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Healthy Pumpkin Brownies

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Prep Time: 5 minutes     Cook Time: 25 minutes

5 from 4 votes

Healthy pumpkin brownies team the delicious flavor of pumpkin with traditional brownie ingredients to make a tasty gluten-free option for the fall. Calling for just 8 ingredients, this recipe is pretty much just a case of combining everything and baking the brownies to perfection. Yep, they’re that simple!

Three healthy pumpkin brownies in a stack.
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With almond butter for nutty flavor along with both cocoa and chocolate chips for flavor, everyone is going to love these paleo pumpkin brownies. You will start craving them when you smell the rich, chocolaty aroma from the oven!

Use dairy-free chocolate chips and these brownies become dairy-free as well as paleo-friendly and gluten-free. So don’t wait any longer - make these delicious pumpkin treats and they will become your new favorite dessert, I’m sure!

And if you're in fall mode, these bacon maple cupcakes or these mochi brownies are excellent choices as well.

Main Ingredients

The ingredients used to make healthy pumpkin brownies laid out on a table.

Some ingredients you will already know or guess, such as cocoa powder, eggs, and chocolate chips. But what else do you need to rustle up this delicious dessert? Let’s take a look at the key ingredients in this mouthwatering recipe:

  • Cocoa powder: For chocolaty richness. The best kind is natural or Dutch-process cocoa, for a rich and delicious taste.
  • Milk chocolate chips: More chocolate - well there’s no such thing as too much chocolate! I like to use milk chocolate chips although you can use any kind, such as white chocolate chips or even the bittersweet kind if you have less of a sweet tooth.
  • Almond butter: For flavor and texture. Not only does this offer a delicate nutty flavor, but it also helps keep the texture perfectly chewy. Prefer peanut butter or even cashew butter? Anything goes in these healthy pumpkin brownies!
  • Maple syrup: To get the level of sweetness just right. If you prefer honey, that will also work great!
  • Eggs: For binding. Eggs help the batter hold together.
  • Pumpkin purée: For a twist on the classic brownie flavor. Make sure you choose 100% pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling which is sweetened and spiced. You could even use mashed pumpkins you cook yourself.

Instructions Overview

Once the pumpkin and almond butter are mixed together, you can whisk in the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Finally, blend in the cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and baking soda.

Now transfer the batter into a parchment paper-lined square baking pan and cook for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the mixture comes out clean. Let the brownies cool, then cut into squares and enjoy!

An overhead shot of brownies on a cooling rack.

Common Questions

What does pumpkin do in baking?

I love making cakes and brownies with pumpkin. This ingredient adds moisture as well as a sweetener and it can also replace some of the fat. The most important thing is it tastes really good.

What can I substitute for pumpkin in baking?

Butternut squash and sweet potato taste nearly the same as pumpkin and will work in sweet as well as savory recipes. Since it’s easier to find canned pumpkin puree, you might want to stick with that. However, either of these substitutions will taste the same, so if you want to cook and mash your own sweet potato or butternut squash, go ahead!

Can I use applesauce instead of pumpkin puree?

The texture is similar but the taste is completely different. You might like to swap half the pumpkin puree for applesauce if you don’t have enough for the brownies. You can substitute apple sauce 1:1 in pumpkin puree recipes but use the unsweetened kind, especially for these healthy pumpkin brownies.

Why do my brownies rise on the edges?

This is typically the result of overcooking or setting the oven temperature too high. If this happens, the brownies will be hard around the edges while soft in the middle. If this often happens with your oven (with cakes or muffins too) just set the temperature slightly lower.

How should I store these brownies?

They are best stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. They get even chewier and fudgier in there! They would also be fine on the countertop for up to one day before refrigerating.

Can I make these ahead?

Since these need to be completely cool, you need to make them ahead. They’re just as delicious the next day. Brownies should stay fresh for at least 5 days in the refrigerator as long as you keep them covered.

What should I serve with them?

I like to drizzle some kind of syrup on top. Try melting chocolate chips in the microwave and drizzling them over the freshly baked brownies. You could go for a color contrast by using white chocolate chips.

Do they freeze well?

Brownies freeze really well and I often make a big batch and freeze some! Wrap individual portions in foil and/or plastic wrap (I use a layer of each) and then put them in a large Ziploc bag. They will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What are some optional add-ins?

Chopped nuts, shredded coconut, and dried fruit would work.

A close up showing the inside of a brownie.

Chopnotch Tips

  • Your almond butter should be just almonds and perhaps salt, so check the ingredients label if you want to avoid added sugar.
  • You might like to play up the pumpkin flavor, adding spices to the mix. If so, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice would all be perfect.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter because that will add air which will make these more cake-like than fudgy.
A brownie with a bit taken out of it and crumbs on the table.

Healthy pumpkin brownies are perfect for the fall. They are flourless, dairy-free, and gluten-free to boot, offering the wonderful flavors of chocolate, pumpkin, vanilla, and nut butter.

They’re so easy to make - the hardest part is resisting the urge to polish off the whole tray in one sitting. Not that I am admitting to doing that!

Let us know what you think! Give this recipe a rating in the comments section below.


How to Make

Healthy Pumpkin Brownies

Can desserts be healthy and delicious? This recipe proves they can! With pumpkin, vanilla, and plenty of chocolate, everyone will love these.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 brownies


  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
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  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Let some parchment paper hang over the two ends of the pan for easy removal later. Set aside.
  • Mix the pumpkin and almond butter together in a large bowl until well combined. Then whisk in the vanilla, maple syrup, and eggs.
  • Now add in the cocoa powder, baking soda, milk chocolate chips, and then stir until well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for up to 25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let cool before slicing. Optionally, melt a handful of chocolate chips in the microwave, add a dash of olive oil, and drizzle on top. Serve and enjoy!
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  • Your almond butter should be just almonds and perhaps salt, so check the ingredients label if you want to avoid added sugar.
  • You might like to play up the pumpkin flavor, adding spices to the mix. If so, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice would all be perfect.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter because that will add air which will make these more cake-like than fudgy.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 182kcal (9%), Carbohydrates: 19g (6%), Protein: 5g (10%), Fat: 11g (17%), Saturated Fat: 2g (13%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 29mg (10%), Sodium: 62mg (3%), Potassium: 244mg (7%), Fiber: 3g (13%), Sugar: 12g (13%), Vitamin A: 2423IU (48%), Vitamin C: 1mg (1%), Calcium: 82mg (8%), Iron: 1mg (6%)
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Comments & Ratings

  1. 5 stars
    These came out so delicious! The brownies were moist and had the exact texture of a regular (unhealthy) brownie as well as the taste. Very happy with them! Next time I’ll get more bold with the spices and play off the pumpkin more.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Mike! I'm so happy to hear this!!