely dairy and egg-free, and can be made healthy too with a little modification. Perfect autumn dessert for the Halloween and Thanksgiving season!
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Halloween is just around the corner! Have you decided what pumpkin dessert to bake over the Halloween weekend? If not, bake these yummy vegan pumpkin brownies! They are super easy to make even if you are a beginner baker. I’m sure your friends and family will love these little treats!
This recipe is an adapted version of my matcha brownies. If you thought, “Wait, but these look like pumpkin blondies though…?” then hold on there! These are actually brownies, because I made them with the homemade white chocolate mixture! That’s why they are in bright orange pumpkin colour which I quite like. Don’t you agree? I probably should make chocolate pumpkin brownies too though since I have classic chocolate brownies on my blog for chocolate lovers!
Main ingredients and substitutions
Of course, pumpkin! I make my own pumpkin puree by roasting cut pumpkins in the oven for 30 mins at 180℃, putting them in a food processor with a dash of filtered water and process until a very smooth puree. You can also use canned pumpkin puree too! Make sure it’s not pumpkin pie filling which already has sugar and other things in it.
The base of this recipe is plain flour. If you want, use 1:1 gluten-free flour to make this recipe gluten-free! If you want to make this recipe healthy, you can use wholemeal flour instead of regular flour too. All the rest of the ingredients are healthy too like unrefined sugars, plant milk, coconut oil and such(in my opinion, anyways!).
I used part rice flour to make the brownies more fudgy and moist. You can substitute for plain flour if you want but I highly recommend using rice flour to achieve the best texture in this recipe. If you are substituting, weigh your plain flour instead of measuring with cups.
Brown sugar is perfect to give moist and fudgy texture to baked goods and that’s why I used it in this recipe! You can use regular caster sugar if you don’t have brown sugar too. Coconut sugar works in place of brown sugar too.
If you haven’t noticed, I love using maple syrup in my baked goods especially for autumn desserts like this recipe! I love the cozy and comforting flavour of maple syrup so much. You can use other liquid sweeteners too if you prefer such as agave syrup, date syrup etc. The flavour of the final product might be different if you use different sweeteners.
Cacao butter is the main ingredient in chocolates. It has a lovely chocolatey flavour that works perfectly in this homemade brownie recipe! I used Sunfood‘s organic cacao butter. Their cacao butter is in a button form so it’s super easy to measure which I love about!
Coconut milk powder
Coconut milk powder is used to make the chocolate mixture in this recipe. Make sure to use one with no dairy in it as some brands have milk powder! You can probably use soy milk powder instead too if you don’t have coconut milk powder. Make sure again there is no dairy milk in it.
I used coconut oil to create a moist texture in this recipe. You can substitute for vegetable oil if you like. Make sure to use oils that have no strong flavour so that they won’t affect the taste of the final product!
I used almond milk in this recipe but feel free to use any other plant milk of your choice such as soy milk or oat milk.
Vegan milk chocolate
Vegan milk chocolate is in the milk chocolate swirl on the pumpkin brownies! You can use vegan dark chocolate too if you want it less sweet, though I think it will make only a tiny bit of difference.
Other ingredients: arrowroot flour(use tapioca flour or cornflour if substituting.), vanilla extract, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips for topping.
Recommended equipment for this recipe
I used a square tray to make these pumpkin brownies! Mine is an 18cm(about 7.1inch) square tray. You can use the same size or similar rectangular tray.
Use a medium-size saucepan to make the white chocolate mixture. If it’s too small, it can be too difficult to mix the cacao butter in it.
I recommend you use a large wooden spoon to mix the white chocolate mixture and brownie batter. This is to prevent scraping metal from the saucepan and the whisk itself and having metal shavings in the mixture.
It’s also a good idea to mix the batter with a wooden spoon rather than a whisk, because with a whisk you can overdevelop gluten in the batter and it can lead to a rubbery texture.
How to make vegan pumpkin brownies with chocolate swirl
Preheat the oven for 180℃(350°F). First, let’s make the white chocolate mixture! In a small bowl, melt the cacao butter either in a microwave or in a saucepan, then add the coconut milk powder and mix well with a small whisk until smooth. Set aside.
Mix the almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree in a medium-size bowl with a whisk until very smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the plain flour, rice flour, arrowroot flour, brown sugar and salt together with a whisk until well combined. Add the white chocolate mixture and pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture and mix gently with a large wooden spoon. Be careful not to over mix! Pour the brownie batter into a brownie tray, smooth the top evenly and set aside while making the milk chocolate swirl!
