Chocolatey, cake like brownies swirled with a cream cheese filling and topped with a thick layer of chocolate ganache!
Alright, I think this might be one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever made. They’re inspired by the most delicious cheesecake brownies my mom used to make for my sister and I, so I have been dreaming of recreating a healthy version for a while. While I am a huge supporter of eating anything your heart desires in moderation, it’s so much fun recreating some of my favorite treats using wholesome ingredients, that myself and those around me all love! Never did I think a recreation could be this good, but I am telling you these brownies are the REAL DEAL!
My mom is not at all a chocolate person (I know, I’m not sure how we’re related either,) and she absolutely loves these brownies. She could barely wait for me to photograph them before eating more and even asked me to make another batch as soon as the first one was gone.
If you’ve never tried cheesecake brownies, prepare to be amazed. The base is a classic, cake-like brownie with a slightly sweet cream cheese layer swirled throughout! The richness and sweetness of the chocolate is perfectly contrasted by the cream cheese. Together, they create the best combination of flavors.
The brownies are flourless and made with just 7 simple ingredients, plus a few more for the cheesecake layer and ganache. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you would never know they are healthy. Paleo? Yes. Low sugar? Yes. So delicious you might die and go to chocolate heaven? ABSOLUTELY.
If you’re looking for a recipe to make for people that are not particularly interested in healthy eating, make these! The cakey and ultra chocolatey base with the rich velvetey ganache could fool anyone into thinking they’re eating a gluten + dairy + sugar filled dessert.
The brownies are grain free thanks to the almond butter based batter, and low glycemic because they’re only sweetened with coconut sugar. Each brownie has less than 10g of sugar!
For cream cheese, I highly recommend Kite Hill. It’s dairy free, but the texture and taste is amazingly similar to normal cream cheese, so it works perfectly in this recipe. I buy mine at Whole Foods. For the chocolate ganache, I love using Eating Evolved chocolate because the flavor is incredible and it’s sweetened with coconut sugar. You can purchase Eating Evolved products online and use the code “CAROLINETMT” at checkout to receive a free surprise chocolate with your order!
I could not be more excited to share the recipe for these brownies! Whether your looking for a healthy treat or a decadent dessert, these are perfect. Let me know in the comments below or by tagging me on Instagram if you try them out!
- Brownie Layer:
- 1 cup almond butter (for best results, use a natural one with no added oils or sugars)
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ cup warm water
- Cheesecake Layer:
- ½ cup dairy free cream cheese (see post for recommendation)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- Chocolate Ganache:
- 3 oz dark chocolate (see post for recommendation + free gift code)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp almond milk, cold
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8 x 8 baking tray with parchment paper. I find it's best to oil the tray with coconut oil than place the parchment in so it sticks.
- First make the cheesecake layer. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat together with an electric mixer. You can do this by hand, but I highly recommend an electric mixer to achieve the best consistency. Set aside.
- Next make the brownie layer. Combine all of the ingredients except for the water in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Once everything is combined, slowly add the water and stir until a thick batter is formed.
- Pour about ⅔ of the brownie batter into the lined baking tray and spread until an even layer covers the base. Top with the cheesecake layer and use a knife to swirl the two layers together. The cheesecake layer will be thinner than the brownie mix so don't worry about it swirling completely.
- Top with the remaining brownie batter and swirl it into the two bottom layers. Don't worry about it looking perfectly marbled, just mix the top brownie layer into the cheesecake layer so it is relatively brown on top. The cheesecake layer will still be in the center when it bakes.
- Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, then take out of the oven and let cool completely in the pan.
- When the brownies are cooled, make the chocolate ganache by combining the dark chocolate, coconut oil, and almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir together until everything is melted, then remove from heat and place the mixture in a small mixing bowl. Add the almond milk and stir together until a thick, creamy ganache forms.
- Frost the brownies with the ganache, then place them in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes. Once the ganache is set, remove from the fridge, cut, and enjoy!