Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies

Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Desserts, Featured | 6 comments

… Decadence … and Then Some!

Gluten-free Dairy-free Soy-free Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies

I like to tinker with unhealthy recipes to make them better for us and to sometimes even hide full-on nutritional benefits in them without any detectible flavor or textural differences. This is NOT one of those times.

This recipe was designed to be fully indulgent, naughty to all ends, a pure guilty pleasure that I have no remorse in making. We just need that occasionally, right?

Gluten-free Dairy-free Soy-free Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies

These gluten-free, dairy-free Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies are deliciously wonderful, nutritionally bad, and so completely satisfying. And that’s okay with me right now. I’ll get back on the healthy bandwagon soon. They’re rich, creamy, sweet, have an ooey-gooey goodness texture. One brownie will completely satisfy any cravings you have, so you’ll definitely need to share these, or cut them into individual portions and freeze them for your next undeniable sweet tooth attack. You know it will come!

I used my favorite gluten-free, dairy-free brownie recipe (well, one of them, minus the marshmallows) for the double chocolate batter.

Gluten-free Dairy-free Double Chocolate Cocoa Brownies with Polka Dots

Wanting, aka needing, to keep these brownies soy-free as well, I turned to Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread. Combined with my other ingredients, this provided just the right tang and texture as a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free cream cheese substitute.

Soy-free Dairy-free Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients

For sweet cherries with a luscious, velvety sauce, I used just a half a can of Comstock (Duncan Hines) More Fruit Cherry Pie Filling. I like using the “more fruit” variety because I prefer its fruit to sauce ratio. The entire can would have made these brownies much too soupy and created an over-powering sweetness. Half a can was perfect.

Gluten-free Dairy-free Soy-free Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies

With dollops of the “cream cheese” spread and cherry pie filling scattered over the brownie batter, then swirled, I like how there is a little bit of each component in every bite, including the extra chocolate chips that give a surprise chunky nibble here and there.

Gluten-free Dairy-free Soy-free Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the cooked brownies to chill in the fridge to achieve the perfect consistency. They need that downtime. The reward for waiting will be a texture teetering between cheesecake, lava cake, and moist brownie. Well worth the wait.

Gluten-free Dairy-free Soy-free Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies

Gluten-free Dairy-free Soy-free Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Brownies


No Shellfish BugNo Fish BugNo Peanut BugNo Soy BugNo Dairy BugNo Gluten BugPrep time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 45-50 minutes

Oven temp: 350ºF

Chill time: until room temp, then about 4 hours in the refrigerator

Makes: 12-15 servings


Ingredients for cream cheese style filling:

8 ounces dairy-free cream cheese substitute – I use Daiya Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread

¼ cup sugar

1 large egg, beaten then divided in half (you’ll only be using half of the egg)

½ teaspoon vanilla


Ingredients for brownies:

1 1/2 cups (180g) gluten-free all-purpose flour – I prefer Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend

1/2 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum – omit if your flour already contains it

1/2 cup chocolate chips – I prefer Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels

1 cup (85 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup boiling water

3/4 cup grapeseed oil – or another cooking oil (not olive oil though)

2 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract


Cherry Pie Filling Ingredients:

Half a can (about 10 ounces) cherry pie filling, stirred well to distribute cherries throughout the sauce before scooping – I use Duncan Hines brands, either Comstock or Wilderness



Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with a sheet of parchment paper large enough to allow the ends to hang over the edge of the baking dish. Set aside.

Combine cream cheese substitute, ¼ cup sugar, half of the beaten egg, and ½ teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Stir together flour, guar gum and chocolate chips in small bowl. Set aside.

Combine cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl large enough to hold all of the brownie batter. Whisk. Add boiling water and half of the oil into cocoa mix and stir well. Stir in sugar and remaining oil until smooth. One at a time, whisk in eggs and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture just until blended.

Spread brownie mixture evenly into prepared baking dish.

Dollop “cream cheese” mixture over brownie batter. Spoon cherry pie filling over brownie batter. Using a knife, spreader, or the handle of a spoon, drag the utensil through the ingredients to swirl together slightly in a free-form pattern, just enough to slightly combine the chocolate, cream cheese, and cherries together but not so much that you completely mix them.

Bake brownies in a preheated 350ºF oven, on center rack, for 45-50 minutes. Center of brownies will still jiggle a bit and not be solid, but the edges of the brownie will pull away from the parchment paper. A toothpick inserted into center is not a good test for doneness with this recipe.

Remove from oven and cool brownies, still in pan, completely to room temperature on a cooling rack. Place a paper towel over top of brownies, then cover pan with plastic wrap. Place in fridge and chill 4 hours or longer.

Serve by cutting brownie into squares. Brownies can be eaten cold, or allow them to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes for full flavor and texture.

Store any remaining brownies back in fridge for up to 3 days. Brownies can be cut into individual servings, wrapped in plastic wrap, placed into a resealable plastic bag, then frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in fridge a few hours, or eat slightly frozen. (I’ve not tried defrosting them in the microwave.)

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Gluten-free Dairy-free Chocolate Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Gluten-free Dairy-free Chocolate Bundt Cake Parfait

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Supremely Chocolate Frosted Brownies

Supremely Chocolate Frosted Brownies




  1. Any idea if these would work totally vegan? As if the gluten & dairy intolerances weren’t bad enough, I can’t do eggs either.

    • Hi Geri, Thanks for the question. The brownies should work just fine if you sub the eggs with flax gel (1 TBSP flax meal to 3 TBSP water – per egg, then let soak 10 minutes to gel). I would just omit the half egg in the “cream cheese” spread filling altogether. The Daiya spread and Enjoy Life chocolate chips are already vegan. Hope this answers your question. Let me know how this alteration turns out. I bet they’ll be delicious.

  2. Be careful of the pie filling as comstock is not gluten free….. the only one I have found that is GF is Walmart’s Great Value Brand.

    • Hi Darlene! Thanks so much for your comment. I didn’t know that Great Value Brand was gluten-free, it’s always great to have additional options. Just to let everyone feel confident that Comstock is gluten-free, I contacted the manufacturer – Duncan Hines – directly (not just on the website) on 7/18/14. They informed me that all of their pie fillings are free of gluten, and the modified food starch is derived from corn. They also will state any allergen alerts regarding the top eight allergens on their product label by the nutrition facts/ingredients. Hope this info helps. Happy baking … I ALWAYS appreciate it when you share food safety concerns. 😀

  3. Why can’t you use olive oil?

    • Hi Pam! Thanks for the great question. The texture will be just fine with olive oil, but I find that extra virgin olive oil imparts a strong flavor that isn’t complementary to this sweet dessert. A mild olive oil would probably be fine, it’s just not my preference. If you’ve had good luck with it in other dessert recipes, by all means, use what works best for you. Happy baking. Let me know how they turn out!

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