Get in the Spooky Spirit with Halloween-Inspired Brownies

Headed to a Halloween celebration this week? You’re in good company!

According to the National Retail Federation, more than 175 million Americans are planning to partake in Halloween festivities this year. Total spending on the spooky holiday is estimated to reach $9 billion, and consumers are expected to spend $2.6 billion on candy alone. Americans will purchase nearly 300,000 tons—equivalent to the weight of six titanic ships—of the sugary sweets. Now that’s a lot of candy!

Instead of bringing another bowl of candy corn to the party, try putting a spooky spin on some of your favorite recipes.

Use red gel frosting to top baked goods for an easy gruesome look, like in this Bloody Good Cheesecake recipe. Add candy eyeballs to cookies or tarts for an instant mummy effect, or make marshmallows into ghosts with some quick chocolate piping.

This decadent spider web-inspired brownie recipe is the perfect dessert to serve at Halloween get-togethers, and will keep your friends and family guessing about the secret ingredient—coffee!  Coffee is a great way to intensify and enhance the flavor of chocolate in recipes. (Check out our post “Don’t Just Sip … Eat Your Coffee!” for more on cooking and baking with coffee.)

To complete the treat, we recommend pairing these brownies with a smooth, full-bodied dark roast, like our Private Reserve® Evangeline Blend™.

Spider Web Swirl Brownies
Serves: 12-16 / Prep: 15 Mins / Cook: 35 Mins

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ground Community® Signature Blend Dark Roast coffee
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with baking spray.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, chocolate and ground coffee on low heat. Whisk constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the chocolate mixture, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add 5 eggs, one at a time, whisking until glossy and smooth.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, whisking until combined.
5. Spread batter into the prepared baking pan.
6. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and remaining 1 egg, beating until combined.
7. Gently pour the cream cheese mixture into the baking pan. Swirl together using a knife.
8. Bake 30-35 mins and let cool completely.
9. Use a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to shape brownies, if desired.
10. Enjoy!