Yes, the chocolate-pumpkin combo is happening. And if you make this wheat free brownie cake with pumpkin swirl it can happen for you too….just in time for Halloween!
Speaking of which, if clean eating is important to you and your family, chances are Halloween is probably not your favorite day of the year. I’ve been dealing with trying to navigate a fun (but healthy!) Halloween with our son, Blake, for 14 years now (there he is dressed as a lion over 10 years ago in the photo to the left) and here’s what I have learned:
- There’s no stopping Halloween.
- The only way to offset your child from od’ing on candy is to fill them up with something decent before they hit the streets trick or treating.
Our family has been eating clean long before it was the thing to do (click HERE if you don’t know our story) and while every health-conscious mom has a different way of doing things, what has always worked for me is to put out a tricky “spooky spread” of Halloween treats before the bag fulls of candy even enter the house. I say tricky because every single item on the “spooky spread” always fits into the clean eating category. That means no refined flour, no refined sugar, no dairy, no processed ingredients, and no refined oil. And yes, the Brownie Cake with Pumpkin Swirl meets that criteria.
Our son was always so thrilled with the novelty of the “spooky spread” that he had barely any room for the candy. It’s such a simple trick, but trust me, it works.
Now that our son is 14-years old he is old enough to know that eating junk food is going to make him sick and so I no longer have to resort to the trickery, but we all still love the fun of the “spooky spread!” And the Brownie Cake with Pumpkin Swirl is one of our favorites….
Before You Start Baking…
Here are just a few tips to keep in mind before you make the brownie cake:
- I like to use sprouted spelt flour because sprouting releases all of the vital nutrients stored within the whole grain. One Degree is the brand of sprouted spelt flour I use. However, if you can’t find sprouted spelt flour, regular spelt flour will work just fine.
- The oil I prefer, unrefined red palm oil, is a superfood oil you may not be familiar with. I realize conventional palm oil does not have a very good reputation in clean eating circles and I know not many people know yet about unrefined red palm oil, but trust me, this is a superfood oil you will definitely want to start using. Click HERE to read more about why I love unrefined red palm oil. If you don’t have unrefined red palm oil in your kitchen, you can always use organic extra virgin coconut oil.
- For the pumpkin puree, I prefer BPA-free boxed pumpkin over canned. Pacific Foods is a great organic boxed pumpkin option.
Loving the Pumpkin-Chocolate Combo?Print
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons spelt flour (note: sprouted spelt flour, such as One Degree is the most nutritious choice)
- 1 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- Pinch of unrefined sea salt
- 1/2 cup unrefined organic red palm oil
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup unsweetened hemp milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (I like BPA-free boxed pumpkin, such as Pacific Foods)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 organic, pastured egg (such as Vital Farms)
- 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 11-inch baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together 2 cups of the flour, cacao powder, baking powder and salt. Set dry ingredients aside.
- In a high-speed blender, add the red palm oil, maple syrup, hemp milk and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla extract. Process until smooth and creamy.
- Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients (Note: Be careful not to over mix or you will end up with tough brownies). Pour the batter into the baking dish and set aside.
- In a high speed blender, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour, remaining teaspoon of vanilla, pumpkin, cashews, water, egg and coconut palm sugar. Process on high until smooth and creamy.
- Carefully swirl the pumpkin mixture in with the brownies. Bake for 35 to 38 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle has just a wee bitty bit of chocolate on it when you pull it out. Let it cool (if you have the self-control!), cut into squares, and serve.
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