Pumpkin Blondie

These bars. Oh, these bars. They are the culmination of everything I need this fall to make my life complete. Hm, ok, let me rephrase, not everything (I’d take a house, 18 more hours in the day and a million dollars), but a good chunk, that’s for sure.

Basically what you have here is a denser, slightly more decadent form of the almighty pumpkin bar sans frosting but with a healthy dose of chocolate chips. If we are talking comparisons, these bars might also resemble a really fabulous pumpkin chocolate chip muffin in bar form with a bit less fluffiness. Or how about taking a classic blondie, ripping it apart, adding pumpkin and a whole slew of spices along with a complete texture change, and yep, you have these pumpkin blondies.

Yeah, so basically, these bars are an entity unto themselves. Deliciously pumpkin with hints of chocolate and with a perfect moist, thick texture.

Enough with descriptions. Just make them! Hopefully they’ll make your life complete, too.

Pumpkin Blondie

One Year Ago: Spooky Eats: Monster Pudding Cups
Two Years Ago: Classic Marinara Sauce
Three Years Ago: Blue Cheese and Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes

Pumpkin Blondies with Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Blondies with Chocolate Chips

Note: I adapted the original recipe so that I could sub out half the butter for applesauce. Yay for the cut in calories! By doing this, the bars become slightly more cakey than brownie-like so if you want the denser texture, use 2 sticks of butter and omit the applesauce instead. Also, if you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand, I've included a DIY below the recipe (for this recipe, triple the DIY amounts to get the 1 tablespoon called for in the recipe).


  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup pecans; roughly chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on each long side so the bars can be easily pulled out of the pan once they are done baking and cooling.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter, applesauce, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled - that's completely fine!
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans (if using).
  4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before lifting the bars out of the pan, cutting into squares and serving.


*For a homemade pumpkin pie spice mix use the following, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Mix together for the equivalent of 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.


Recipe Source: adapted from My Baking Addiction, originally from Martha Stewart

62 Responses to Pumpkin Blondies with Chocolate Chips

  1. Shellie says:

    These Blondies are so good, I actually make them with white chocolate chips instead of the semisweet chips and I’ve managed to get them down to having just under 1/2 cup of each of the sugars. Please, Mel, try them with the white chocolate, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 🙂 I’m not a white.chocolate.person, but, here it really works.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Oh my, these are amazing! I had to freeze half the pan to keep myself from polishing it all off. So so good!!!

  3. Sarah says:

    Just made these for a potluck and they were top notch. Still found them deliciously dense and cakey with the applesauce. Thanks for the pumpkin pie spice note – I only had a tsp of the pre-made stuff so topped up with my own. (These are the little details I appreciate about your recipes.) I just started using your site a few months ago, Mel, and every recipe has been a winner. I think I’m methodically working my way through all of your pumpkin recipes (this is my fourth!). Thank you for your wonderful recipes and blog!

  4. Chantele says:

    does this recipe double well? ( … to go in a large 12.5×17.5 cookie sheet?)

  5. Sara says:

    Do you think I could use some white whole wheat flour in these? I have an abundance that I need to start using!

  6. Teresa says:

    These bars are so unbelievably delicious. The only change I made was to use organic canola oil for the 1 stick of butter, to try to cut down the saturated fat a bit more. I just used a big bowl and a spatula–easy! These were so moist and so fluffy with the applesauce and pumpkin. I was surprised how high they rose in my pan. I cut them into 15 squares because I have two teenage boys and these types of treats go in their lunch bags. But Saturday I am going to make 24 of them to take to our first crew team regatta. I am sure they will be the first to disappear. I just might make these all fall! Thanks, Mel.

  7. Karaline says:

    These bars are so good! I have made them both ways (1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup applesauce and also just 1 cup butter with no applesauce). I liked both versions but prefer the applesauce and butter combo. Definitely more cakey and less dense then the all butter version. I also thought I would mention that these freeze well. I just slice them up, wrap individually in plastic wrap, and freeze. Pop them in the microwave for a few seconds and they are all warm and melty again. So good! Thank you for the recipe, Mel! I have tried quite a few of your recipes so far and this is one of my favorites.

  8. Lisa says:

    I absolutely LOVE these bars. I’ve made them sooo many times. I even brought a batch along to the hospital when I delivered my son last fall. 🙂 They were the perfect “I did it!” treat. Thanks for such an awesome recipe, Mel!!

