flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies

Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownies

Because flour is still in short supply, I’ve been focusing on flourless baking recipes like these 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies and these Small Batch Flourless Chocolate Cookies. Since both were cookie recipes, I decided to next try my hand at making a flourless bar recipe. Like these flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies!

I figured that it would be easy to omit flour from my popular Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge Brownie recipe (and its small batch version), especially since the original recipe already uses a minimal amount of flour. In addition to making the recipe easier to shop for, a flourless version of these brownies can now be enjoyed by folks who are celiac or gluten-intolerant. Why? Omitting the flour makes them 100% gluten free! Pretty cool.

How to Make Brownies Gluten Free

However, it’s hard to omit all purpose flour from a baking recipe without replacing it with a similar ingredient. Flour contains gluten, which is responsible for the baked good’s structure and texture. Without that structure, there’s nothing holding the ingredients together. Most gluten free bakers replace that all purpose flour with gluten free alternatives like nut meals, or flours made from oats, rice, chickpeas, and more. In fact, one of my friends, Sarah at Snixy Kitchen, already converted my Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge Brownies recipe to use these types of flours over on her blog! Her gluten free take on my brownie recipe uses a combination of tapioca starch, buckwheat, and rice flours.

How to Make Flourless Gluten Free Brownies WITHOUT Specialty Ingredients

While it’s awesome that there are a ton of gluten free alternatives to all purpose flour available, I’m going to be honest with you guys: I rarely bake with any of them. Why? First of all, these gluten free flours are not as shelf stable as their conventional counterparts. While a bag of all purpose flour can last for up to 1 year in the pantry, most gluten free flours only last three months. Many are just not pantry friendly and good for storing long term. Plus, these alternative flours are far more expensive, too. A 1-lb bag of flour made from almonds or hazelnuts will typically clock in north of $12, whereas a 5-lb bag of all-purpose flour costs less than $5.

As a result, one of my goals was to make my flourless gluten free brownie recipe more budget-friendly than most other gluten free brownie recipes. I decided to skip using fancy, easily-perishable flours. Instead, I challenged myself to rely exclusively on ingredients that were already in my pantry. That meant using cornstarch as a replacement for the all-purpose flour. Cornstarch has twice the thickening power of flour in recipes; they give these brownies their structure and a subtle chewy texture to cut through the fudge.

What Do Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownies Taste Like?

In addition to turning recipes gluten free, omitting flour can affect texture significantly. When I first omitted the flour from my Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge Brownie recipe, the resulting brownies were a mess! My first mistake was failing to replace the flour with anything else. As a result, the brownies were too gooey and resembled a puddle of sticky, gloopy chocolate. I decided to use cornstarch to help thicken the batter, and increase the chocolate, cocoa powder, and eggs in the recipe to bind everything together. With these changes, the resulting brownies were very, VERY rich. They tasted more like a block of fudge or ganache than a pan of brownies! Even as a chocolate fiend, they were just too much on their own.

So while the original Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge brownie recipe is unapologetically chocolate through and through, I decided to cut these flourless brownies with something else: cream cheese. On its own, cream cheese has a nice, tangy flavor. I mean, just think of your favorite cheesecake recipe (FYI—mine is Sarah Kieffer’s, or this Japanese Cheesecake). Good cheesecakes are always the perfect amount of sweet and sour, right?

For these brownies, the cream cheese cuts through the brownie’s richness and adds a necessary tangy flavor. When baked, the cream cheese takes on a cheesecake-like flavor and texture. This cheesecake texture pairs perfectly with the brownie’s fudgy and ganache-like mouthfeel. Together, they’re delicious.

flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies

Why You Should Make This Cheesecake Brownie Recipe

Here are all the reasons why you should try this particular brownie recipe:

  1. These brownies are flourless.
    Most brownie recipes call for flour, which is unfortunately in low supply right now for many people.

  2. These brownies are gluten free.
    Skipping the flour in this recipe makes these brownies gluten free. That means that folks with celiac or gluten intolerances can now enjoy a twist on one of the most popular recipes on my blog and in my cookbook!

