These brown butter pumpkin blondies are everything that fall baking should be. Warm, spiced to perfection, smothered in cream cheese frosting, and perfect with a cup of coffee.
Delight in the perfect autumn treat: pumpkin blondies with warm spices and cream cheese frosting. A cozy dessert for sharing or savoring.
Frequently Asked Questions
It's recommended to use pure pumpkin puree for the best texture and flavor. Canned pumpkin pie filling may contain added sugars and spices that could alter the recipe.
Yes, you can experiment with gluten-free flour substitutes, but be aware that the texture and taste may vary slightly from the original recipe.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. You can also freeze them for future enjoyment.
Yes, you can prepare the cream cheese frosting in advance and refrigerate it. Allow it to come to room temperature and give it a good mix before spreading it on the blondies.
Why You're Going to Love This Recipe
Fall Flavors: The combination of pumpkin, warm spices, and browned butter captures the essence of autumn, making these blondies perfect for seasonal cravings.
Rich Texture: The use of pumpkin puree and browned butter results in moist and tender blondies with a rich and indulgent texture.
Unique Twist: Pumpkin blondies offer a delightful twist on traditional brownies, infusing the comforting flavors of pumpkin pie into a chewy and flavorful dessert.
Easy to Make: The recipe's straightforward instructions and readily available ingredients make it easy for both novice and experienced bakers to create a delectable treat.
Cream Cheese Frosting: The velvety cream cheese frosting, enhanced with vanilla and cinnamon, provides a luscious contrast to the blondies and adds a touch of sophistication. If you're looking for another flavor profile to indulge in with pumpkin, try these salted caramel pumpkin muffins!
Crowd Pleaser: Whether served at gatherings, potlucks, or family dinners, these pumpkin blondies are sure to be a hit among both kids and adults.
Customizable: Feel free to personalize the recipe by adding your favorite mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruits for added texture and flavor.
Versatile Dessert: Enjoy these blondies as a dessert, a sweet snack, or a delightful addition to brunch spreads or tea times.
Homemade Goodness: Baking these pumpkin blondies from scratch allows you to enjoy the satisfaction of creating a homemade treat that's a step above store-bought options.
Festive Presentation: The cream cheese frosting can be decorated with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nuts, creating an inviting presentation that's perfect for fall celebrations.
Make-Ahead Option: These blondies can be made in advance and stored, making them a convenient choice for planning ahead or gifting to friends and family.
Nostalgic Comfort: The warm and familiar flavors of pumpkin and spices evoke feelings of nostalgia and comfort, making these blondies a sentimental favorite.
What Exactly are Pumpkin Blondies?
Pumpkin blondies are a delightful dessert that combines the rich flavors of pumpkin with the chewy and dense texture of blondies. Blondies are often referred to as "blonde brownies" due to their similar appearance to traditional chocolate brownies but with a vanilla and brown sugar base instead. Pumpkin blondies take this concept a step further by incorporating pumpkin puree and warm spices, creating a unique fusion of fall flavors.
These treats typically consist of a batter made from ingredients like flour, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, eggs, and a blend of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The pumpkin not only lends its distinctive flavor but also contributes to the moistness of the dessert. The blondies are then baked until set, resulting in a chewy and satisfying dessert with a beautiful orange hue. P.S. If you're looking for more of a year-round comfort food option, try out this mini banana bread recipe!
Pumpkin blondies can be enjoyed on their own or enhanced with various additions like chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruits. They can also be topped with cream cheese frosting, a drizzle of caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar to elevate their taste and presentation.
- Pumpkin Puree:
- Adds moisture and a rich, earthy flavor to the blondies.
- Infuses the dessert with a warm, comforting taste that's characteristic of fall.
- Browned Butter:
- Provides a nutty aroma and deepens the overall flavor profile.
- Contributes to the blondies' moistness and enhances their texture.
- Brown Sugar:
- Offers a caramel-like sweetness and a slight molasses undertone.
- Creates a soft and chewy texture while complementing the pumpkin flavor.
- Granulated Sugar:
- Adds sweetness to balance the pumpkin's natural earthiness.
