Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies (Gluten Free + Refined Sugar Free)
These Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies are moist, fudge-like brownies with a swirled layer of spiced pumpkin cheesecake! These brownies are gluten-free and refined sugar free. This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.
Appropriately enough, along with my first pumpkin post of 2016, comes the first rainy + cold autumn days in San Diego. We’ve had beautiful sunny weather pretty much every day since I moved back in June, but Tuesday was miserably grey and rainy all day long.
Eating pumpkin baked goods, making chili, and drinking lots of tea seemed like an appropriate way to spent the first real fall day. In all honestly, as much as I love and appreciate San Diego’s near constantly sunshine, I love a good rainy day and I’m not entirely dreading the start of the cooler seasons, as much as I love summer.
As much as I was dreading giving up summer’s bountiful fruits, I’ve fallen back in love with tender apples, warm spices, and of course, fall’s darling – pumpkin.
Chocolate and pumpkin is one of my favorite pairings, but the pumpkin always needs to be amped up a bit when chocolate’s involved so it can stand up to chocolate’s super bold flavor.
The tanginess of the cream cheese helps make the pumpkin flavor more pronounced against the dark chocolate, especially once the cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg are added.
The brownies themselves aren’t for the faint-hearted. These are some super rich, super fudge-like brownies. They start with melted dark chocolate – I used 72%, and I recommend a similar cocoa percentage so they’re neither too sweet or too dark and bitter. I found the 72% to be the perfect sweetness. The chocolate is melted down with coconut oil, and then coconut sugar is added to help to lightly sweetened the brownies.
Two eggs and vanilla extract are whisked in, followed by the dry ingredients: a bit of cocoa powder to help amp up that cocoa flavor some more, a touch of salt, and 2/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill super-fine almond flour. I adore all of Bob’s Red Mill’s products because they’re always high quality, always certified gluten-free (the GF products, that is), and perform so well for all my baking needs. No lie when I say half of my baking cabinet is filled with Bob’s Red Mill products – Bob definitely has my heart.
When the brownie batter and the pumpkin cheesecake layer are ready, it’s time to get swirling! First, spread half the brownie batter evenly in the pan. Spread 2/3 of the pumpkin cheesecake batter over top of that, and then top with the second half of the brownie batter.
To make sure the middle cheesecake layer didn’t get everywhere, I used a cookie scoop to dollop the brownie batter on top and then spread with an offset spatula. Then I used the same cookie scoop to make pumpkin cheesecake dollops on top, and made a beautiful swirl by dragging my knife through it. Ta-da! 30 minutes in the oven, and you’ve got some beautiful brownies on your hands.
Though it’s so tempting to cut into them right away, I recommend letting them cool overnight in the fridge. They condense into the most wonderful fudge-like brownies around, with that irresistible tangy pumpkin cheesecake layer. They’re so dense and rich, you’ll just need a small slice. A little bit goes a long way. Time to get your fall baking on – enjoy!
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies (Gluten Free + Refined Sugar Free)
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 16 brownies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- 6 oz. dark chocolate (coarsely chopped (I used 72%))
- ½ cup (112g) coconut oil
- ⅔ cup coconut sugar
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup (64g) Bob’s Red Mill almond flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
For the pumpkin cheesecake swirl
- 4 ounces cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line with parchment and lightly grease an 8×8” baking pan.
- To prepare the cheesecake swirl, combine all of the ingredients for the pumpkin cheesecake swirl in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until completely combined, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
- Put the chocolate and coconut oil in a large glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and repeat until the chocolate and coconut oil are completely melted and smooth. Add the coconut sugar. Whisk until completely combined. Let the mixture cool to warm room temperature.
- Add 2 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
- Add the almond flour, salt and cocoa powder. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate until completely combined. Spread half of the batter in the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Spread 2/3 of the pumpkin cheesecake mixture on top of the brownie batter, and then spread the rest of the brownie batter on top – I did this by using a cookie scoop to dollop the brownie batter over the cheesecake and then spreading it out with a small offset spatula. Dollop the rest of the pumpkin cheesecake onto the brownie batter and swirl it in with a knife. (see Notes)
- Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached. It took mine closer to 30 minutes, but many readers have reported it taking longer for them, some up to 60+ minutes for it to set. Just watch yours to see how it’s doing and use your intuition!
- Cool brownies completely before cutting into 16 equal squares with a very sharp knife.
- Brownies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Some readers have noted that the filling amount seems like too much – if that seems like the case, just use less of the filling. You might have extra filling if you want very defined swirls and don’t want a thick cheesecake layer.
This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill, one of my favorite brands for gluten-free baking ingredients. Thanks for supporting the brand that support Bakerita!
Ah man, the richness of these brownies look UNREAL. I am obsessed with pumpkin and dark chocolate together, so decadent!
They are seriously SO rich and fudgy! I love the pairing too – thanks so much, Beth!
It’s raining here too today! Storming bad, but it’s supposed to be 87 here tomorrow…so NOT appropriate for the first day of fall! I would love to munch on this whole pan of brownies. These look SO good, Rachel!
