Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies.

Recipe & photography updated 8/28/2013

These dark, fudgy brownies are lightened up using wholesome ingredients. Add a thick swirl of pumpkin and you have one delicious, lighter treat!

Skinny Pumpkin Brownies - These dark, fudgy pumpkin swirl brownies are lightened up using wholesome ingredients!

The richest brownies I’ve ever tasted, the EASIEST brownies I’ve ever made. Brownies that taste like fudge. 

Many of you have told me that you’ve made the original version and loved ‘em.  I don’t blame you! Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies are what dreams are made of. And I don’t ever want to wake up. Just like the original version, today’s skinny brownies are made with no oil and no butter. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Oh, and no beans either. I cannot get on board with beans in my brownies.

Skinny Pumpkin Brownies - These dark, fudgy pumpkin swirl brownies are lightened up using wholesome ingredients!

My regular full-fat fudge brownies call for melted chocolate, 3 eggs, and a stick of butter. Hence, their wonderful decadence and fudgy consistency. To achieve the same rich & dense texture but cut the calories & fat, I used unsweetened cocoa powder and 0% Greek yogurt. Instead of white flour, I used ground up oats. Using ground oats eliminates gluten from the brownies. If you’re gluten intolerant, make sure your oats are certified GF.  If you are not limiting your gluten intake, you may use whole wheat flour instead.

Did you know? A brownie’s fudgy texture is directly related to the amount of flour in the recipe.  And with only 1/2 cup ground up oats in the entire recipe, you can imagine the density and fudginess of these! They’re shockingly rich, but without all the saturated fat and empty calories.

The brownies are sweetened with pure maple syrup. It sounds odd, but it works. Think mapley-pumpkin-y thoughts. The brownies aren’t overly sweet as written. If you do not like intense dark chocolate, try adding a few more Tablespoons of maple syrup to the batter.

There is no refined sugar in the brownies themselves, but I couldn’t get away with NOT using a touch of white sugar in the pumpkin swirl. Believe me, I tried.

Let’s talk about that gorgeous orange cheesecake swirl, shall we? Take a bit of pure pumpkin puree, a dollop of low fat cream cheese, 1 egg yolk, pumpkin spices, and a minuscule amount of white sugar. Beat it all together to create a rich and creamy autumn-y swirl to the fudgy brownies underneath. I tried to make the swirl with maple syrup – it was NOT good.

Skinny Pumpkin Brownies - These dark, fudgy pumpkin swirl brownies are lightened up using wholesome ingredients!

If you’re watching your diet, these brownies are the perfect treat this time of year.  Whole grain, gluten free, low in fat, very low in refined sugar, and high in decadent flavor. The taste is what is most important, right? Why make a “lightened-up” treat if it tastes awful?!

And did I mention? They are a breeze to make! The ingredients are mixed together in a blender (yes, a blender!) and poured into a baking pan. Swirl the pumpkin cheesecake bliss around and pop in the oven.  Easy peasy. The hardest part is waiting for the brownies to cool.  If you cut into them too early, the brownies will crumble and fall apart.  You can always I rush the process and cool them in the refrigerator.

These brownies are like pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and brownies all getting together for a date with my skinny jeans. Thank heavens.

*The recipe written below was updated on 8/28/2013 from a previous version I wasn’t happy with.  These brownies have a firmer pumpkin cheesecake swirl and less sugar.

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Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Dark, fudgy brownies made lighter and swirled with pumpkin!

Yield: 12 large brownies

Ingredients:

Brownies

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup vanilla 0% Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, low fat or nonfat, plain or vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond milk, coconut milk, cow milk, soy milk)
  • 2 egg whites - save 1 yolk for cheesecake swirl
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or agave or honey)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl
  • 1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree 
  • 2 Tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 8×8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Grind the oats in your food processor to produce a powdery flour.  If you are not gluten intolerant, you may just use 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour instead of oat flour.

Add the oat flour and the rest of the brownie ingredients into a blender (yes, a blender!). For easier blending, place the liquid ingredients into the blender first. Blend until mixture is smooth and oats are ground up. You will have to stop the blender and scrape down the sides a few times. Batter will be very thin. *If you like very sweet brownies, add a couple more Tablespoons of maple syrup to the batter.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish.  Prepare the pumpkin swirl by beating together pumpkin puree and cream cheese together on high speed until smooth.  Add the sugar, egg yolk and all of the spices.  Beat until combined and creamy. Drop pumpkin mixture by spoonfuls onto the batter, swirling gently with a knife to create a marbled effect. (Try not to overmix!)

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. I covered my brownies loosely with aluminum foil at the 15 minute mark.  Brownies will be extra fudgy, so be sure to wait until COMPLETELY cooled – I stuck mine in the refrigerator for 1 hour, which allowed them to be cut very easily.

