Pumpkin Swirl Shutdown Brownies

pumpkin swirl brownies

Due to a lapse in government funding, this blog will not be updated until further notice. Please accept a picture of these awesome Pumpkin Swirled Brownies as consultation for any inconvenience this may cause.

Ok, fine. I’m not funded by the government.

Can you believe it though? I can’t. I refuse to.

I mean, when I realized my last post was almost an entire month ago, I was so disappointed in myself.

On top of that, it’s October! Stores have already had their Christmas stuff out for 2 whole months!

Anyway, what was I doing for the last month since I wasn’t blogging?

I got a job!

No, that’s a lie. The truth is I started a Daddy Day Care for my neighborhood so now in addition to my 2 boys I’m watching everyone else’s kids.

*shivers* Geeze no, could you imagine? I’d be rocking back and forth in a corner. No, no, no. I have enough on my plate already. Ok, here’s the scouts honor truth… I was traveling through the fabrics of time and space in a little blue box (that’s bigger on the inside) with a man who called himself The Doctor.


Ok, fine! I’ve been playing Grand Theft Auto 5, alright!? Whatever free time I had at night to blog has been sucked up and is being used to game instead. It’s been a good 2 years since I’ve sat down to enjoy a newly released title. 2 years! So cut me some slack. I’m sure I don’t have to go into details because there’s a good chance you or someone you know has been playing it too. I’m also not going to get into it because this is not a gaming blog. There are plenty of gaming blogs out there where you could read about that stuff to your hearts content. Like EZ-Mode Unlocked where I, coincidentally, have also been writing blog posts lately and getting back in touch with my gamer side.

Speaking of gaming, I better hurry and finish this up!

Quick rundown: These brownies are freaking amazing. Whatever you do, don’t listen to my wife. She’ll tell you they are terrible and that the recipe needs to be burned in a fire and its ashes scattered into the ocean. I guuuuuess it’s partly my fault for not warning her there was cayenne pepper in them. You should’ve seen her face! Boy, oh boy was she surprised.

I kinda felt a little heat too but it gave a depth to the brownies. The pumpkin really stands out and the cayenne pepper kinda helps it do so. Nonetheless I cut the amount of pepper in half from the original recipe just in case anyone feels the same way my wife did with pepper in her brownies. Just remember, I still back them 100% and would make them again!

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies (adapted from Martha Stewart)

8 tablespoons ~ Butter
8 ounces ~ Bittersweet Chocolate, chips or chopped

2 cups ~ Flour
1 teaspoon ~ Baking Powder
½ teaspoon ~ Salt
1 ¾ cup ~ Sugar
4 each ~ Eggs
1 tablespoon ~ Vanilla Extract

15 ounce can ~ Pure Pumpkin
¼ cup ~ Vegetable or Canola Oil
1 teaspoon ~ Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ~ Nutmeg, freshly ground
½ teaspoon ~ Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/8 teaspoon ~ Cayenne Pepper

¼ cup ~ Chocolate Chips (optional)
small handful ~ Cinnamon Chips (optional)


  • Alright, the cayenne pepper. The elephant in the room. I’m not big on hot, spicy stuff, but these brownies were good. There was a bite or two that had me reaching for milk, but overall they were uniquely good. You got the fudgy chocolate from the brownies and then the spicy kick and familiar, homey-warm & cozy taste from the pumpkin. It’s a great blend that I wouldn’t mind having on a chilly autumn night.
  • Of course, if you’re a scaredy cat and don’t want a little tingle on your tongue when you’re eating brownies, then you can totally leave out the cayenne.
  • I made these the same way I make all my brownies – by hand. You need to be careful if you’re using a machine, over mixing is the devil, blah blah, you know the drill.
  • You’re going to do the baking in a 9 inch square pan. You’ll also need 3-5 bowls depending on how picky you are.


