These Healthier Pumpkin Blondies with a Cinnamon Crunch Topping may have a seasonal twist due to the pumpkin, but I promise they are delicious all year round! They are a slightly healthier treat that also provide some nutrition, and they’re easy to whip up!
What you need for these Healthier Pumpkin Blondies
Great news! I bet you have almost everything you need to make these babies happen ASAP. Peep the ingredient list below:
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Pumpkin Spice
- Baking Soda
- Ghee or butter
- Unsweetened Applesauce
- Mashed Bananas
- Brown Sugar
- Vanilla Extract (or almond extract)
- Pumpkin Puree
- White Chocolate Chips
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch or a store brand cinnamon crunch cereal
Of course you can swap out some of these things if you need to, i.e. all purpose flour if you don’t have whole wheat flour, butter if you don’t have ghee, milk chocolate chips for white chocolate chips, etc.
If you want to check out the original recipe that I adapted these blondies from, click here! These were inspired by I Heart Naptime’s version that is not quite as healthy, but probably freaking amazing. ’tis the season to eat whatever version of treats you want, so if you’re looking for ALL the buttery, sugary desserts, head her way! ; )
Like I said, I am pretty confident you’ll still love this lightened up version, too!
baking tips for these healthier pumpkin blondies
In I Heart Naptime’s recipe, she uses an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar. Since I used ghee, which is already pretty soft & liquidy, and substituted other ingredients in place of most of the sugar, I just used a whisk to thoroughly mix the ingredients. It’s up to you what you want to do, but if you follow my version, a whisk should be sufficient!
I did follow her lead by putting the parchment paper in the pan and pouring the batter on top of it. WHY have I never done this before? Seriously a game changer.
Rip off a piece large enough to cover the entire pan, spray it with some non-stick spray, pour your batter and when you take it out, you can easily pull the entire thing out to cut the bars AND you don’t have to scrub/soak the pan. Super easy clean up? Thank you Jamielyn for changing all of our lives forever. *praise hands emoji*
After you take the blondies out of the oven, let them fully cool before you cover them with foil or Press ‘n Seal, otherwise the crunchy cereal on top will get soft! And nobody wants that. That just goes against the name Cinnamon CRUNCH. Unfortunately, after you store them a few days, the cereal will inevitably get soft, but it’s still delish.
what’s the difference between brownies and blondies?
As you know, brownies are typically chocolatey and fudgy, whereas blondies are often referred to as “blonde brownies”, made without cocoa powder and have more of a vanilla flavor.
These Healthier Pumpkin Blondies are better for you in that they are made with 100% whole wheat flour, and contain other healthy ingredients like bananas, unsweetened applesauce and pumpkin. They are quite moist and dense, and I absolutely LOVE them.
When I made them again for the holidays this year, I forgot just how good they are. I definitely recommend both the white chocolate chips & the cinnamon crunch topping. I even stuck some of these in the freezer to save for later, so that’s an option if you want to do the same!
Healthier Pumpkin Blondies with Cinnamon Crunch Topping
- 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup ghee or butter, softened (room temp)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup mashed bananas 2 medium
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1.5 cups pumpkin puree
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 2 cups cinnamon crunch cereal whole pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray a large piece of parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray or lightly coat with coconut oil, and place in a 9×13" baking dish. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- In another large bowl, combine the ghee (or butter, softened/melted and cooled to room temperature), unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas, and brown sugar. Use a whisk to mix very well.
- Next, mix in the egg, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract with other wet ingredients.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips and then pour into the prepared baking dish.
- Pour 2 cups of whole cinnamon crunch cereal into a Ziploc bag and use your fist or the bottom of a cup to crush them into small pieces. Don't crush them so much that it becomes powder – you still want some big pieces! Evenly sprinkle the crushed cereal on top of the batter.
- Bake pumpkin blondies for ~35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
- Allow them to cool for about 20 minutes and then remove from the pan. Cut into bars and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or freeze.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of these Healthier Pumpkin Blondies!
Be sure to tag me in your creations on Instagram or Facebook @wellnessforthewin, and share the love by pinning this recipe on your Pinterest boards!
I hope to have more fall/winter recipes coming your way, so stay tuned!