Pumpkin swirl brownies: I wrote this post in partnership with HERSHEY chocolate. It is a delicious, chocoately partnership, and I’m so glad to have them in my kitchen today.
Have you seen my pumpkin ebook for 25 pumpkin recipe that aren’t pie and 1 that is? I think you would love it.
If we're going to do Fall right, we're going to reach for a can of pumpkin. We're also going to have a heavier hand with spices and cocoa powder in general, because it's the season for baking and I couldn't be happier!
A note on working 'too hard'
You guys probably know this, but...I work really hard. I work every day of the week, and almost every hour of the day. As soon as I wake and until the last minute before I fall asleep, I'm doing some form of work.
I'm constantly facing challenges in my career path, and I feel like I'm constantly dodging bullets, juggling new skills, and fielding new information. It's overwhelming at times, yes. But you know what? I don't really think of it as 'work.' People that are close to me say 'you work too much,' but I don't really hear that. It's true that I'm always plugged in, my brain is always in the creative space, and I'm probably on my phone too much.
The thing is, it doesn't really feel like WORK. It feels like something I am obsessed with and allowed to pursue with gusto. I would describe it as a love affair that shows no signs of slowing. A love that consumes me, fills me up, but leaves me begging for more.
I love baking, I love photography, and I love writing cookbooks, so I would happily do it 24 hours a day. It never gets old to me; its allure never fades. I feel lucky that I get to fill the hours of the day with these things that make me so happy.
There are times when I get overwhelmed and frustrated. There are times when I know I need to take a break, go on vacation, and turn off my phone. But do you know what I do when I feel that way? I BAKE. I get in the kitchen and bake. It's technically still 'work,' but it has never felt that way.
Why I bake small batch desserts:
I bake small batches of desserts because it makes me happy, and I love that it doesn't use too many ingredients. The fact that I can make something fabulous even when my fridge is bare and only contains 1 egg makes me giddy. I love that I don't have leftovers, both for my waistline, but also so that I have an excuse to bake the next day, too. It's almost indescribable why two brownies make me happier than 22. Or why six cookies make me smile more than three dozen. It's just the way I'm made.
I love that small batch desserts make you happy, too. But truthfully, if they didn't, I'd still be here in this space, writing and sharing small batch desserts. If no one read my words or baked my recipes, I would still be here, baking two brownies in a loaf pan, but more specifically: pumpkin swirl brownies. One for me and one for you. (I would just have to eat your serving).
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies, the beginning:
I've had a lot of cool things come into my life because of my passion. Writing three cookbooks has definitely been the highlight, but I've also had a lot of brands come to me and ask me to use their products in my baking. And I have, here and there. I'm careful who I let into my space. I'm always guarding the door, making sure this job never becomes work.
But when Hershey's Kitchens asked me to talk about why I love baking, I let the door swing wide open. Their products are already nestled into my baking shelf in the pantry. Their love of baking is as fierce as mine.
So, I wanted to let you guys know that for the next 10 weeks or so, I'll be partnering with Hershey's to share recipes that I've made exclusively for them.
For making these pumpkin swirl brownies for two, I used their Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (which already has a permanent home in my pantry). I swirled in pumpkin because Fall baking makes me happiest. I baked the pumpkin swirl brownies in a loaf pan for two large bakery-sized servings. And now I'm sharing them with you.
If you're here right now, you love to bake, too. Why do you love to bake? Is the kitchen your happy place? Why does your favorite whisk bring you such calmness? I'd love to share this passion with you even more. Is there a favorite recipe that you always turn to? Or, do you like to try something new?
Oh, how I wish you could be in the kitchen right next to me ❤️
If you share your words here with me in the comment section, that's incredible. But if you hop over to my Facebook page and share why you bake.
Brownies for two made in a loaf pan...with a pumpkin swirl!
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- ½ cup Hershey’s natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- For the pumpkin swirl:
- ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat the oven to 325, and line a 9x5” bread loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving enough excess to use as handles for lifting the brownies out of the pan when done baking.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, cocoa powder, 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds.
- Stop, stir, and repeat for another 30 seconds.
- Let the mixture stand for 1 minute.
- Stir in the vanilla, salt and egg.
- Finally, add the flour and stir vigorously for 1 minute, or so, or about 50 strokes.
- Next, combine the pumpkin swirl ingredients in a bowl: stir together the pumpkin, sugar, egg yolk and pumpkin pie spice.
