These ultimate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies not only taste delicious but they are also sugar-free and made using natural plant-based ingredients. So, not only they taste great, they are good for you too! With a minimal amount of carbs, these superb brownies are perfect for the keto-vegan diet. And, that’s not all you only need 4 ingredients to make the brownies and 2 for the frosting — what’s not to like!?
About the Pumpkin Peanut Butter Brownie recipe
Personally, fall for me, is all about apples and pumpkins. Fall isn’t fall without the smell of apples and roasted pumpkin. Since apples are a bit too high in carbs for the keto-vegan lifestyle (though I occasionally use slices of very sour apples on top of my sprouted porridge). I do, however, tend to consume a lot of pumpkins — they are nice, and low-carb.
I often roast my own pumpkins because here in Finland they don’t sell canned pumpkins, can you believe it? So, for me, store-bought pumpkins are out of the question. Sometimes I have ordered canned pumpkin from the US to just try it out and to also be able to make similar stuff myself. After all, it’s not too pricey even the delivery costs are the same amount as the products. But because roasting my own pumpkins is far more ecological, and I can avoid the nasty chemicals that cans can contain, I do roast pumpkin often.
I just love pumpkin recipes, and my ultimate favorite seasoning is the Pumpkin Pie Spice. During the fall, I add Pumpkin Pie Spice in just about every sweet food I eat and drink. I make a pumpkin spice latte with espresso, pumpkin puree, water, coconut cream, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla stevia. Sweeeet!
So, how did I come up with this keto-vegan brownie recipe? Well, I was pondering about how to combine pumpkins and peanut butter. To make it completely perfect, I thought that I might add some chocolate as well. Then, it suddenly occurred to me that I could make brownies. Using pumpkin puree, PB, and cacao powder. Naturally I needed a carb-free sweetener, and in this case, the brown sugar substitute Sukrin Gold was the perfect option.
I love this recipe because it’s so simple! As you know, I’m all about simple recipes. Being a busy mom, I don’t want to spend hours making food for my family. Recipes with a minimum amount of ingredients, including the one-bowl recipes are highly appreciated in this family. It’s also challenging to develop minimalist recipes for special diets, but I do love a challenge!
It took me several batches — twelve if we are going to be exact — to perfect this recipe. But, I finally got everything right so that you, my dear reader, don’t have to go through that trouble, you can just whip up these brilliant brownies in a jiffy and enjoy the result.
I did my first experiments over a month ago. First, I made half batches because I wasn’t sure about what to expect and if the result would be edible. I then switched to full batches once I was close to the result I wanted. I think I tried everything: from very thick and fudgy versions to cake-like and dryish brownies. This final version is pretty fudgy, but that’s how I like it most. And even it’s fudgy, it’s not soggy or moist (yes, I happened to make some terribly soggy versions while I was experimenting!)
My first versions were really plain: no bells and whistles, just pure brownies with no frosting on top. I then made a couple of abundant versions with PB, and melted dark chocolate drizzled on top. I even topped one in the brownie experiment with crushed 2-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies and keto-vegan white chocolate chunks (the recipe for keto-vegan white chocolate will be available on this blog later in the year. It was something beyond celestial! Except for the version where I had added melted chocolate on top of the brownie before baking — the chocolate burnt when cooking in the oven, that wasn’t too delicious.
Finally, I decided I wanted my brownies to have frosting. I figured out that I can make a keto-vegan version of ganache — a mixture of chocolate and heavy cream — by using very dark vegan chocolate and coconut milk. Before this, I had never tried that, but I was very surprised it made such a nice frosting, I would say a perfect frosting. Dark chocolate alone would have been too hard; I was after using soft frosting which is easy to cut, and this has just the right consistency.
Tips for making the keto-vegan Pumpkin Peanut Butter Brownies
Depending on your preferences, you can make a plain brownie version without any frosting (which certainly is more than enough to satisfy your sweet autumnal cravings) or a fully loaded version with the frosting and any if you like other bells and whistles. Here are some wonderful add-ons to top these brownies:
- Right after baking when the brownie are still hot: add some chopped dark vegan chocolate (cocoa content minimum 85%). Plus you can add some chunks to the batter before baking
- Right before baking: crushed keto-vegan peanut butter cookies sprinkled on top
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) melted peanut butter mixed together with 2 tablespoons Sukrin Gold; drizzle over the brownie right before baking
- 2 oz (60g) melted dark chocolate; drizzle over the brownie right after baking
- 1 cup (240 ml) chopped pecans; you can add these to the batter or if you prefer to sprinkle over the top of the brownie before baking
Here’s how to make these keto-vegan brownies:
Be sure that you preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Then prepare a 9 x 9 inch (23 cm x 23 cm) brownie pan with parchment paper. A silicone pan works just as well, plus you don’t have to line it with parchment paper. Alternatively, you can grease a glass or ceramic pan for example with coconut oil.
But the parchment paper works best because you can easily remove the brownie from the pan as you will see.
Then take a medium or large bowl. The good thing is that you need just one bowl to mix everything.
Take the pumpkin puree and add it to the bowl.
Add also the peanut butter. Smooth or crunchy, you choose.
And here goes the cacao powder.
Finally, add some sweetener to the mixture. The brown sugar substitute is Sukrin Gold which lends a warm, caramelised note, which is my ultimate choice for this dessert.
Take an electric mixer…
…and mix until well combined…
…about 1 minute.
Spoon the batter into a the prepared brownie pan…
Level the surface with wet fingertips (I’m wearing gloves here, so it’s less messy).
Ready to the oven.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes…
…until still a bit fudgy in the middle. Be sure you don’t overbake!
Let the brownies cool to room temperature.
To prepare the frosting: pour the coconut milk into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat until it is piping hot but don’t let boil. Or, you can also heat the coconut milk in a saucepan.
Add the chopped dark chocolate.
Leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Mix with a spoon…
…until thick and smooth.
Pour the frosting over the brownie.
Let set in the fridge overnight so that the frosting sets properly.
On the next day, remove from the pan by grabbing from the edges of the parchment paper and lifting the brownie out…
…place on a cutting board. Cut into 16 pieces.