The Easiest Brownies You’ll Ever Make (w/ a Surprise Healthy Ingredient!)

October 28, 2014 by


If you know me, you know 2 things:

  1. I make most things from scratch and very little from a box or can.
  2. I’m not perfect.

As a result of #2, you will occasionally find a boxed brownie mix in my home. The idea is that I have something on hand for last minute baking for church, company, or a visit to a friend’s home.

That’s how it works in theory.

It often backfires when a brownie craving hits and I make them for me us, so I think I’m going to abandon this line of thinking and not purchase them anymore.

But before I quit, let me share this simple recipe with you.

There are 2 reasons I like this recipe:

  1. When my chickens are misbehaving (as they are now), this is an alternative to needing eggs. (It’s also a great option for vegans.)
  2. It makes a boxed mix a little healthier.

Many thanks to my wonderful friend who taught me this trick while she was a vegan. (Thanks, Jojo!)

It’s so simple, I don’t know if one could even call it a recipe.

Without further ado, I bring you…


The Members

1 package boxed brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli this time, but I have tried this with several brands. My package of mix says it is for 16 brownies, just so you have a size comparison.)

1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin (I use this brand, Farmer’s Market but others will work, too. *see notes at the end of the recipe)

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. You are not obligated to make any purchases, but when you do through one of my links or the Amazon search box to the right, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.


The Method

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry brownie mix and the canned pumpkin. Stir until combined and bake according to the directions on your box of brownies.

*Note: Do not add any additional ingredients. A brownie mix usually calls for eggs and oil, but the pumpkin takes the place of both. This recipe only uses 2 ingredients: the dry brownie mix & the canned pumpkin.

*I use the brand of pumpkin above because it doesn’t taste as pumpkiny as Libby’s. (I do realize that pumpkiny isn’t a word, but there are special rules for bloggers!) That being said, I have used Libby’s and it still results in an excellent brownie. To decrease or eliminate the pumpkin taste, allow the brownies to cool before devouring serving. 

We don’t think that these taste at all like pumpkin. The only notable difference that we have found is that it does result in a fudgier (see note above about special rules for bloggers!) brownie rather than a cake-like brownie.

The next time you find yourself needing a quick dessert or experiencing a severe chocolate craving, give this a try.

My dessert philosophy is that the healthier the dessert is, the more servings one may enjoy.

Of course, we all know that we can’t call a boxed brownie mix healthy, but the pumpkin does add antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals! So, go ahead, have a second.

*Note: These freeze well. I know because I tested it just for you. You’re welcome!

*Update: Per your request, my research indicates that 1 3/4 cup homemade pumpkin is equivalent to a 15 oz can.

For a homemade brownie recipe, try this recipe, but omit butter and eggs and replace with pumpkin.


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Shared at Homestead Blog Hop, Buns In My OvenTasty Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday, I Choose Joy!What You Wish WednesdayThe Art of Homemaking MondaysThe Wednesday Round-UpThe Shine Blog HopShow Stopper SaturdayMy Pinterventures, & Foodie Fridays.

34 Responses to The Easiest Brownies You’ll Ever Make (w/ a Surprise Healthy Ingredient!)

  1. bonniesteinborn

    Love this idea — Brownie mix is one of the very few that I ever use from the box. Fred Meyer has one for 99 cents and I like that price. They work well – every time:) I am known for taking brownies to social events == it is the least expensive dessert I can make. AND so far NO ONE has refused to enjoy them 🙂
    Now I have a way of even making them better. I have a number of cans of pumpkin just waiting to be used.
    Bless you and thank you for sharing:) Again thank you for being such a great support for my brother and his wife . You are such a blessing to me and obviously — so many others!

    • Heather

      I’m so happy to have helped you find a use for your pumpkin, Bonnie. I can’t think of a better thing to use it in than chocolate! Blessings to you, my friend.

  2. cathie estabrook

    this is not like you to miss stating whether the pumpkin can was large or small. i see the picture and am thinking that it is a small can. also i could not see what brand you used. i love you take care. God bless

    • Heather

      Oooh, I’ve never tried it with avocado. I’d have to hide them from one of my sons who thinks that they are the greatest thing on earth. I’m not sure he would be happy with me using it in brownies when he could have eaten it. I am intrigued, though. Thanks for the permission to keep making up words!

    • Heather

      I’m so sorry that he is allergic to eggs, but happy to give you an alternative. Have you read my post about using flax & chia as egg replacers for baking?

  3. debsrandomwritings

    I love chocolate brownies, but my favourite recipe is quite fiddly to make and not very quick to throw together. I would certainly try this recipe if I could get hold of packet brownie mix and tinned pumpkin, but I’ve not seen them in the shops here.

    Popped over from #SHINEbloghop.

    • Heather

      You can also use homemade pumpkin & a homemade brownie recipe. Thanks for the reminder that I need to add both a pumpkin measurement & a brownie recipe to this post!

  4. JES

    These look good! I wish I had gotten this into my pumpkin link up!! Thanks for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! 🙂 Our new link up is up and running, please join in 🙂

  5. queenmommyjen

    I love this recipe! Chocolate and brownies what’s not to love? Plus it’s easy. Winning! Just pinned this and I am planning on making some this weekend. Thanks for sharing.

    • Heather

      Thanks for the pin, Susan! Yes, I love the ease of this recipe and the little boost of health with the pumpkin. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.

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