Holy cow, I have accidently made something vegan. We add the fresh eggs from Abba’s chickens to just about everything, especially when baking sweet treats. Vegan we are not – except by happenstance.
This recipe is low-fat, rudimentary, straightforward – and, yes, Vegan! I occasionally take short-cuts when baking – only if the final product tastes great, of course. These fudgy and moist “cheater” brownies have only five ingredients: brownie mix, unsweetened cocoa, pumpkin puree, vanilla and espresso powder.
The cocoa and espresso powders enhance the earthy, dark chocolate flavor. Low-calorie, vitamin-rich pumpkin adds moistness without fat, cholesterol. Complex, deep notes of sweet, pure vanilla is a secret weapon in any brownie arsenal.
Shocking: realizing how decadent and rich these brownies taste. Embarrassing: admitting I did not make them from scratch, as is the norm.
Abba and Littlest Guy are passionate, dedicated eaters of all things cocoa. These brownies put bright, big smiles on their faces. Chocoholic endorsement, check.
I feel somewhat guilty about the extreme ease of preparation. There is next to no work required – and fabulous results.
Oh, well, please pass me a second. I shall not will wallow in my woes, but indulge in copious amounts of semi-salubrious, satisfying chocolate squares instead.
Low-fat Pumpkin Cheater Brownies
Only five ingredients – how easy is that?
1, 18.3 oz. box of fudgy brownie mix (choose a vegan variety, if desired)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1, 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix!)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (60-70% cocoa content)
1.) Pre-heat oven to 350°F or 177°C
2.) Mix all ingredients except the dark chocolate chips in a large bowl. Place the mixture in a greased, 8×8 inch metal pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the batter evenly with chocolate chips.
3.) Bake for 25-30 minutes on the center rack of your oven, or until just set. Avoid over-baking. My brownies took exactly 30 minutes.
4.) Cool, cut into squares and enjoy!
©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, shannaward.com (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.
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30 thoughts on “Fudgy Pumpkin Cheater Brownies (Vegan)”
That is pretty amazing. I love it when vegan food comes out looking and tasting good. Can’t beat Abba’s and Littlest Guy’s smiles.
Thank you, Chef Janet. 🙂 You always leave the nicest comments. I appreciate you stopping by!
I was completely shocked – and quite pleased – by how great they tasted. Easy AND vegan? Yes, please.
Hey that was enough from scratch! Seems yummy!
Thanks, Sofia! I appreciate hearing from you! Give them a try if you can get your hands on the ingredients… I am not sure how readily available the brownie mix is in Barcelona. 🙂 Have a great night!
hey is betty crocker vegan though? I mean…the brownie mix itself. My friend has a difficult time trying to find vegan desserts that aren’t too sweet or too rich. Was surprised that it was BC mix.
Thank you for stopping by the blog, Rammie Girl! Always check your box to see if they are vegan if this is important to your food choices. I appreciate you stopping by – and your blog looks really fun!
Yum! I’ve made brownies before by simply mixing brownie mix with pumpkin puree–it turned out pretty good 😀 The addition of cocoa and and espresso powder is a great idea! Might have to make vegan brownies soon with these additions 🙂
I hope you do! Yay! Also, try to add pure vanilla or almond extract. Your right – adding the extra three ingredients other than the mix and pumpkin adds a lot of flavor (and takes no time at all!).
Oh, and if you don’t have instant espresso powder, you could probably use a little instant coffee or even very finely ground coffee in it’s place. I learned from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, that a little bit of coffee flavor really highlights the notes of chocolate in any recipe.
Happy baking, Ada. Thank you for stopping by. I love your comments. They are so positive, helpful and warm!
I actually learned from Aarti Sequeira about how coffee helps bring out the flavors of chocolate! Love watching Food Network 😉
Aarti Party. 🙂 Yes, I am a cook educated by the School of the Food Network. And a lot of cookbook reading. Hehe.
Brownie mix with pumpkin for sure is good mix …and add some vitamin on brownie ..love it 🙂
Who knew that brownies could have this much vitamin A? Hehe. 😉 Thanks for stopping by. I love your sweet comments!
Yeah …wish you luck ..and nice day 🙂 my pleasure being one of the followers 😉
🙂 Have a great evening, Amal! 🙂
Thank you 🙂
That’s definitely a recipe to keep and try! Sounds easy-peasy, only 5 ingredients, how cool is that? I’ve made plenty of things “not from scratch” and refused to feel guilty about it! 🙂
Thank you, Angie. I love hearing from you! 🙂
I’ve heard of being a poet without knowing it but a Vegan? Well, if the results are brownies as rich as these, then maybe there’s more to this Vegan stuff than I thought. 🙂
These really do look good, Shanna. For proof, I didn’t need to look any further than the smiles of 2 of your biggest fans.
Thank you, John! Oh my gosh, you always say the nicest things. I appreciate the compliments! And, yes, those guys “like” chocolate, to put it mildly. Some double chocolate oat cookies are coming out of the oven now – to replace the empty brownie supply!
Who knew brownies without eggs, butter or cream could be this good? I am still in shock. The Accidental Vegan. 😉 Have a great day – and a happy Halloween, John.
They look really good, indeed! Oooh.. me too …I’m chocoholic! I really like the addition of espresso powder, i’m also a espresso lover 🙂
🙂 An Italian who loves a good Espresso? Shocking! Hehe. I am a lover of all things chocolate too. I have a saying that “Nothing can’t be remedied by cocoa!”
Yeah, i agree! Ahah, Italians are a bit “obsessed” by espresso coffee. Maybe cause abroad we can’t find it, and in a day we drink two or three coffee usually 🙂
I love espresso. They had good espresso in Spain… though much more cafe con leche than espresso. We has espresso in America, but most Americans just drink plain coffee (Americano – ha!). I love at least two cups of strong, good quality coffee in the morning. It takes longer to drink than an espresso… 😦 Ha.
oh yeah, you have such big plastic glasses in America, i can’t never finish it! Plain coffee in Italy is made with lot of water and a small cup of espresso, so you can dilute the coffee as you will…
Yes, I remember that from Spain… it tastes so much better in Europe. *Sad Sigh*
Regardless of how you made them, they look sumptuous and moist Shanna! And decadent!
Thank you, Lidia. This recipe is so simple and really worth a try. Happy Saturday! 🙂
I really love easy recipes and this one here looks very delicious. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!
This one really surprised me. I made it again this week, this time putting the dark chocolate chips inside the brownie. The only problem is, I end up eating them all. Rocking my black spandex pants this week – HA! 🙂 My little girl loves making these with me. Have a wonderful day – and thank you so much for your lovely comment. Best – Shanna