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.
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 awesome. But 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.
What you need to make this recipe:
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- Square Cake Pans
- Large bowl
- Hand Mixer or a Stand Mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment)
- Rubber spatula
- Offset spatula or butter knife
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 I originally made this recipe with granulated sugar, too, so that works in a pinch, too, though it will change the appearance and flavor.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!
These Biscoff Blondies also sound amazing, if you want to try some different flavors.
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.
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!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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!
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…
- Pumpkin Drop Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Praline Upside Down Pumpkin Cake with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
- Spiced Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Now who’s ready to make some of these PUMPKIN blondies?
Pumpkin Blondies with 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.
- 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
Make the Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, measure out the cream cheese, caramel sauce and the salt.
- Using a hand mixer, whip the three ingredients together until smooth and well mixed. This should take 1-2 minutes.
- Set aside.
Make the Blondies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper, then spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree and the melted butter. Whisk together until smooth.
- Crack the eggs in a separate bowl, and pour into the bowl.
- Measure in the sugar.
- Using the whisk, beat until the ingredients are well incorporated and smooth.
- In another smaller bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt. Whisk together until combined.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, stirring carefully with a rubber spatula until all the ingredients are combined.
- Pour the blondie batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing out with the spatula.
- 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.
- Transfer the baking pan into the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool slightly before cutting into the blondies. Enjoy!
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.
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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.
Oooh, that cream cheese caramel swirl sounds so good!
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!
Pumpkin, caramel and cream cheese sounds like a perfect combo to me!
My family loves blondies! These would be a big hit this season!
These bars look perfect, I would love one or three with my tea this afternoon.
I bet these are perfect!! I love pumpkin and cream cheese together.
Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I’m seriously dying over how rich and perfect these look!
I am generally not a cream cheese in baked goods person (bagels only!) but these look pretty darn divine.