Pumpkin spice and gooey Nutella combine to make these delicious Nutella stuffed pumpkin blondies. In every bite you get soft and chewy pumpkin cookie and chocolate hazelnut spread for the perfect fall treat.
The combination of gooey Nutella and pumpkin spice is truly a thing of beauty. You might feel like it’s too many flavors in one but I guarantee you that it’s not. There’s something about the creaminess of the Nutella and the warm spices of the pumpkin that go together perfectly.
So after making Nutella stuffed blondies the other week (for the second time in one week I should add) – I realized it was time to make a pumpkin version for fall.
These Nutella pumpkin cookie bars give you moist and chewy pumpkin cookie stuffed with a thick layer of gooey Nutella in every bite. The pumpkin blondies are somewhere in between a cookie and a blondie in texture and are filled with warm spices and brown sugar for the perfect pumpkin spice flavor. Then in the middle, there’s a thick layer of gooey Nutella.
Making Nutella Pumpkin Blondies
This recipe isn’t overly difficult – but there are definitely a few tips and tricks in order to make these stuffed bars. I’m going through the recipe in detail with photos and tips to show you exactly what I mean in each step. If you scroll down, you’ll get to the condensed version of the recipe.
Start by preparing the Nutella layer. You’ll measure out ¾ cup Nutella. Then line an 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) pan with parchment paper so that there’s an overhang around the edges. Add the Nutella to the pan and then spread into an even layer. Then pop the pan in the freezer for the Nutella to harden.
- Note: I recommend warming up the Nutella before measuring and spreading – it just makes the process easier. Be sure to remove the lid and the foil on top of the jar. About 30-45 seconds on medium power is enough.
Then it’s time to make the pumpkin cookie dough. Pumpkin adds a lot of moisture to baked goods – which is great in pumpkin and pumpkin bread – but isn’t want we want in cookie dough or blondie batter. More moisture leads to a cakier texture instead of a chewy texture. Therefore, there’s a few key differences in this recipe to create a chewy texture.
- Start by preheating the oven to 350F (180C). Then line an 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) pan with parchment, again leaving an overhang around the edges. I recommend lightly greasing the pan first, so that the parchment paper stays in place. Note: If you only have one 8×8 inch pan, take the frozen Nutella (still attached to the parchment) out of the pan and place back in the freezer on a flat surface. Then line the pan again.
- Measure out the pumpkin puree (NOT canned pumpkin pie filling). Squeeze out the moisture from the pumpkin puree using a paper towel. It does not need to be bone dry – but the more moisture you’re able to remove, the less cakey and more cookie-like your bars will be. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, cloves, a touch of baking soda and salt. Set aside. This is important so that the spices are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Then in a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. It’s important to keep whisking until the butter and sugar are no longer separate.
- Mix the blotted pumpkin puree and vanilla into the butter and sugar mixture. You’ll notice that there are no eggs in this recipe. Again – that’s to ensure that the cookie bars stay chewy instead of cakey.
- Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stop mixing when you no longer see lumps or streaks of dry ingredients. Note: If your flour and/or spices look pretty lumpy – then I’d recommend sifting them into the batter.
Then it’s time to assemble the bars. This is where the process takes a little extra work, but it isn’t difficult.
- Add about ⅔ to ¾ of the batter to your prepared pan. Then smooth into an even layer. Pop into the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes. I tried this recipe with and without baking the bottom layer on its own first, and I found baking the bottom layer on its own really helped to ensure that the bars didn’t end up too doughy.
- Remove the pan from the oven – leaving the oven turned on. Let the bottom layer cool for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Take the frozen Nutella layer out of the freezer. Peel off the parchment paper and place the frozen Nutella on top of the baked pumpkin base layer.
- Lightly grease your hands. The dough is sticky, so lightly greasing your hands means that it won’t stick to your hands. With the remaining pumpkin cookie dough, scoop/pinch off about 1 to 2 tablespoon balls. Flatten them down into disc shapes and place these pumpkin dough discs on top of the Nutella layer. If they don’t cover all of the Nutella layer, it’s ok.
