Pumpkin Blondies with a Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl

Surprise your family and friends by baking these seasonal Pumpkin Blondies with a Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl this year! A twist on a traditional blondie, these treats sing of pumpkin-flavored goodness. Makes 24 blondies.

Overhead image of Pumpkin Blondies, partially sliced, and showing the cream cheese caramel swirl

When I initially thought of creating these sweet little blondies, I envisioned them with a simple, decadent caramel swirl.

The problem was… when I added the caramel and swirled it in by itself, it transformed these blondies into something akin to bread pudding. #foodbloggerfail

Let me be clear—I’m not talking bad about bread pudding because bread pudding is awesomeBut I didn’t want my blondies to be bread pudding blondies.

Because if you’re biting into a blondie, you want it to have a blondie consistency, yes?

So back to the drawing board I went.

The cream cheese keeps these blondies blondie-esque while allowing the caramel to be swirled into the batter.

Oh, and I salted it. Because OF COURSE I DID.

Unsurprisingly, it makes these blondies even more decadent and oh-so-perfect for the fall!

Other fall dessert recipes we adore: Mini Apple Spice Rum Cakes | Bourbon Pecan Pie | Quebec Maple Pecan Drops | Vegan Apple Crisp | Cranberry Crumb Bars

Looking for a fall dish, but don’t know where to start? Check out my Fall recipe index for inspiration.

Close up of stacked blondies on a plate, with others in the background

What you need to make this recipe:

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Let’s talk ingredients!

In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

Here’s what you need:

  • Pumpkin puree—this 100% pure pumpkin stuff, not pumpkin pie filling. Why? That’s pre-sweetened and spiced.
  • Unsalted butter—we use unsalted butter as the base for this pumpkin blondie recipe. I like to use unsalted butter to be able to control the amount of salt that is added to my baked goods.
  • Eggs—these provide structure to our batter, as well as provide a little lift for when the blondies bake.
  • Brown sugar—while I recommend dark brown sugar for the deeper molasses flavor, you can definitely use light brown sugar and this will still be delicious. I originally made this recipe with granulated sugar, too, so that works in a pinch, too, though it will change the appearance and flavor.
  • Pure vanilla extract—the real deal kind is where it’s at!
  • All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached AP flour in our house, but the regular kind works here, too. I have not tried this recipe with a gluten-free substitute.
  • Spices—we’re using a combination of ground cinnamon, ground ginger and allspice to add fall flavors to this blondie recipe. We’ll also need some kosher salt, too!
  • Cream cheese—I recommend using the full-fat cream cheese for the best flavor.
  • Caramel sauce—the drizzle-able kind that can be homemade or from the store. This adds a little sweetness and depth to the cream cheese swirl.

Since we’re swirling caramel cream cheese into these blondies, I do not recommend adding chocolate chips or white chocolate chips to this blondie batter. However, if you skip that part, you could easily add chocolate!

Close up of the cream cheese caramel swirl from above

How to Make Pumpkin Blondies

Make The Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl

Measure out the room temperature cream cheese, the caramel sauce and salt into a medium bowl.

Pro tip!

The cream cheese needs to be at room temperature and not cold so that it can mix well with these other ingredients. It will be clumpy if you don’t give it time to come to temp. Trust me.

Whip the ingredients together using a hand mixer. Mix until smooth.

This will take 1-2 minutes, then you can set it aside to swirl into the blondie batter.

Make The Blondies

Prepare. Preheat the oven, and line a baking pan with parchment paper. Spray it with nonstick cooking spray, too, to ensure that your blondies don’t stick.

Combine the pumpkin puree and melted butter in a large mixing bowl. Whisk them together until smooth.

Add the eggs, as well as the sugar, and whisk until the ingredients are well incorporated and smooth.

In another bowl, measure out the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt. Whisk these together until combined. We do this so these ingredients are evenly distributed in the batter.

Gently sprinkle the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir them together until just combined.

Pour the blondie batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with the spatula.

Dollop the Caramel Cream Cheese mixture on top. I do this in 3-5 spots so that it’s distributed across the batter instead of one place.

Use a butter knife to swirl the mixture into the batter, dragging the knife from one side of the pan to the other until it has been swirled.

Transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely before slicing and enjoying!

Sliced pumpkin blondies, from the side, with jugs of milk

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between blondies and brownies?

Blondies are the blonde relative of the chocolate brownies. The desserts call for a lot of the same ingredients, but brownies call for chocolate, and blondies do not have chocolate added to their base.

What’s the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling?

Pumpkin puree is just 100% pure pumpkin. Pumpkin pie filling includes spices and sweetener. Since we’re sweetening and spicing these pumpkin blondies ourselves, we don’t need the extra that the pumpkin pie filling adds.

How will I know these pumpkin blondies are done? 

When you think they’re done, push a toothpick into the middle of the blondies. Pull it out slowly. If there’s batter remaining on the toothpick, you need to bake it longer. If the toothpick is relatively clean or has crumbs on it, your blondies are done!

Overhead image of sliced Pumpkin Blondies with Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl, with Pinterest text

Quick tips and tricks for this recipe for pumpkin blondies:

  • Make them in advance. These will keep in the fridge for a few days. Just let them come to room temperature before serving.
  • Use dark brown sugar. While light brown sugar adds awesome flavor, dark brown sugar adds more molasses and depth of flavor, which pairs beautifully with the pumpkin puree.
  • Don’t be shy with the spice. They add awesome flavor, too, so don’t skip them!
  • How to store: Keep them in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight food storage container.

Other delightful pumpkin desserts you might enjoy…

Now who’s ready to make some of these PUMPKIN blondies?

Overhead of Pumpkin Blondies with a Cream Cheese Caramel Swirl
Yield: 24 blondies

Pumpkin Blondies with Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Surprise your family and friends by baking these seasonal Pumpkin Blondies with a Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl this year! A twist on a traditional blondie, these treats sing of pumpkin-flavored goodness.

Ingredients

Blondies

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (1 stick)
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

Make the Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, measure out the cream cheese, caramel sauce and the salt.
  2. Using a hand mixer, whip the three ingredients together until smooth and well mixed. This should take 1-2 minutes.
  3. Set aside.

Make the Blondies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper, then spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and the melted butter. Whisk together until smooth.
  3. Crack the eggs in a separate bowl, and pour into the bowl.
  4. Measure in the sugar.
  5. Using the whisk, beat until the ingredients are well incorporated and smooth.
  6. In another smaller bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt. Whisk together until combined.
  7. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, stirring carefully with a rubber spatula until all the ingredients are combined.
  8. Pour the blondie batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing out with the spatula.
  9. Dollop the Caramel Cream Cheese in 3-5 spots on top of the blondie batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the mixture into the batter by dragging the knife from one side to the other of the pan until the swirl has been created.
  10. Transfer the baking pan into the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before cutting into the blondies. Enjoy!

Notes

How to store: Store in an airtight food storage container (or on a plate wrapped in plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 75mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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8 Comments

  1. Pumpkin cheesecake and blondies….those are three of my top favorite things and it’s mixed all into one glorious dessert here. Safe to say I’m in love!

  2. I am generally not a cream cheese in baked goods person (bagels only!) but these look pretty darn divine.

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