I like pumpkin pie as much as the next person, but sometimes all the traditional Thanksgiving cooking is just a little slooow for me. I want my sweet tooth satisfied NOW, and I want to spend those extra five or ten hours hanging out with my family. These pumpkin brownies are the perfect solution. They whip up fast and easy with a base of boxed brownie mix and some canned pumpkin.
With a little espresso added, you can even call them breakfast. A deliciously decadent, gooey, pumpkin-filled breakfast. Now go play some flag football with the family in all that extra time you didn't spend making dessert from scratch!
Hack that Boxed Mix for Delicious Pumpkin Brownies
- Boxed brownie mix (enough to fill a 13x9” pan)
- Espresso, cooled
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Prepare the brownie mix per the box instructions, replacing the water with espresso. Pour into a greased 9x13” pan.
- Combine the cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, egg, baking powder and spices and spoon a thin layer on top of the brownie mix. Run a knife through the top layer to make some of the brownie mix peek out.
- Cook per the boxed instructions, adding about 15 minutes and checking frequently towards the end. It’s done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean (although I’ll admit, I always undercook mine).
- Serve warm, with a scoop of Dreyer’s Slow Churned Pumpkin Patch ice cream.
I never have ground cloves in my kitchen – only whole – so I just crush them in a bag. It adds a nice spice to the recipe (though you may want to tone down the cloves and ginger and remove the espresso if you're planning to serve this to kids. I'm selfish so I cater these pumpkin brownies to my grown-up tastes and make something else for the wee ones).
I actually use my favorite gluten-free boxed mix to make these pumpkin brownies allergy-friendly. You can make the brownie mix from scratch if you feel so inclined or tweak Grandma's great-aunt's second-cousin's recipe that's been passed down for generations (I'd love to see the look on Grandpa's face). I, for one, prefer the shortcut method to free up some time.
What are you waiting for? Serve these pumpkin brownies up at your next get-together and tell me how it goes over!