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I’ve always wanted to do a low carb brownie, but never really could find the balance between fudge-y and cake-y. Until I came up with these Brownie Cheesecake Bars.
In my pre-carb days I used Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate one bowl brownie recipe religiously. It was easy and I usually had all the ingredients in my pantry at all times. I could doll it up with nuts or chocolate chips or shredded coconut if I really wanted to get fancy.
I love the idea of mixing all the ingredients into one bowl and then dumping it into a pan. These Brownie Cheesecake Bars as as close as I can come to a one bowl brownie…ok, ok it’s two bowls. But still super easy!
Unsweetened Chocolate~powder vs. block
Most keto chocolate recipes call for Lily’s chocolate or powdered Cocao, but the one bowl brownies from Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate uses the block chocolate. And interestingly enough I find it’s less messy to use the block chocolate. Powdered Cocao certainly has a long shelf life, but do so does the unsweetened block of chocolate.
I keep packages of Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate in my cabinet for months (even years) on end. It’s really cheap and stays good for a long time.
No Chocolate Thieves!
The thing about this unsweetened chocolate is that it looks like chocolate AND it smells like chocolate. But I have had plenty a good laugh over the thieves that have tried to steal my chocolate when I’m not looking. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the cabinet to grab a bar of Lily’s Milk Chocolate to start a recipe and the whole thing will be gone!!!
When those thieves sneak into the kitchen late at night and they take a bite of my Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate…..and HA! It’s unsweetened, so immediately the crook is in for a yucky surprise! I can’t tell you how I love to catch them about 30 seconds after the first bite!
I can assure you they were spitting out mouthfuls of half chewed Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate on the counter. BLECK!!! HaHa…the joke is on them and they will never steal my chocolate again!!
You certainly can do the melting over a double boiler, but I always use the microwave for convenience and time. Break the entire Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate bar and place with the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Melt in 30 second increments and stir each time in between the 30 seconds.
Once the chocolate is fully melted and stirred in with the butter add in the almond flour, Lakanto and the salt to fully incorporate into the melted chocolate. Then add in the room temperature eggs one at a time and fully mix in with the chocolate mixture.
Here’s the thing about the eggs and the cream cheese being at room temperature…
The chocolate mixture will be warm, if not hot, from the melting. You are already cooling the mixture down when you add the almond flour and Lakanto Sweetener. The eggs MUST be at room temperature as to keep the smooth and fluid consistency of the ingredients.
If you use cold eggs straight from the fridge your batter will seize up. No worries though if you forget to take the eggs out a few hours before you make these delicious Brownie Cheesecake Bars. Simply place your eggs in like warm (NOT HOT) water and let set for 10 or so minutes.
The key is to get your eggs warm enough. If you warm up your eggs the fast way you will at the very least help to keep the Brownie Cheesecake Bars batter fluid. You want your batter to be stir-able. That is…not too clumpy and not too runny.
The same goes for the cream cheese when you get to that step. If you happen to still have cold cream cheese simply pop in the microwave in a glass bowl for 30 seconds at a time (1-3 times) to softened up. This trick helps keep the lumps out of the cheesecake batter.
Mind you that is will all taste the same either way, just not very easy to work with. If all else fails and your batter is harder than you’d like then ad a tbsp of water pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Pull it out and mix it up and maybe go another round of 30 seconds just to get things softer.
Some might think this Brownie Cheesecake Bar looks a little too fancy and maybe hard to make. But really this is just a messy mess of half mixed cheesecake and brownie batter that’s then baked to set the swirl.
You can drag the knife back and forth or swirl it all around. You may start at one end and decide to zig zag. Really, this is just a creative part. AND…it’s totally up to you if you want more white cheesecake present or more chocolate brownie in areas. Get creative.
And don’t worry if it doesn’t look the same as this picture because it will all taste the same. Plus, your guest and stomach will never know the difference. Believe me when I tell you that it took a few times of making these Brownie Cheesecake Bars before they we pretty enough to take their beauty shots in this post.
The oven timing
I stated the cook time as 15 – 20 minutes because every oven is different. Even at 350* on the middle rack in the same size pan the temperature of outside the oven or of the batter can affect the cook time. I always set the timer for 15 minutes and then check on my Brownie Cheesecake Bars.
The trick is to get the top set, but still slightly jiggly. I usually go 20 minutes TOTAL. The key is that you don’t want your brownies and cheesecake to be overly cooked. They will come out dry and unappealing if you cook them in the oven until they are hard and seem cooked through.
If they’re in the oven and seem cooked through then when you take them out they will continue to cook on the counter top…and then they will be dry. The first time you make these Brownie Cheesecake Bars you will see for yourself that less cooking is better as they will set once you get them out on the counter to cool.
- 8 oz cream cheese MUST BE ROOM TEMP
- 1 egg MUST BE ROOM TEMP
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener
Preheat oven to 350* and line a 9×9” baking pan with parchment paper.
Place the chocolate and butter together in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between each session until chocolate is fully melted.
Remove bowl from microwave and thoroughly stir until chocolate is fully melted. Add almond flour, salt and Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener into melted chocolate and stir. Add in each room temperature egg and stir until fully incorporated. (Please note that the mixture will seem very buttery, but that’s ok, as you need this to retain moisture in the cooking). Set aside.
In another medium sized bowl place the room temperature cream cheese, Lakanto, room temperature egg and vanilla. Using a hand mixer on medium speed beat together this mixture until you for a creamy consistency.
Assemble the Brownie Cheesecake bars by spooning in ⅔ of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of the 9×9” pan. Make sure to spread brownie to each of the four corners and fully cover the bottom of the pan. Next spread the cream cheese mixture fully to cover the brownie layer.
Next, place remaining ⅓ of the chocolate brownie mixture on top of the cheesecake layer. Using a knife drag the tip of the knife through the chocolate dollops and cheesecake layer into creative swirls. Mix as much or as little as you would like.
Place pan in 350* oven for 15 minutes. At 15 minutes you must check on the brownies. The center should be set but still slightly jiggly. You DO NOT want to overcook your Brownie Cheesecake Bars as they will dry out the longer you bake. I usually go 20 full minutes in my oven to bake to perfection.
Remove from oven and set on kitchen counter to cool completely. Once Brownie Cheesecake Bars are fully cooled you can pull the parchment paper directly from the pan. Slice into 16 equal square bars. Enjoy.
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To calculate Net Carb count with sugar alcohols, we simply subtract grams of sugar alcohols (including glycerin), as well as fiber, from total grams of carbs.