Recipe: Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies

November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies from Carrie on Vegan/

The big day is almost here…Thanksgiving! I’ve tried to offer some healthy ideas for your vegan table this year, whether you be a host with the most or a guest just needing to bring a dish or two. I mentioned before that I’m taking it low-key this year and just cooking for my husband and me (see this post for vegan Thanksgiving ideas and my menu plan). While I couldn’t be happier to have some breathing room and no expectations for anything fancy, I have two recipes for you this week that can be served as a special holiday breakfast or dessert.

The first recipe came about when I bought a giant zucchini for a recipe that I didn’t end up making. So, half of the zucchini went into a stir-fry and the other half ended up in these Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies.

This recipe is easy-peasy, just combine the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, including the grated zucchini:

Zucchini in the food processor

Some of the star ingredients also include almond butter, peppermint extract, and vanilla (you can use the pods or the extract):

Pumpkin Brownie ingredients

The sweetness in this recipe comes from the currants and date sugar. You could absolutely leave out the date sugar if you wanted an even less sweet flavor. You could also use cocoa powder instead of carob. The batter doesn’t look all that special:

Pumpkin Breakfast Brownie batter

Post-baking is a different story:

Pumpkin Breakfast Brownie batter

This recipe kind of reminded me a little bit of Black Bean Brownies where the texture becomes much firmer after cooling completely:

Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies

Here’s the recipe:

Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup gluten-free uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons carob powder or cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • seeds of two vanilla pods or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups grated zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy milk)
  • ¼ cup date sugar (optional)
  • non-stick cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the rolled oats in the bowl of a food processor on turn on high until finely ground, about 20 seconds.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree, almond butter, carob, baking powder, currants, vanilla, peppermint extract, chia seeds, cinnamon, grated zucchini, non-dairy milk, and date sugar (optional) and process on high until thoroughly combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides if necessary.
  4. Spray an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Pour the mixture from the food processor into the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top of the brownies is firm and golden brown. Be careful not to burn.
  6. Serve hot with fruit and non-dairy milk or non-dairy yogurt. The texture will be soft, like a pudding. For a more traditional brownie texture, let cool completely or refrigerate overnight before serving.

I struggled whether to call this recipe a pudding or brownies, but, ultimately, Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies just had a wonderful ring to it:

Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies

I found it to be a satisfying breakfast, especially served with a chopped apple and a drizzling of dairy-free yogurt. I mean, come on, brownies for breakfast? What could be better than that? :)

Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies with non-dairy yogurt

I’m in the middle of finals and totally procrastinating from my school work by doing all of this baking and blogging. You get to benefit, though, because I’ll be back tomorrow with another healthy holiday recipe. :)

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) November 25, 2013 at 7:26 am

They look so delicious, love the idea of a breakfast brownie!


Carrie November 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Me too! Reminds me of eating cold pie the day after a party, but even more appetizing. :)


Suzanne @ hello, veggy! November 25, 2013 at 8:03 am

Brownies for bfast?? Yes please!


Carrie November 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I’m right there with you! :)


Heather November 25, 2013 at 10:31 am

Oh these look great Carrie! Yum!! I love making brownies healthy and this is a great way to use up zucchini!;)


Emma November 25, 2013 at 11:25 am

These look so good! I have all the ingredients but have committed myself to do green smoothies for breakfast this week. Maybe I could squeeze them in at some other time of day though…


Carrie November 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Oh yeah, they could be lunch or dinner brownies, too. :)


Serena November 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

These look so good AND I have all the ingredients! I have a green smoothie every morning for breakfast, but I find I really like to have something small on the side that I can sink my teeth into. I’m thinking of whipping up a batch of these and cutting them into very small squares to complement my smoothies. Thanks for the recipe!


Carrie November 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I agree, Serena, I like to have something chewy to go along with my green smoothie. I think one of these crumbled on top of a green smoothie or served on the side like you suggested would be perfect. I might steal that idea. :)


Sandy November 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Awesome idea Carrie! :-) I bet they were delicious


Jeanne November 25, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Hi Carrie!

I can’t wait to try this recipe tomorrow. Good luck on your finals, I know you will do great!



Carrie November 26, 2013 at 6:25 am

Thanks, Jeanne! :)


Kim November 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm


These look great I have all the ingredients except zucchini maybe I can sub bananas or apple sauce, or just grated apples . Zucchini season is long gone in my part of the country NJ.


Carrie November 27, 2013 at 6:42 am

Good point, Kim! I forgot that it’s nearing winter in other parts of the country (oops). Let’s see, how about a mixture of grated broccoli stems and carrots?


Kim November 30, 2013 at 5:52 am


Thank you for the sub info, I made them with grated apples and raisins. They were delish, I also didn’t add the extra date sugar plenty sweet for me. They fill my need for something sweet and chocolate. I’m going to make them again today with grated carrots, raisins, and cashew butter, since that’s what I have on hand, could also add some nuts if one is inclined. Might be able to make a carrot cake like version.


Carrie November 30, 2013 at 6:51 am

YUM!!! I’m so happy it turned out well with the grated apple. I’m curious to know if it’s sweet enough with just grated carrot and no date sugar. Please let me know how it works for you. :)


kimmythevegan December 1, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Brownies for breakfast? Yes please! =)


Sabina February 5, 2014 at 8:00 am


is it possible to mix this in a blender instead of a food processor? or what about if you have neither, can you mix by hand?

also, can you substitute the date sugar for simply dates? or does this affect the consistency/hardness?



Carrie February 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Hi Sabina! Great questions. Well, you need a food processor to grind the oats into oat flour. If you want to use a blender, I think you might have some problems (just imagine making regular brownies in a blender). And, if you use regular dates instead of date sugar, you will need to pre-soak them if you are going to use a regular blender. I mean, you could definitely try these options including stirring by hand, but it’s going to require a lot more work, obviously. If you go that route, you could always buy oat flour, use regular sugar (or a liquid sweetener), and have your almond butter at room temperature for easier mixing. A hand mixer might be another good option. Let me know what you end up doing; I’d love have your feedback.


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