This Cream Cheese Brownies recipe is full of rich chocolate flavor, fudgy centers, and a swirl on top. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan.
Brownies are for all occasions. Celebrations, just because, and everything in between.
It seems there is never a time that making brownies isn't a good idea. So, here's a brownie recipe that combines a swirl of dairy-free cream cheese with fudgy, rich, chocolate.
Ingredients for Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies
A brownie is a brownie, but we can certainly use better ingredients and achieve delicious results. Here are the ingredients you will need:
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Almond butter
- Maple syrup
- Almond flour
- Arrowroot starch
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Organic cane sugar
- Vanilla extract
What type of dairy-free cream cheese should I use in this recipe? Any dairy-free cream cheese will work fine. This recipe used Kite Hill's almond-based cream cheese. Here are some dairy-free, plant-based cream cheese options:
- Kite Hill - uses an almond milk base.
- Daiya Plain Cream Cheeze Style Spread - uses a coconut base
- Tofutti Imitation Cream Cheese - tofu based
- Miyoko's Organic Cultured Vegan Cream Cheese - cashew and coconut based
- Violife Just Like Cream Cheese - uses a coconut oil and potato starch
Making Cream Cheese Brownies from Scratch
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Make a slurry with arrowroot starch.
- Whisk applesauce, almond butter, and maple syrup in a medium bowl to combine. Then add arrowroot slurry and vanilla.
- Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and gently fold them in.
- Transfer batter to the lined pan and prepare cream cheese swirl ingredients.
- Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture over the top of the batter.
- Using a skewer, chopstick, or knife, draw it through the batter in straight horizontal lines followed by vertical lines.
- Bake for 38-42 minutes or until the center is just set.
- Allow brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.
Due to the applesauce in this recipe, these gluten-free and dairy-free brownies will need a little longer cook time than normal. To keep the cream cheese swirl from browning, loosely tent it with foil at the 25-minute mark.
Swirl it! Skewers, chopsticks, and knives all make great tools for getting an even swirl pattern.
More Gluten-Free Brownie Recipes
Cream Cheese Brownies
- 2 tablespoons (13g) arrowroot starch + 5 tablespoons water
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup (238g) almond butter well stirred
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (55g) organic cane sugar
- 1 cup (93g) almond flour
- 4 tablespoons (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine arrowroot starch and cold water. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, almond butter, and maple syrup. Whisk to combine. Add the arrowroot slurry and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the organic cane sugar, almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently fold them in until evenly combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer with a spatula.
- In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese swirl ingredients. Drop tablespoons of cream cheese mixture on top of brownie batter. Using a skewer, chopstick, or knife, draw it through the batter in straight horizontal lines followed by vertical lines.
- Bake for 38-42 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Loosely tent with foil at the 25 minute mark to avoid browning the cream cheese swirls.
- Allow brownies to cool in pan completely on wire rack before removing from pan and slicing into squares.
- Store cream cheese brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.