Orange Cheesecake Brownie Cupcakes

Orange Cheesecake Brownie Cupcakes

I LOVE brownies and I LOVE cheesecake…putting the two together is absolute heaven.  These little gems are SO tasty and fairly easy to make.  I have made them with both regular sugar and Swerve (erythritol) and they have turned out great both ways.  They also work nicely in a mini-muffin cup for an even smaller bite-sized treat.  I have not tried them in anything but the silicone liners though so I’m not sure how they’d do in a paper liner…I think they have enough fat in them that they would slip right out but I can’t say for sure.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!


Orange Cheesecake Layer:
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener or your favorite sweetener (or powdered sugar 1:1 swap)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. orange flavor extract
Brownie Layer:
  • 8 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup Swerve Sweetener or your favorite sweetener (or granulated sugar 1:1 swap)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and set 16 silicone muffin cups on a large baking sheet.
  2. For the cheesecake layer, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered erythritol (or sugar) until smooth. Beat in egg until well combined.  Add orange zest and orange flavor extract and beat until smooth and well mixed. Set aside.
  3. For the brownie layer, in a medium sauce pan, melt butter and coconut oil over low heat, add cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Stir in erythritol (or sugar) and vanilla extract. Let cool 10 minutes.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
  5. Spoon 2 Tbsp. of brownie batter into the bottom of each muffin cup.
  6. Spoon 1 Tbsp. cheesecake mixture over top and use a toothpick to swirl layers together, bringing some of the brownie mixture to the surface.
  7. Bake 20 minutes, or until sides are set and the middle is just barely jiggling. Remove from oven and let cool 20 minutes, then refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Orange Cheesecake Brownie Cupcakes 2

This recipe is an adapted from All Day I Dream About Food’s Raspberry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies.

Shared at:

Gluten Free Tuesday, 5 Ingredient Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Wednesday Extravaganza

Cream Cheese Frosting

If I’m going to use frosting on a dessert I generally use a cream cheese based recipe, these are two of my favorites!  I like to use maple syrup as my sweetener but you substitute any liquid sweetener of your choice, if you are using a granulated sugar it’s best to use a powdered version.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

¾ cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Whip heavy cream until stiff
In a separate larger bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
With a rubber spatula, gently blend whip cream into cream cheese mixture
Store frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup (or your preferred sweetener)
1 Tbsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
Store frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use

Frosted Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Is a frosted muffin really just a cupcake?


My absolute favorite time of year…I love the colors, the smells and the weather.  I love that it is Pumpkin Spice Latte season at Starbucks, although I’ve never had one, I love the way they smell.  I love the way my house looks with all my fall decorations up.  I love that all the stores are loaded with pumpkins and squash galore.  And best of all I LOVE that it’s time to dress everything up in Pumpkin Pie Spice!  This is my favorite muffin recipe, it’s only fruit sweetened so it’s not overly sweet which makes a dollop of cream cheese frosting just perfect to turn it into a weekend breakfast treat or light dessert!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

(yields 18 muffins)

2 large ripe bananas

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted and soaked (about 6-8 dates)

5 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh roasted)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

1 /2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional as a mix in, can use for garnish instead)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line muffin tins with paper or silicone liners or grease well with coconut oil.
  3. Place pitted dates in a bowl, cover with very hot water and soak for about 10 minutes, drain well after soaking.
  4. To a blender add bananas, pumpkin, dates, vanilla, eggs, and melted coconut oil or butter.  Puree until smooth.
  5. Sift all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  6. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until there are no lumps.
  7. Stir in chopped pecans.
  8. Divide evenly between the muffin cups (I use an ice cream scoop which is about 1/4 cup of batter)
  9.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Let cool completely on rack before frosting.
  11. Frost tops of muffins and sprinkle with additional chopped pecans and lightly dust with pumpkin pie spice.

Whipped Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

¾ cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. vanilla

  1. Whip heavy cream until stiff
  2. In a separate larger bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth, then blend in maple syrup and vanilla
  3. With a rubber spatula, gently blend whip cream into cream cheese mixture
  4. Store leftover frosting in an airtight jar in the refrigerator

This recipe is shared at:

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Fill Those Jars Fridays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wednesday Extravaganza, French Cuisine Fridays, Fight Back Friday, Gluten-Free MondayGluten-Free Wednesdays , Gluten Free Fridays

Fruit Pizza…Beautiful and Delicious!