  3. This flourless gluten free cheesecake brownie recipe doesn’t require any specialty ingredients.
    Most gluten free baking recipes call for specialty flours to replace the all-purpose flour in this recipe. Unfortunately these flours are expensive and not as shelf-stable—as a result, I skipped them completely. As a result, it’s likely that you’ll already have the ingredients you need for this brownie recipe in your pantry!

  4. Despite being flourless AND gluten free, these brownies still taste like regular brownies.
    Most gluten free baking relies on flours made from ingredients with strong flavors like buckwheat, chickpeas and nuts. Those flours can impart flavors in the final product. For example, a flourless gluten free brownie made with chickpea flour might have a flavor reminiscent of chickpeas. This can give the brownies an unwanted “healthyish” taste.

    Fortunately, because I don’t use any specialty flours whatsoever, there’s no need to worry about that with this recipe! Specifically—I use cornstarch in place of flour. Cornstarch has a neutral flavor, enabling these brownies to taste like chocolate and cheesecake through and through.

  5. This flourless gluten free cheesecake brownie recipe stores VERY well.
    Because these brownies use a TON of chocolate and eggs, they stay VERY moist. They are fudgy and dense long after the day they’re made. In fact, some tasters even say that their flavors improved overnight!
flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies

Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownies Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you to make these flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies, here’s your shopping list for the recipe:

Shopping List for Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownies

  • cream cheese (preferably full-fat)
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • dark (between 60% to 70% cacao) chocolate (preferably from whole fèves, baking discs, or baking bars)
  • unsalted butter
  • dark OR light brown sugar
  • pure vanilla extract
  • cornstarch
  • Dutch-processed OR natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • kosher salt

And let’s talk about some key ingredients in the recipe:

Cream Cheese

This flourless gluten free cheesecake brownie recipe uses 1 (8-ounce) box cream cheese.

Cream cheese plays a big part in this recipe. Not only does it give the brownies their distinctive and photogenic swirls, its tangy flavor also balances out the brownies’ rich flavor.

Can I make the brownies without the cheesecake swirl?

In theory, yes. You can bake these brownies without the cheesecake swirl. But I mentioned earlier that the cheesecake swirl is there to balance the brownies flavor—without it, these brownies will be VERY rich and dense.

If you insist on making these brownies without the cheesecake swirl, you’ll likely need to significantly reduce their Bake Time. I haven’t done it myself so I don’t know the exact specifics. However, I would probably start checking for doneness at the 30 to 35 minute mark.

Can I use low-fat or nonfat cream cheese?

Yes, but with reservations. Keep in mind that low- and nonfat cream cheese will lead to less flavorful baked goods.

What else can I use besides cream cheese?

According to this New York Times article on recipe substitutions, you could, in theory, substitute the cream cheese with other soft cheeses like mascarpone, neufchâtel, and quark. You could also potentially do a crème fraîche, sour cream, or a yogurt swirl. However, I haven’t tried any of these substitutions myself so I can’t 100% guarantee the results. Please let me know if you do and I’ll update the post accordingly!

Dark Chocolate

This flourless gluten free cheesecake brownie recipe uses 9 ounces dark chocolate.

Note that this brownie recipe is based on a fudge brownie recipe. Fudge brownies, unlike brownies made from cocoa powder, use melted chocolate to give the brownies their flavor, richness, and texture. The recipe works best with chocolate that’s between 60 to 70% cacao. In a pinch, you can use milk chocolate like I did in this milk chocolate brownie recipe. The brownies, however, will come out sweeter and less chocolatey-tasting.

Can I use chocolate chips?

Yes, but with reservations. I always recommend chopping up your favorite high-quality chocolate bar and melting it down, you can also use chocolate chips like I did in my blog post for the original recipe. Just be sure to use high-quality chocolate chips like ones from ValrhonaGuittard, or Nestle Artisan Collection (the latter two are both readily available in most major US supermarkets). Low-quality chocolate chips have stabilizers like paraffin candle wax that help the chocolate keep its shape in the oven and taste funny when melted.