- Spread the brownie batter in the pan evenly, and top with dots of the pumpkin swirl batter. Using a toothpick (or fork) to swirl the mixtures together.
- Bake for about 40 minutes—a toothpick inserted should have lots of wet crumbs clinging to it, but no wet batter.
- Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, lift out and slice to serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 1gSodium: 586mgCarbohydrates: 54gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g
Do you still have a link to Amazon for the smaller size baking items you recommended.
Gee I hope I remember this right.
Christina Lane says
I'm sorry, I now live in a state where Amazon affiliate links are illegal (major bummer!). Is there a certain pan you're looking for? I'll send a link your way :)
I did find your posting from March on the baking pans.
I'm glad I did because I almost bought the 3 inch cake pan instead of the two inch and after reading the comments I now know to get two of them.
So I'm planning on the 6 inch glass pie dish, quarter sheet, and the loaf pan.
Do you prefer the regular metal--I was thinking the Wilton non-stick??
I'm retiring next summer, I'm single, and I'll have time to cook so I bought your two cookbooks for smaller servings and not so many left over temptations.
If there is something else I should get that will help me with your recipe size please let me know.
Thank you for your help.
Christina Lane says
I prefer metal 6" cake pans, glass 6" pie dish, and a metal loaf pan, though the loaf pan part isn't that important.
Thanks so much! If it were me, I would also buy some mini spatulas and mini whisks. It's just easier when working with small amounts of batter. Totally not necessary, though! I hope you enjoy :) Thank you for writing!
You're killing it! Those brownies, those photos and that darling skirt! I love it all.
Lauren Gaskill says
Beautiful as always, dear Christina! Love the swirl, and love anything brownie related! Going to be making these soon! Pinned. :)
Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons says
That swirl! Gorgeous!
Barb Haden says
I just made the brownies. They didn't taste right then realized your directions forget to say when to add the additional cup of sugar in the brownie part. You only list the 2T. You might want to repost the recipe.
Barb Haden says
Gosh, I'm sorry. I just totally misread the recipe. It clearly states to add all the sugar with the cocoa and butter. My mistake. Guess I shouldn't try and bake something new when I'm watching a presidential debate! I'll try again.
Colin McLaughlin says
Hi Christina! Just want to say that I LOVE all your recipes. I actually just got your first cookbook last week and alley mini pans and have been baking at least one thing everyday :)
I am so happy I already pre-ordered your next book!
Quick question-my favorite dessert of all time is brownies. I like very fudgy, dense, not cakey at all brownies. I noticed you have several different recipes for brownies-some using unsweetened chocolate, some cocoa powder, some more/less butter etc.,
Do you have a recommendation which one I should be using for the fudgiest ones? I have tried the small batch brownies from your book and the perfect brownie recipe from your website.
Any advice on getting the ultimate fudgiest brownie recipe would be greatly appreciated!!
Christina Lane says
Thank you so much for writing me, and thank you for the kind words! It's nice to meet you :)
So, the best fudgy brownies are on my site, called beer brownies: https://www.dessertfortwo.com/beer-brownies/
However, if you don't want to make brownies with beer, I would suggest the pumpkin swirl brownies and leave off the pumpkin swirl. The next book (Sweet & Simple) has a frosted brownie recipe that is so thick and fudgy, it makes me weak in the knees! :) The pumpkin swirl brownies on the site are the closest to the new brownie recipe in the next book.
Thanks again for writing, and I hope you continue to enjoy small desserts!
Jean Pasley says
These look delicious! I was wondering why the sugar is double your normal brownie recipe? My husband and I love sweets, but cannot tolerate too much sugar. Is it possible to use the 1/2 cup plus 1-2 tablespoon amount instead?
Also, will you ever give a recipe for a more cake-like brownie?
Christina Lane says
Good eye--yes, this recipe has way more sugar than my normal brownie recipe. I did this because I wanted thicker, more substantial brownies. I would use the old brownie recipe (found here: https://www.dessertfortwo.com/small-batch-brownies/), and add the pumpkin swirl on top of that.
Mmmm these brownies look SO good. We've got some Hershey's cocoa powder in our pantry too. Great stuff!
Major D says
I define work as something you don't want to do. I am not averse to the heavy manual labor of digging, cultivating and weeding my garden and I can cook for hours but never think of it as "slaving" over a hot stove.
Thanks for your brownie recipe- it is top notch. Cooled cut up and eaten in less than an hour. Will have to do it all over again tomorrow.
btw, I used steamed butternut squash in place of the canned pumpkin.