Pizza for dessert…yes, please.

This recipe is not Paleo.

It is grain, gluten and refined sugar-free.

And…it is absolutely indulgent, delicious and perfect for special occasions.

  • Sugar Cookie Crust:

2 cups almond flour
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract (optional)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a pizza pan or line with parchment paper.
Mix all dry ingredients, then add in the wet ingredients.
Blend ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth.
Press dough into the pizza pan.
Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, until slightly golden brown.
Remove from oven to cooling rack, cool completely before topping.

  • Cream Cheese Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar

Using a mixer, blend ingredients together until smooth.

  • Fruit Toppings:

Strawberries, halved (about 12 ounces)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained

These fruits are my favorite to use, kiwi is a popular choice as well.  Feel free to use your favorites…keep in mind that bananas might get brown and mushy!

  • Glaze:

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. tapioca starch
1/4 cup maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar

In a small saucepan, whisk together ingredients and bring to a low boil over medium heat.  Stirring constantly, boil for 2 full minutes and then remove from heat to cool.

  • Assembly:

Once the crust is cooled spread the cream cheese filling over the entire crust. Arrange fruit as you please on top of the cream cheese.  Drizzle generously with the glaze.  Chill uncovered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Cut with a pizza cutter into slices and enjoy!

  • Recipe Tips:

You can use any sugar cookie recipe to fit your dietary needs.  This dessert will store in the refrigerator for up to two days, after that the crust may start to get mushy.  It may be yummy with a drizzle of chocolate or even a brownie type crust!

  • This recipe is shared at:

Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Bizzy Bakes, Fat Tuesday, Food Renegade

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes

Do you really need a special occasion to make a batch of cupcakes?  I think not, but…when I came upon this adorable cupcake display at Williams Sonoma last month I knew without a doubt that Easter dessert this year would be CUPCAKES!  At least this holiday occasion would give me the opportunity to make several different kinds and lots of them (the display holds 24-36)!!!  From all the wonderful flavors, fillings and frostings to choose from…here are the ones that made the cut…Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is of course a must, being Easter and all…humm, you have got to have something chocolate so I settled on a Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with a Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting…fruit? definitely, Raspberry filled Vanilla Cupcake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and a light and airy Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Cupcake with Blueberries.  It was so much fun making and decorating these little treats but the real joy was sharing them with my family, especially since they were all grain-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free!

The Final Four

My favorite was the Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, for several reasons…1) it’s peanut butter and chocolate, 2) well, it’s peanut butter and chocolate and 3) should I say it again?  it’s peanut butter and chocolate.  This recipe is adapted from one that my grandmother makes called Carol’s Fudge Muffins, I don’t know who Carol is but this woman is a genius, these muffins are rich and fudgy but still light enough to be a cupcake rather than a brownie…Mama always made them with pecans and no frosting but I chose to omit the pecans this time since I was going to use a peanut butter frosting…they are equally delicious both ways!  Now, since I’ve been eating a mostly primal diet I don’t eat peanuts or peanut butter and would normally substitute almond butter in the frosting recipe but for Easter…its just got to be peanut butter!

Chocolate Fudge Cupcake

2 ounces dark chocolate (I used Dagoba Chocodrops 70%)

1/2 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup + 2Tbsp. coconut palm sugar

1/2 cup quinoa flour

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 F and line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

In a large bowl mix together flour and sugar.  In a small saucepan melt butter and chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Add butter and chocolate to flour mixture and stir until smooth.  Add slightly beaten eggs, stir in – do not beat.  Add vanilla and chopped nuts (if using).  Divide evenly between muffin cups.  Bake 22-25 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp. agave, honey or palm sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla

pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup cold heavy whipped cream

Beat cream cheese, peanut butter, agave, vanilla and sea salt on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl beat heavy whip cream until stiff peaks form (for best results chill bowl and whisk in freezer before beating the whip cream).  Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.  Frosting can be made one day ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Be sure cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.

Chocolate Fudge Cupcake with Whipped Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

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