Can I use bittersweet or semisweet chocolate instead?

Yes! Whenever I share a recipe that uses dark chocolate, many of you ask if you can use bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. Many manufacturers make chocolate bars that are specifically for baking; these are often labeled “bittersweet”, “semisweet”, or “unsweetened”. You’ll notice that “bittersweet” and “semisweet” typically don’t include cocoa percentages. That’s because there’s no official benchmark for each designation. Specifically: it’s up to the manufacturers to determine how much cocoa to use, and cacao percentages for each type will vary greatly between brands.

That’s why in my cookbook, I advise folks to ignore these bars and instead stick with the ones that list their cocoa percentages. That’s truly the only way to know what you’re getting! In a pinch, however, you can use either bittersweet or semisweet chocolate for these flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies without too much consequence.

Brown Sugar

This flourless gluten free cheesecake brownie recipe uses ½ cup brown sugar.

Most brownie recipes primarily use white sugar in their recipe. However, I like the extra moisture and flavor that brown sugar gives in these brownies. For these flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies, you can use either light or dark brown sugar.

Light Versus Dark Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is granulated white sugar with a touch of molasses to give it its signature color and flavor. Because brown sugar contains molasses, it adds more moisture to baked goods than granulated sugar otherwise would. Brown sugar is available in two varieties: light or dark. Dark brown sugar is my personal preference; because it contains more molasses, I find it to be more flavorful.

Can I use all white sugar instead in these flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies?

Yes! This brownie recipe is actually very, VERY similar to this one from Epicurious, which uses all white (granulated) sugar. Using all white sugar will not change Bake Time.

Can I use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar in these flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies?

Yes! In a pinch, coconut sugar works instead of either brown or granulated sugar in this recipe.

Cornstarch

This flourless gluten free cheesecake brownie recipe uses ¼ cup cornstarch.

I used cornstarch in this recipe in place of all-purpose flour. Cornstarch is a common pantry staple that’s used to thicken liquid-based foods like soups, stews, and custards. When used correctly, cornstarch is tasteless like all-purpose flour.

In theory, you can replace the cornstarch in this recipe with similar thickening agents like potato starch and tapioca starch. However, I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t 100% guarantee the results. Please leave a comment if you do and I’ll update the post accordingly!

Can I replace the cornstarch in this recipe with flour?

No, please don’t. Cornstarch has twice the thickening power of flour. You’ll likely need to increase the amount of flour to compensate for this thickening power. However, I’ve already adjusted the ratio of other ingredients like chocolate, cocoa powder, and eggs to match with cornstarch.

If you insist on making a traditional brownie recipe with all purpose flour, check out the original Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge Brownie recipe that this one is based on. It uses 1 cup of all-purpose flour. I’ve also created a small batch version of that exact same recipe, with a video tutorial on my Instagram account. The tutorial is available underneath the bio in my profile; click on the circle with the brownie picture titled “small b brownies”.

Cocoa Powder

This flourless gluten free cheesecake brownie recipe uses ¼ cup cocoa powder.

Natural unsweetened cocoa powder versus Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Cocoa powder, when used in baking recipes, often comes in two varieties: natural unsweetened, and Dutch-processed.

Natural unsweetened cocoa powder is more typical and is cocoa powder in its purest form. It is slightly reddish brown in color and results in deeply flavored chocolate goods. Because it is slightly acidic, it is often paired with baking soda in baking recipes to help create a chemical reaction that will cause the baked good to rise in the oven.

Dutch-processed cocoa powder is natural unsweetened cocoa powder that’s been treated with alkaline to neutralize its acidity, giving it a darker color and milder flavor. It is the cocoa powder that is used for making midnight-black baked goods like Oreos.

Because this brownie recipe does not contain any leaveners, you can use whichever cocoa powder you prefer without any changes in texture. Just note that using Dutch-processed cocoa powder will result in darker colored brownies.

