Cheesecake Swirl Brownies (Gluten Free)

Heather Dessinger

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healthy cheesecake swirl brownies recipe

Besides wine, chocolate is the number one guilty pleasure of most moms. And it makes sense. Chocolate contains neurotransmitters that stimulate the brain in a similar way to amphetamines. Chocolate also contains high amounts of fats and sugars that our bodies crave. Chocolate just makes us feel good! This gluten-free chocolate cheesecake brownie recipe is a perfect way to get your chocolate fix without a sugar spike!

Is Chocolate Good for You?

As a matter of fact, chocolate can be very good for you. Dark chocolate contains magnesium that is important for heart health, blood sugar control, protein synthesis, and over 300 other functions in the body. But many of us are chronically deficient in magnesium due to poor soil, stress, and consuming caffeine and sugar. Some people who live close to the ocean and eat magnesium-rich foods each day may not be deficient, but many of the rest of us are.

Chocolate also contains antioxidants called flavonoids and polyphenols. These antioxidants help fight oxidative stress and protect the heart.

But most chocolate you find in the store contains ingredients that are not so healthy. These ingredients can include:

  • GMO sugar
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • hydrogenated oils
  • soy lecithin
  • artificial flavoring
  • Carrageenan

Some chocolate includes milk or other dairy products too. Even if you aren’t avoiding it, the dairy used in commercial chocolate is almost certainly not pastured dairy.

That’s why I choose to make homemade chocolate treats like these chocolate cheesecake brownies instead of indulging in store-bought treats.

Is Cream Cheese Healthy?

It depends. Cream cheese from a healthy source is perfectly healthy (in moderation, and as long as you aren’t sensitive to dairy). Conventional cream cheese probably isn’t. Here are some things to look for when choosing a cream cheese:

  • Organic – Choose organic whenever possible for all dairy products. This ensures cows weren’t fed GMO grains.
  • Grass-fed – If possible, choose grass-fed. It’s much harder to find grass-fed cream cheese than milk or butter but, it can be done.
  • Full-fat – It’s surprisingly hard to find full-fat cream cheese (and yogurt) at the grocery store!

Find healthy cream cheese at a natural food store, farmer’s market, or co-op. You can also look at your local farm store or stand. If you can’t find it locally, consider making your own. Here is a tutorial.

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5 from 1 vote

Cheesecake Swirl Brownies (Gluten Free) Recipe

A decadent (but healthy!) dessert that is perfect for bringing to a party or family gathering.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Servings 12 brownies
Calories 184kcal
Author Heather Dessinger


For the Brownies:

For the Cheesecake Swirl:


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Grease a muffin pan and set aside.
  • Melt the butter or coconut oil.
  • In a medium size bowl whisk together the melted butter/coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and eggs until. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, almond flour, and baking powder. Add the almond/cocoa mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Use a ¼ cup measure to scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan.
  • Bake for 4 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • While the brownies are baking, combine all the ingredients for the cheesecake swirl in a bowl and use a fork to mix well.
  • Drizzle the cheesecake mixture over the partially baked brownies and continue baking for another 12-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the brownies cool completely, remove from the muffin pan, and enjoy!


Try individually wrapping and freezing these!


Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.7g | Protein: 3.2g | Fat: 10.6g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 18.9g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg

How to Serve Gluten-Free Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

These brownies are perfect on their own, but if you want to make them really special, try serving them in some of the following ways:

  • Top them with organic coconut cream or whipped cream.
  • Cut brownies into small squares and dip in melted chocolate. Let cool and give as gifts (or eat them yourself!).
  • Top these brownies with a scoop of homemade ice cream (strawberry or cherry would be amazing!).
  • Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Try hearts, stars, and animal shapes.
  • Add slices of strawberries to the top.
  • Serve alongside a masala chai tea latte or other healing drink.

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Are you a brownie lover? Do you like yours swirled with cheesecake?

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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Recipe Rating

37 thoughts on “Cheesecake Swirl Brownies (Gluten Free)”

    • I am thinking a 1/4 cup rice flour and 1/4 cup coconut flour should yield you a good result. I hope this helps and you get to enjoy the brownies!

  1. I made these today for my kids afterschool snack. They turned out great! I happened to already have all the ingredients on hand so it was easy and delicious! My kids have already requested that I make them again. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Yay Stacey!

      That makes me so happy, my husband and I adore these but it is always so wonderful to hear others are enjoying them too. 🙂

      You made my day!

  2. I’m just about to go gluten free for suspected Celiac or gluten intolerance and these look so amazing! I’ve never used coconut sugar but I do have sucanat. Can they be interchangable? Thanks for this amazing recipe!

    • I personally have not tried honey in this recipe as it may make the dough more “wet”. It may work okay though, I know people have used maple syrup in some bar recipes (not this one). The consistency of the brownies may be different (more fudgy?) but it’s worth a shot!

      Good luck!

    • I personally do not have any experience with Swerve or Xylitol so I am sorry to say I am not sure of any ways to substitute with these sweeteners. I am sorry!

  3. Just made these and omitted the cheese part b/c I didn’t want to waste the extra ingredients if they didn’t come out b/c I was missing an essential ingredient but didn’t realize until we had already started. Doh! Anyway, we were out of almond meal, so I subbed 1/4 c. coconut flour and it worked! I baked them in the muffin cups (yield 11 for whatever reason) and baked for 15 mins. Really good and will make again, next time with the cheese part.

    • I don’t, sorry! I recently had to uninstall the program that created a print button for me because it kept deleting ingredients from my recipes 🙁

  4. Thanks for the great recipe Katie, I’m excited to be able to cook now with egg since my son’s allergies have subsided. I was hoping that perhaps Heather would reply and let me know how I can contact her about being a guest blogger. I do not have a facebook at the moment! But I’d love to chat via email or some other way. I’ve tried emailing via the contact area to no avail. thanks

  5. Mine turned out nothing like the picture above. I don’t know what went wrong because I followed the directions to a tee. The brownie rim flowed over the rim and the center was not done. Also, the cheese swirls melted into the brownie when I applied it. Was so disappointed but they tasted so good that I’m going to try again. I used butter in the recipe. Next time, I think I’m going to bake them in a muffin pan with center spokes and hope the center gets done. Has anyone else experienced the same results?

  6. I made these today with xyletol and mascarpone instead of cream cheese (it’s what I had on hand) and they were AMAZING! My kids love them and my husband whom is always suspicious of my healthy snacks is ready for me to make more already! They were sooooooooooooooo awesome!

    I use xyletol a lot when I bake and use 2/3 cup of xyletol to 1 cup of sugar as a conversion, I find xyletol sweeter than regular sugar.

  7. Almond flour is also a great edition to any gluten free recipe. I just made some awesome muffins with a blend of teff flour, sprouted rice flour and almond flour. My little guy is allergic to eggs, so I actually did the soaked chia seeds instead of eggs. I couldn’t believe how good it worked. The muffins held together really well.

  8. Sorry to be another person asking about modifications, but any idea if you could skip or what to substitute for the gelatin? Mainly just because I will look into it,but don’t have it on hand…

    • 5 stars
      I used sugar free jello. Its all I had in the house. It was lemon flavored, might be fun for a summer treat. However it’s fall now but making for a bonfire tonight. In the oven now. I baked them in a 8×8 pan

  9. I made these tonight and they turned out great! The only substitution I made was sprouted whole wheat flour for the almond flour. It worked fine in case anyone is interested.