Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

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.

Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

Dark, fudgy brownies made lighter and swirled with pumpkin!

Ingredients:

Brownies

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I used certified GF)
  • 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:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!)
  5. 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.
  6. Cut into 12 squares. I enjoy mine cold and suggest storing in the refrigerator.
  7. Make ahead tip: Brownies can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

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You’ll also love this Skinny Pumpkin Frappuccino!

Skinny Pumpkin Frappuccino

And these Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites.

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites

See more pumpkin recipes.

Enjoy these lightened up pumpkin spice swirl brownies! Grab the recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

65 Comments

Comments

  1. fiona on 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 ?

    • Sally on November 4, 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.

  2. [email protected] Cake Delivery on 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

  3. Candice on 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.

  4. Pam on 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

    • Sally on February 1, 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.

  5. Destanie Weeks on August 28, 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!!

  6. Tanya on September 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm

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

  7. Chantal on 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?

    • Sally on October 13, 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.

  8. Jenny on October 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm

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

    • Sally on October 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      It sure can! And it will be delicious.

  9. Bianca on 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!

  10. Sherri on February 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm

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

    • Sally on February 25, 2014 at 8:18 am

      Not at the moment! Perhaps this fall.

  11. Hayley on 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?)

  12. Maya on September 12, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Hi Sally,

    Can these be made with whole wheat pastry flour instead of regular whole wheat flour?

    Thanks!!

    • Sally on September 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Definitely. Enjoy!

  13. Hope C. on November 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    These brownies are AMAZING!! They literally disappeared overnight! Thank you so much, Sally, for another delicious recipe!!!

  14. Jaclyn on October 14, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Sally! I Looooove the skinny aspect of these. Is it possible to double this recipe? By the way, I just made your pumpkin truffles. My co-workers were stark raving mad about them. Thank you! 

    • Sally on October 14, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      You can double this recipe, yes!

  15. Jill on March 4, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Sally,

    Do you think these would work well with your mint cream cheese swirl from your mint cheesecake brownies? Dying to try them but feeling more in a minty mood right now

    • Sally on March 5, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Definitely! Though there might be too much mint cheesecake swirl for this amount of batter. I’d reduce it down.

  16. Karen on December 9, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Delicious!

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