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.

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Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 brownies
  • Category: Brownies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


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 pure 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 to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Brownies can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

Keywords: pumpkin cheesecake brownies, skinny pumpkin brownies

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

58 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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!

  9. 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 🙂

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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!

  13. 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? 🙂

    1. 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.

  14. 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 ?

    1. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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!!

    1. 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

  18. 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?

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