These gluten free and keto cheesecake brownies are the best of both worlds! An incredibly fudgy low carb brownie is paired with tangy swirls of creamy cheesecake. The best part? Just 1.5g net carbs!
You’ve already met our suuuper fudgy keto brownies right?! They’re intensely chocolatey, fudgy, lightly chewy and good… like really good. Fact is, it’s the most popular recipe in the entire site, so that’s gotta tell you something!
Though, in all honesty, I would’ve never guessed it when I first hit publish. And don’t get me wrong, I love the recipe. I mean, it’s been my go-to brownie recipe for years now (and one of my favorite keto chocolate treats by far). But it’s sky-rocketing popularity still managed to wow me! So thank you guys for enjoying, sharing, and recommending it!
Now, amongst many of your requests, perhaps the most popular has been to adapt it into a sugar-free cheesecake brownie version. So wish granted peeps!
Got more requests? Send them along, I always love to hear (and hopefully grant!) them.
Cocoa brownies are generally regarded as second best to their ‘molten chocolate bar’ counterparts, given that they’re generally more cake-like than fudgy. But that’s most definitely not the case here, as these are some of the fudgiest brownies you’ll ever make.
Albeit ‘healthier‘, as you can control the chocolate and fat input completely, so no added refined sugars, preservatives etc. And of course, cocoa powder is much less expensive than chocolate bars (particularly keto ones!). So think of these keto brownies as wallet-friendly too.
Cocoa or cacao? Both work great, just know that quality really matters here. Our favorite will forever be the Dutch-processed alkaline cocoa Valrhona, known to be one of (if not the) best cocoas in the world. But feel free to use a raw cacao powder (arguably more nutritional perks here), though keep in mind that your brownies will be lighter in color and more reddish in hue. Both are well and good, as long as they’re unsweetened.
This recipe uses almond flour only (💥💃🎆!!). Yup, that’s it! Having said that, you can always sub half of the almond for hazelnut flour (think Nutella), if you wanna spiff things up a notch or give them a little twist.
In terms of brands, for the almond either Anthony’s or WellBees work great. Both are super fine grinds.
The Sweetener 🍯
You’ve got options here. Think xylitol (no aftertaste and chewier texture), Lakanto (barely any aftertaste), and Swerve (some cooling sensation). Xylitol takes (much) longer to dry out though so your brownies will be extra delicate (think gooey) right after baking, so just keep that in mind.
Fun fact: it might also be our taste buds here, but we’ve noticed that stevia-based sweeteners (such as Pyure) don’t work so great when chocolate is involved as the aftertaste is accentuated. So we cannot recommend enough that you don’t use stevia-based sweeteners here.
Oh, and if just paleo or gluten free (or not restricted by sugars), simply sub 1-to-1 with coconut or regular sugar.
And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty!) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys!
A Couple (Very Simple!) Rules
We’ll start with the most important one: do not over-bake the brownies! Timing might just be the most important rule when making any type of brownie, so you don’t end up with a dry and crumbly mess. Keep an eye out for them, and take them out once the center is set but still jiggly.
We even prefer to slightly undercook them and chill them in the fridge before cutting. That’s the secret for extra fudgy brownies.
Otherwise, you need to be sure that your eggs are properly at room temperature. If they’re not, they’ll solidify the butter and the batter will become rock-hard as soon as you add the almond flour.
- FOR CHEESECAKE LAYER
- 227 g cream cheese softened
- 50-70 g xylitol we do 1/4 cup*
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR KETO BROWNIE LAYER
- 130 g unsalted grass-fed butter
- 140-210 g xylitol we do 2/3 cup*
- 80 g cocoa powder **
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs at room temperature***
- 70 g almond flour
our no-churn keto vanilla ice cream
Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line with parchment paper the bottom and sides of a 8×8-inch baking pan. Set aside.
Make the cheesecake layer first. Add cream cheese and sweetener to a bowl and cream using an electric mixer (faster and easier) or whisk until creamy and smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract until fully combined. Set aside.
Add butter, sweetener, cocoa powder and salt to a medium heatproof bowl. Melt over a water bath whisking constantly (or use the microwave). You’ll want to heat it up until most of the sweetener has melted and the mixture is well incorporated. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Add one egg at a time, whisking well after each one until completely incorporated. The texture should appear smooth, with all the sweetener dissolving into the mixture. Add the almond flour, whisking vigorously until fully blended (about a minute).
Pour 2/3 of the mixture into prepared pan, followed by the cheesecake layer. Add the remaining brownie batter in 4 dollops (see pictures in post for reference), and swirl the two batters together using a knife.
Bake for 15-25 minutes (we do 23), or until the center is just set and still jiggly. This really does vary (a lot!!) from oven to oven (think convection etc), so give them a check from minute 15 the first time around.
Allow to cool completely on a rack. Lift brownies using the edges of the parchment paper and cut into desired size (we do 16!). To get extra clean edges, place in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to cutting.
Store in the fridge for 3 days and freeze for up to 3 months (they freeze great!).