Hello pumpkin. Meet chocolate.



I’ve been dying to share this recipe with you since I made it.

These are the perfect brownies. I dream about these brownies. I daydream about these brownies. Heck I’m pretty much always thinking about how darn good these brownies were. They are hands down the best brownies that I have ever tasted, and I’m pretty sure that no brownie will ever, EVER live up to the memory of these brownies.

Brownies are basically ruined for me now.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese, Salted Caramel, and Fudge Brownies


In his book An Economist Get’s Lunch, Tyler Cowen suggests developing expensive tastes as a way to disincentivize yourself from eating certain foods, or in his words “a path toward overcoming some of our own selfishness”. Cowen writes the following of his experience visiting one of the best steakhouses in America after having visiting some of the best in the world.

“Why did I go? It all felt so ordinary. “$70 for the best steak in the country” sounds maybe worthwhile, but I had a new framing, something more like “$70 for the sixth best steak I’ve had”. Eh.

 That’s how these brownies were for me. So amazing that I might never be able to eat another brownie without finding it somehow lacking.


Cutting the Brownies


Now you’re probably asking yourself how this will help you eat fewer brownies when these you can just make these super amazing brownies at home.

While they are delicious, these are not easy brownies – they require a double boiler, three mixing bowls, and a candy thermometer. Neither are they quick – they’re best after resting for a good 24 hours.  Nor are they inexpensive – you’ll want to use 10 oz. of the very best dark chocolate that you can find. The chocolate alone could run you upwards of $10.



When all is said and done. You won’t be making these brownies once a week or even once a month. But when you have the time and the inclination, they will be worth every single minute, every single penny, and every single dirty dish. Especially if you plop on a mound of vanilla ice cream and drizzle that left over caramel sauce over the top.

Totally worth it.


Pouring Homemade Caramel Sauce onto Brownie Sundae


Pumpkin Caramel Double Swirl Fudge Brownies

(Slightly adapted from Back To The Cutting Board)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 13 x 9” pan. Pour about 1/2 of the brownie batter into the pan, and drizzle about 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce over the top of the brownies, and swirl with a knife. Pour on 2/3 of the pumpkin mixture in large dollops, cover with the the remainder of the brownie batter, and spoon on the remainder of the pumpkin mixture. Drizzle another 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce over the top, and swirl with knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min. The brownies need to rest until completely cooled. In fact, in my opinion they are at their best after about 24 hours in the refrigerator.


Fudge Brownie Batter

1 cup Unsalted Butter
10 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate
4 Eggs
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 cup Granulated Sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 cup Flour

Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. When smooth, set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until creamy and smooth, stir in salt, sugar and vanilla extract. Stir in the chocolate mixture, and once combined slowly add the flour. You will end up with a thick, creamy batter.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl

1 Egg
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Pumpkin
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
2 Tbsp. Flour

Whisk the egg, and blend in the softened cream cheese and pumpkin puree. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, then whisk them into the pumpkin cream cheese mixture.


Salted Caramel Sauce

1 cup Sugar
2/3 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/2 cup Water
1 tsp. Sea Salt
3/4 cup Tbsp. Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a non-stick saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Reduce over medium heat. Now simmer the syrup until it begins to brown. This will take about 5 min. If you have a candy (or deep frying) thermometer, you’re aiming for 325 degrees. In the meantime, measure out the cream and mix in the vanilla extract. When the syrup browns, shut off the heat, and pour cream down the side of the pan into the caramel. Be careful the syrup is very hot! Stir in the salt, and allow to cool.

You will only use about half of this for the brownies, but I’m sure you’ll find something to do with the rest. You can store this in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.



The moral of the story is that if you want to eat fewer brownies, then you should definitely make these brownies. It makes total sense.

Trust me, I’m an economist.

3 Responses to Pumpkin Caramel Double Swirl Fudge Brownies

  1. Cathie says:

    These LOOK amazing!! I hope I get to try them someday!

  2. tina says:

    This is probably a dumb question, but I don’t know how to make pumpkin puree.

  3. Erin says:

    Tina, there are no dumb questions.

    You can use canned pumpkin such as Libby’s, or you can roast your own and purée it in the food processor.

    To roast, just cut a sugar pumpkin (sometimes called a pie pumkin) in half, removing the stem, and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves (cut side down) on a foil lined baking sheet and pop in a 350 degree oven for about 45 min. Allow to cool, remove skin, and purée in a food processor.

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