Cut into 12 squares.  I enjoy mine cold and suggest storing in the refrigerator.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

More healthier recipes:

Skinny Pumpkin Frappuccino

Skinny Pumpkin Frappuccino-6

 

Skinny Frozen Mint Chocolate Chip Pie

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites

 

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

 

 

 

   

70 Responses to “Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies.”

  1. #
    1
    Aimee @ ShugarySweetsposted September 20, 2012 at 6:41 am

    These look lovely. Chocolate and pumpkin is a great combo….add in skinny and I’m all over it!

    Reply

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    Elaineposted September 20, 2012 at 8:16 am

    And I didn’t think it could get any better than your Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies! Drooooooool.

    Reply

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    Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?!posted September 20, 2012 at 8:22 am

    LOVE the look of these! Oh my.

    Reply

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    Kare @ Kitchen Treatyposted September 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

    These remind me of those No-Pudge Fudge Brownies they used to have at Trader Joe’s. Or maybe they still do carry them. I stopped buying it because it was way too easy to eat, like, six brownies in one sitting. Or so I would assume. Because I would *never* do that. Ahem.

    These look divine and so perfect, of course, for fall. I’ll just need to make them, grab *one*, and usher my guy out the door with the rest for his coworkers.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 20th, 2012 at 8:54 am

      haha, well i’ve actually never had no-pudge brownies before! and these brownies were too dang good for me to give away ;)

      Reply

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    Lauren Aposted September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

    It’s official. You are my hero. You had me at first bite with your delicious skinny peanut butter fudge brownies, but now THESE?! You are truly sent from above.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 20th, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Lauren! you are too sweet. this made me smile.

      Reply

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    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebelposted September 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I’m kinda sorta speechless right now. These brownies are insane, girl! Love the pumpkin cheesecake swirl and LOVE how fudgy and dense they are! Those are the best kind of brownies for my sporadic but yes, sometimes-brownie cravings :)

    Reply

  7. #
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    Meghan @ After the Ivy Leagueposted September 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I have a can of pure pumpkin just waiting to baked into a delicious brownie. I love the simple list of ingredients too, I just need to grab some cream cheese and I’m ready to go!

    Reply

  8. #
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    Something Undone Daddy Duranteposted September 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Wow, the consistency of those brownies looks INCREDIBLE! I added it to my list of things to make. The kids might even eat them. They’ve been asking me to put together brownies lately.

    Reply

  9. #
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    Jessica@AKitchenAddictionposted September 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I am all over these! Love pumpkin and rich chocolate. . .and skinny?! Please!

    Reply

  10. #
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    Ari @ Ari's Menuposted September 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    These look suuuuuper yummy. Perfect for an extra Thanksgiving dessert!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 20th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      “extra” thanksgiving dessert is right! since they’re practically guiltfree, they don’t count :)

      Reply

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    Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of Foodieposted September 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I LOVE putting pumpkin in my brownies! I feel pumpking + brownies are the crux of Fall baking ;) But then you decided to spice things up and invite cheesecake to the party, I can totally get on board with that haha

    Reply

  12. #
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    Laura Dembowskiposted September 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    That pumpkin swirl in there is gorgeous! I love all the healthy swaps you made without sacrificing flavor or texture. Also, so cool that it’s made in a blender. I’ve never made a batter of any kind in a blender, but it’s such a great idea!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 20th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      the blender ordeal was strange to me, but it totally works!

      Reply

  13. #
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    Averie @ Averie Cooksposted September 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Sally they look delish and love that you made a trifecta in one: pumpkin pie, cheesecake, and brownies!

    And that you make them skinny. Normally I don’t care what’s in a dessert b/c, well, it’s dessert and I just go for the full-on full-everything thinking it’s dessert and may as well just enjoy it to the max but it’s nice to know that the skinny version looks moist, rich, and every bit as decadent as a ‘trifecta’ should be :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 20th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      desserts are desserts and healthy is healthy. probably shouldn’t go hand-inhand. but with pumpkin, i feel like there are no limits!! :)

      Reply

  14. #
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    amy @ fearless homemakerposted September 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Ooh, I’ve made pumpkin-swirl brownies before + *loved* them! I’ll definitely have to give these a try – I love that they’re both skinny AND involve cheesecake. YUM!

    Reply

  15. #
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    Chung-Ah | Damn Deliciousposted September 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    A pumpkin-cheesecake-brownie combo?! How have I never thought of that?! And they’re skinny?!!! Okay yes, I am going to eat the entire pan guilt-free then :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 20th, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      …i almost *did* eat the entire pan… lol!