  9. Jenny says:

    I followed the recipe exactly, used homade applesauce and baked them in my Pampered Chef Mini loaf pans. Now I won’t be tempted to eat all of them and they will make great gifts to a few friends. Thanks for the recipe!!

  10. […] Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies- Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  11. Kim says:

    Okay these are evil! I have made them so many times. We absolutely love them. And yes I bake with pumpkin all year round because I love it so much. Tonight I put 1 1/2 cups of chopped snickers and 1/2 cup of cocolate chips in these bars, and it was so so so good. My husband LOVED them!

  12. Diane K says:

    Mmmmmm. These were sort of a cross between pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread aka super delicious. I didn’t expect them to rise so much, but I like the taste and texture with the applesauce, and I like that I don’t have to make a million little cookies!

  13. […] from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (and Brown Eyed Baker who also adapted from […]

  14. Meredith says:

    I’ve made these 4 times since you posted the recipe and they’ve been a HUGE hit every time. They’re a perfect fall treat and are just amazingly delicious — i love that they’re dense and not too cakey. thanks!

  15. Lisa says:

    I made these last night and am so disappointed. I don’t think I baked them long enough because they had the strangest texture. Very dense and goopy. I was so looking forward to trying them, but I will have to take a chance on another pumpkin recipe here.

  16. Kate says:

    I made these last night and they’re delicious! They are more bread-like than brownie-like, but still great.

  17. Amanda says:

    I love these and have a similar recipe for cookies. I think next time I will try them with butterscotch chips. It doesn’t get much better for me than pumpkin and butterscotch!

  18. Deb says:

    Just sampled these while they were cooling, they are AMAZING! I have had success with substituting greek yogurt for butter recently, so I went for and subbed the whole cup of butter for an 8 oz container of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Greek Yogurt…no loss of texure or moistness and I think they might have even risen a little higher than the ones in your picture, maybe because of the yogurt/baking soda reaction. Super delicious, will add this to the regular fall baking rotation. Thanks Mel!

  19. Christie says:

    These were so moist and yummy. I will definitely be making these again!

  20. Clarissa says:

    Given a choice between cookies and bars, I choose bars hands-down every time. You have become my bar guru. I find myself here every time I get a hankerin’!

  21. Jamie says:

    Mel- I made these for a party and everyone loved them! And I have to admit that I have always struggled enjoying pumpkin desserts because of the spices that go in them. I gave these a try and actually realized too late that I didn’t triple the pumpkin spice mix like it says to do. I actually prefer it that way apparently because these are so good! Perfectly sweet and the spices don’t overpower and take over. 🙂

  22. Mel, I made these this week and they were delicious! The kids loved them as much as anyone and it was hard to resist eating the whole batch all in one sitting (oops, I think I was supposed to just think that, not say it out loud).

    Anyway, massive thumbs up for this one.


  23. Camilla says:

    I made these last night, and they were wonderful. I love your webstie, thank you for doing such a wonderful job on it!!!

  24. Megan says:

    These were absolutely ah-mazing!! I prefer the dense texture of brownies so I threw caution to the wind and used all butter and I could have eaten the whole pan myself!! Thanks for this great recipe and every other recipe on your blog that I love (too many to list them all)!

  25. […] Pumpkin Blondies with Chocolate Chips […]

  26. Katie says:

    Ooh…I didn’t see the pumpkin muffins on your favorite list either…..what to choose, what to choose??

  27. Katie says:

    I love your site…I have made so many of your recipes over the past couple months since I discovered you and love them all!! I have a question…I’m not a huge pumpkin fan but wanted to make a pumpkin treat for a friend who is. With so many options I don’t know what to pick. I’m sure I can’t go wrong but if you had to pick between these or the pumpkin bread you have in your favorites category what would it be?? Thanks so much….you have seriously changed my life in the kitchen department!

  28. armyof7 says:

    I made them with white chocolate chips & they are awesome!!! Thanks 🙂

  29. Oh boy does this look good! I’m all over pumpkin everything lately. Definitely need to try some blondies. 🙂

  30. Neena C says:

    What brand of chocolate chips do you prefer for your baking recipes? Just curious. These sound amazing! I was going to make your blondies this weekend but may try these instead for our small group on Sunday night.

