Rating: 3.52 stars
511 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 95
  • 4 star values: 181
  • 3 star values: 147
  • 2 star values: 69
  • 1 star values: 19

Chocolate and pumpkin make a frightfully gooey pair in these creamy pumpkin-swirl brownies.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.

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  • 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.

  • Divide batter between 2 medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in 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 1 more chocolate layer and 1 more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don't set.

  • With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the 2 batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.

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

Reviews (68)

511 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 95
  • 4 star values: 181
  • 3 star values: 147
  • 2 star values: 69
  • 1 star values: 19
Rating: 4 stars
10/24/2019
Delicious. I used chopped walnuts one time and pepinos/pumpkin seeds the second time to top the bars. This recipe looks like you’ve worked hard, but it’s easy and a nice alternative to plain brownies or pumpkin bars.
Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2018
Thank you Martha, I was about to leave a great comment about this recipe on someone else's site, until I saw adapted by Martha Stewart October 2004 magazine. So I came here to see what changes were made to your recipe, none, no changes, oh she omitted the hazelnuts, seriously? Well I have to give credit where it's do, and that would be you. Thank you Martha for a truly wonderful recipe, it's exactly what I was looking for, the dense brownie texture contrasting with the pumpkin was perfect, and the flavors melded like they were meant to be together
Rating: 5 stars
11/09/2018
These were wonderful. I didn't change anything. Very moist.
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Rating: Unrated
11/22/2012
I just finished making these. Mine came out just like brownies. Not cake-like at all. Maybe when others are adding the flour to the eggs and sugar, they beat it too long. I only mixed it enough to get everything moist. I was expecting a disaster but they turned out wonderful. Sweet and spicy!
Rating: Unrated
11/18/2012
I made these BUT changed it to fit what I had in my kitchen. I had left over pumpkin puree, about 1 cup, and about 1 and a half cups of chocolate ganache. instead of separating them and doing layering and using a knife I just mixed everything together. I omitted the cayanne, and the only seasonings I used were pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. it made one 5x11 jelly roll pan and 7 muffins. they were AMAZING. dense, chewy, chocolatey and not overbearing. I will definitely make again!
Rating: Unrated
11/13/2012
I also agree with the other reviewers. These brownies are more cake like, especially when you first take them out of the oven. Initially, I was pretty disappointed- I figured with all the butter, chocolate, and sugar that these would be delicious. However, they tasted pretty bland. However, overnight in the fridge did wonders on the taste! Wow, delicious- moist, less cake-like and the chocolate/pumpkin flavors pop! If you are making these for a party, I would make them the night before.
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Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2012
I agree with the other reviewers that have stated this brownie recipe has a very dense, cake-like aspect. That being said, I thought they where delicious! Very rich and filling, I could only do one small square at a time. These where a hit with my husband and the couple of friends I sent these to. I'll definitely be making these again this year.
Rating: Unrated
11/19/2011
Followed recipe except did not add cayenne. I agree it's more of a cake than a brownie but it was very tasty and not dry although the chocolate batter does lose some spreadability if it the chocolate cools. Next time I will keep the chocolate warm until it's time to add it to the batter. Nice recipe for fall and pretty presentation.
Rating: Unrated
10/27/2011
