These cheesecake brownies are so super moist, fudgy and chocolatey that you’d barely believe that they are egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free! In fact, they are 100% vegan, but very decadent and easy to make!
Delicious Fudgy Cheesecake Brownies
The next time someone tries the “but Vegans only eat grass…” excuse with you, introduce them to these gooey, chocolatey marbled cheesecake brownies.
Honestly, I’m not even sure I should be posting these here. Some people might not think I’m vegan anymore. I mean, look at that moist (sorry!), fudgy texture, and tell me, do these chocolate cheesecake brownies look like dairy-free brownies to you?
Luckily, they are 100% vegan AND gluten-free. Plus, you might be surprised to read, but…
There Are No Hidden Vegetables In This Recipe
After posting the recipes for my Sweet Potato Brownies, my Best Vegan Brownies (with peas!), and my Healthy No-Bake Brownies, I decided to make these vegan cheesecake brownies. After all, what could be better than cheesecake and chocolate combined?
I love to experiment with my baked goods by adding ‘interesting’ ingredients, like black beans or vegetables like zucchini to make Zucchini Brownies. I even once tried making an eggplant brownie but… Well, let’s just say that there’s a reason why that hasn’t made its way to my blog…
With this recipe, I wanted to see if I could get brownies that are still fudgy and rich, but without any of the legumes, vegetables, and other “exotic ingredients.” Spoiler alert – the answer is a definite yes!
The Different Layers
By using creamy, custardy silken tofu within my cheesecake layer and lots of moisture-providing ingredients in the brownie batter- the results are deliciously moist. More so than you would even think possible with completely dairy-free brownies.
However, if you want to make these brownies soy-free, then you could also use soy-free vegan cream cheese instead. I’m unable to buy any, where I live; however, having looked at the ingredients list, it should work. Just leave out the coconut oil (but still use the starch!), and the result should be the same!
As rich and delicious as my other veggie-inclusive brownies are, when you’re in the mood for something a little bit more naughty, you can’t get much more decadent than these chocolate cheesecake brownies.
How To Make The Cheesecake Brownie Recipe
Making these vegan brownies is super simple and only includes a few steps to fudgy, cheesecakey heaven. For the full ingredients list, measurements, and nutritional information, please find the printable recipe card below.
STEP 1: Begin by preparing the flax eggs, leaving them aside for 5 minutes to thicken. Once ready, preheat the oven to 360°F/180°C and line your baking pan of choice with parchment paper.
STEP 2: Add all the ingredients for the chocolate brownie layer to a large bowl and mix with an electric hand whisk until combined.
STEP 3: For the cheesecake layer, simply add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. An immersion blender should work too.
STEP 4: Using a separate spoon for each batter, take turns spooning the chocolate and cheesecake batters into your pan. Optionally, you can also use a toothpick to swirl the batters together a bit more on top for that perfect cheesecake swirl brownies look.
As noted in the recipe tips, you can also spoon some additional ‘toppings’ on top of these brownies (see below for options).
STEP 5: Bake in the oven for between 30-45 minutes. Use a toothpick to test that they are ready (it should come out ‘almost clean’ – not wet but not completely dry). I suggest checking at 30 minutes and then again in five-minute increments. If overbaked, you won’t get the delicious fudgy texture.
STEP 6: Leave it to cool down completely before cutting into bars/slices and try not to eat them all at once. Check the below step-by-step photos:
How To Store
- If you have the willpower to not gobble these up in a single day, then these vegan brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- In fact, I encourage you to leave some for a day or two. These marbled brownies taste even better on day 2 and 3!
- Freezing silken tofu can affect the texture, so I haven’t personally tried it. However, if you do and find that you don’t mind the resulting texture, then they will last for 2 months in the freezer.
Useful Tips & Variations:
Flour: You can also swap the rice flour with whole wheat flour if you are not allergic to gluten. All-purpose flour or spelt flour should work fine too.
Flax seeds: Feel free to use ground chia seeds instead of ground flax seeds as the egg alternative in these eggless brownies
Milk: Any plant-based milk will work in the recipe; almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc.
Baking dish: If a square bake isn’t what you’re in the mood for, then you could use a round cake pan to make a delicious brownie cheesecake.
Sweetness: Please note that the cheesecake layer isn’t super sweet. If you prefer it sweeter, simply add more sugar- just taste the batter before you spoon it into the pan.
Add-Ins: Make these cream cheese swirl brownies even more versatile with the addition of extra fruity flavoring. Use a few spoonfuls of your favorite fruit jam or preserve to swirl into the top of the brownies. My personal favorites are raspberry, cherry, blackberry, and this Strawberry Compote. You can also swirl in some of your favorite nut butter or even a caramel sauce, like the one I use in this Vegan Snickers Recipe.
Glaze: Alternatively, you could double up on chocolate and add a creamy chocolate glaze to this cheesecake brownie recipe. Simply check out the other brownie recipes I linked at the top of the post for the glaze recipe.
This Recipe Is:
- Plant-based (dairy-free, egg-free)
- Easy to make
- And they can be made refined sugar-free
- And also nut-free
If you give this cheesecake brownie recipe a try, I’d appreciate a comment and recipe rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram & Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.
- 3/4 cup (120 g) rice flour (*see notes)
- 1/4 cup (30 g) tapioca flour or cornstarch
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seeds + 5 tbsp water) (*see notes)
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar (e.g. coconut sugar, brown sugar...)
- 1/2 cup (50 g) cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup (80 g) nut/seed butter of choice (e.g. peanut butter)
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) plant-based milk (*see recipe notes)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- One 12.3 oz package (350 g) silken tofu (*see recipe notes for soy-free version)
- 4-5 tbsp (50 g) sugar (e.g. Erythritol or regular sugar)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch
- 2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (e.g. coconut oil) or vegan butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice for the cheesecake taste
- To make the flax eggs (or chia eggs), put 2 tbsp ground flax seeds (or chia seeds) into a small bowl, add 5 tbsp water and mix with a whisk. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a 7x7 inch or 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Add all ingredients for the chocolate layer into a big bowl and mix well with an electric hand mixer until combined.
- For the cheesecake layer: Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until completely smooth and creamy. An immersion blender should work fine too.
- Use 2 different tablespoons to dollop the brownie batter and the cheesecake batter into the pan.
- Bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean (not wet but not dry either). So test the center after 30 minutes, then after 35 minutes, etc. Do NOT over-bake the brownies! I have a gas oven and it took about 40 minutes until they turned out perfect. But they might be done after only 35 minutes or even less with a different oven (or different sized pan). So pay close attention.
- Let cool completely before you cut it into bars. The brownies taste best on the second day, so don't eat them all on the first day. Enjoy!
- Flour: Rice flour can be replaced with all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour if gluten isn't a problem. For a different gluten-free option, you could try sorghum flour (even though I haven't tried it myself).
- Flax seeds: You can use ground chia seeds instead of flax seeds.
- Milk: Any plant-based milk like almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, etc is fine.
- Tofu: Please use firm silken tofu or soft regular tofu (I prefer silken tofu).
- Soy-free version: You can use almond-based cream cheese (e.g. from Kite Hill) instead of silken tofu if you cannot eat soy products. I would leave out the oil/vegan butter if you use vegan cream cheese. Don't omit the cornstarch though!
- Please note that the cheesecake layer isn't very sweet. If you prefer it sweeter, simply add more sugar. I would suggest tasting the batter before you spoon it into the baking pan. 🙂
- Nutrition facts are for one (out of 9) brownies.
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