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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Healthy Layered Pumpkin Brownies

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These layered pumpkin brownies are not only fudgy, chocolately and decadent, but they’re actually healthy too! Only 15 minutes of prep time, less than 150 calories per serving, and the perfect fall dessert!

layered pumpkin brownies stacked on a white pedestal, with cinnamon, chocolate chips and pumpkin in the background

I absolutely love brownies – they’re one of my favorite desserts. Which is why, when fall comes around, pumpkin brownies are a fun way to switch things up! These layered pumpkin brownies are thick, chewy, sweet and will fill your house with the most amazing fall scents.

Typically when I bake, I try to keep all of the decadent flavor of the traditional recipe, while still making a few healthy swaps to lighten things up just a bit! There is still sugar in this recipe, just a little less of it. There is still butter, but some of it has been replaced with a healthier alternative. All of this means that you can enjoy these brownies relatively guilt-free, while still making an amazing dessert from scratch!

layered pumpkin brownies stacked on a white pedestal, with cinnamon, chocolate chips and pumpkin in the background

What ingredients are needed for traditional layered pumpkin brownies?

My traditional ingredients list for these brownies goes like this:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs (or flax eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • 8 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
ingredients for layered pumpkin brownies - cacao powder, flour, pumpkin, chocolate chips, etc.

How do you make healthy layered pumpkin brownies?

Making these layered pumpkin brownies just a little bit healthier is so easy! I swapped out a few ingredients and my modified ingredients list is below!

  • Instead of regular flour, use: 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. For a gluten free option use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Less sugar: 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • Instead of butter, use: 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce + 1/4 cup butter (Other butter substitutes include: 1/2 cup coconut oil or 1/2 cup pureed avocado, or 1/4 cup whole milk greek yogurt. You can find even more healthy substitutes for butter here)
  • Instead of eggs, use: 2 flax eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • A little less chocolate chips: 6 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
closeup of layered pumpkin brownies, cut and stacked on top of each other

How to make these Layered pumpkin brownies – step by step

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

Step 2: In another bowl, cream together the sugar and butter (and applesauce, if using). Then mix in the eggs (or flax eggs) and vanilla until well combined.

Step 3: Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir together with a spatula just until well combined. Then pour half of this batter into the other bowl. To the first bowl, fold in cocoa powder and chocolate chips.

ingredients for pumpkin brownies combined in a glass bowl

Step 4: To the second bowl, stir in pumpkin puree and the spices.

pumpkin puree and spices stirred into batter
wet ingredients and dry ingredients for brownies in two glass bowls

Step 5: Pour the chocolate batter into the baking dish and spread in an even layer across the bottom.

chocolate brownie layer spread into a baking pan lined with parchment paper

Step 6: Then pour the pumpkin batter on top and spread in an even layer.

pumpkin batter spread on top of chocolate layer in baking pan

Step 7: Bake in preheated oven for 45 – 48 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.  

layered pumpkin brownies fresh out of the oven, cut into squares on parchment paper, top view

How long will these layered pumpkin brownies last at room temperature?

You can store these brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days (but I’d be surprised if they were around that long! 🙂 ). If you have any left after 4 days, you can get a couple more days of shelf life out of them by putting them in the fridge. To reheat just microwave them for 20 seconds.

closeup of layered pumpkin brownies, cut in a baking pan

Can this recipe be made vegan and gluten free?

Absolutely! To make this recipe gluten free, all you need to do is use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour as a 1:1 replacement for the flour in this recipe.

To make this recipe vegan, use 1/2 cup coconut oil or 1/2 cup pureed avocado instead of the butter.

layered pumpkin brownies stacked on a white pedestal, with cinnamon, chocolate chips and pumpkin in the background

Top Tips for Making these healthy, layered pumpkin brownies

  • Make sure you use unsweetened pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling for this recipe (they are basically on the same shelf at the grocery store, so be sure to grab the right one!)
  • To mix things up, you can add chopped walnuts or pecans to this recipe! You can add 1/4-1/2 cup chopped nuts to the chocolate part of the batter before spreading in the baking dish.
  • For a gluten free option, use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour as a 1:1 replacement for the flour in this recipe.
  • If you don’t have cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, you can use the equivalent amount of pumpkin pie spice (3 tsp total) in this recipe.
  • Make sure to use unsweetened cacao powder (not unsweetened cocoa powder) in this recipe. Cacao is less processed and has a milder taste so it works better for these brownies!
  • Let the brownies rest before cutting into squares – you’ll end up with a much better, held-together brownie that way.
  • You can decrease the amount of brown sugar even more in this recipe for an even healthier version — it’ll still be slightly sweet from the pumpkin and chocolate chips!

Be sure to try these other healthy dessert recipes!

layered pumpkin brownies stacked on a white pedestal, with cinnamon, chocolate chips and pumpkin in the background

If you have tried these layered pumpkin brownies, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

layered pumpkin brownies stacked on a white pedestal, with cinnamon, chocolate chips and pumpkin in the background
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Healthy, Layered Pumpkin Brownies

These layered pumpkin brownies are not only fudgy, chocolately and decadent, but they're actually healthy too! Only 15 minutes of prep time, less than 150 calories per serving, and the perfect fall dessert!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Baking, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, cream together the sugar and butter (and applesauce, if using). Then mix in the eggs (or flax eggs) and vanilla until well combined.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir together with a spatula just until well combined. Then pour half of this batter into the other bowl. To the first bowl, fold in cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
  • To the second bowl, stir in pumpkin puree and the spices.
  • Pour the chocolate batter into the baking dish and spread in an even layer across the bottom.
  • Then pour the pumpkin batter on top and spread in an even layer.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 45 – 48 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.  

Notes

Top Tips for Making These Healthy, Layered Pumpkin Brownies
  • Make sure you use unsweetened pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling for this recipe (they are basically on the same shelf at the grocery store, so be sure to grab the right one!)
  • To mix things up, you can add chopped walnuts or pecans to this recipe! You can add 1/4-1/2 cup chopped nuts to the chocolate part of the batter before spreading in the baking dish.
  • For a gluten free option, use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour as a 1:1 replacement for the flour in this recipe.
  • If you don’t have cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, you can use the equivalent amount of pumpkin pie spice (3 tsp total) in this recipe.
  • Make sure to use unsweetened cacao powder (not unsweetened cocoa powder) in this recipe. Cacao is less processed and has a milder taste so it works better for these brownies!
  • Let the brownies rest before cutting into squares – you’ll end up with a much better, held-together brownie that way.
  • You can decrease the amount of brown sugar even more in this recipe for an even healthier version — it’ll still be slightly sweet from the pumpkin and chocolate chips!
Note: Nutrition info calculated using whole wheat pastry flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, applesauce + butter and flax eggs

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.2g | Protein: 2.1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4.1g | Sodium: 177.1mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Sugar: 9.8g

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Dessert ·

Indulge your sweet tooth with some of my lightened-up treats. From gluten-free brownies to fruity crumbles, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to check out holiday favorites like my healthy pumpkin pie!

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