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Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies
Recipe At-A-Glance
desserts1 hour, 30 minutes
Super rich and decadent, these Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies are packed full of rich chocolate flavor and Fall festiveness. Serve them at your Halloween party!

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Pumpkin is one of those ingredients that can be both really healthy or really, um, not. It’s quite a jack-of-all-trades in that way.

Like, some people mix pumpkin puree into their whole wheat, vegan, gluten-free, free-range, non-GMO, no added sugar, soy-free healthy brownies to add sweetness and moisture. That is a really awesome, healthy use of pumpkin.

These brownies are not a healthy use of pumpkin. Well, maybe healthy for your soul. That totally counts! I fully believe that feeding your soul foods that make you happy is just important as feeding your body foods that make it happy. And these pumpkin brownies make my soul sing.

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

These brownies are loaded with sugar, butter, and chocolate—oh my god, the chocolate. These brownies are so rich and decadent, that you have to cut them into teeny tiny squares to not go into a sugar coma after eating one.

I was actually talking to my parents just last night about my sugar addiction (and I don’t use the word “addiction” lightly), and it’s gotten so out of control, I’m thinking of doing something crazy like giving up sugar completely.

But then I remember that I don’t get to eat brownies on a sugar cleanse. And I’m not sure I want to live in a world where I don’t get to eat brownies.

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

I could have probably eaten the whole pan of these pumpkin brownies, but instead, I just had one (or two…okay, five), and then ended up shuttling the rest off with my husband to take to class with him.

Usually I try to match up my blog-related dessert cooking with some sort of event that requires me to bring a dessert, but I was fresh out of dessert-friendly events, so these brownies were just destined to sit in my kitchen and tempt me for days—so off to a hungry bunch of college kids they went! Here’s hoping they enjoyed the sugar buzz.

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

Let’s stop talking about my affinity for all things sweet, and instead talk about these killer pumpkin brownies.

The bottom layer is your typical fudgy, dark chocolate, gloriously gooey brownie layer. Honestly, you could just follow the recipe and make the bottom layer, and you’d be in brownie heaven. It’s exactly the way brownies should be – crunchy edges, with soft and chewy insides (anyone who says brownies should be cake-like can, um, go away).

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

Mr. Pumpkin makes an appearance in the middle section. This is basically a super thick and deliciously pumpkin-tastic buttercream filling. It’s loaded with pumpkin spice flavor, and is a beautifully light orange color (which comes from canned pumpkin pie filling – if you use the homemade stuff, you might think about tinting the filling with natural orange food coloring).

Just like the brownie layer, you can just make this buttercream, and then spread it onto cupcakes, pumpkin bread, or a spoon. And then eat it all. Because, yum.

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

And then, because there is no such thing as “too much chocolate,” the top layer is a soft, velvety chocolate ganache that hardens just a touch—just hard enough to make the brownies easy to slice, but still soft enough to feel super decadent.

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

It’s like a gloriously sweet pumpkin buttercream sandwich made with rich chocolate bread. I’m not kidding, make sure you cut these guys into itty bitty squares—I recommend less than 2 inches—folks can always come back for more if they are really jonesin’. But they are rich enough that one small square is plenty to satisfy most sweet teeth (except mine, it is never satisfied—rawr).

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

If you can believe it, this is actually the last dessert recipe I’ll be sharing with you for Pumpkin Week! I figured that the pumpkin dessert world is already pretty saturated, and I’d love to show more people the joys of savory pumpkin. Coming up in the next few days we’ve got burgers, pasta, and soup, oh my!

I hope you guys are having as much fun with this influx of pumpkin as I am. I love themes! Enjoy.

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies

Yield: 24 small brownies
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Super rich and decadent, these Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies are packed full of rich chocolate flavor and Fall festiveness. Serve them at your Halloween party! Brownie layer recipe adapted from AllRecipes.

Ingredients

First Layer

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Second Layer

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 drops orange food coloring, optional

Third Layer

  • 5 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. To make the first layer, in the bowl of stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add in the vanilla and eggs, and mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Add to the butter mixture in three additions, mixing well after each.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan (it will be very thick), and spread it out flat using a rubber spatula coated in cooking spray.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean (if you wait until it is totally clean, the brownies will be a little less fudgy).
  7. Remove from oven and let cool completely before proceeding.
  8. To make the second layer, cream together the butter, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract using an electric mixer. The butter might look chunky, but don't worry, it will smooth out later.
  9. Add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Continue adding the powdered sugar in 1 cup increments until you reach the consistency of a thick frosting. Mix in the food coloring until well incorporated, if using.
  10. Spread the pumpkin mixture onto the cooled brownies in an even layer. Place in fridge to chill while you make the third layer.
  11. To make the third layer, in a small microwave bowl, combine the baking chocolate and butter. Microwave at 50% for 60-90 seconds, or until the mixture is melted. Stir well.
  12. Remove the brownies from the fridge, and spread the chocolate mixture in an even layer over top of the second layer.
  13. Place the brownies back in the fridge to cool completely before slicing into small squares.

Notes

You might be tempted to try to make this in a square pan—don't! You'll have brownies so tall they can't stand up. Stick with the 9x13 pan.

No one ever complained about a brownie that was too fudgy. Err on the side of undercooking the first layer.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

14 Responses
  1. I was still in the summer mode till I saw your recipe. And then about 30 minutes later I walked into the Whole Foods market and saw a pumpkin stand. Coincidence?? I am making the pumpkin puree as we speak (or write). And these the Three Layer Pumpkin Brownies are first on the list once I have my puree.
    P.S. Impressive pictures

    1. Cassie

      Definitely the same idea! Although when I make Nanaimos the base layer is a crumbly, crunchy graham cracker crust. Kinda almost like a cheesecake crust! These are definitely a fudgy brownie base. 🙂

      And now I want Nanaimo bars.

  2. Kay

    I just wanted to say that these turned out AMAZING. I used much less sugar in the buttercream, and used bittersweet instead of semisweet for the ganache, but HOLY COW. New absolute favorite. I’m amazed and so in love!

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