Deliciously rich and fudgy gluten free brownies topped and swirled with a strawberry mascarpone cheesecake batter. These gluten free strawberry cheesecake brownies are so good, you won’t be able to eat just one.
Hello Gluten Free Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies.
Actually… these are Strawberry Mascarpone Cheesecake Brownies.
I don’t usually bake brownies in the summer, since I prefer lighter flavors and desserts with the warmer weather, but I needed a good excuse to use up some leftover strawberries.
When in doubt… always bake. Right?
Really I just wanted an excuse to make brownies.
These cheesecake brownies have a fun little twist to them. The brownie base is actually based off my caramel coffee swirl brownies, but instead of the caramel I used mascarpone cheese and a fresh strawberry purée to make a cheesecake batter.
The brownie batter is thick and fudgy, making a wonderfully rich and slightly gooey brownie beneath the sweet cheesecake layer. They key to fudgy brownies is to make sure not to over-bake. When you insert a toothpick in the center, it should come out with a few moist crumbs attached. If you wait until it comes out clean, they will be overcooked (if that happens, they will still taste great… otherwise just crumble them over ice cream!).
Making the Cheesecake Layer
This recipe uses a fresh strawberry purée, but you can definitely use 3-4 Tablespoons of strawberry jam if you prefer. I just find I get a stronger strawberry flavor if I reduce a purée myself.
To make the strawberry purée, blend the strawberries in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 6-8 minutes until reduced by at least half.
Once you have just a few Tablespoons of very thick purée left, transfer it to a heat-safe container. Let cool slightly before placing in the refrigerator to cool completely. I like to make sure it’s very chilled before adding it to my cheesecake batter.
To make the strawberry cheesecake layer, beat together cream cheese and sugar on medium-low speed with a hand mixer for 1-2 minutes until fluffy and smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract just until combined, then stir in the chilled strawberry purée. The batter will turn a lovely light pink color.
Once the cheesecake batter is finished, just dollop it over the brownie batter and swirl several times before baking!
These brownies are best if you let them cool completely before cutting, or they will fall apart. Not really a bad thing… you can always crumble them over ice cream.
You can also place the cooled brownies into the refrigerator for 30 minutes -1 hour before serving for cleaner cuts. If stored in the fridge for a longer period of time, they will be denser and will taste like cheesecake fudge…yum.
Gluten Free Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies
- 3oz semisweet chocolate chip or chunks
- 1/2 cup butter
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup (~72g) Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour (see notes below for alternatives)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch process)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup strawberries, washed and hulled
- Blend the strawberries in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the purée to a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer and let it bubble lightly for about 6-8 minutes until reduced by at least half, stirring frequently. There should be only a few Tablespoons of very thick, reduced purée left. Turn off the heat and transfer the purée to a heat-safe container. Let cool slightly before placing in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Make the Brownies:
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a 8” by 8” square baking dish on all sides with parchment paper, leaving about a 2” overhang. Set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter in the microwave at 15-second intervals until melted (you can also melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low). Add the chocolate chips or chunks and continue to stir together until the chocolate has completely melted and combined with the butter. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar. Make sure this mixture has cooled before adding in the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
- Stir in the gluten free flour, cocoa powder, and salt until totally combined and smooth. The batter will be very thick.
Make the Cheesecake Swirl:
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, beat the mascarpone and sugar on medium-low speed for 1-2 minutes until fluffy and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract just until combined, then gently stir in the chilled strawberry purée. The batter will turn a light pink color.
- Pour the thick brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly using a rubber spatula. Dollop the cheesecake batter over the top of the brownie mixture, then drag a knife into the brownies and swirl all over several times.
- Bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes, until puffed all over and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Let them cool completely in the pan before cutting, trimming the outside edges if desired (crumble and freeze leftovers to serve over ice cream another time!). You can also place the cooled brownies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes - 1 hour before serving for cleaner cuts. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Flour: I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour in this recipe, which contains xanthan gum. If using a different flour for this recipe, use a 1:1 type flour of your choice that also contains xanthan gum. If using any other type of flour, I cannot confirm your results will be the same. But for these brownies, any 1:1 gluten free baking flour should work!
Strawberry Purée: If desired, you can use 3-4 Tablespoons of strawberry jam instead of reducing your own purée, but I find I get a stronger strawberry flavor if I make it myself.
Cheesecake Batter: I love the taste that mascarpone gives these brownies, as it’s slightly sweeter and a little less tangy. However, you can swap cream cheese for the mascarpone if desired.
Author: Zest and Lemons
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