I agree with some of the others, this is cake-like. I tried them before they cooled and the had little taste and the were dry. I didn't give up on them and tried them again the next day. I loved them. They were tasty and very moist! I will try them in a loaf pan next time and possibly make a glaze. I recommend these.
Rating: Unrated
10/23/2011
Not sure what I did wrong, but it turned out more like a cake than brownies. Regardless, it is delicious! I love the combination of the chocolate and pumpkin, and the cayenne pepper gives it a nice spicy zing. I thought about omitting the cayenne, but I am glad I didn't. I think for high altitudes, it is better to use a 13x9 pan for this recipe.
Rating: Unrated
10/22/2011
These are reaaaallly good. A mix between cake, bar and brownie. I would have liked them much better without the cayenne - it's pretty weird eating a spicy dessert.
Rating: 5 stars
10/01/2011
Just came out of the oven and these are delicious! Chewy,moist and rich with just the right amount of pumpkin taste. I omited the cayenne because I didn't have any.
Rating: 5 stars
09/30/2011
Do you think I could use Pumpkin Pie filling if I reduced the sugar a bit? I don't think we have any pumpkin left right now.
Rating: Unrated
05/25/2011
Takes lots of bowls, time, effort. Results are really good. Be sure to swirl or you end up with slippery chocolate layer (Can you tell what I didn't do?!).
Rating: Unrated
01/30/2011
I made these today
Rating: Unrated
01/30/2011
I made these today
Rating: Unrated
11/15/2010
I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet and they turned out phenomenal! I also used just a little extra chocolate to be sure they weren't too pumpkiny. So tasty!
Rating: Unrated
10/22/2010
I followed this to the letter and used quality ingredients, but they didn't turn out so hot. The hazelnuts don't work, the chocolate layer was too dry to spread easily over the pumpkin layer and much like another reviewer I baked it for 20 min extra and the four middle pieces were too gooey (inedible in fact). Pumpkin is great for cakes and soft "cookies" but not for brownies.
Rating: Unrated
10/06/2010
@ mcmaestas: Try them again, it might be that you forgot to add something. They turned out quite sweet. :)
Rating: Unrated
09/19/2010
I made these today, and they turned out really dry and not very sweet. Any ideas?
Rating: Unrated
09/19/2010
I made these the day that I got the recipe and I would make them again. The cayenne is a very nice addition. It gives a warm note to the spice mix, without being spicy-hot. I used Earth Balance as a butter substitute, as I made these for a friend who can't eat dairy. I'm not sure how much of a difference in taste or texture it made, but these are very dense brownies. I would try using less sugar, and swapping brown for white sugar next time for more depth of flavor.
Rating: Unrated
09/16/2010
I'm not sure how the cayenne pepper fits in here...can I skip that?
Rating: Unrated
09/16/2010
I can't wait to try these, pumpkin chocolate-chocolate chip muffins are my favorite. As far as I know, in New Zealand you can't buy canned pumpkin. I cook winter squash (called pumpkin here), mash it and freeze for later use. If you cook your own, make sure it is drained or it will be too wet.
Rating: Unrated
09/16/2010
Sounds great BUT there is NO canned pumpkin in the stores! What would you have to add to the recipe to use sweet potato instead?
Rating: Unrated
09/16/2010
I made these last night! The family loves them! This is the perfect fall treat. Perfect mix of chocolate, spices and pumpkin. Yum!
Rating: Unrated
09/16/2010
For the person who complained that this was far too much batter for a 9" round pan, do the math. The area of a 9" square pan is NOT the same as the area of a 9" round pan, it's significantly less, so that's why they didn't bake evenly for you.
Rating: Unrated
09/16/2010
For the person who complained that this was far too much batter for a 9" round pan, do the math. The area of a 9" square pan is NOT the same as the area of a 9" round pan, it's significantly less, so that's why they didn't bake evenly for you.
Rating: Unrated
03/26/2010
awesome recipe.
Rating: Unrated
11/27/2009
the middle never set up. I'd bake it in a 9X13 pan instead. I did not add vayenne pepper nad it tasted very good.
Rating: Unrated
11/20/2009
