Quick-Fix Spumoni Brownies

Spumoni Brownies

After my recent review of Bake Shop in a Book (1979), I was inspired to experiment with a new recipe and, in the words of Duncan Hines, “bake my idea” into a reality. 

The inspiration for this recipe is a simple one. When I was a kid my family used to have “special” dinners out at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Nashville, Tennessee, where each meal was concluded with a bowl of spumoni ice cream. This recipe combines those flavors – cherry, chocolate, and pistachio – in a rich brownie that is insanely easy to make.


  • One package Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge brownie mix
  • 1/2-3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs


Boil water. Place dried cherries in a coffee cup and pour boiling water over the top to cover. Let the cherries sit for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to rehydrate and cool to room temperature. Drain cherries, reserving the liquid in a measuring cup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees for glass or metal pans (325 for dark or non-stick pans). Grease or spray the bottom of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Place brownie mix, oil, eggs, and 1/3 cup reserved cherry water into a large bowl. Stir until well-blended (about 50 strokes), adding cherries and pistachios roughly halfway through.

Bake following the chart below, adding 3-5 minutes for dark or non-stick pans. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted 1″ from the edge of the pan comes out clean.

 Pan Size  13″ x 9″ 9″ x 9″  8″ x 8″
 Bake Time  25-28 min.  36-40 min.  38-41 min.


Note: I prefer my brownies a bit on the fudgy side, as opposed to the cakey side. However, I followed the instructions for “cake-like” brownies and used the recommended 2 eggs to counteract the added moisture from the cherries. The resulting brownies were definitely rich and fudge-like, even with the extra egg. So you may need to add a 3rd egg if cake-like brownies are more your thing.



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