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Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

These gluten free pumpkin cheesecake brownies have a rich, fudgy brownie base and a luscious, creamy pumpkin cheesecake topping. They might very well be my favorite new brownie EVER. The brownie base is adapted from Alice Medrich’s Almond and Brown Rice Brownies from her book Flavor Flours (Artisan, 2014), which is my go-to brownie recipe—it’s perfectly rich and chocolaty, and you’ll love it whether or not you eat gluten. Take note that while the batter comes together and bakes in under an hour, the brownies do need about an hour and a half of cooling time once they’re out of the oven.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American


Pumpkin cheesecake batter

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (122 g) pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Brownie batter

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably 60% cocoa content, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup (110 g) natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (55 g) almond flour
  • cup (40 g) brown rice flour


  • Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with foil, with a 1-2-inch overhang (you’ll use this to pull out the brownies later). Spray the foil with cooking spray, or brush with it with oil.
  • For the pumpkin cheesecake batter, in a mini food processor, combine all of the ingredients and blend, stopping and scraping once or twice, until smooth. Set aside.
  • For the brownie batter, place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (the water shouldn’t be touching the bottom of the bowl). Stir often until the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat, and whisk in the sugar, vanilla and salt. Let cool until lukewarm. Whisk in the eggs. Add the almond flour and brown rice flour, and mix until completely incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it in an even layer. Pour the pumpkin mixture over top, and tilt the pan to spread it evenly. Using a spatula, gently nudge the pumpkin batter into the corners so that it’s in an even layer.
  • Bake 30 minutes, turning the pan halfway through, or until set—the top should look matte and there should be small cracks around the edges (a toothpick inserted in the center will not come out clean). Let cool in the pan on a rack (about 30 minutes), then refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled, about 1 hour. Once the pan is chilled, cover it with plastic wrap then pop it back in the fridge until you’re ready to serve (the brownies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days).
  • Gripping the foil, remove the brownies from the pan. Cut the brownies into squares and serve!


Do Ahead: The pumpkin cheesecake brownies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • If you don't own a mini food processor you can make the cheesecake topping using hand beaters instead (beat well until smooth).
  • You'll need an 8x8-inch baking pan for this recipe. I prefer using a metal pan, which allows for sharp corners. 
  • If the pumpkin layer appears wet on top after chilling, gently blot it with paper towels.
  • These bars are meant to be served chilled. You can cut them into small squares and serve them in paper cups, or serve them on dessert plates with forks (my favorite method!).