Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownies

Greenletes / Recipes / Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownies

These healthy low sugar Brownies with Pumpkin swirl are a must-try this fall! They are sweetened with just pure maple syrup and made with a secret ingredient that adds moistness, protein and fiber!

Ever wonder what a food blogging Dietitian does on her day off? She makes healthy brownies, of course. Actually, it wasn’t really my day off… Last week, I went to the eye doctor and I stupidly scheduled the appointment for 10am. I didn’t think about the fact that they were going to dilate my eyes and I wouldn’t be able to see anything–including screens.

So, I pretty much had nothing to do. No computer, no TV, no books, no magazines, and it was raining out, so no running. But there is a thing that I love to do that doesn’t require reading or seeing that well–cooking.

Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownies are made with just pure maple syrup, black beans and oats. Completely gluten-free and high in protein and fiber. It's a tasty and healthy dessert! #dessert #blackbeanbrownies #brownies #pumpkin #falldessert

I’ve been wanting to create something with pumpkin since the beginning of September, and I’ve also been craving sweets with all of my marathon training. I decided to try to make moist and delicious brownie with a little extra protein and less fat.

What makes these brownies healthy?

Any guesses on the ingredient I used to make these brownies healthier?

It’s black beans! Now before you run away in fear, let me assure you that you won’t taste the beans. They just add a richness to the brownie without all the added calories and fat.

Plus, black beans are packed with protein and iron with black bean brownies and pumpkin. This healthier version of brownies is moist and full of protein, and you won’t like crap if you have more than one.

And the pumpkin swirl on top gives you just a hint of pumpkin flavor and all the nutritional benefits of this fall fruit. [Read more about why pumpkin is so good for you here.]

As an added bonus, these brownies don’t have any refined sugar. They are sweetened with pure maple syrup. I use maple syrup a lot in baking because I love the taste and a little bit goes a long way, in terms of sweetness.

How to make Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownies

Okay now that you know why I used black beans, pumpkin and maple syrup, let me tell you a little bit about whipping up a batch of these brownies. It could not be easier!

All you need is a food processor and a muffin tin. All the ingredients go into the food processor and you process until you get a creamy batter. Put it in a muffin tin, add the pumpkin swirl and don’t forget the sea salt– it really brings out the flavors of these brownies.

I dare you not to mention that these are “healthy” and watch everyone’s reactions. They won’t even notice!

Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownies are made with just pure maple syrup, black beans and oats. Completely gluten-free and high in protein and fiber. It's a tasty and healthy dessert!
5 from 6 votes

Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownies

Course Dessert
Servings 6 servings
Calories 205 kcal
Author Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD


  • 1 15-ounce can (1 1/2 cups) of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened 100% pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • cooking spray

Pumpkin Swirl Topping

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened 100% pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. In a food processor, combine the beans, oil, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, oats and baking powder. Process until smooth. 

  3. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray. Pour the brownie mixture into each muffin cup until they are all evenly filled.
  4. Meanwhile, make the topping whisking together the pumpkin,  egg, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Top each brownie with a small teaspoon of pumpkin topping. For the swirl, use to knife and make a swirling motion onthe top of each brownie.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes minutes. To see if they are done, stick a knife in the brownie.  It should come out clean when they are ready.

  6. Once the brownies are cool, sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Swirl Salted Brownies
Amount Per Serving (2 brownies)
Calories 205 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.003g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 422mg18%
Potassium 442mg13%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 4814IU96%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 99mg10%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Kim Champagne

    Could you use applesauce instead of vegetable oil?

    • Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD

      I haven’t tried that because I think the recipe needs a little bit of fat. But applesauce sometimes works as a fat substitute, so it might work here. Let me know if you try it, and how it turns out!

  2. Tawnie Kroll

    5 stars
    These were so perfect for the family dinner I had on Sunday night – thank you!

  3. Meme

    5 stars
    These are the perfect treat for the holidays and fall season! love the black beans in them!

  4. Liz Shaw

    5 stars
    Oh wow- I know what I’m making tonight for a pre-weekend treat! These look incredible!

  5. Lindsey

    5 stars
    These are incredible! Never would have believed there were black beans in here if I didn’t make them myself 😉

  6. Lorie

    5 stars
    Well mine weren’t as pretty, but yummmmmm

  7. Emily Kyle

    5 stars
    Black bean brownies are my favorite, but they are so much better paired with pumpkin! Yum!


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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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