Cakey Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies
4.75 from 4 votes

These cakey vegan pumpkin chocolate chip blondies are a wonderful hybrid of blondie and cake. They’re dense and moist in the center, light at the edges, and studded with chocolate. Most of all, they’re delicious!

A cakey vegan pumpkin chocolate chip blondie is resting on a small, rimmed, white dessert plate.

Cooking offers me life lessons on a weekly basis. The lesson that these cakey vegan pumpkin chocolate chip blondies taught me was to accept things as they are, not as we want them to be.

Acceptance is a theme I meditate on constantly, read about in books, learn again and again in yoga. Who knew that a “failed” baking venture would be such a good teacher?

The blondies that would have been a cake

These blondies were actually intended to be a cake. I was thinking about a light, fluffy pumpkin snacking cake, with plenty of chocolate throughout.

No matter what I did, I could not get the cake to have the light, fluffy crumb that I like. I used proportions of ingredients that usually work for me. I kept changing variables, including the amounts of flour, liquid, rising agent, sugar, and more. No matter what I tried, I got the same results—something cakey, but not cake.

In spite of this, each time I tasted the blondies, they were good. Really good—as in, difficult to stop eating. I had no problem polishing off samples of my “failed” baking batches.

Finally, I decided that the recipe’s success or failure was all a matter of expectation vs. reality. If I insisted that the recipe should be cake, I would continue to be disappointed. If I was willing to title it what it really is, which is a batch of blondies with a cake-like texture, I would be content.

The pumpkin chocolate chip blondies will be too gooey for some people and too fluffy for others. But I hope that many of you will find that they hit a sweet spot of their own.

Two mixing bowls. One is filled with flour and one with a wet mixture that includes pumpkin.

Making pumpkin chocolate chip blondies

In addition to the fact that the blondies taught me a good lesson, they’re also easy and fun to make. They couldn’t be easier, actually. Here are the steps:

  • mix dry ingredients
  • mix wet ingredients (including canned pumpkin)
  • combine wet and dry
  • fold in chocolate chips
  • pour batter into a baking dish and top with extra chocolate chips
  • bake
  • enjoy!
A mixing bowl is full of a pumpkin spiced batter for baking.

Pumpkin chocolate chip blondie ingredients

That’s how you make the blondies. Here’s what you’ll need.

Flour

I use two types of flour in the recipe: white spelt or white whole wheat, and unbleached, all-purpose.

White spelt flour and white whole wheat flour are favorites of mine because they add some whole grain goodness to baking recipes, but without the dry, dense texture that can sometimes result from using 100% whole wheat flour.

Unbleached, all-purpose flour is my go-to for nearly all of my baking. Here, it helps to keep the texture just light enough for that cake-like quality.

I use half whole grain and half unbleached, all-purpose flour in the recipe. If you don’t have white whole wheat or white spelt, you can use 100% unbleached, all-purpose instead. You can also use a gluten-free, all-purpose blend; my favorite of these is from King Arthur.

I don’t recommend using all whole grain flour in the recipe, as it makes the pumpkin chocolate chip blondies overly dense.

Pumpkin

The recipe calls for canned, 100% pumpkin. Be sure not to confuse this with pumpkin pie filling, as that will be considerably sweeter!

Maple syrup or agave

I use a liquid sweetener for this baking recipe. Either maple or agave syrup will work very well.

Oil

My favorite oil for baking is avocado oil. Avocado oil is great to stock up on because it’s also ideal for high temperature cooking and any recipe where a neutral-tasting oil is preferred.

If you don’t have avocado oil at home, you can use another neutral-tasting vegetable oil, such as safflower, grapeseed, or canola.

Chocolate chips

You can use any size vegan chocolate chip you like in the pumpkin chocolate chip blondies. Mini chips or vegan morsels will work—I really like these. If you prefer, you can use chunks or gems or even chopped dark chocolate. Just be sure that the chocolate is vegan.

An aluminum baking dish is resting on a white surface. It's filled with a chocolate-studded, plant-based baked good.

Meal prep and storage

The pumpkin chocolate chip blondies can keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. After that, you can transfer them to the fridge for an additional three days, or to the freezer for up to six weeks.

I think that the blondies make really ideal snacks for autumn. I love to prepare a batch, save a third or half of them for eating right away, and then freeze the rest for later. They’re a great addition to any weekend meal prep routine.

