‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice everything! Which makes this mama very happy… While I’m not a fan of fall in general, I do love all of the food trends that are synonymous with it — especially pumpkin, pumpkin spice, espresso, and dark chocolate.
So when Dunkin’ Donuts asked me to develop three pumpkin-filled recipes highlighting their limited edition Pumpkin Spice coffee blend, I was TOTALLY on board. The first is this truly decadent pumpkin swirl brownies recipe that features all of the fall flavors that I so adore. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with deep, dark espresso brownies swirled with creamy pumpkin cheesecake!
Before I get to the recipe, let me introduce you to Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee. In case you haven’t made its acquaintance, it’s currently available for a limited time only as both a bagged ground coffee and as boxes of K-cups, and I have to say, it’s SO good!
I firmly believe that there are two camps when it comes to pumpkin spice products — those that get it right and those that get it horribly wrong. Dunkin’ Donuts totally got it right with this lightly spiced nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin blend. Made with 100% premiume Arabica coffee, it’s perfect for drinking morning, noon and night. And it’s equally perfect for adding a hint of pumpkin spice and espresso flavor to your favorite recipes.
How To Make Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
As many of you know, I typically try to keep my recipes very simple. But to get this lovely swirl effect, we must make two batters. I’m with you on the sighs, but the good news is that it doesn’t take much time at all.
The first is a lovely rich espresso brownie batter. Though I admit it’s a bit unorthodox, I just prepared my favorite brownie recipe and dumped the contents of one Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice K-cup into it. I worried that it might make the brownies a touch gritty, but you couldn’t detect the grounds at all, and it gave them that deep coffee flavor with just a hint of pumpkin spice that I was craving.
The second is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake-style batter. As with all cheesecake recipes, the key to getting a really creamy and fluffy batter is in allowing your cream cheese plenty of time to soften. Whip it on its own first to ensure that it’s completely smooth. Then add the sugar, eggs and pumpkin spice, and finally, fold in the canned pumpkin puree.
How To Swirl The Batter
This beautiful marbled effect on the top of these pumpkin swirl brownies is not terribly difficult achieve. The biggest challenge is not getting too heavy handed with the swirling.
I simply portioned out half of the brownie batter into my 9″x9″ baking dish that I lined with parchment paper. Then I spooned the pumpkin cheesecake batter over the top and layered the remaining brownie batter on top in three straight lines, leaving space in between each.
Finally, I used a butter knife to “swirl” the batters together. But I don’t literally swirl — I just drag it across the brownie batter lines back and forth, alternating directions each time. This is more than enough to create a marbled effect without actually over mixing the two batters together.
I’m a big fan of lining my pan with parchment paper, because it allows me to lift the whole sheet of brownies out after cooling them for a few minutes. This allows them to cool more quickly, which means we can get down to eating them sooner, and it makes cutting the squares much easier.
Although, as you may have noticed, cutting them equally isn’t really my forte… My kids were ALL vying for those coveted extra-large pumpkin swirl brownies from the center!
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Yield 16 servings
These pumpkin swirl brownies feature a pumpkin cheesecake mixture folded into a rich and fudgy brownies batter making these amazing brownies extra decadent... You’ll definitely want a tall glass of milk with them!
For the brownie batter:
- 3/4 cup salted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- Grounds from 1 Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee K-cup
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
For the pumpkin cheesecake batter:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Line a square 9"x9" baking pan with parchment paper or give it a coating of baking spray.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove top over medium heat. Whisk in sugar, coffee grounds and cocoa powder, and then stir in vanilla extract.
- In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Pour in the chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined. Stir in the flour, and then fold in the chocolate chunks. Do not over mix the batter.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a handheld mixer until fluffy. Mix in the sugar, egg and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the canned pumpkin puree.
- Pour half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Spread the pumpkin cheesecake batter over the top. Dollop the remaining brownie batter in three parallel lines over the cheesecake mixture, leaving space in between each. Use a clean butter knife to swirl the batters together by dragging it across the lines back and forth.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then lift the sheet of brownies out with the parchment paper and cool completely on a wire cooling rack efore serving.
Ingredients and products I recommend for preparing this recipe:
Enjoy these brownies with a tall glass of milk, or better yet, with a hot cup of Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice coffee!
This post is in partnership with the J.M. Smucker Company. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible!7