- Pop the pan back in the oven. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the top layer looks set and no longer doughy.
Baking Tips and Tricks
- Make sure that the pumpkin bars are cooled fully before slicing. If you slice the bars when they’re still hot, all the Nutella will ooze/melt out.
- Be sure to really squeeze out the moisture from the pumpkin – otherwise, it your bars will be cakier and can almost end up gummy.
- This recipe is developed using pumpkin puree and not canned pumpkin pie filling. Canned pumpkin pie filling has a lot of other ingredients, and therefore won’t produce the same results.
- I recommend using store bought, canned pumpkin puree as opposed to homemade. Homemade pumpkin puree can have differing levels of moisture, and therefore can lead to inconsistent results.
The flavor combo of pumpkin spice and chocolate hazelnut really make these bars impossible to resist – and the chewy blondie texture with oozing Nutella make these truly next level.
Love chocolate and pumpkin? Be sure to try:
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
- Oreo Pumpkin Cheesecake – trust me on this one
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
- Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Brownies – these have a base layer of fudge brownie with pumpkin pie on top
Nutella Pumpkin Blondies
- 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) pan
- ¾ cup Nutella
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (120 ml) NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour (209 grams)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (112 grams)
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar (140 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang around the edges. Add the Nutella to the lined pan and spread into an even layer. Place in the freezer.
Pumpkin Blondie Dough
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
- Squeeze the pumpkin puree with a paper towel to remove the excess liquid/moisture. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until you no longer see the melted butter sitting on top of the sugars.
- Then whisk the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract into the butter mixture until evenly mixed.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The batter will be sticky and thick - so you may need to use a rubber spatula. Keep mixing until you no longer see lumps or streaks of flour.
Assembling & Baking
- Line a second 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) pan with parchment paper so that there's an overhang around the edges. I recommend lightly greasing the pan first so that the parchment paper stays in place. If you don't have a second pan, remove the Nutella (still attached to the parchment) from the pan in the freezer. Place the Nutella back in the freezer and line the original pan again.
- Add about ⅔ to ¾ of the pumpkin dough into your prepared pan. Spread into an even layer. Pop the pan into the oven to bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until the top is set.
- Remove form the oven (keep the oven turned on). Let the base layer cool for about 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the frozen Nutella from the freezer. Peel off the parchment paper, then place the frozen Nutella on top of the pumpkin blondie base.
- Lightly grease your hands. Then spoon/pinch off sections of the remaining pumpkin dough. Flatten them down into disc shapes. Place the discs on top of the Nutella layer, working to cover the Nutella layer with pumpkin dough. If you are not able to cover all of the Nutella - that is totally OK.
- Place the pan back in the oven. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the sections on the top look set. Bake time will depend on your oven and how gooey you like your pumpkin blondie layers. I baked my base layer for 18 minutes and then the whole pan for an additional 18 minutes and my bars were still on the gooier side.
- Cool the bars in the pan until the pan is no longer warm to the touch.
- When ready to slice, lift the bars out of the pan using the overhang of the parchment. Place on a cutting board, peel back the parchment and slice using a sharp knife.
- Pan Sizes: This recipe can also be made in a 9x9 inch (23x23 cm) pan. The bars will be thinner and the bake time for each layer will be a few minutes less. I do not recommend doubling the recipe and making in a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) pan, as the bars will be too thick.
- Pumpkin: Be sure to buy pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. These two ingredients are not interchangeable.
- Spices: Feel free to replace the spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves) with 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
- Eggs: There are no eggs in this recipe - that is not a typo. Eggs add moisture to baked goods, and because the pumpkin adds so much moisture, we do not need them in this recipe.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 bar, assuming the pan is sliced into 12 uniform bars. You can easily get 16 bars out of this recipe, especially if making in a 9x9 inch pan.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.