New This Month

Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies


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

  • Yield: Makes 16

Source: Halloween 2004, October Holiday 2004


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 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
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts


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

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

  3. 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.

  4. Divide batter between two 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 one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don't set.

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

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

Reviews Add a comment

  • butthead365047033
    25 DEC, 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
  • clmaxeygmailc
    9 NOV, 2018
    These were wonderful. I didn't change anything. Very moist.
  • trifoxn
    22 NOV, 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!
  • zuzu b bakin
    18 NOV, 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!
  • nikkilynpeters1
    13 NOV, 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.
  • ThedaBara
    12 SEP, 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.
  • maranfos
    19 NOV, 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.
  • Srizo
    27 OCT, 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.
  • laurenarrington
    23 OCT, 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.
  • beckiemarie
    22 OCT, 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.