      Reply

  16. #
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    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crustposted September 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Holy cow Sally. These are….unbelievable. I cannot wait to try them. And I can eat the whole pan…right?

    Reply

  17. #
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    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishesposted September 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Love that you made these skinny! That means I can stuff my face with them and not feel bad :)

    Reply

  18. #
    18
    Laurie {Simply Scratch}posted September 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I really like the sound of these skinny jean friendly brownies! :)

    Reply

  19. #
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    Christina @Sweet Pea's Kitchenposted September 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Skinny you say? That means I can have two, right!? :)

    Reply

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    Katie @ Oh Shine Onposted September 21, 2012 at 12:21 am

    This is totally…. TOTALLY. My kind of recipe. I think you’ve been spending too much time on my blog — okay, let’s be real with ourselves (naht really). But I totes forgive you because… This. Post. Is. Amazing.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 21st, 2012 at 6:21 am

      I knew you’d like these Katie! And yes, I often do visit oh shine on… you have such great stuff! those nutella granola bars… still thinkin’ about em.

      Reply

  21. #
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    Jocelyn @BruCrew Lifeposted September 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I am all over a pan of brownies that have pumpkin, cheesecake and are skinny!!!! Love how dense and fudge like these look!

    Reply

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    22
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted September 21, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Wow!! Anything that tastes like pumpkin pie, brownies, and cheesecake in one dessert sounds pretty amazing to me! And even better that they are skinny!

    Reply

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    Liz (Little Bitty Bakes)posted September 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    I just ate a bowl of ice cream but even that won’t stop me from wanting about 3 of these brownies right now! They look so awesome and no butter/oil? Even better! Greek yogurt is the key to every awesome recipe, I think you and I prove that. :)

    Reply

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    Audra@The-Baker-Chickposted September 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    What a thought that a brownie could look so fudgy and rich but be low fat? I can’t believe it! I will definitely be trying out the chocolate peanut butter kind at some point! Great post!

    Reply

  25. #
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    Gedposted September 22, 2012 at 8:22 am

    We don’t appear to have pumpkin puree in the UK, but it is the season for pumpkins :-) Can I use pumpkin itself, blitzed in the blender do you think? :-)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 22nd, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Cooked and pureed pumpkin will work in place of the canned pumpkin, yes!

      Reply

  26. #
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    Julie @ Table for Twoposted September 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    girl, once i get all up in these brownies, i doubt i’ll be the one that’s skinny! haha, these look soo good and i love the cheesecake swirl – loveeee cheesecake in everything!

    Reply

  27. #
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    Erin @ Texanerin Bakingposted September 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I love that you used oats and not flour! Oats just taste less healthier than whole wheat flour. I’ve tried something similar before but the texture was all off. But these are like fudge?! I have to try them! I’m really tempted to cut back on the sugar but then they won’t be as fudgy. Darn sugar! Makes everything so delicious and texturally nice. :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 24th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Yes, exactly like fudge. Even boys said they didn’t taste healthy at all! Some thought I was tricking them!

      Reply

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    Nicky @ Pink Recipe Boxposted September 25, 2012 at 7:30 am

    These sound absolutely amazing Sally! Pinning and can’t wait to try :)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 25th, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Thanks Nicky! We finished them last week and I already bought the ingredients to make them again.

      Reply

  29. #
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    Rachel (teacher-chef)posted September 25, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Thank You (again) for another great looking recipe Sally, looking forward to whipping these up once I re-stock up on Pumpkin for the year!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 26th, 2012 at 12:00 am

      thanks Rachel! Be sure to report back.

      Reply

  30. #
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    Cecilyposted October 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I don’t have a blender :( Will an electric hand mixer thing do?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 18th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Cecily, use regular flour and omit the oats if you do not have a blender. Simply mix the ingredients together by hand. The oats are ground up into a flour in the blender, so since you do not have one – use regular flour.

      Reply

  31. #
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    fionaposted November 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    hi, will it be okay if i hand mix the rolled oats instead of using a blender? otherwise, if i substitute it with wholemeal flour, is the amount required still the same i.e. 1/2 cup of flour ?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 4th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      You may also use a food processor to grind the oats. Or purchase oat flour or all-purpose flour. I’ve never tried these with wholemeal flour before, but let me know how it turns out if you use that instead of AP or oat. Yes, use the same amount – 1/2 cup.

      Reply

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    Clarence@UK Cake Deliveryposted November 23, 2012 at 5:35 am

    I never had a taste of this kind of brownies, I will look over store if they have skinny pumpkin cheescake. <3

    Reply

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    Candiceposted December 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks! As an FYI, my oven usually cooks very fast and I always bake things for much shorter than recipes call for. I left these in for 25 minutes. Maybe a little more time would help but again, my oven usually takes much less time.

