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Flourless Turtle Cheesecake Brownies are rich, fudgy brownies swirled with cheesecake and caramel then topped with pecans. These naturally gluten free brownies are the ultimate decadent dessert recipe for anyone who craves the chocolate, caramel, and pecan combo.
Disclaimer: I was compensated by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for my time in developing this recipe and post. All opinions are my own.
I started watching cooking shows when I was in high school. I had a TV in my room, and I’d pop on a few episodes in the background while I was doing homework. Unless some cheesy teen drama was on, I’d watch another show before I went to sleep. I have no idea why I did this. Yes, I did sometimes cook for my family, but more often than not I was making some sort of casserole involving canned cream soups or some sort of pasta and ground beef concoction or, when I was really getting daring, some sort of chicken and rice thing. And baking was mostly relegated to box mixes that maybe I doctored up or decorated a bit, like a Reese’s Poke Cake.
Yet I think even when I was only half paying attention, somehow all of the tips, tricks, and terminology permeated my brain. As I got older and began to spread my culinary wings, I knew that it was important to season each component of a dish as it was cooking. A squeeze of lemon would freshen up a recipe and lime would add a little zing. Every sweet recipe needs a little salt. I even figured out ways to update those canned cream soup recipes, like in this Beef Potato Skillet Supper.
And chocolate is always enhanced by the addition of vanilla. It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Vanilla has its own creamy, aromatic flavor that is light and pure, but still unmistakable. Chocolate, depending on whether you go ultra dark, milk, or something in between is rich, floral, and can be intense and deep. And yet when you are making a chocolate recipe, the addition of vanilla just completes that chocolate flavor. It makes it more, well, chocolate. Which is why I naturally added vanilla to these…
Because not only are these brownies – they are flourless brownies.
But wait, there’s more. They are Flourless Turtle Cheesecake Brownies!
This means it’s all about the chocolate. But when it’s all about the chocolate, it’s essential to enhance the chocolate flavor. I did this by adding Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract to these Flourless Turtle Cheesecake Brownies.
Why Nielsen-Massey? It is truly my vanilla of choice for when I want to ensure the best flavor in my baked goods and desserts. They have been making vanilla products for over 100 years, so they know a thing or two about ensuring that they are extracting the pure essence of the vanilla bean. By using their proprietary cold extraction process and protecting the vanilla from heat, they are preserving even the subtlest of flavors. Beyond just the incredible flavor, all Nielsen-Massey products are certified gluten-free, which is particularly important to be because of my allergy, plus they are certified Kosher, allergen-free and GMO-Free.
While I love the Vanilla Bean Paste for things like ice cream, the “all-purpose” Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract, is my go-to for cookies, cakes, and, of course, brownies…
How to Make Flourless Turtle Cheesecake Brownies
While there are a few components to this gluten free brownie recipe, it’s actually super easy. Other than the bowl you need for melting the butter with the chocolate chips, you mix it all up in one bowl.
The two key aspects are making sure you whisk the eggs and sugar for a minute or two until pale, as this ensures you get a little bit of rise and the nice crispy bits on top and on the edges, and adding the chocolate slowly after it cools a bit so you don’t scramble the eggs. Usually I use parchment in the pan, but I’ve also just sprayed my pan really well and I had no problems with the brownies sticking.
You guys, you’ve gotta make these. I’ve made this brownie base a ton of times, and it never fails me, whether I’m swirling in Bailey’s Fudge Sauce like these brownies, or swapping out the pecans in this recipe to make Flourless Caramel Cashew Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. I had to give some away to my neighbors to keep from eating them all myself. Whether you like the fudgy middle or the slightly crispy (but still super moist) edges, you won’t be disappointed.
If you like these Flourless Turtle Cheesecake Brownies, try some more of my gluten free brownie recipes…
- Flourless Peanut Butter Cup Swirl Brownies
- Gluten Free Deep Dish Hot Fudge Brownies for Two
- Flourless Ricotta Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
- Gluten Free Deep Dish Red Velvet Brownies for Two
And my friends have some of the best gluten free brownies too. There’s Mint Chocolate Brownie Decadence from My Gluten-Free Kitchen. Pint Sized Baker made Gluten Free Strawberry Brownie Bars. And Fudgy Toffee Flourless Brownies from Mom on Timeout also look amazing.
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Flourless Turtle Cheesecake Brownies Recipe
Then the slightly tangy swirl of cream cheese and crunchy nuts balances the sweetness of the rich, chocolate and the caramel. Oh, yes, let’s not forget the caramel which gives these brownies even more ooey gooey deliciousness. You’ve never had gluten free brownies like this before. Bring on the milk, people, bring on the milk!
I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on Pinterest!
Flourless Turtle Cheesecake Brownies
For the cheesecake swirl:
- 4 oz. cream cheese light or regular, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon [aflink u="http://amzn.to/1SQhg8n"]Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract[/aflink]
For the brownies:
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup [aflink u="http://amzn.to/1SQhkVI"]almond meal[/aflink]
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons [aflink u="http://amzn.to/1SQhg8n"]Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract[/aflink]
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce homemade or good quality store-bought
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For Cheesecake Swirl
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 13x9 inch pan with parchment paper or spray well with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a double boiler or a bowl set over a simmering pan of water, melt the butter, then add the chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar for a minute or two.
- Add melted chocolate mixture a little at a time, whisking well after each addition.
- Whisk in the cocoa powder, almond meal, salt, and vanilla.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Place small dollops of the cheesecake mixture and caramel over the batter and then create swirls with a butter knife or small spatula. Sprinkle with pecans
- Bake at 350°F for 22-26 minutes, or until just set in the middle.
- Cool completely in the pan before cutting.