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Ooh la la.

Get ready to swoon, or to fight, depending on how many people in your house will be hovering and trying to eat the last one. These pumpkin blondies are super fudgy and dense; when your teeth sink in, they nearly leave a mark capable of being used as evidence. The flavor here is subtly pumpkin, but I'd say it's reminiscent of the "autumn" spices used, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add a swath of melted white chocolate with cinnamon and crushed pecans, and you have alchemy.

Notes: Butter is unsalted. White chocolate chips are Ghiradelli.



Ingredients: 1 egg at room temperature, 1/2 cup melted butter, a scant cup of packed brown sugar, 6 ounces canned pumpkin (about 3/4 cup), 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 cup + 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour. For the frosting: 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup chopped pecans.

Makes one 8x8 pan of blondies.

1. Preheat the oven to 350* and line an 8x8 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Spritz lightly with cooking spray.

2. Melt the butter in the microwave, then cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the egg and brown sugar together in a bowl until well combined. Whisk in the melted butter by adding a little bit at first to "temper" so the egg doesn't get cooked. Whisk in the rest of the butter.

2. Add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla extract, and flour and mix until combined well, then stir in the pumpkin. Spoon into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove to cool for 30 minutes, still in the pan.

3. Gently lift the blondies by the parchment paper to a board to slice. I typically cut 9-12 bars. Slice but do not separate the bars; this helps for frosting later.

4. Melt the white chocolate chips in a glass bowl or measuring dish on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir. Continue melting at 50% power in 15-second increments until chips are glossy and losing shape. Stir to melt the rest of the way in the residual heat.

5. Stir the cinnamon into the melted white chocolate, then frost the top of the blondies. Sprinkle over chopped pecans. Separate the blondies to serve or to place on a platter.

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