How to Make Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownies

One of the things I love the most about my Better-Than-Supernatural Fudge Brownie recipe (and its small batch version) is how QUICK and EASY it is to actually make them. These flourless brownies are no different, but with an extra step for the cheesecake swirl:

  1. Prep the chocolate. (Prep Time: <5 minutes)
    If you’re using your favorite chocolate bar in this recipe, you’ll need to chop it into smaller 1- to 2-inch pieces to help it melt faster. However, if you’re using chocolate chips (or even feves or baking discs), there’s no need for this step!

  2. Make the cheesecake swirl. (Work Time: <1 minute)
    This is the only part of the recipe where you’ll need to use either a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer. You’ll need to beat cream cheese together with some sugar and an egg to make the cheesecake swirl. If the ingredients are at room temperature, the filling will come together very quickly and take less than a minute to combine.

  3. Melt the chocolate and butter. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
    Melting the chocolate and butter together is probably the most time consuming part of the recipe. Once the chocolate and butter is melted, set it aside to cool slightly while you prep the other ingredients.

  4. Whisk in the sugars, eggs, and vanilla. (Work Time: 5 minute)
    There’s no need to mix for an extended period like you would if making cookies; all you need to do is moisten the ingredients. The important thing is to keep whisking the chocolate as you add in the eggs one at a time. The chocolate mixture will still be warm, so you might accidentally scramble the eggs if you add them in too quickly without whisking. You can see a video demo of how I did this on my Instagram Story tutorial for this recipe.

  5. Whisk together the dry ingredients, then mix it in to the batter. (Work Time: <1 minute)
    Just mix until the dry ingredients have disappeared into the batter.

  6. Pour half the batter into the pan, followed by the cheesecake batter, then finish with the remaining half of the batter. (Work Time: 3 minutes)
    Pour half the brownie batter into your prepped pan and use an offset spatula to spread it across the pan. Next, pour the cheesecake batter over this layer and again use the spatula to spread it across the pan. Finally, dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake layer. Use a blunt knife to swirl the batters together—this is how you get picturesque, Instagrammable brownies!
flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies

Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownie Recipe Troubleshooting and FAQ

FAQ: Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownie Results

Are flourless brownies healthier?

Hahaha, I wish! I guess you could say that they’re “healthier” because they don’t contain wheat or gluten. And super refined flour like all-purpose flour isn’t exactly good for you. But because this cheesecake brownie doesn’t contain any gluten, I’ve had to compensate for the structure it creates by adding in more fat and sugar. So sorry, everybody. Flourless brownies are NOT any “healthier” than regular brownies.

Can I add mix-ins like chocolate chips or nuts to this cheesecake brownie recipe?

In theory, you can. But because these brownies are plenty rich already, I decided that it would be better to skip them. The brownies are also made by swirling two different batters—brownie and cheesecake batter—together. Adding mix-ins will make this swirling process more difficult.

FAQ: Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownie Storage

Do cheesecake brownies need to be refrigerated?

Cheesecake brownies keep for up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight container or ziptop bag. However, you can refrigerate them to make them last longer. Refrigerate the cheesecake brownies (also in an airtight container or ziptop bag) for up to 1 week.

Can you freeze flourless brownies?

Yes! In fact, these flourless brownies freeze wonderfully. Tightly wrap the brownies in two layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. The foil will help prevent the brownies from absorbing any odors or other flavors in the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months. You can enjoy the brownies straight from the freezer (they taste like fudgsicles!), or thaw overnight in the refrigerator to soften. From the fridge, you can leave them out on the counter for 1 to 2 hours to bring them to room temperature.

How to Make These Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownies Small Batch

Okay, you’ve gotten this far. So you want to make these brownies but can’t handle eating 16 of them. Good news! You can make a small batch version of this recipe.

First, you’ll need a different baking pan.

This recipe bakes the brownies in an 8-inch square cake pan. But for the small batch version, you’ll need a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Follow the instructions in this Small Batch Brownie recipe for preparing the loaf pan accordingly.

Next, you need to change the recipe quantities.