  31. Jen T says:

    Made these yesterday, and they are awesome! So yum! I just had light brown sugar, so used that and used the full butter because no applesauce, but so, so, so yummy! Thanks Mel!

  32. Jennifer A says:

    In oven right now.. The raw batter tasted awesome so I suspect they will be super fab!

  33. Christine says:

    These look delicious. Can’t wait to make them. I was considering a swap with Butterscotch pieces instead of chocolate but I think they might get TOO sweet then.

  34. Denise says:

    I made these tonight! They reminded me of a Cake like version of pumpkin bread….yummy! Thanks for sharing!!

  35. carrian says:

    Oh yeah baby! These look wonderful! I’m all over it!

  36. melanie peterson says:

    YUM!! Will be making my second batch of these today as our first batch yesterday is as good as gone!! 🙂

  37. Kim in MD says:

    I am all about anything pumpkin now that our weather has finally cooled off and it’s actually feeling like Fall. I am in the mood to bake today, and these pumpkin bars are just the perfect treat to make! I love the DIY pumpkin pie spice mixture, too!

  38. Karrie says:

    I was just trying to think of a new autumn-time dessert to bring toy son’s school on Saturday and this is it! Thanks so much for the idea – can’t wait to try it!

  39. Mel says:

    Kelsey – add 1/2 cup oil or another stick of butter.

  40. Amanda says:

    Perfect timing! I have searched your site before for just such a pumpkin bar. I need to make some on Thursday and I haven’t found a recipe I love yet. There is a high probability this will be the one since I love everything I’ve ever gotten from your site. Thanks a million!

  41. Spencer says:

    Looks absolutely delicious! I reckon I could eat about half a ton of them in one sitting!

  42. Kelsey says:

    These look so yummy! I was about to make them tonight be realized my kids finished off the applesauce. Can I use oil instead?

  43. Julie Hansen says:

    Hey Mel,
    I’m wondering about the concentrated vege broth that you used to have posted on your favorite things list. It is one of my favorite things too and now I’m all out of the case that I ordered. I just can’t remember the web site I ordered it from. Do you know???

  44. Mel says:

    Yes, it is 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice. The DIY pumpkin pie spice is an all-purpose guideline to use any time. For this recipe, you would need to triple the DIY pumpkin pie spice amounts.

  45. Britt-Marie says:

    YUM! Perfect timing. I was just thinking I needed to make some pumpkin something.

  46. Jill says:

    Is it really 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice? Because in the notes below, it lists ingredients for it and it makes 1 teaspoon. Thanks! Love your site.

  47. Rebecca Hale says:

    Oh, my dear, sweet Mel, we have never met nor is it likely, but you may be the sister to my soul! These look amazing and I am making them as soon as humanly possible.

  48. I love different versions of blondies but have yet to try pumpkin. Yum!

  49. apryl says:

    These look amazing! I’m printing a dozen recipes today as we recently moved from Nebraska to Vermont and I am finally ready to start making real food again. Thanks for all the inspiration and good luck with your move!

  50. Mel says:

    Mackenzie – I’ve only used dark but light should work ok – just a slightly less depth of that brown sugar flavor.

  51. Mackenzie says:

    These look SO good! Can’t wait to try them. Can you substitue regular brown sugar for dark?

  52. Stacey says:

    These sound amazing. Can’t wait to try. Thanks so much!

  53. I love ‘traditional’ pumpkin bars, in all their fluffy, cakey, cream cheese frosting glory; but I like that these are more dense like a true ‘bar’, brownie or blondie.

  54. Mrs.S. says:

    I have actually made these from the recipe posted on my Baking Addiction. They were brilliant. I practically ate them all myself.

  55. Mel says:

    Sorry, guys! That’s what I get for putting this together so late last night…I’ve edited the recipe. Enjoy!

  56. Nancy says:

    Sounds great! I have been making “the best recipe” pumpkin bars sans frosting but with chocolate chips. For the most part the reason I haven’t been frosting them is that the kids start eating them before I get the chance. I can’t wait to try these!

  57. Lisa says:

    Looks great! How much applesauce? Don’t see it listed…thanks, Mel!

  58. Katie says:

    Cannot wait to try these! This just might be the winning recipe for the dessert I have to take to a Soup Swap party next week. But, how much applesauce? Thanks Mel!

  59. Baking in Columbia says:

    Applesauce doesn’t seem to be listed in the ingredients. How much should we use?

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