These. Are. Everything! Fact is, Expect these gluten free and keto pumpkin brownies to become a favorite treat this fall. They’re ultra fudgy, easy-peasy and and ridiculously tasty!
Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
Because pumpkin everything!
You’ve already met our suuuper fudgy keto brownies right?! They’re intensely chocolatey, fudgy, lightly chewy and good… like really good. And yup, there’s been a cheesecake version already too (easily the most instagrammed recipe by you all!).
So with fall, and pumpkin season in full rage, this pumpkin spinoff simply had to happen. Things to expect: your kitchen will smell ah-mazing (think chocolate + spiced pumpkin goodness!) and you’ll be hooked for life.
Plus, they’re stupid easy to whip up and they freeze great too! (p.s. they’re great frozen too…🙊!).
Cocoa or cacao? Both work great, just know that quality really matters here. My favorite will forever be the Dutch-processed alkaline cocoa Valrhona, known to be one of (if not the) best cocoas in the world.
But feel free to use a raw cacao powder (arguably more nutritional perks here), though keep in mind that your brownies will be lighter in color and more reddish in hue. Both are well and good, as long as they’re unsweetened.
p.s. a lightly sprinkle of flakey sea salt works wonders to cut through the chocolate in these guys! And Maldon flakes are the undisputed best, by a mile.
This recipe uses almond flour only (!!). Yup, that’s it!
You’ve got a couple options here. Xylitol (non corn to avoid tummy troubles!) and allulose (using 30% more) have become my top choice (no aftertaste, best and chewier texture), followed by Lakanto (barely any aftertaste, but thicker texture).
If using erythritol in any form, because it needs a little extra help to dissolve than xylitol (and they vary so much from brand to brand because of different fillers and so on!), you’ll want to be sure to use a powdered form. If you only have granular on hand, don’t sweat it, and simply blend it in your (very dry!) bullet or blender until powdered. Easy-peasy!
And one more thing to keep in mind, is that a few of you who have used erythritol (Swerve in particular) report back periodically that your batter ends up thick. This seems to be improved by microwaving rather than using a water bath, and using powdered rather than regular. Though there seems to be no hard rule here.
Doesn’t seem to affect the taste in the end, so just spread the batter rather than pour it in. But if you’re finding your brownies feel too thick, simply add in an extra egg or a couple tablespoons of almond milk (just don’t over-whisk or they could become more cakey).
Fun fact: it might also be my taste buds here, but I’ve noticed that stevia-based sweeteners (such as Pyure) don’t work so great when chocolate is involved as the aftertaste is accentuated. So I cannot recommend enough that you don’t use stevia-based sweeteners here.
Oh, and if just paleo or gluten free (or not restricted by sugars), simply sub 1-to-1 with coconut or regular sugar.
And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty!) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕
A Couple (Very Simple!) Rules
I’ll start with the most important one: do not over-bake the brownies! Timing might just be the most important rule when making any type of brownie (and cheesecake, for that matter!), so you don’t end up with a dry and crumbly mess. Keep an eye out for them, and take them out once the center is set but still jiggly.
I even prefer to slightly undercook them and chill them in the fridge before cutting. That’s the secret for extra fudgy brownies.
Otherwise, you need to be sure that your eggs are properly at room temperature. If they’re not, they’ll solidify the butter and the batter will become rock-hard as soon as you add the almond flour.
(Ultra Fudgy!) Keto Pumpkin Brownies
These. Are. Everything! Fact is, Expect these gluten free and keto pumpkin brownies to become a favorite treat this fall. They're ultra fudgy, easy-peasy and and ridiculously tasty!
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cupsfor an instant conversion.
For pumpkin layer
For keto brownie layer
- 1 batch (suuuper fudgy!) keto brownies
See recipe video for guidance!
Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line with parchment paper the bottom and sides of a 8x8-inch baking pan. Set aside.
Make the pumpkin cheesecake layer first. Add cream cheese and sweetener to a bowl and cream using an electric mixer (faster and easier) or whisk until creamy and smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla extract and pumpkin spice until fully combined. Mix in pumpkin puree. Set aside.
Whip up a batch of our (suuuper fudgy!) keto brownies. Please note that your batter with xylitol and allulose will be thinner than with erythritrol (where you can add an extra egg or a couple tablespoons of almond milk to losen up a bit for cleaner swirls!- see brownie post for more deets).
Pour 2/3 of the brownie mixture into prepared pan, followed by the pumpkin layer. Add the remaining brownie batter in 4 dollops (see pictures in post for reference), and swirl the two batters together using a knife.
Bake for 27-35 minutes (I did 30), or until the center is just set and still jiggly. This really does vary (a lot!!) from oven to oven (think convection etc), so give them a check from minute 20 the first time around. Do note that these guys take longer than the brownies themlseves, because of the added pumpkin swirls.
Allow to cool completely on a rack. Lift brownies using the edges of the parchment paper and cut into desired size (I do 16!). To get extra clean edges, place in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to cutting.
Store in the fridge for 3 days and freeze for up to 3 months (they freeze great!). And, ahem, these are even terrific eaten frozen lol.
*The lower quantities are for more keto-adapted palates, while the larger ones will get you more 'traditional' sweetness. Please see section on sweeteners for deets and possible substitutions. Just keep in mind that stevia doesn't work (at all!) for these!
**You can technically go all the way up to 1 cup of pumpkin puree. Just keep in mind you'll need to increase baking time a tad (and a bit more carbs).
***If measuring the cocoa with tablespoons rather than grams, be mindful of how you scoop as you can end up with a lot more cocoa powder than needed. Drop the cocoa powder into the tablespoon and level it, rather than scooping it out of the bag with the tablespoon (which can lead to overpacked tablespoons!).
Please note that we always subtract sugar alcohols from total carbs to calculate net carbs (as is customary).