I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not a great brownie maker. I used to be! I used to make brownies for the night shift at work all the time and they were good! But these years of being domesticated must have neutered my brownie making capabilities. My last few batches have been extremely disappointing, and on top of that, my wife made some the other day in less than 10 minutes that were kick ass (shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh don’t tell her I said that). At least I was happy with this batch, I probably would’ve quit brownies if they came out bad.

But they didn’t! So here we go:

  • Turn on your oven to 350 and coat your 9 inch baking pan with butter then give it a dusting of flour.
  • Dice up the butter and put it on top of the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat it for 30-45 seconds. If the butter hasn’t melted give it another 10 seconds. Once the butter is melted give it a stir with a whisk until it’s nice and smooth.


  • Get another bowl and stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set it aside.
  • In another bowl, a bigger one, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla for a few minutes until it’s nice and fluffy. When it’s ready, go ahead and whisk the flour mixture into that, but try not to over mix it. Gluten, devil, bad juju, no good no good.

Ok, just to recap because I’m sure if you’re reading through this you’re picturing the devil in your kitchen with about 17 different bowls in front of him and an amazingly confused look on his face.

You should have one bowl of melted chocolate in front of you, along with one big bowl of batter. To add to your problems, you’re about to have a few more bowls join the mix…

  • Now, grab 2 more bowls and divide the batter evenly between the two. Easy way to do this is scoop it out one cup at a time, alternating each bowl.
  • In one bowl, add the melted chocolate from like 24 bowls ago, and gently fold until combined.


  • In the other bowl, add the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice and cayenne. Fold until combined.

Recap: You’re looking at 2 bowls. Congratulations, you just made one hell of a mess in your sink.


You’re welcome.

Moving on, it’s time for the final steps.

  • Take the chocolate mixture and pour half of it into the baking pan. Smooth it out as best you can without leaving any holes. Next, take half of the pumpkin mixture and pour it slowly on top of the chocolate. Smooth it out carefully, try not to mix it together. Repeat with the rest of the chocolate and then the rest of the pumpkin.


(Recap: Even more mess.)

Before you throw it in your oven cursing my name while looking at your disarrayed kitchen, you have one last thing to do.

  • Take a knife and swirl it around the batter to give it a marbled effect. Twirl it in circles, squares, whatever floats your boat. Now you can put it in the oven for about 35-45 minutes. Plenty of time to clean up that mess you call a kitchen.
  • Once they come out, what I did was throw some chocolate chips on top and let them get nice and soft. Once they did I spread them out so there was a layer of chocolate on top (thanks for that tip, +Jen Manning!). And because I had them I sprinkled some cinnamon chips to finish them off. The cinnamon chips won’t melt like the chocolate chips did (I learned that the hard way) so just enjoy them looking at you as you stuff it in your mouth. If you have walnuts or whatever else you like topping brownies with you can put that too.


And that be that. I feel like the season for posting fall recipes is already done and here I am with my first (or second if you count the banana bread) recipe for it. It’s partly due to me not making many goodies at home lately, and mostly… Well, mostly due to GTA V.


How do you like my snazzy new Fall gallery in the side bar? I never realized how much I work with pumpkin! If you’re interested in making your own, here’s the tutorial on Something Swanky that features the image mapping tool from image-maps.com.



  1. I love the fact that you used pumpkin, chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne pepper in the same recipe!! I can imagine these must taste awesome! I´m going to pin one of these photos on my Brownies board on Pinterest, right now 🙂

    Thanks for your comment on my Blog!


  2. Okay, so the government is back up and running, where’s your latest post, hmmm? Kidding. I know the goverment’s not that efficient.

    I looooove spicy chocolate desserts, so these brownies are right up my alley! Apologies to your wife, but I give them two thumbs up.

    PS Thanks so much for the link on image maps! I’ve been dying to redesign and put some social buttons in my header, but didn’t know how to do it. Imagine a giant light bulb going off over my head right now–brilliant!

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