Here are the new quantities below:

For the Cheesecake Swirl:

  • ½ cup (4 ounces or 114 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (or 4 ½ teaspoons) whisked egg*, at room temperature

For the Flourless Brownie Batter:

  • 3.5 ounces (or 113 grams) dark chocolate, from whole feves/baking discs, chocolate chips, or a bar chopped into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces or 43 grams) unsalted butter, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup tightly packed (1.85 ounces or 52 grams) dark OR light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (1.75 ounces or 50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons (or 4 ½ teaspoons) whisked egg*
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted if necessary
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-processed OR natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if necessary
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

*What is a whisked egg?

Truthfully, it’s difficult to halve recipes that use odd quantities of eggs like this one. Fortunately, when researching my book, I discovered that most large eggs clock in at 3 tablespoons (2 tablespoons for the egg white, and 1 tablespoon for the yolk). As a result, you can “halve an egg” by whisking the egg whites and yolks together, then measuring out 1 ½ Tablespoons (or 4 ½ teaspoons) of the whisked amount.

Note that a 1 ½ Tablespoon measure is not commonly included in most measuring spoon sets; however, you can buy one off Amazon or use this mini liquid measuring cup. Alternatively, measure out its equivalent in teaspoon measures (4 ½ teaspoons) with a 1 teaspoon and a ½ teaspoon measure.

For this recipe, 1 large egg will be whisked and “halved” for use in different batters. Use the first half in the cheesecake batter, and the second half in the brownie batter.

From here, proceed with the recipe as instructed, but with the following changes:

  1. If using a digital scale to divide the brownie better in half, be aware that the batter’s weight will change. The recipe below notes that this recipe makes around 25.70 ounces or 729 grams of batter. This small batch version of the recipe should make a batter that weighs half that amount, around 12.85 ounces or 365 grams of batter. You’ll then need to then halve that amount to follow the recipe’s instructions (specifically, you’ll now divide the brownie batter into two halves each weighing 6.45 ounces or 183 grams).

  2. Reduce the Bake Time significantly. The recipe’s original Bake Time clocks in at 50 to 55 minutes. This small batch version needs less time in the oven. Start checking for doneness at the 30 to 35 minute mark instead.

  3. Slice the brownies differently. Similar to this recipe for Small Batch Brownies, the small batch version of these flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies makes 8 petitie brownies, or 2 large bakery-style brownies. To make 8 petite brownies, unmold the brownies from the pan and slice them lengthwise. Hold the two long slices together, and slice them into quarters crosswise. This will create 8 petite brownie squares. For 2 large bakery-style brownies, simply slice the unmolded brownie block into two halves crosswise.

    However, I personally suggest you go for the 8 petite brownie route—these flourless cheesecake brownies are pretty rich! 2 large bakery-style brownies would be a LOT, even for somebody with a big sweet tooth like mine.
flourless gluten free cheesecake brownies

Best Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownie Recipe Tips

Best Ingredient Tips

  • For this recipe, it’s especially important to bring the cream cheese and eggs to room temperature. Cream cheese is especially hard to work with when it’s still cold—it doesn’t incorporate well when cold, and will turn batters and fillings lumpy. Don’t be afraid to blitz cream cheese in the microwave to bring it to room temperature quickly! Simply cut the cream cheese into 1- to 2-inch pieces, and microwave in 15- to 20- second intervals until warmed. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, fill a small bowl with warm water (the water shouldn’t be too hot—you don’t want to accidentally cook the eggs!). Place the eggs in the bowl and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • While it’s important to use a room temperature egg for the cheesecake swirl, you can use the cold eggs straight from the fridge for the brownie batter. Because you’ll be adding the eggs to a warm chocolate mixture, cold eggs will actually help prevent them from accidentally scrambling or cooking.

Best Technique Tips

  • To make the brownies, you’ll need to divide the brownie batter in half. You then pour half the brownie batter into the pan, then pour the cheesecake batter over this layer, and finish by pouring the remaining brownie batter over the two previous layers. Doing so ensures cheesecake flavor with every bite of brownie.

