Anyone who knows me, knows that brownies are my weakness. Working at a catering company means lots and lots of food comes my way every single day, so I am certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to sampling different treats. No matter how many interesting, unique, and rare ingredients I get the opportunity to sample at work, my favorite dessert would still have to be a fudgy, chewy, chocolatey brownie.
Being as well acquainted with brownies as I am, I fully understand the health benefits of them. As in, there are none. In fact I’m pretty sure it’s detrimental to your health to consume as many as I do.
Not everyone realizes exactly how unhealthy traditional brownies are because the majority of people make them from boxed mixes. (Fun little FYI, not until my high school days did I realize that brownies were something that could be homemade, I thought it was something you could only make from a box. Good job with that marketing Betty Crocker!) The first time I made brownies from scratch, I swear I was able to feel my arteries harden once I cracked the sixth egg and stirred in the two melted sticks of butter the recipe called for. It was a sad day to realize my favorite treat would likely send me to an early grave.
This unfortunate truth has inspired me to embark on a mission. Making a healthy brownie. This recipe is a step in the right direction. Pumpkin is used in place of any butter or oil (and no you don’t taste the pumpkin, just the chocolately goodness), and while there are eggs, there are only 2.
You might be thinking to yourself, why add a cheesecake swirl if these are supposed to be healthy brownies?? Well, good question, the cheesecake element is a cashew cream that is swirled in the middle of the batter and on top for a marbled decadent look, no dairy is used so your arteries are safe for now.
Are you someone who only makes brownies from a mix? Then this is the perfect recipe for you to graduate to homemade brownies as it is all thrown into a food processor to mix, then poured into the pan! Just like that you’re a dessert chef.
I intentionally didn’t put ‘pumpkin’ in the title of this recipe because I don’t want you to get confused and think that this is a fall frenzy pumpkin spiced foliage inspired dessert. The pumpkin is honestly undetectable and merely serves as an oil replacement. This is not limited to accompanying pumpkin spice lattes, trendy boots, or oversized sweaters.
These are suitable for any time of the year and is best enjoyed warm from the oven! Happy baking!
Easy Cheesecake Brownies (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup cashews soaked 3-4 hours and drained
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk of choice add more as needed to thin
- 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x9 baking pan with oil
Place pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and vanilla in a food processors and blend until combined.
Add coconut flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Pulse until combined and no flour streaks remain.
Mix in the chocolate chips by hand with a wooden spoon and pour half of mixture into baking dish.
Clean out food processor and add cashews, maple syrup, non-dairy milk and vinegar to food processors (or blender) and blend until fully combined.
Add half the cashew mixture on top of the brownies and using a knife evenly distribute.
Add the remaining chocolate mixture into the pan covering the first layer of cashew cream, and top with rest of the cashew cream, drawing the knife through the batter to create the swirl effect.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top of the cashew cream is starting to turn light brown.
Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before serving.