To make the chocolate swirl, melt the vegan chocolate and add all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a small whisk until very smooth. That’s all!
Dollop the chocolate swirl mixture randomly on the brownie batter in the brownie tray, then make swirls with the tip of a toothpick or chopstick, anything that has a pointy end! Don’t mix too much as overdoing it can mix the 2 batters too much and look messy. Just a few strokes at a time will create a nice swirly pattern.
Sprinkle some vegan chocolate chips on top and bake for 30-35 mins until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Take it out of the oven and cool down completely before taking the brownies out of the tray. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Tips and tricks
Use parchment paper
Unless your brownie tray is super non-stick and there’s no need for it, line your tray with parchment paper to make it easy to take the brownies out! My square tray has a removable bottom so I don’t need to worry about it too much but my rectangular one doesn’t have a removable bottom so I always line the bottom and sides with sheets of parchment paper.
Simply cut a sheet of parchment paper to the length of the tray, grease the bottom and sides with a little vegetable oil or vegan butter then line with the cut parchment paper. If you don’t have any, greasing the tray with some vegetable oil or vegan butter is better than nothing!
Mix the dry mixture very well before adding the wet mixtures
This recipe calls for arrowroot flour. It has a unique character that starts to thicken when it’s in contact with warm liquid. Because the white chocolate mixture in this recipe uses warm melted cacao butter, if you don’t mix the dry ingredients together very thoroughly, the arrowroot flour in the mixture can start sticking together which can lead to uneven texture in the brownies. So to prevent this from happening, mix the dry ingredients very well with a whisk before adding wet mixtures!
Mix the batter gently
It is tempting to mix the batter with a whisk until completely smooth, I know it’s satisfying! But because this recipe calls for plain flour which has gluten in it, it’s a bad, bad idea to mix the batter too much. Over mixing the batter develops too much gluten, and it results in a tough, rubbery texture in the final product. So always, mix your batter gently!
How to store this homemade pumpkin swirl brownies
These brownies store will both at room temperature and in the freezer! To store at room temperature or in the fridge, put them in an airtight container and store them for up to 2-3 days. For longer storage, put them in a freezer friendly airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Microwave until soft then serve!
Q and A
Can I use white chocolate instead of cacao butter?
I haven’t tried using white chocolate or milk chocolate instead of my homemade white chocolate mixture so I can’t say for sure. I imagine the taste would be sweeter even if you use the same amount of melted chocolate measured in ml because of the sugar content in store-bought chocolates. Said that, you can certainly try!
Can they be gluten-free?
Yes they can! You can use 1:1 gluten-free flour instead of plain flour if you want to make this recipe gluten-free. If you are making this with all rice flour, make sure to weigh your flour instead of cup measuring. Either way, the texture of the final product might be slightly denser but otherwise they should taste good!
Is sugar vegan?
When you are baking with sugars, such as caster sugar, granulated sugar, icing sugar, brown sugar, etc., choose ones that don’t use bone charr as a filter in the manufacturing process. What is bone charr? Bone charr is a charcoal made with animal bones that is used in sugar making process to make sugars whiter. Not cool! So is brown sugar vegan? The answer is most brown sugars are just regular white sugar that has morasses added to it, so it depends on the brand.
I purchase sugars that are free from bone charr online. They are about the same price as those largely marketed sugars that use bone charr! The best way to check if your sugar is bone charr-free is by contacting the manufactures by phone call or email and ask them if their sugar use bone charr in the making process. They should give you more details about how their sugar is made!
If you are in the US, all organic sugars are vegan! If you are in the UK, most of Tate and Lyle and Silver Spoon‘s sugars are vegan except the ones that use egg white. You can find more about it in their FAQ section on their website. Here is a useful article from PETA about sugar and brands that don’t use bone charr.
I strongly recommend you to weight your ingredients than measuring with measure cups. Measuring cups are easy to use but it’s very inaccurate when it comes to baking! You can easily over or under measure ingredients and it will affect the final product you are making massively.
A digital scale is very affordable too so get yours if you don’t have one and become an even better baker today!
You will LOVE these vegan pumpkin brownies because they are:
– easy to make
– cute looking
Please leave a comment and rate this recipe in the comment section below if you like this recipe! Let me know and tag me @thechestnutbakery on Instagram too. Thank you for making my recipe, friends!Print