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 the 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 lined pan and prepare cream cheese swirl ingredients.
- Drop spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture over the top of 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 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 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
Gluten-Free Trail Mix Brownies
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
Cream Cheese Swirl
- 4 oz dairy-free cream cheese
- 1 ½ tablespoons (16g) organic cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 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.
Can I substitute the almond butter for peanut butter?
Yes! That will work just fine. The flavor will be different, but not in a bad way! :)