More pumpkin + chocolate goodness

I think that the chocolate and pumpkin combination really can’t be beat. Here are a few other recipes that highlight it, in all of its glory:

And some more of my favorite pumpkin recipes for fall:

An angled photo of a vegan pumpkin chocolate chip blondie. It's rest on a small, round, white dessert plate.
A cakey vegan pumpkin chocolate chip blondie is resting on a small, rimmed, white dessert plate.
4.75 from 4 votes

Cakey Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 12 cake-like blondies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white spelt or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or another neutral tasting vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (use the rest of what’s in the can for oatmeal, a smoothie, soup, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (3/4 cup for the blondies, 1/4 cup for decorating the top of the cake)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F and lightly oil a 9 x 9 square baking dish.
  • Mix together the flours, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Mix together the oil, pumpkin, maple syrup, water, and vinegar in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until you have a mostly smooth batter. Fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the baking pan and top with the remaining chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden and domed. Allow the blondies to cook for at least an hour. Cut and serve.
A stack of vegan blondies, which have been made with the addition of pumpkin and chocolate, rest on a white surface.

The pumpkin chocolate chip blondies are really such a perfect treat for fall. They make a good trick-or-treating gift. And who doesn’t appreciate chocolate at any time of year?

I hope you’ll enjoy them, with all of their unique, in-between texture, too!

xo

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Categories: Baking, Bars, Cakes, Dessert, Recipes, Vegan

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Recipe Rating




    17 Comments
  1. 5 stars
    Hi Gena, thank you for this great recipe. Just to give myself a challenge, I tweaked the recipe to make it whole-foods plant-based. I subbed a around 1/3 cup drippy raw almond butter for the oil, between 3/4 and 1 cup homemade date paste for the maple syrup, and I used all whole wheat pastry flour. They turned out moist and delicious; even my non-vegan parents loved them. If this is a recipe that didn’t turn out as planned, keep them coming!

  2. 5 stars
    such a wonderful recipe! And these tiny little chocolate chips are to DIE FOR! I cant keep them in the house for long, I eat them all with a spoon haha

  3. This recipe is so good, my partner and I made it on Sunday, ate it instead of the dinner we had planned, finished the rest for breakfast Monday morning, and now I’m headed home after making a special trip to get more pumpkin to make more on Monday night. Thank you for taking the time to test and post this!

  4. Just made these and they are delicious just the way they are! They will not last long on our house. Thanks for your wonderful recipes!

  5. Yes to all of this, Gena! I’m the same way in that my inclination is to try to control or force things and I have to actively work towards NOT doing that 100% of the time (sometimes, though, this persistence does pay off). Your post was a well-times reminder, so thank you. <3 As for this chocolate chip pumpkin cake/blondie—call it whatever you like, the texture looks incredible to me! I feel like there are custard-y/bread pudding vibes happening too?!

  6. I slowly, but surely working on getting a baking blog started. I worked professionally as a baker for years and want to stay in the industry somehow. I struggle so much with wanting to be perfect. I did this for years, everything I make should come out fantastic on the first or second go, right?! Oof, the lessons that baking continues to teach me. I am working on getting myself to post my “failures” on social media. The people I connect with the most online are ones who don’t try to create that veneer of perfection. All that to say, thanks for sharing this recipe today. It looks fabulous!

    • Hillary, wishing you nothing but fun and fulfillment with the blog you’re creating. Even when this one is at its most “imperfect” and I’m feeling the most at odds with sharing my messy self, the process of writing keeps me honest, grounded, better than before.

  7. These look beautiful. I’m concerned with the amount of sugar in them. What would happen if I cut back on the maple syrup?

    • Hi Chana,

      I think you can cut down to 2/3 cup safely with no downside. If you reduce further, I’d add a bit more liquid (water or pumpkin) to compensate for less moisture. I can’t vouch for it because I haven’t tried it, but hope it turns out!

      G

  8. Gena,

    I am just not sure this “cakey” thing is going to bother me too much! I like dough and batter of all sorts and appreciate a gooey centered cookie. I think I can get into this. So, thank you for the recipe. Here’s to things that don’t quite work out as we want but are equally wonderful in their own right. An unexpected gift!
    Thanks,
    Libby