Gluten-Free & Vegan Pumpkin Brownies

December 4, 2012

in Other Desserts, Pumpkin

I had no intention of posting a brownie recipe this week. I was thinking more along the lines of a superfood kale salad, actually. Oops.

Pumpkin Brownies

However, I was having one of those days where everything feels more difficult than it should be – work-wise, puggle-wise (Barley – I’m looking at you, crazy!) – and all compounded by the fact that it was Monday. Brownies were in order.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Brownies


In my typical fashion, I couldn’t just make regular brownies. The vegan part is a given, but I also felt compelled to reduce the sugar and fat, use gluten-free flour, and doctor them up with pumpkin. For those of you who either hate pumpkin or called it quits after pumpkin everything for the last two months, not to worry. I can’t even taste it in the final product. Instead, the pumpkin allows you to cut down on the fat without really altering the texture. It’s like applesauce when it comes to baking, only less gummy.

Vegan Pumpkin Brownies

Of course, if you’re like me and you never get sick of pumpkin, you can also add in some pumpkin pie spice for a little extra kick. And then proceed to eat the rest of the pumpkin straight out of the can with a spatula while you wait for your brownies to bake. No judgement.

Coconut Sugar Pumpkin Brownies

Topped with some chopped almonds for a nice crunch, these brownies hit. the. spot.

Almond Brownies

I think I need to spontaneously make brownies more often.

Pumpkin Brownies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9-12 brownies
Gluten-free, vegan, low-glycemic, low-fat pumpkin brownies that actually taste really, really good. Especially when eaten still warm out of the oven with a cold glass of almond milk.
  • ¾ C. Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ C. Coconut Sugar
  • ¼ C. Melted Coconut Oil, plus 1 Tsp. for greasing the pan
  • 2½ Tbs. Stevia Baking Blend (or more Coconut Sugar to Taste)
  • ½ C. Cocoa powder
  • ¼ C. Sorghum Flour
  • ¼ C. Sweet White Rice Flour
  • ¼ C. Potato Starch (Tapioca Starch will also work)
  • ¼ Tsp. Fine Sea Salt
  • ¼ Tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ Tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
  • 3-4 Tbs. Chopped Almonds for Topping (optional)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan with 1 Tsp. of coconut oil and set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the ¼ C. of melted coconut oil and the chopped almonds (if using).
  4. Slowly add the melted coconut oil to the mixture, making sure to mix constantly so that it doesn't turn solid and form clumps (a stand mixer is helpful for this).
  5. Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer with a spatula.
  6. Top the batter with the chopped almonds (pressing down lightly so that they stick), and bake for approximately 25 minutes.
  7. When the brownies are done, the top should feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  8. Allow the brownies to cool slightly before cutting, then eat two. Okay, three.
Feel free to use your favorite gluten-free flour or blend. An all-purpose blend or brown rice flour will probably also work well. If you're not gluten-free, this recipe is also great with spelt or whole wheat pastry flours. Use ¾ C. total if you use a gluten flour. The pumpkin puree can be replaced with an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce. It may not seem like enough batter when you first transfer it to the baking pan, but I promise it is. Just use a spatula to spread it into an even layer. Or, for a thicker brownie, double the recipe and adjust the baking time accordingly. For something a bit more decadent, try mixing ⅓ C. of vegan chocolate chips into the brownie batter before baking.


Looking for an even more health-conscious brownie recipe? Try my Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies. I swear they don’t taste like beans.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy @Macncheesenpeas December 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Yum! Love the cropped nuts on top. I would make them, but I’ve already made pumpkin brownies twice this year, and my boyfriend was like “Can’t you ever make regular brownies?!” haha


Amanda December 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm

haha Understandable. Maybe you can make a batch all for yourself then. :)


Amy @Macncheesenpeas December 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm

haha that might be dangerous


Michelle Collins December 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I love using pumpkin and/or applesauce in baked goods like this!


Amanda December 4, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I think the key is just using a mixture of pumpkin/applesauce and oil so the texture isn’t totally off.


Caitlin December 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm

these look spectacular, amanda! i love using pumpkin puree in place of applesauce, and NEVER tire of eating pumpkin ;) the nuts on top fancy them up and make them holiday party worthy ;)


Amanda December 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Thank you, Caitlin! The almonds were a last-minute decision. I’m currently in an almond phase and can’t seem to get enough. :)


J @ *sparklingly December 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I think you need to spontaneously *SEND* brownies more often ;).

