These paleo pumpkin brownies combine the very best of fall desserts – with chocolate. Super fudgy healthy brownies meet refined sugar free pumpkin pie filling in this simple and easy fall dessert. Plus, the brownies are gluten and dairy free!
You might think, looking at all the pretty pictures and reading my almost over-enthusiastic descriptions of how yummy everything is, that every single recipe I think of works. Hah, definitely… NOT.
Now, most of the recipes I dream up work… eventually. But all of them? I wish.
A recent disaster was a gluten and dairy free pumpkin pie. I had high hopes… and they failed me. Spectacularly. I didn’t want to use vegan “butter” or margarine (I’m mistrustful of some ingredients – these are but two of many), so – clever me – I tried to use coconut oil while simultaneously attempting to get the flake of an all-butter pie crust. Let’s just say… it was a messy affair.
But it wasn’t all an over-baked oily disaster – the dairy and refined sugar free pumpkin pie filling was absolutely spot-on (as was determined by scraping it off the over-baked oily disaster).
So I gave up on the gluten and dairy free (but flaky) pie crust – for now! – and set my mind to something with a greater likelihood of succeeding: flourless paleo pumpkin brownies.
I’d like to think I “get” how to make brownies – be they paleo with an avocado ganache, gluten free with marshmallow frosting on top, or flourless and paired with caramel and chocolate chip cookies. After all, brownies are forgiving (apart from over-baking them, there’s not much that could go wrong), and their awesomeness definitely increases with their fudginess and gooeyness.
(Side note: can we talk about how ridiculous it is that it’s “gooier” and “gooiest”, but then the noun is “gooeyness”? It gets me. Every. Single. Time. And I think the autocorrect is getting seriously fed up with me.)
It turns out that pairing brownies and pumpkin pie filling is absolutely the best idea ever – the flavours mesh together perfectly and, yes, I’ve tested several pieces to see if they are consistently delicious across the batch. They are.
The pumpkin pie filling is all warmth and autumn and spices and the caramel-y flavour of maple syrup, while the brownie batter couldn’t be more chocolatey, with a slight undertone of coffee (which you could leave out, but I honestly wouldn’t). They are pretty amazing separately, but together… fireworks.
The pumpkin filling also ensures that the brownies are even gooier (yes, my initial try was “gooeyer”, deal with it, autocorrect) and, folks, let me tell you: these pumpkin brownies bring the meaning of “fudgy” to a whole new level.
So apart from being dangerously delicious, gluten and dairy free, they are also super easy to make. Mix a few things together, dump them into a baking tin, make something that resembles a pretty swirl on top (but be a tad too impatient for it to reach the ooh-so-incredibly-pretty stage), bake for half an hour… and then stand above the baking tin, inhaling the mouth-watering aromas, willing the brownies to cool the hell down so you can start eating.
And when one piece becomes two… and then three… it’s all quality control. Because any proper scientific conclusion requires a large enough sample size. So have another one.
Flourless Paleo Pumpkin Brownies (Gluten & Dairy Free)
- 7 oz (200 g) dark chocolate (you can use a paleo-friendly chocolate brand)
- 1/4 cup (45 g) coconut oil
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup (70 – 110 g) maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want your brownies to be)
- 3/8 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp coffee, in 1/2 cup hot water (can be replaced by 1/2 cup hot non-dairy milk)
- 1 cup (90 g) almond flour
For pumpkin pie filling:
- 3/4 cup (145 g) pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup (140 g) maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/8 cup (30 g) coconut cream
You will also need:
- 8 x 8 inch baking pan
- In a bowl above simmering water, melt together the chocolate and coconut oil. Leave to cool until warm.
- Add maple syrup, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla extract and salt, and mix well.
- Add the hot coffee (or hot non-dairy milk) and mix until smooth.
- Add almond flour and mix until smooth with no clumps.
For pumpkin pie filling:
- Mix all pumpkin pie filling ingredients together until smooth.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 ºF (175 ºC) and line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with greaseproof/baking paper.
- Transfer 2/3 of the brownie batter into the baking pan and smooth it out.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling on top of the brownie batter.
- Spoon portions of the remaining brownie batter on top of the pumpkin pie filling. Using a spoon, spatula or fork, create a swirl on top.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 350 ºF (175 ºC) for 26 – 28 minutes or until the middle is no longer wobbly but an inserted toothpick still comes out dirty.
Looking for more fall dessert inspiration? Look no further!