July 25th, 2018


The pumpkin is one of those vegetables that is generally not rated as a favourite. Like the swede or turnip, memories of overcooked flavourless dishes shape our appreciation of a spectacular vegetable. I get it, I had a particularly underwhelming pumpkin soup experience as a child and still find it hard to get excited when served a bowl.

With winter produce selection small compared to other times of year I find myself getting more creative in the kitchen. Pumpkin and squash from the autumn harvest are nicely cured now with sweet dense flesh. Thinking outside the box, I use them in savoury and sweet recipes that even my previously pumpkin-averse children devour with glee.

Roasted Pumpkin Chocolate Fudge Brownie

The beauty of using roasted pumpkin in these brownies is that they provide sweetness and velvety fudge-like texture without a large measure of sugar. The rye flour is an unusual addition to a sweet dish, I love the malty-ness of this grain to compliment the chocolate and pumpkin. If unavailable, I have included substitutions in the recipe.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes


  • 100 g butter or coconut oil
  • 100 g quality 70 per cent chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin or squash - see directions below
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup rye flour OR 1/2 cup white flour or ground almonds for gluten-free
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts – walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts


  • Preheat oven 170C. Grease and line a 20 x 25cm tin with baking paper.
  • Place the butter in a saucepan and melt over a low heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate pieces. Mix until the chocolate is melted.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mash the pumpkin with a fork until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time using the fork to incorporate thoroughly between each addition. Add the sugar and cocoa and mix well.
  • Pour in the chocolate mixture using a spatula to combine. Fold in the flour, baking powder and nuts until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until firm to touch, then cool in the tin. Once cool, cut into 16 squares. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy within four days.

When roasting pumpkin for dinner I always bake extra for lunch bowls or to add to a sweet recipe – the creamy flesh is an excellent addition to a chocolate brownie or gingerbread loaf.

This is my preparation procedure for an approximately 2.5kg crown pumpkin or buttercup squash.

Chop in half, scoop out and compost the seeds. The first half is peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika and ground cumin, and salt to taste. Spread in a single layer over half of a large baking tray.

Cut the remaining pumpkin half into 4-5 large wedges (skin on) and arrange on the other half of the baking tray.

Cook at 200 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes until the cubes are soft and caramelised. Scoop onto a serving dish. Return the large pumpkin wedges to the oven to cook for a further 10-15 minutes until tender, then set aside to cool. Serve the caramelised pumpkin cubes as they are, or scattered with crumbled feta.

Once the pumpkin wedges are cold, peel and mash the flesh, now concentrated in flavour from the dry heat of the oven. There will be enough roasted flesh for two brownies so I freeze half to be used at a later date. It is essential to choose a well-cured pumpkin, and later in the season they do sweeten up so now is a good time to go pumpkin mad!

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  1. Trish Burton says:

    Hi Nic, this looks delish! Hope ya all are well. Xt

    1. Hi Trish, so lovely to hear from you. I have been wondering how you are doing down there. Hi to the family and enjoy the brownie!

  2. These were really yummy, Nicola, thanks! I especially like them cold just out of the fridge. Very fudgy!

    1. So wonderful to hear, that is exactly how I eat them. I love the fudgy texture!

  3. These are delicious! I have lots of pumpkins from the garden right moe so I have to get creative. Your website is such an inspiration.

    1. Thanks Eva, happy cooking! This brownie is a great way to use up extra pumpkins from the garden;-)

  4. Any other options that don’t involve almonds for gluten free?

    1. Hi Louise, you could use any gluten-free flour here. I have used buckwheat flour on a number of occasions and works well with the pumpkin and chocolate combo. Enjoy!

  5. This is a really yum recipe, I’ve been enjoying horrifying people after they’ve eaten it by telling them it’s made with pumpkin and only 1/4c sugar hahaha! Everyone likes it so far, thanks Nicola 🙂
    Oh, and according to MyFitnessPal it’s 139cal per serve 🙂

    1. Haha, that is great to hear. The pumpkin adds great flavour and texture, and a little bit sneaky 😉

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