    Because I’m a big perfectionist, I used a digital scale to weigh the brownie batter. If you wish to do the same, I include exact measurements and instructions for how to do so in the recipe below. But don’t worry! If you don’t have a scale (or think that this sounds like too much trouble), you can just eyeball half the batter. The brownies will look and taste great no matter what.

  • It’s better to pull the brownies out of the oven early than leave them in too long—if you over bake the brownies, they’ll be tough. They might appear underbaked, but I promise that when they’ve cooled, they will be perfect.

Best Serving Tip

  • Because these brownies are so fudgy, it can be difficult to slice them cleanly. The best way to do so is to use a hot serrated knife. Fill a tall, heatproof glass with VERY hot water (sometimes I even boil the water beforehand). Place a serrated knife, blade down, in the water for about 20 seconds. Use a kitchen towel to dry the knife. Slice the brownies, dipping the knife in the hot water and drying it as necessary to prevent the brownies from sticking to the blade.

Video Tutorial for Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownies

Use the video player below to watch my Instagram Story tutorial on how to make this flourless gluten free cheesecake brownie recipe! The arrows to the left and right of the frame allow you to skip through the different recipe steps. You can also hit the “pause” or “enlarge” buttons on the upper right hand side of the frame to pause or enlarge the frames accordingly.


Alternatively, head to my Instagram profile to watch these Stories on mobile! The circles underneath my bio indicate saved Instagram Story highlights depicting various recipes. Clicking on one of the circles will play the videos you see above. You may need to scroll right to find this flourless gluten free cheesecake brownie recipe.

More Brownie Recipes

More Flourless Gluten Free Recipes

Get the Recipe: Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownie Recipe

These flourless cheesecake brownies are gluten free and use ingredients that are already in your pantry! The cheesecake swirl complements the fudge brownies' rich, ganache-like texture.
(4.95 stars) 18 reviews
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Ingredients

For the Cheesecake Swirl

  • 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (1.75 ounces or 50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

For the Flourless Brownies

  • 9 ounces (or 255 grams) dark chocolate (between 60% to 70% cacao), from whole fèves/baking discs, or a bar chopped into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 6 Tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams) unsalted butter, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup tightly packed (3.75 ounces or 106 grams) dark OR light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (3.5 ounces or 99 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce or 28 grams) cornstarch, sifted if necessary
  • ¼ cup (.75 ounces or 21 grams) Dutch-processed OR natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if necessary
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

For the Flourless Gluten Free Cheesecake Brownies

  • Prep your oven and pan. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the pan's two opposite sides of the pan. Spray the parchment, too.
  • Make the cheesecake filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric mixer), combine the cream cheese, sugar, and egg. Beat on medium-high until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Make the brownie batter. Place the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan filled with a few inches of simmering water (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Cook over medium heat, using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir the mixture and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the chocolate and butter have melted and combined, about 10 minutes. Set the double boiler or bowl on a wire rack and let the chocolate mixture cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Once the mixture cools slightly, whisk in the sugars, eggs, and vanilla one at a time, only adding the next ingredient when the previous is fully incorporated.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Sprinkle over the wet ingredients and use the rubber spatula to mix until just combined about 1 minute.
  • Pour half the brownie batter into a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. If using a digital scale to divide the batter, note that this recipe makes around 25.70 ounces or 729 grams of batter; pour 12.85 ounces or 364 grams of batter into the smaller bowl/liquid measuring cup.
  • Pour the remaining half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly across the pan. Spoon the cheesecake filling over the batter, then use the offset spatula to spread the cheesecake across the pan. Don't worry about getting it even—you'll end up swirling this layer! Finally, dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake filling. Use a butter knife to swirl the layers together.
  • Bake the brownies. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
  • Serve and store. Run a butter knife or offset spatula along the edges of the pan and use the overhanging parchment as handles to lift the bars out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Use a hot knife to slice into 2-inch squares and serve. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

This post was last updated on 9/4/2020.

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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.