I know I’m so lucky to live in a city that has loads of vegan, gf, sugar-free, etc etc etc options, but I really just want a bite of those brownies up there.

(By bite, I mean, plate).


Amanda December 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I’m very jealous of all of the awesome foodie options you have in NYC! Except, if I lived there, I would probably not be able to afford them since rent is so freaking expensive. haha


J @ *sparklingly December 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Ugh, so true. That’s why I need those brownies. To drown my financial sorrows in ;).


Cinnamon @ eatpraytri December 5, 2012 at 12:19 am

Those look amazing. In looking at the recipe, I realize I only have THREE of those items in my kitchen right now. How pathetic is that? HA!


Amanda December 5, 2012 at 8:48 am

Oh no! Time to go to the grocery store? haha


Colette @ JFF! December 5, 2012 at 3:59 am

Those almonds look soooo happy…


Amanda December 5, 2012 at 8:49 am

I love the almonds! I need to add those more often.


Ceil December 5, 2012 at 7:58 am

Hi Amanda,

I certainly wish that I could be there to help you devour those brownies. They look absolutely delish! Am highly looking forward to returning to the USA next spring in part, so that I can purchase those hard-to-find food items you use in your awesome recipes. Enjoy the remainder of your week. :)


Amanda December 5, 2012 at 8:50 am

I wish you could help me eat them too – I cannot be trusted with an entire pan of brownies when I work from home. ;)


Lauren December 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Hah! Can you seriously eat pumpkin straight out of the can? Even as I write this I think, heck, I practically live off of pie spice, so forget I asked. :-) These look great, by the way. I’m always up for a less fattening brownie!


Amanda December 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm

haha It depends on the brand of pumpkin. Libby’s would probably be my top pick…followed by the 365 brand. Is that weird? ;)


Sondi December 6, 2012 at 2:06 am

I’ll be honest – I adore pumpkin, and don’t tire of recipes that use them, but I can’t ever see myself eating it out of the can. But maybe I don’t buy the right brand… :)


Amanda December 6, 2012 at 8:49 am

haha Yeah, some brands are not so great. I’m usually not a fan of the TJ’s pumpkin, but I used it in this recipe and it was surprisingly good. I also just really like pumpkin. :)


Mai-Lis @ A Sunshiny Day December 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

You are amazing! I always cook without recipes, but baking? Nope! Just can’t do it, I always need something to follow! These look awesome, thanks for giving me something to follow :)


Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} December 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I spontaneously made brownies the other night, too! It must be that kind of week. These look amazing, and I’m still into pumpkin!


Abby December 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I’ve been searching for a good homemade version of pumpkin brownies (Yeah you CAN just use a box mix, but I wanted to make them from scratch).

These look so lovely! I’m new to your blog, but will definitely be subscribing.


Abby December 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm

(Oh, and I totally eat pumpkin out of the can.)


Amanda December 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

I’m glad I’m not the only one who does that! haha I was starting to wonder… :)


shelley December 14, 2012 at 11:07 pm

I just made these. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free all purpose baking mix, left out the Xanthan Gum, and added the suggested 1/3 cup chocolate chips. HEAVEN. They don’t taste at all like pumpkin, not that I would mind – they are just simply delicious! This was my first time baking w/ coconut oil, so thanks for the encouragement. I just measured it out and put it in a dish in the microwave on defrost to get it liquid-y. Added it little by little as you suggested, mixed by hand, and it was beautiful. Thanks, Amanda!


Amanda December 15, 2012 at 8:26 am

Yay! I’m so glad your brownies turned out well! I love baking with coconut oil. It’s one of those ingredients that’s perfect for so many uses. :)


shelley December 15, 2012 at 11:37 am

Is there anything special to keep in mind when I sub coconut oil for butter, shortening, oil, etc in recipes? Does it sub measure for measure w/ butter/margarine?


Amanda December 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I’ve found that, in general, you can sub coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio. What’s great is that it can be used in liquid or solid form, depending on what the recipe requires. Of course, each recipe is a little different, so it may take some trial and error to get the right result.


Kelly Anne December 28, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Nice recipe. I love a simple brownie recipe which is easy for the kids :)
Thanks for sharing,


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