These pumpkin blondies are the ultimate fall comfort dessert with nutty browned butter, warm baking spices, and pumpkin. Loaded with white chocolate chips and toasted pecans, they’re chewy, crunchy, sweet, and heartily spiced.
Making brown butter is a simple step that adds tons of flavor and helps achieve that signature chewy blondie texture. Once you master the brown butter, everything mixes up easily without a mixer or any special equipment.
This recipe makes enough for a crowd, but you could also halve the recipe and bake it in an 8-inch square pan for 25 minutes if you’re ever looking to make less blondies (hey, it could happen).
What Is a Blondie, Anyway?
A blondie is essentially a brownie without the chocolate. It has that dense and chewy texture like a brownie, but it’s more of a butterscotch flavor with brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Compared to brownies, blondies almost always have mix-ins added, like chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
How to Get that Perfect Blondie Texture
The key to that characteristic blondie texture is lots of brown sugar and to melt the butter. Or, in this case, nutty and fragrant browned butter.
For the pumpkin flavor, this recipe calls for just enough pumpkin purée to make them unmistakably pumpkin. You don't want too much because the extra moisture in pumpkin can make blondies too cakey or too soft.
Brownie recipes often use lots of eggs to create a dense and fudgy texture but here, we use only one egg since much of the moisture comes from the pumpkin puree.
The recipe does a a lot of the work to achieve the perfect texture for you, so all that's left for you is to ensure you don’t overmix the batter when adding the flour. Stop mixing as soon as everything is evenly combined, and no dry spots of flour remain.
Canned Pumpkin Saves So Much Time
Canned pumpkin purée saves so much time compared to homemade, and in my experience, works much better for baking. Make sure you're buying 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling, which has sugar, spices, and other ingredients added. I tend to use Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin. I find that it's not as watery as other brands and is much more flavorful.
Warm Spices Are Essential for Fall
Every year, around August or September, when I notice that the nights and mornings start to feel colder, I rummage through my cupboard and check my spice stock for all the warm spices essential for this time of year.
I like to make my own pumpkin pie spice in a big batch, so I have plenty for the whole season. If you don't feel like mixing your own spice blend, use your favorite store-bought blend.
Customize Your Blondie Mix-Ins
While brownies are often plain, blondies almost always have mix-ins. And the best part is that mix-ins are so easy to customize. Feel free to change out the white chocolate and pecans for any of your favorite fall flavors.
- Baking chips: The recipe calls for white chocolate chips, but you can try it with milk or dark chocolate, cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, or even a mix.
- Nuts and seeds: I’ve always associated pecans with fall. But toasted walnuts would also be excellent in these. In line with the pumpkin theme, you could try sprinkling the top of the blondies with raw unsalted pumpkin seeds just before baking for a bit of crunch.
- Dried fruits: dried cranberries wouldn’t be out of place in these pumpkin blondies, or you could add some diced candied ginger.
For Blondie Fans Only
1 cup (227g) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (373g) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup (160g) canned pumpkin purée
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups (330g) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups (340g) white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
Preheat the oven and grease the pan:
Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan liberally with butter. Dust the pan lightly with flour and tap out the excess.
Brown the butter:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to bubble as the water in the butter begins to boil. Soon after it will stop sputtering, meaning the water in the butter has evaporated. Continue cooking until the milk solids begin to turn golden and the butter smells nutty. Take off the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.
Combine the dry ingredients:
While the butter cools, combine the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Mix the wet ingredients:
When the butter has cooled slightly, pour it into a large mixing bowl. It’s okay if the butter is still warm, but make sure it’s not so hot that it will cook the egg. Add the brown sugar, egg, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Whisk until fully combined and smooth.
Make the batter:
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a wide rubber spatula until just incorporated. Add the white chocolate chips and chopped pecans and stir to distribute evenly.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
Cool and serve:
Allow to cool completely in the pan. Slice into squares and serve.
Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 8g||39%|
|Total Carbohydrate 35g||13%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 24g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|