made these for two different gatherings and they were a hit!! the perfect texture and richness with that special hidden ingredient, cayenne pepper, giving them a bit of zing! will definitely add to my regular repertoire of recipes.
Rating: Unrated
11/20/2009
++++*+120+g+%281+stick%29+unsalted+butter%0A++++*166+g+bittersweet+chocolate%2C+chopped%0A++++*+240+g+all-purpose+flour%0A++++*+5+mL+baking+powder%0A++++*+1+mL+cayenne+pepper%0A++++*+1.7+g+salt%0A++++*+350+g+cups+sugar%0A++++*+4+large+eggs%0A++++*+15+mL+pure+vanilla+extract%0A++++*+300+mL+solid-pack+pumpkin%0A++++*+60+mL+vegetable+oil%0A++++*+5+mL+ground+cinnamon%0A++++*+1+mL+ground+nutmeg%0A++++*+120+mL+chopped+hazelnuts+or+other+nuts%0A%0A+++1.+Preheat+oven+to+177+%C2%B0C.+Butter+a+23+cm+square+baking+pan+or+dish.+Line+bottom+of+pan+
Rating: Unrated
11/10/2009
Even after baking for an additional 20 minutes, the middle never set up. And no one liked the cayenne pepper in the mix.
Rating: Unrated
10/26/2009
These turned out with just the right gooeyness and deliciousness, even a touch of spice. My family enjoyed them with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. Will make again for sure.
Rating: Unrated
10/16/2009
these came out more like a cake. the texture was a little rubbery too. .. won't make again.
Rating: Unrated
10/13/2009
I agree with sonyarowlands. Mine was more like a cake; I probably wont' make it again.
Rating: Unrated
10/13/2009
mine came out too much like cake....i think the baking powder should be skipped and the flour reduced a bit.
Rating: Unrated
10/11/2009
My family love these, I've made them also with left over baked sweet potato.
Rating: Unrated
10/09/2009
I made these, and they were delicious! That chocolate pumpkin combo is just great.
Rating: Unrated
10/02/2009
I made these last year I left out hte cayenne and the nuts. Instead I drizzeled chocolate glaze across the tops. The best ever.
Rating: Unrated
10/02/2009
solid pack pumpkin is canned pumpkin . like libby's . It should say so on the can.
Rating: Unrated
10/02/2009
Where in the world do you buy "solid pack Pumpkin"??? I have never seen or heard of this! Can I use a substitute?
Rating: Unrated
12/25/2008
My first attempt at baking and WOW were these a hit! Everyone loved the unique twist on the usual brownie and enjoyed the little kick from the cayenne pepper. By popular demand I'm making another batch next week!
Rating: Unrated
11/28/2008
So Julia it is not a sin to use can pumpkin but u do want to buy the solid pak pumpkin not the puree. I did not use the nuts on my brownies and they turned out great...i was also thinking of putting pecans instead and i'm sure they would taste fantastic with any type of nuts...
Rating: Unrated
11/28/2008
These r the best brownies i have ever made... I made them a few weeks ago and they were such a hit that i had to make them again for turkey day, another hit from martha...love love love her...
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2008
Hi everyone! I am new to the board, but not new to Martha-her recipes ROCK! This is my first time at this recipe and I need to know a couple of things: 1) is it a mortal sin to use Libby's puree pumpkin than freshly pureed? 2) does the recipe really need the nuts or can I go nutless? If I need nuts has anyone substituted pecans for the hazelnuts before? Thanks!
Rating: Unrated
11/23/2008
Made them in a 9" round pan and didn't cook evenly.Too much batter in the pan for a brownie. After I made the batter,separated them and putting the different layers in the pan, the chocolate batter stiffened up; last sentence on point 4 should be first. Therefore, the batter didn't swirl as it should. There wasn't enough of the" chocolatey brownie flavor "for my taste either. It's debateable whether I'll make them again.
Rating: Unrated
11/11/2008
Actually this WAS a tasty dessert. I really enjoyed making it and enjoyed eating it. I would also consider making brownies entirely out of the chocolate part of it...or at least eat the batter. If you aren't big on cayenne, just half it and its not too overpowering.
Rating: Unrated
11/10/2008
This was NOT a tasty dessert. Perhaps it would have been better to just make the pumpkin batter with Cayenne and other spices, then just swirl in melted chocolate. We did NOT enjoy this Pumpkin Brownie and I followed the recipe to the letter.
Rating: Unrated
11/07/2008