Haha, so odd – it’s supposed to shoot up the 80s later in the week here too! Thanks so much, Gayle. Wish I could give one to you ;)
These brownies look so good! They are super fudgy and decadent. Love that pumpkin cheesecake swirl. SWOON!!
Thanks so much, Jen!
It’s raining in Phoenix too which is totally weird for here! It definitely feels like fall and these look amazing girl. I just made pumpkin cheesecake this week too. Is there anything pumpkin doesn’t go well with?
Pumpkin is definitely fall’s darling! Thanks, Megan :)
These brownies look amazing, so fudgy and chocolaty! Thank you for another great recipe! :-)
Pumpkin and chocolate are one of my favorite combinations, and it helps me get over the fact that berries are out of season! You did a beautiful job with these photos, Rachel, and your brownies look delicious! I absolutely love Bob’s almond flour, too!
Omg! These brownies are right up my alley and have ignited a ridiculous chocolate craving.
We’re on the same pumpkin-chocolate wavelength! Thanks, Nicole :)
GORGEOUS! So fudgy and totally the perfect combination of pumpkin and chocolate :)
How pretty are these Rachel?! And I have yet to bake something pumpkin! Getting these on the list! They look and sound wonderful!
It’s officially fall – time to start pumpkin baking! :) Thanks, Mary Ann.
Wow these look and sound SO delicious, I really want to try them sometime soon! :)
That swirl has been swooning for brownies! You’re so good at getting my hungry for dessert. :-)
These brownies sound delicious! That pumpkin and cheesecake combo just makes me swoon and those colors are so pretty!
These are seriously the prettiest brownies ever, Rachel!! So fudgy and that pumpkin swirl is perfection! The dreamiest dessert for fall!
Hi Rachel!!! LOVE this recipe, and how good these look. If I wanted to make these Paleo or Vegan… What would or could I substitute that can be baked? I’m making it either way, but would like to go Paleo if possible. Thanks! Justin
Thanks Justin! Unfortunately, cream cheese is neither paleo nor vegan so to keep these are true cheesecake brownies, you can’t make them fully paleo or vegan. Besides the cream cheese, however, all of the ingredients used are Paleo-friendly. Hope this helps!
These looks and sound amazing! The swirl is beautiful and I always love pumpkin and chocolate together. As soon as I finish the pumpkin chocolate chip cake I *already* have on my kitchen counter, I’m making these next! :-)
Just look at that perfect swirl! These brownies look amazing!!
So I followed this exactly. Your picture looks nothing like my brownies do. I have so much cheesecake batter! Your brownies look mostly fudge with a swirl of pumpkin. I think mine are the opposite. What am I doing wrong????
I’m also cooking it now. After 30 minutes, it was still super liquid still. I’m hoping now I don’t bake them too much :(
Hi Jamie. I put half of the cheesecake batter in the middle, and then the rest swirled into the top. If you don’t do the layer in the middle, it will seem like you have too much. As for why it’s not cooking, I’m not sure, it could be something like a difference in our ovens – I’d just keep baking until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Hope they turned out okay!
Thought these looked beautiful and tasty for a Friendsgiving I’m attending with a girlfriend who is gluten free. I have to agree with one of the earlier comments, though – there was far too much pumpkin mixture. Even after putting 2/3 in between, there was way too much for the top. And because it’s so much more runny than the batter, I wasn’t able to get it to marble. It kind of just all ran together. I’m hopeful they’ll still taste good, but I wonder a bit about the measurements. Either way yours looks fantastic!
Hi Shannon. I don’t recall having this problem, but if it seems like too much batter, you can always use a smaller amount of the cheesecake filling and just have some left over so you get the defined marble swirl. Hope they still turned out deliciously!
I am highly allergic to almonds. Is there anything that’s equivalent that I can use in its stead?
You could try oat flour!
Hi Rachel. These look so delicious! Would Bobs Red Mill AP Baking Flour work for these? And if so, with or without xantham gum added? I definitely like fudge brownies, not cakey ones. Thanks!
Hi there, I haven’t tried it with their AP baking flour but my assumption is that it would work out just fine! I don’t use xantham gum, so I’d skip it. Hope you enjoy them! If you remember, I’d love to hear how it turns out.
Looks like delicious, i wish i could do this however i am vegan, how can i substitute the eggs? have you tried to make it with egg replacer powder or like apple sauce?
Hi Elise, I haven’t tried it but flax or chia eggs should work here!
Hi there! Do you think it would be ok if I sub in Bob’s Red Mill quinoa flour or would that change the recipe too much??
Hi Caity, I’ve never used quinoa flour so I’m not sure how it would affect it, but it will likely impact the flavor and texture at least slightly. I’d recommend using a GF all purpose flour if you need to sub for the almond.
Thanks Rachel! I did wind up getting almond flour after all.
Just FYI though, to echo others in the comments, it’s taking forever to bake. I’m currently on 60+ minutes with the brownies in the oven and they’re still liquidy. Perhaps it’s simply an oven difference, but people should know to budget more time if they’re working in a crunch, etc. Smells great, regardless!
How odd! Thanks for letting me know…hope it sets soon. I’ll add a note to the recipe about that.
Thank You For Sharing Great Recipe . Really This Recipe Simple Very Tasty.
So glad you loved them!!