    Reply

  34. #
    34
    Pamposted February 1, 2013 at 1:26 am

    You must think I´m crazy, it´s 2:20 A.M. and they´re baking in the oven and looking GOOD. I must admit I saw this recipe like 3 days ago and haven´t stopped thinking about those fabulous orange and brown pieces, so… I guess I had to try them at some moment, and the moment is now haha XD

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 1st, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Pam I don’t think you are crazy at all! I bake late-night too, it’s all good. Hope you enjoy them.

      Reply

  35. #
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    Alishaposted August 2, 2013 at 12:50 am

    I’ve been on a peanut butter oreo rampage.. In attempt to kick them out of my kitchen I made the skinny raspberry chocolate chip muffins last night. Then tonight I made the PB Swirl & these. (Double batch of brownie base split in 2 pans and make the mix ins separate.) I did have some issues with the pumpkin, too thick, hard to swirl, but I don’t mind. They came out mostly amazing, a few you could tell had a more pumpkin and were kind of gooey and falling apart. (don’t even care, still SO GOOD) All 3 treats were split up, a few left out to eat, and then a bunch individually bagged & put in the freezer. I know you’ve said the PB ones will freeze, will these do okay in there too? I’m a little worried with the semi gooey pumpkin.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 2nd, 2013 at 8:21 am

      Hi Alisha! Glad you enjoy these brownies – You can definitely freeze the pb ones, but these you can’t. Just keep in the refrigerator.

      Reply

  36. #
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    Destanie Weeksposted August 28, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I was wondering if they are diabetic friendly. I am recently diagnosed, so still learning. They look absolutely delicious!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 28th, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Destanie – while I am not licensed to give medical advice, I will say that these brownies can fit into a healthy eating plan if enjoyed in moderation. The recipe does include pure maple syrup, which is a sugar. However, it doesn’t contain that much per brownie – less than 1 Tablespoon of maple syrup per brownie (if cut into twelve brownies). There IS a bit of sugar in the pumpkin swirl as well – also sugar in yogurt, milk, and cream cheese. So while yes – these are more diabetic friendly than high fat, high sugar brownie recipes, there still is some sugar and eating one is up to you (or your doctor).

      Reply

      • Destanie Weeksreplied on August 28th, 2013 at 7:59 pm

        Thank you for breaking it down and for such an awesome in depth answer! I’ll check the carbs in all the ingredients and figure it up. Again, thank you!!

  37. #
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    Tanyaposted September 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    wonderful recipe!
    unfortunately I dont take eggs. any alternative to an eggless variant?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 4th, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Not that I know of. Though I’ve never tried any of these, you can check out some egg replacement options: http://www.wikihow.com/Replace-Eggs-in-Your-Cooking

      Reply

      • Tanyareplied on September 4th, 2013 at 1:32 pm

        gee.. thanks Sally. will try! :D

  38. #
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    Cindyposted September 19, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    What if I were to use a powdered sweetener such as sugar or stevia? Would the consistency be less fudgy and more cakey?

    Reply

  39. #
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    Chantalposted October 13, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Hello Sally! I tried your oatmeal pumpkin cookies with cranberry and chocolate chip combo, they are so good it’s dangerous!
    Last night I made these skinny pumpkin brownies. I used dutch dark cocoa and they came out bitter except for the parts that had the swirl. What cocoa do u use?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 13th, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      Hi Chantal! I always use natural unsweetened cocoa which is much more mild in flavor (at least to me) than dutch process.

      Reply

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    Jennyposted October 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Can brown sugar be substituted for the granulated sugar in the pumpkin cheesecake swirl?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 21st, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      It sure can! And it will be delicious.

      Reply

  41. #
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    Amy Tposted October 31, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    I love cheesecake and brownies especially when its low-fat. I would love to make this recipe. But Im lactose intolerance and needs to be Gluten free. Do you think you can twist this around? XD

    Reply

  42. #
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    Biancaposted January 4, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Alas, pumpkin is one of the things I just can’t like, no matter what. (Please don’t kill me!) Can I replace the pumpkin with some other fruit purée, like apple? Or should I just omit the swirl? Thanks!

    Reply

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    Sherriposted February 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Just wondering if there is an UN-skinny version of this pumpkin brownie recipe?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 25th, 2014 at 8:18 am

      Not at the moment! Perhaps this fall.

      Reply

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    Hayleyposted June 9, 2014 at 2:10 am

    I’ve made these 4 times and I still can’t believe how rich and fudgy they turn out without any butter or oil! I calculated their calories too — just 60 calories per 1/16 the recipe! (Um that means I can have 3 right?)

    Reply

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