These easy marbled cheesecake brownies are so rich and indulgent! There's a thick layer of cream cheese sandwiched between two layers of fudgy brownie, making this one seriously dreamy dessert.
Regular readers know how much I loooove cheesecake. I keep adding more and more gluten free cheesecake recipes on here simply because I can't stop making (and eating) them! And once I cracked the code on how to make cheesecake without eggs, it was game over.
So of course, as a self-proclaimed cheesecake lover who is also seriously into chocolate - gluten free marbled cheesecake brownies were kind of inevitable, right? We're talking a fudgy brownie base, a generous layer of cream cheese, and then more brownie on top. Dreamy, right?
I tested these cream cheese brownies a couple of times. I found that the best way to enjoy them is after they have chilled in the refrigerator. This chill time may not seem ideal, because you will be eager to get your hands on these brownies ASAP (who could blame you?). But I promise there's good reason for it.
The chill time after baking allows the cream cheese layer to set perfectly. Plus the flavors kind of meld together in a way that is pure perfection. So do me a favor and practice a bit of patience. It'll be worth the wait.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- The chewy chocolate brownie + slightly sweet, slightly tangy cheesecake filling is a truly winning combination.
- This recipe is so much easier than you would think. The brownie batter is made all in one bowl, and you really only need a mixer for the cheesecake layer.
- This cheesecake brownie recipe is a fun option for a party or potluck. While it's a small batch, you can get away with cutting smaller pieces because this is such a rich dessert.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Egg replacer: Be sure to follow the instructions on the package. If you're not looking to make eggless cream cheese brownies, you can use 1 egg.
- Gluten free flour: My favorite gluten free flour blend is Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1. You can use any blend, as long as it contains xanthan gum. And because this is a cup for cup flour, you should also be able to substitute AP flour (without adjusting the measurements) if you're not following a gluten free diet.
- Cocoa powder: Make sure you're using natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Arrowroot: You can substitute cornstarch for arrowroot.
What Is Arrowroot And How To Use It In Baking
Arrowroot powder (which can sometimes be labeled as arrowroot starch or flour) is a great substitute for cornstarch. That's why it's ideal for those who suffer from corn allergies.
Similar to cornstarch, arrowroot thickens sauces nicely. In the case of this recipe, it helps the cheesecake layer thicken and set up without eggs.
STEP ONE: We'll start with the brownie layers first. In a large bowl, stir the sugar into the melted butter, then add in the egg replacer and vanilla extract.
STEP TWO: Next, add your dry ingredients right into the wet mixture. Stir by hand until it all comes together and you're left with a thick brownie batter.
STEP THREE: Grab ¼ cup of batter and set aside for the top layer. Pour the remainder into a lined baking pan and spread for an even layer.
STEP FOUR: To make the cheesecake layer, all you are going to do is beat the cream cheese with the sugar and arrowroot until smooth. Spread this layer right on top of your brownie base.
STEP FIVE: Finally, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the reserved brownie batter. We want to do this to thin out the batter just a bit, so it's not too heavy and doesn't weigh everything down.
STEP SIX: Spread this final layer on top of the cheesecake layer. Note: if you wanted to go for more of a cheesecake swirl, rather than spreading, you can scoop tablespoonfuls of batter onto the cheesecake layer and use a skewer or knife to create swirls.
STEP SEVEN: Bake on 350ºF for around 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean -- a few moist crumbs are OK. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan completely. Then, remove and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.
- As always, my top baking tip is to use a scale to weigh the dry ingredients (specifically the flour and cocoa powder). This is much more accurate than using measuring cups! It can be easy to inadvertently add too much flour to the measuring cup, and that will drastically impact the texture of the brownies. You'll need 111 grams of flour for this recipe.
- The brownie batter is quite thick. It may be easier to use your hands to press the batter into your pan.
- The cheesecake layer will be sticky! Be gentle and patient when spreading it onto the brownie base. You can very, very lightly grease your rubber spatula to make it easier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Store these cream cheese brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
The brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
To make these brownies dairy free, you would need to substitute your favorite non-dairy butter and cream cheese. I haven't tested this myself.
Did you make my marbled cheesecake brownies? Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram @justastastyblog and #justastastyblog!
Easy Marbled Cheesecake Brownies (Gluten Free)
For the brownies:
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer mixed with 2 tbsp water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (111g) gluten free flour blend
- ½ cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the cheesecake layer:
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup (25g) granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon arrowroot
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9" square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the melted butter with the sugar until combined. Add the prepared egg replacer and vanilla extract.½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and mix until smooth.¾ cup (111g) gluten free flour blend, ½ cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
- Transfer brownie batter to the prepared pan, reserving ¼ cup of batter. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the sugar and arrowroot until smooth. Spread evenly onto the brownie base.8 ounces cream cheese, ¼ cup (25g) granulated sugar, ½ tablespoon arrowroot
- Add 1 tablespoon of water to the reserved brownie batter, mixing well to thin out the batter. Spread onto the cheesecake layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (a few moist crumbs are ok). Cool completely before removing from the pan.
- After the brownies have cooled, transfer to the refrigerator to chill at least 2 hours.
Be sure to follow the instructions on the package of Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer. Once mixed with water, the egg replacer must sit for just a few minutes to thicken.
If you are not looking to replace eggs, you should be able to use 1 egg instead of the egg replacer.
- For cheesecake swirl brownies, rather than spreading the final layer of brownie batter on top of the cheesecake layer, drop dollops of batter on top. Use a butter knife or wooden skewer to swirl.