Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

I’ve taken my favorite fudgy brownie recipe and added a little holiday pizazz with some cheesecake batter swirled in. Adapt this recipe by removing the vanilla from the cheesecake batter and adding your favorite extract, like mint, orange or coffee; or you could mix in a bit of raspberry jam. Very easy to put together, hard to screw up, festive and something the kids can help you make. What more could you ask for?

Yield: 12 brownies

Brownie Ingredients

  • 1 c almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c canned coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1/2 c coconut sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/3 c chocolate chips (optional)

Cheesecake Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c coconut crystals or palm sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract


Set your oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brownie ingredients until well combined, and pour into a greased 9×9 oven-safe baking dish.

Add the cream cheese to your mixer bowl and beat until smooth, add the rest of the ingredients and beat until combined.

Dollop the cream cheese batter on top of the brownie batter. Using a knife, or a toothpick, swirl the cheesecake batter into the brownie batter. This would be a great thing for kids to do! Another option would be to remove the vanilla extract and add your favorite extract flavoring to the cheesecake batter; mint, almond, orange, coffee, coconut–would all work well.

Bake for about 35 minutes–until the top has slightly cracked. Serve well chilled, just like cheesecake.


22 responses to “Cheesecake Swirl Brownies”

  1. Oh no you didn’t!!! 🙂 🙂

  2. ohhhhhhhhh yessssssss we diddddd! hahaha. let me know what you think!

  3. These are AMAZING!!!!!! My guests couldn’t believe that they were paleo (if you include cream cheese – which for the sake of these, I definitely am!) They are so rich I could only eat one, and I cut the 9×9 pan into 25 small brownies. I wondered how a pastry chef crosses over to paleo, and I must say that I am glad you did and are developing such great recipes for us all. Thanks!!!!!!!

  4. Wow, they look luscious! Hmm. I have made goat cheesecake before using soft goat cheese to replace cream cheese (part for part); that worked and cut the fat calories in half without sacrificing flavor. I might try this recipe using the same.

    I’m glad I found your blog. I’m very into paleo and primal diet and fitness.

    1. i used to make mini goat cheesecakes with blueberry compote when i worked in a restaurant and loved them. it’d be interesting in the brownies, for sure. thanks rachel!

  5. So…I made these with goat cheese because that’s what I had in the fridge. OMG…awesome!!!!! Love 🙂 Thanks, Megan!

    1. whooop! thank youuu michelle! i will be trying the goat cheese next go-round fo sho.

  6. made these tonight and they were awesome! the non-paleo members of my household also absolutely loved them and couldn’t believe they were paleo. great recipe and one that i will be making again! 🙂

  7. Thanks for the recipe, my husband Joe loves these! Websites like this one have been really helpful. Joe is in the Army and works out a lot, he may be allergic to wheat/gluten, and after some pretty extensive studying of nutrition, he’s really into the Paleo diet. It’s been a challenge for me since I like bread and I’m used to cooking “normal” food. I also like to be creative in the kitchen, so it was nice to discover that Paleo dinners can be more than just meat and vegetables on a plate! BTW his doctor said Joe’s one of the healthiest soldiers he’s seen, and was surprised to hear what he eats!

  8. YUM. Delicious. It was my parents anniversary last night and they were at our place (long story) but made these, topped with fresh berries and they went over incredibly well. No one could believe that they were paleo!


  9. Wow, I LOVE your site! Dessert used to be my favorite thing to make before we went paleo a few months ago, and honestly it’s a little depressing thinking there are no “fun” recipes I can make for the family without feeling awful afterwards! I’m so excited about your blog, and about bringing the “fun” back into dessert making every now and again!! Bless you!

  10. OMG!!! I just made these last night and they are so awesome I almost fell out of my chair! These are going in my recipe collection! Thank you , Thank you, Thank you!!!!

    1. hahaha, you’re very welcome neal!

  11. I linked to these delightful delicacies! Thank you for ALL you do! You are by far my favorite paleo site!

    1. aw, thank you soooooo much kirby!

  12. Would it be possible to sub the coconut milk / sugar for milk / evap cane juice sugar? We are Paleo + dairy 🙂

  13. I made these brownies last night and I made them with the goat cheese instead of cream cheese for the exotic effect. They are super rich and chocolaty, However, I would have preferred the cream cheese because I love baked cream cheese. So if you are going to use goat cheese, my only suggestion to you would be to use honey to sweeten instead of coconut sugar! Its kind of like how Greek yogurt and Honey go so well together. I believe honey would have made the goat cheese just the right creaminess and sweetness that they deserve. Either way I still ate 3 brownies last night! Yum!

  14. I ‘m allergic to both dairy and eggs, so I made these using flax eggs and Tofutti better than cream cheese. I know, not totally paleo, but still high in protein. I had to bake them about 15 extra minutes. They were delicious, thick, fudgey and not overly sweet. They definitely need to get good and cold to taste best, overnight is ideal. Great recipe!

  15. I just made this for the second time with hazelnut butter (instead of almond butter), and it is amazing! The first time around I made a couple of mistakes and it ended up overcooked and slightly rubbery. Lessons learned:
    1) The first time I used gigantic eggs so I think it was overly eggy (is eggy a word?)
    2) I reduced the cooking temperature a little to 320F
    3) The first time I used a metal (aluminium?) baking tin which I think is too good a conductor of heat for this recipe; this time around I used a glass dish and the cooking time was spot on
    4) I took it out of the oven when it still had a bit of ‘wobble’ in the centre

    I’m really impressed with this and so is my partner (and he doesn’t usually eat my ‘weird’ paleo treats!). Will definitely make again and again. Thanks for a great recipe!

  16. […] feel spaced out or get a big sugar drop when I eat desserts that are higher in protein.  These brownies from the Health Bent blog definitely do the trick, they use almond butter instead of flour and […]

  17. I’ve been Paleo for about six months and have stayed clear of cream cheese because it wasn’t considered Paleo. How are these classified as Paleo? Was my research on cream cheese wrong or do I need to purchase a special cream cheese that’s specific to Paleo?

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