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About This Recipe
Who said brownies could only be made of chocolate? Brownie recipes have tons of room for customization, and if you get creative and have fun, you can create the most delicious desserts. Like these Healthy Cherry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies!
These brownies are so indulgent and full of so many different flavors! Truly an epic taste bud explosion of different textures and flavors.
The rich chocolate brownie base pairs so well with creamy cheesecake and sweet, tart cherries. This combo was made for each other! They’re also lightened up, but man, they don’t taste it for a second!
You can make these absolutely heavenly brownies as a healthy treat for holidays, parties, get-togethers, or just because you want an extra special treat!
And if you do want a more traditional brownie recipe, try my Small Batch Brownies or Healthy Pumpkin Brownies (you can’t taste the pumpkin at all!). For another fun brownie variation, I highly recommend my Creamy Mint Brownies with Chocolate Ganache!
Why You’ll Love These Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
- They have the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth texture after being chilled!
- What’s not to love about rich chocolate, sweet cheesecake, and tangy tart cherries?
- Such an indulgent and delicious dessert.
- You’d never know they’re lightened-up and healthy!
- Seriously, just 123 calories each! Guilt-free sweet treat at it’s finest 🙌🏼
- Macro-friendly and protein-packed with 14g carbs, 4g fat, and 9g protein.
- Perfect for parties, holidays, special occasions, or just any day you want an extra special dessert!
- Protein powder – I used PEScience Gourmet Vanilla. A chocolate flavor would also work great. Not all protein powders bake the same, so if you use another brand, just make sure it is also a whey+casein blend and one that bakes well. For all PEScience products, you can save 10% with my affiliate code Laurenfitfoodie.
- Flour – I used both oat flour and all-purpose flour. I like the flavor the oat flour brings to the brownies, but all-purpose flour, 1:1 gluten-free flour, and whole wheat flour should work as good substitutes. If you don’t have oat flour, you can also blend quick oats in a blender until it reaches a flour consistency. I haven’t tried the brownie part of this recipe with almond or coconut flour, so I can’t speak on those, but if do try, let me know how it turns out in the comments!
- Cocoa Powder – I used dark cocoa powder. I think this recipe tastes best and fudgier with black cocoa or dark cocoa powder, but if all you have is normal cocoa powder, you can use that.
- Sweetener – I used Swerve Granular sweetener. You could also use erythritol, Splenda, stevia, normal sugar, or any other sweetener of choice.
- Baking essentials – Baking powder and baking soda.
- Canned pumpkin – Libby’s brand is my favorite. It produces the best texture.
- Light butter – I used I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light.
- Milk – I used unsweetened almond milk. Any milk will work here!
- Chocolate chips – Or any chips you fancy!
- Cream cheese – I used fat-free cream cheese to keep things lighter. Greek (neufchatel), vegan, reduced-fat, or normal cream cheese would also work.
- Heavy whipping cream – Just a touch to really add some creaminess! If you need to substitute with something else, you can use half-and-half or coffee creamer.
- No-sugar added cherry pie filling – I used the Duncan Hines brand that I found at my local grocery store, Harris Teeter.
How To Make
The full printable recipe is below, but let me walk you through the process so you know what to expect when you’re making it!
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 8 x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper and/or spray with cooking spray. First, mix the dry ingredients. Then, add the wet ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are incorporated and brownie batter is smooth. Set batter aside. Then beat the cream cheese so there are no lumps remaining and it is smooth. Mix in the stevia, flour, heavy cream, and egg.
2. Pour 2/3 of the brownie batter into your prepared dish. Using a piece of parchment or wax paper sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (or spraying on your hands), spread the brownie batter evenly across the pan. Add cheesecake batter on top. Spoon the cherries on top of the cheesecake layer in dollops, keeping the cheesecake exposed in spots.
3. Then, dollop the remaining brownie batter onto the cheesecake mixture. Using a butter knife or toothpick, swirl them all together.
4. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cheesecake is set or doesn’t jiggle anymore. Let cool completely at room temperature. Then, refrigerate covered so that brownies can continue to set. Best if let sit overnight, or at least 12 hours.
For the best healthy cheesecake swirl brownies, be careful not to over-bake! A toothpick inserted in the center should come out slightly crumbly (it will continue to bake in the hot pan after you remove it from the oven)!
Do I need to use oat flour in this recipe?
No, you can use all-purpose or 1:1 gluten-free flour if you don’t have oat flour. You can also blend quick oats until they are a flour-like consistency.
Can I leave out the protein powder?
You most certainly can. If you don’t want to add protein, you still need to maintain a similar wet/dry ratio of ingredients. So, just replace with the same amount of flour. One scoop of protein powder is about 1/4 cup of flour.
Do I eat these brownies warmed or chilled?
I personally love eating these brownies chilled! I think the flavors really come together but you can absolutely eat them warm if you prefer. Just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds until warmed to your liking.
- 1/2 cup chocolate or vanilla protein powder (62g)
- 1/4 cup oat flour (30g) can also use all-purpose or gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (40g)
- 2 Tbsp granular sweetener (24g) I used Swerve
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup canned pumpkin (244g)
- 2 Tbsp light butter (28g)
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk (30g) or milk of choice
- 2 Tbsp chocolate chips (30g) melted
- 8 oz. cream cheese (226g)
- 2 Tbsp granular sweetener (24g) I used Swerve
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (30g)
- 2 Tbsp cream (30g) or milk of choice
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup no-sugar added cherry pie filling (255g)
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- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and/or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
For the Brownies:
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the protein powder, flour, cocoa powder, sweetener, baking powder and baking soda. Combine with a whisk until there are no clumps. Add the pumpkin, butter, milk, and melted chocolate. Using a hand mixer, mix to combine.
- Beat the cream cheese so there are no lumps remaining and smooth. Mix in the sweetener, flour, heavy cream and egg.
- Pour 2/3 of the brownie batter into the prepared dish. Using a piece of parchment paper sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (or spraying on your hands), spread the brownie batter evenly across the pan. Add cheesecake batter on top. Spoon the cherries on top of the cheesecake layer in dollops, keeping the cheesecake exposed in some spots. Then, dollop the remaining brownie batter in spots across the cheesecake mixture. Using a butter knife or toothpick, swirl them all together.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cheesecake is set. Note that a toothpick inserted may still come out with some brownie batter on it, that is normal!
- Let cool completely at room temperature. Then refrigerate, covered, so that brownies can continue to set. Best if let sit overnight, or at least 12 hours.
- Nutrition per brownie using 1/3 reduced-fat cream cheese instead of fat free: 146 calories 12.4C | 7.1F | 8P
- MFP entry: LFF Cherry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies with RF
Nutrition is hand-calculated and accurate. No autocalulations! However, note that values can vary based on the brands you use and if you substitute ingredients.