- Contributes to the blondies' structure and texture.
- Provides structure and binds the ingredients together.
- Helps achieve the desired blondie texture.
- Act as a binder and provide moisture.
- Contribute to the overall structure of the blondies.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice:
- Infuses warm and cozy fall flavors, including cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Enhances the pumpkin taste and gives the blondies their characteristic autumn aroma.
- Vanilla Extract:
- Adds a subtle depth of flavor and aroma.
- Balances and enhances the overall taste of the blondies.
- Baking Soda:
- Acts as a leavening agent, helping the blondies rise slightly and become tender.
- Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor.
- Helps bring out the individual tastes of the ingredients.
- Cream Cheese Frosting (optional):
- Creates a creamy and tangy contrast to the sweet and spiced blondies.
- Adds an extra layer of flavor and indulgence.
How to Make Brown Butter Pumpkin Blondies
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
Before you start, make sure you have all your ingredients ready. You'll need pumpkin puree, browned butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, and optional cream cheese frosting.
Step 2: Brown the Butter
We'll begin by browning the butter. Take a saucepan and melt the butter over medium heat. As it melts, you'll notice it starting to bubble and sizzle. Keep an eye on it, and as the color changes to a golden brown and it releases a nutty aroma, you'll know it's ready. Remove it from the heat and let it cool a bit.
Step 3: Mix the Wet Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled browned butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix them together until they're well combined and you have a smooth mixture.
Step 4: Add Pumpkin and Flavors
Now, add the pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla extract to the sugar and butter mixture. Stir everything together until it's evenly mixed. The pumpkin will add that beautiful color and flavor we're looking for.
Step 5: Blend the Dry Ingredients
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. This mixture will be our dry ingredients. Combining them first ensures an even distribution of the spices and leavening agents.
Step 6: Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures
Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Stir gently until everything comes together. Be careful not to overmix; we want a smooth batter, but you don't need to stir too much.
Step 7: Prepare the Pan and Bake
Take an 8x8-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides for easy removal later. Pour the blondie batter into the pan and spread it out evenly using a spatula.
Step 8: Baking Time
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Once it's ready, pop the pan in and bake for about 25-30 minutes. You'll know they're done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. The edges should be lightly golden.
Step 9: Cooling and Frosting
Once they're out of the oven, let the blondies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. While they're cooling, you can prepare the optional cream cheese frosting by mixing cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of ground cinnamon.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
For the cream cheese frosting, you'll need cream cheese, reserved browned butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon.
Step 2: Soften the Cream Cheese
Start by taking the cream cheese out of the refrigerator and allowing it to come to room temperature. This will make it easier to blend into a smooth frosting.
Step 3: Browned Butter Blend
Remember the ¼ cup of browned butter we reserved? This is where it comes in. You can use it to add a wonderful nutty flavor to the frosting. Make sure it's at room temperature so it doesn't solidify the cream cheese.
Step 4: Mix the Cream Cheese and Butter
In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and the reserved ¼ cup of browned butter. Using a spatula or a mixer, blend them together until you have a creamy mixture. The browned butter will add a unique depth to the frosting.
Step 5: Add the Powdered Sugar
Gradually add the powdered sugar to the cream cheese and butter mixture. You can do this in batches, stirring well after each addition. Keep mixing until the powdered sugar is fully incorporated and the frosting is smooth.
Step 6: Enhance with Vanilla and Cinnamon
Now, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the frosting. This will add a lovely aroma and a hint of sweetness. If you'd like, you can also include a pinch of ground cinnamon for a warm and cozy flavor.
Step 7: Mix Until Creamy
Using your spatula or mixer, blend the frosting until everything is well combined and you have a velvety-smooth consistency. Make sure there are no lumps and that the flavors are evenly distributed.
Step 8: Frost Your Blondies
Once your pumpkin blondies have completely cooled, it's time to spread the cream cheese frosting over the top. You can use a spatula or a knife to achieve a nice, even layer.
Maple Pecan Delight:
Stir in a handful of chopped pecans into the blondie batter before baking. The nuts add crunch and a nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with maple.
