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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-free 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
Pumpkin puree: 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.
Rice flour: 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: Brown sugar is perfect to give a 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.
Maple syrup: If you haven’t noticed, I love using maple syrup in my baked goods especially for autumn desserts like this recipe! I love the cosy 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: 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!
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.
Coconut oil: 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!
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.
*I use bone char-free sugars for all of my recipes. I cover the topic in my article Vegan Baking 101. Go to the “Is sugar vegan?” section to learn more!
Recommended equipment for this recipe
Square/rectangular tray: 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.
Saucepan: 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.
Wooden spoon: 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.
*The ingredient list and measurement for this recipe can be found in the recipe card at the bottom.
How to make vegan pumpkin brownies with chocolate swirl
Step 1: Make the white chocolate mixture
Preheat the oven to 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.
Step 2: Mix the wet ingredients
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.
Step 3: Mix the dry ingredients and make the batter
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!
Step 4: Make the chocolate swirl mixture
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!
Step 5: Make swirls
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.
Step 6: Bake!
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 mixture
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 these homemade pumpkin swirl brownies
These brownies store will both at room temperature and in the freezer! To store them 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!
Want to master the basics of vegan baking?
Check out Vegan Baking 101 – the beginner’s guide to vegan baking for you to become an excellent vegan baker and familiar with the basics of vegan baking, ingredients, and techniques with useful tips!
You will LOVE these vegan pumpkin brownies because they are:
- full of pumpkin flavour
- easy to make
- cute looking
Want more recipes like this?
Try my other delicious brownie and dessert recipes you might enjoy!
- Pumpkin pancakes
- Matcha brownies
- Chocolate chip pumpkin bread
- Pumpkin bread pudding
- Pumpkin banana muffins
- Oreo brownies
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!
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