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 was 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 silken tofu within the 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, read 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 This Brownie Cheesecake
- 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 (see first instruction)
- 3/4 cup (150 g) date sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup (50 g) cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup (80 g) nut/seed butter of choice (e.g. cashew butter)
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) plant-based milk (see notes)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 (12.3 oz) package (350 g) silken tofu (see notes for soy-free version)
- 4-5 tbsp (50 g) Erythritol or use organic sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch
- 2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (e.g. coconut oil)
- 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 the 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 you aren't gluten-free. For a different gluten-free option, you could try sorghum flour (but 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.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
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Can i substitute the sugar for maple / agave / date syrup?
Hi, I never tried it, but I think 1/2 cup should be fine.
Hi, I’m planning on making this one. Question here about the sugar for the cheesecake layer, do you use granulated sugar? If so, will coconut sugar be ok?
And when you dollop the brownie and cheesecake batter, do you swirl them together? I’m trying to see if I can find photos of how it looks
Hey! I used granulated Erythritol. You can use coconut sugar, but the color will be beige, then. Regarding your other question, yes, I did swirl them together. You can see everything in the video.
I tried to make these amazing brownies but the outcome of the chocolaty part was kind of dense (dryish and compacted). I was expecting something fudgier… I took it out from the oven as per your instructions (around after 35 mins and when the testing toothpick came out almost clean). So, I’m sure that I may have done something wrong. Most of my gluten free cakes end up sort of with the same issue: dense and compacted. I love your work:: would you have perhaps any suggestion that could help me getting a better texture in gluten free cakes? 🙂 Thanks a lot in advance!!
Hi Olga, gluten-free cakes tend to be denser and more compact than cakes made with all-purpose flour (and eggs). If you prefer fudgy brownies, then I like those that have beans like these vegan black bean brownies. 🙂
Hi! What can i use in place of silken tofu?
Hi, you can use vegan cream cheese. Please read the recipe notes for more information.
Hi, do you think almond flour would work as well?
Hi Guga, I don’t think so, but I never tried it. 🙂
Hi Ela, I can’t seem to find Silken Tofu, are we able to replace this ingredient with vegan cream cheese instead? Would this work?
Yes, that definitely works. 🙂
Hi, Love your recipes! Do I need to store them in the refrigerator? Thank you!
Hi Jess, that depends on where you live. I live in the tropics, so I have to store basically everything in the fridge. But if you live in a colder climate, then you don’t have to. 🙂
Can i use the regular vegetable oil like corn?
Yes, that’s fine. 🙂
Should I buy soft silken tofu or firm silken tofu for this recipe? Thanks!
Hi Cyndi, I used firm silken tofu. 🙂
Hi Ela! I made this brownie and it was super delicious!! You were right about it being more and more yummy on 2nd and 3rd day! I didn’t have 7×7 pan and I was worried that my brownie would turn too thin if I used 8×8 pan so I used my 9×5 loaf pan and it was very thiccc I baked it for almost an hour until the top was a bit brown.. I even cut it into 16 pieces. Also the cheesecake part was never set so that’s why I kept baking it longer, then I realised that it won’t set in the oven so I just took it out, let it sit and cool, then it’s set. I also added an extra 1/4 tsp of baking powder as I don’t luke my brownie to be too fudgy and it turned out fine. I don’t know if my toungye was playing tricks on me but the brownie was getting too sweet. Do you think it’s ok to reduce the sugar? If so, by how much so I won’t ruin ghd texture? Thank you
Hello! I am glad they turned out yummy. 🙂 Yes, if they’re too sweet for your taste, then you can reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup. Maybe add a little less plant-based milk and that should be fine then. 🙂
Ella can you make this in to a cake? Have you ever tried it?
Yes, you can. Some of my followers on Instagram already tried it. The baking time depends on the size of your pan, therefore, I would recommend making a toothpick test. 🙂
First time to making it today, followed all instructions to the T and it turned out the best cheesecake brownie I’ve ever had! Thank you Ela!
Yay, that’s awesome, Karen! I am glad they turned out amazing. 🙂
Hi Ela, how can I make these with eggs as I don’t mind eggs and would rather use that over flax eggs.
Hi Teesha, since I am vegan I do not use eggs and therefore, never made the recipe with eggs. One flax egg does replace one egg, so you can experiment with two eggs.
Hi Ela! Love love your recipes. A quick question can I use baking powder instead of baking soda here?
Hey Sneha! You can use 1 tsp of baking powder. 🙂
Thank you, Ela for the inspiration! Do you think brown rice flour and white rice flour both work well or would one be recommended over the other? Thank you 🙂
Hello 🙂 I used white rice flour but I think brown rice flour should work fine too. 🙂