For the frosting, add a tablespoon of maple syrup along with the powdered sugar to infuse that rich maple taste.
Chocolate Chip Bliss:
Mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips to the blondie batter for pockets of gooey chocolate goodness.
Top the cream cheese frosting with a drizzle of melted chocolate or chocolate chips for an irresistible combination of pumpkin, cream cheese, and chocolate.
Add ground ginger and a pinch of cloves to the pumpkin pie spice blend for a gingerbread-inspired twist.
For the frosting, blend in a bit of ground ginger and molasses to create a spiced gingerbread cream cheese frosting.
Apple Cinnamon Fusion:
Mix diced apples sautéed with a touch of cinnamon into the blondie batter for a fruity and spiced twist.
Create an apple cinnamon cream cheese frosting by adding a bit of applesauce and ground cinnamon to the frosting.
Maple Glazed Elegance:
Skip the cream cheese frosting and instead create a maple glaze by whisking together powdered sugar and maple syrup. Drizzle it over the baked and cooled blondies.
Storage and Freezing
Storage: Once you've baked your pumpkin blondies and frosted them (if desired), proper storage will help maintain their freshness and flavor:
- Room Temperature: If you plan to consume the blondies within 2-3 days, you can store them at room temperature in an airtight container. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent air exposure.
- Refrigerator: For longer storage, place the blondies in the refrigerator. They can last up to a week in the fridge. Again, use an airtight container to maintain their texture and taste.
Freezing: If you'd like to extend the shelf life of your pumpkin blondies beyond a week, freezing is a great option:
- Freezing Whole: Wrap the entire batch of blondies (frosted or unfrosted) tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped blondies in an airtight container or a freezer-safe resealable bag. This prevents freezer burn and preserves their quality.
- Portioning: Alternatively, you can cut the blondies into individual portions before freezing. Separate each piece with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet until frozen, then transfer them to a container or bag. This makes it easier to thaw only the amount you need.
- Labeling: Don't forget to label the container or bag with the date to keep track of freshness.
Thawing: When you're ready to enjoy your frozen pumpkin blondies:
- Refrigerator: Transfer the wrapped or packaged blondies to the refrigerator and allow them to thaw overnight. This gradual thawing helps maintain their texture and flavor.
- Room Temperature: If you're in a hurry, you can also let the blondies thaw at room temperature for a few hours. This method might cause slight condensation on the surface.
More Baking Ideas
If you're looking for something seasonal, but not pumpkin-flavored, try this outstanding apple cider cake!
Brown Butter Pumpkin Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Blondies
- 1¼ C flour
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1+¼ C brown butter
- ¾ C granulated sugar
- ½ C brown sugar
- 1¼ C pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- ¼ C reserved brown butter
- 1 C powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
For the Blondies
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line an 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides for easy removal.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue cooking the butter, swirling the pan occasionally, until it turns a light golden brown color and gives off a nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn it. Once browned, remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of the browned butter (reserve the remaining ¼ cup for the cream cheese frosting), granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and eggs to the wet ingredients. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour the blondie batter into the prepared baking pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs (not wet batter). The edges should be lightly browned.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the blondies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and the reserved ¼ cup of browned butter. Mix until smooth and well combined.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar to the cream cheese mixture, a little at a time, while mixing. Continue mixing until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Add the vanilla extract and ground cinnamon to the frosting and mix until incorporated.
- Once the pumpkin blondies have completely cooled, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top.
- Storage: Store these pumpkin blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Variations: Feel free to customize these blondies to your liking by adding chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries to the batter before baking.
- Frosting Alternatives: If you prefer a different frosting, consider using a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of caramel sauce for a simpler touch.
- Freezing: These blondies can be frozen for up to 2 months. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place them in an airtight container before freezing. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Serving Tip: To enhance the flavors, consider serving these pumpkin blondies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Hi, I'm Cara! I'm a food writer, journalist, and recipe developer. I'm obsessed good food, good wine, good cocktails and entertaining. I've picked up a few tips over the years, and love sharing them with others.