Frosted Brownies

I recently learned that pumpkin can replace eggs in recipes.  It covers the binding and moisture qualities of eggs.  I’m not sure how good that works if baking a cake.  Looking at my spiced pumpkin bread, which requires eggs and lots of pumpkin, I have my doubts.  However, I tried the theory out with these brownies and replaced 2 eggs with 1/2 cup pumpkin puree.  Magic!  The chocolate taste masked any pumpkin flavor, so I can’t quite call these pumpkin brownies.  Most importantly, these brownies passed the “kid test.” (I’ve found that kids are the ultimate brownie connoisseurs.)

Here is what it looks like coming out of the oven before the frosting is poured on.  Yes, that is a 9×13 pan instead of the usual 8×8 pan for brownies.   Needless to say, I love brownies!

The brownie needed something on top to make it more appealing.  While maybe a dusting of confectioner’s sugar would have been fine, I went ahead with making frosting.  The frosting is made using confectioner’s sugar–surprise, surprise!

But it’s not the typical buttercream icing used to frost cakes.  It is a bit lighter.  Actually, it’s a bit runny, but rest assured that it will set up with time.

I added some instant espresso powder to the frosting to bring out the chocolate flavor more.

These brownies are not the cakey sort, nor are they the “super fudgey–need milk right away” kind either.  They are tricky to remove from the pan, so lining the pan with parchment paper is recommended!

Here it goes:

Print Recipe
Frosted Buttermilk Brownies
HollyTrail.com
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
bars
Ingredients
For the brownies:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs or 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 6 ounces)
For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
bars
Ingredients
For the brownies:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs or 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 6 ounces)
For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
Make the Brownies:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 13 x 9 X 2" baking pan with parchment paper or grease and flour.
  1. Add oil, cocoa powder and butter in a saucepan, mix, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly while preparing the rest of the batter.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar with the eggs. Add buttermilk and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Gradually beat in the cocoa mixture into the egg mixture. On the lowest speed, mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 20 minutes or until cake tester or wooden pick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool.
Make the frosting:
  1. Place butter, buttermilk and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  2. Using an electric mixer, combine confectioner's sugar with the cocoa mixture, vanilla, and instant espresso powder (if using). Beat until frosting is smooth.
  3. Pour the frosting over the brownies. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
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