Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

pump sw piece
Halloween is fast approaching, and while I no longer trick or treat, I still cook weird and wonderful “spooky” treats. The usual fare includes deviled eggs that look like eyeballs, and cookies decorated like spider-webs. I also usually provide some Caramel Corn, and Brown Sugar Toffee topped with candy corns instead of peppermints or nuts. But by far the most popular item on the Halloween buffet (there is bound to be at least one Halloween buffet) has always been these Pumpkin Swirl Brownies. What can I say … chocolate sells.

Be sure not to over-swirl the topping. If it gets too mixed in you will lose the color contrast and the pattern.


3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar, divided
3 tsp. vanilla, divided
4 eggs, divided
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat a 9×13″ baking dish with pan spray. Beat together butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar until smooth and creamy. Add 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla, then 3 eggs, one by one. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt, and stir into batter. Pour into prepared pan and set aside.
  2. Beat cream cheese until smooth and lump-free. Add pumpkin puree, pie spice, remaining sugar, remaining vanilla, remaining egg, and incorporate fully. Distribute dollops evenly across the top of the brownie, then swirl with the tip of the knife. Bake 25-30 minutes, until firm. Cool 20 minutes before cutting into squares.
Print this recipe