I would like to make a truffle for Thanksgiving. This recipe sounds like a great start. What would you suggest to put with it? Pumpkin flavored whip cream, nuts ??
Rating: Unrated
11/05/2008
I thought these brownies were very delicious and were a big hit at my Halloween Party! However......YOU CAN taste the Cayenne Pepper. If you do not like spicy....Leave out the Pepper!
Rating: Unrated
11/03/2008
Followed recipe exactly. Delicious.
Rating: Unrated
10/31/2008
Sorry, my entire comment did not come up. Everyone liked these goodies. Definately a KEEPER. will use less sugar next time.
Rating: Unrated
10/31/2008
Made this and gave some to both neighbors
Rating: Unrated
10/28/2008
I know that the ratio for unsweetened chocolate to cocoa powder is 1Tb. cocoa powder and 3Tb. oil equals 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate. The problem is that bittersweet chocolate is sweetened, so you would probably also need to add sugar. I just wouldn't know how much. i suppose you could keep tasting the batter until it tastes good!
Rating: Unrated
10/27/2008
Can you substitute the bittersweet chips with cocoa powder? If so, does anyone know how much cocoa powder I would add. I am on a vegetarian diet and am trying to convert this recipe. I will have to also convert the butter to canola oil or coconut oil....and replace the eggs.....
Rating: Unrated
10/26/2008
The oil goes into the pumpkin mixture, not the chocolate mixture. The chocolate batter contains a whole stick of butter, so it sure doesn't require any additional oil. These worked up well using a packaged brownie mix and adjusting the ingredients to only make the pumpkin batter. I don't see any reason why you couldn't bake and freeze, just seal them up well.
Rating: Unrated
10/26/2008
Can these be made now and frozen until Thanksgiving?
Rating: Unrated
10/25/2008
I had the same question about pumpkin puree and from what I found in an internet search, they solid pack pumpkin is just another name for pumpkin puree.
Rating: Unrated
10/22/2008
The best brownies by far that I have ever tasted, they take the Blue Ribbon. Gave some to neighbors on both sides and they had to have the recipe and raved about them. The Church Ladies will be envious. Thanks Martha, it is Oh So Good
Rating: Unrated
10/19/2008
can i use pumpkin puree for this recipe???
Rating: Unrated
10/11/2008
I split up the batter and put more in the chocolate mix than the pumpkin and I only put in 1 layer of pumpkin. Also did not put all of the pumpkin in, which then fit the 8x8 pan fine. But if you follow the directions, you definitely need the 9x13. I took out the cayenne because even though it was just a little, you could really taste it and it was too much spice. I added semi sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips and it was perfect. These are my favorite brownies!
Rating: Unrated
10/05/2008
This brownies were very unique and delicious. My only complaint is that they were a little dry, despite the fact that I added the vegetable oil when kimwilliams6 said I should. However, these were still very good, and I will definitely make them again.
Rating: Unrated
09/12/2008
The directions forget to add the 1/4 cup of vegetable oil to the eggs, sugar and vanilla mixture. If your brownies are dry, this may be the reason.
Rating: Unrated
12/26/2007
Tastes great and is a unique dessert. Would work better in a 9x13 tray. In a 9" square tray the brownies were nearly overflowing and therefore did not evenly bake through.
Rating: Unrated
12/24/2007
My husband and I love these brownies. I reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 cups and increased the pumpkin to 1 1/2 cups. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Very tasty with pecans. Baked for 35 minutes and they came out moist and delicious. Will make again and again.
Rating: Unrated
12/04/2007
DRY, DRY, DRY!!! Not good. I went back over the recipe to see if I missed some thing...maybe cook it for 25-30 minutes. I wouldn't waste my ingredients.
Rating: Unrated
11/06/2007
These brownies were very tasty but too spicy for my children. If you are making them for children I would recommend leaving out the cayenne or only using a pinch. I used 1/4 tsp as the recipe called for and they were too hot for the little ones but my husband loved them.
Rating: Unrated
11/05/2007
this recipe is great with sweet potatoes. i heart sweet potatoes!!