Double layer pumpkin brownie bars - grain-free, gluten-free, Paleo-friendly

It's fall and I'm in the mood for baking!

Anything layered is fancier than something not layered, right??! I don't often bother with more than 2-part recipes because you have to dirty more than twice the equipment and read more than twice the recipes when you could just use a simple dessert recipe, like... regular brownies. But, my desire for something festive and pumpkin overrode my desire for fewer dishes and I came up with this recipe!

(Last fall I did a round-up of great real food pumpkin recipes. This year I wanted to make my own!)



The brownie layer is very similar to my chunky, fudgy, dark chocolate Paleo brownies with a few minor tweaks. Grain-free baking is quite an art and I'm no master, but I do have brownies figured out in a way I like!!

Adding the pumpkin mixed things up a bit but the method is surprisingly similar to the brownie method. Check it out!

Paleo double layer pumpkin brownie bars


Brownie Layer Ingredients: 

  • 1/3 c. unsalted butter or coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. natural sweetener of choice (I used coconut palm sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tbsp almond butter or nut butter of choice (like my homemade cashew/sunflower butter!)
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour

Pumpkin Layer Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter or coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. natural sweetener of choice (I used coconut palm sugar)
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp almond butter or nut butter of choice
  • 1/8 c. (2 tbsp) coconut flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Topping:

  • 1-1.5 oz. dark chocolate, chopped/broken into tiny pieces

    Instructions:


    1. Ideally, get eggs and butter (or coconut oil) out several hours before making this recipe. Cold fat doesn't blend well!
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8"x8" or 9"x5" pan with coconut oil. 
    3. For the brownie layer: In the bowl of an electric mixer or in a mixing bowl with hand mixer, combine ingredients through almond butter; mix on medium speed until well combined. Mix dry ingredients separately, then combine with wet mixture. Spread into prepared pan.
      1. (TIP: If your brownie layer is sticking to the spatula and won't flatten, put in the preheated oven for about 2 minutes to soften. Then flatten with your fingers or a spatula over a layer of plastic wrap.)
    4. For the pumpkin layer: In the bowl of an electric mixer or in a mixing bowl with hand mixer, combine ingredients through almond butter; mix on medium speed until well combined. Mix dry ingredients separately, then combine with wet mixture. Spread into prepared pan on top of brownie layer.
    5. Sprinkle dark chocolate chunks on top of pumpkin layer. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a fork in the center comes out clean.

    Let cool a little before cutting (mine made 8 pieces). They're pretty dense so even a small piece is a good-sized dessert! Would be delicious with vanilla ice cream or vanilla coconut milk ice cream.

    Extra bonus: while these bake your house will smell like pumpkin pie AND chocolate!! Mmm.....

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