Recipes | Cookies, Brownies & Bars

Low FODMAP Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Brownies

GFVEG

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for details.

This Low FODMAP Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Brownies recipe is based upon our classic vanilla and chocolate version – and that was based upon a recipe from the bakery Robin and I had in the 1980s! Great recipes never die. They get reinvented! This recipe has a dark chocolate brownie base and swirls of lightly spiced lactose-free pumpkin cheesecake batter throughout. Sweet, a bit tangy, smooth, rich and creamy. 

Low FODMAP Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies stacked on a white plate, dark background
These Low FODMAP Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies are just one of many similar recipes – all gluten-free and lactose-free!

These freeze well and in fact, I happen to love them when they are super cold, but they are a bit creamier if you remove from fridge a while before serving.

Cream Cheese Brownie Bonanza

Be sure to check these other low FODMAP recipes out – this recipe for Low FODMAP Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Brownies is one of a growing group!

Low FODMAP Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies stacked on a white plate, dark background, vertical image closeup
They are SO creamy and chocolaty!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cream Cheese Low FODMAP?

There is a small low FODMAP serving of conventional cream cheese. Monash University lab tests state that a low FODMAP serving size is 2 tablespoons (40 g), while FODMAP Friendly lab tests state 4 tablespoons (81 g). This is due to the fact that each testing institution peg lactose thresholds differently. (We do have an article about how their lab tests can differ).

That said, due to stacking and general lactose issues for some, I chose to create this as a lactose-free recipe, using lactose-free cream cheese.

What Is Lactose-Free Cream Cheese? 

Lactose-free cream cheese can be made from many formulations. The most basic are quite like conventional cream cheese, with lactase enzyme added. The brand we use is Green Valley Creamery and the ingredient label reads as follows: PASTEURIZED CULTURED CREAM (MILK), LACTASE ENZYME, SEA SALT, AND LIVE AND ACTIVE CULTURES.
 
While we adore this product for its fresh dairy flavor and luscious spreadability, we do have to caution you that it breaks down in texture upon agitation. It actually liquifies, so you will never see directions telling you to beat it well until creamy, like conventional cream cheese. This is one of the main reasons you cannot just substitute it in recipes that call for conventional cream cheese.
 
Also, please note that this is real dairy cream cheese. There are non-dairy cream cheese products on the market, and not only can they be high FODMAP, but I also cannot vouch for how they would do in this recipe. Please always use the ingredients called for, for best results.

Is Canned Pumpkin Low FODMAP?

Monash University has lab tested canned pumpkin and lists it as Green Light Low FODMAP at ⅓ cup (75 g). We spoke with Monash, and they reported that they did test American canned pumpkin and that they took averages from 4 different brands to calculate FODMAPs. FODMAP Friendly has lab tested canned pumpkin and state that a low FODMAP serving size is 120 g, or about ½ cup.

Is Pure Pumpkin The Same As Pumpkin Purée?

The kind of pumpkin puree that you want will be unsweetened, pure pumpkin purée and not “pumpkin pie filling”. I always use Libby’s as I find it to be the best. By comparison the organic ones I can find locally are pale in comparison and also much less rich in texture. Different canned pumpkins differ in color, flavor and consistency and will give different results.

Is Chocolate Low FODMAP?

There are low FODMAP amounts of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.  Please refer to these links for more info.

stack of low FODMAP Pumpkin Cheesecake brownies on white plate

Making Cheesecake Brownies

Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F(165°C). Coat an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with non-stick spray. Line with a strip of parchment paper to cover bottom and overhang on two sides. Spray the paper, too.

For the Brownies: Melt chocolate and butter together in top of double boiler or in microwave safe bowl.

butter and chocolate melted in glass bowl with whisk

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl to aerate and combine. 

dry baking mixture in glass bowl

Whisk the sugar into the melted chocolate/butter mixture until blended.

whisking sugar into brownie batter in glass bowl

Whisk in vanilla then add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.

whisking eggs into brownie batter in glass bowl

Fold in dry ingredients just until combined. Scrape almost all of the batter into the prepared pan, reserving about ½ cup (120 ml) – you can do this by eye. Spread the larger amount of the batter in the prepared pan into an even layer using a small offset spatula.

using small offset spatula to spread brownie batter into square pan

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl:

pumpkin cheesecake ingredients in glass bowl

In a small mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir together the cream cheese, pumpkin purée, sugar, flour, cinnamon and ginger until smooth and evenly colored.

pumpkin cheesecake batter in glass bowl with red silicone spatula

Alternately dollop the cream cheese mixture and the reserved brownie mixture by large spoonfuls here and there all over the brownie batter already in the pan.

two different colored batters batters dolopped in brownie pan

Draw a butter knife through both dolloped batters to create pretty swirls. Don’t over swirl or you will lose the dramatic effect.

pumpkin cheesecake brownie batter swirled in pan, before baking

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bars are slightly puffed and the edges have begun to come away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will show a few moist crumbs clinging. Cool on rack, then refrigerate briefly before cutting; they should be just slightly chilled for cleanest cutting. Cut into 25 bars (5 x 5 grid). Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 4 days.

FODMAP Information

All recipes are based upon Monash University & FODMAP Friendly science at time of initial publication.

  • Butter: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested butter. Monash states that a low FODMAP Green Light portion is 1 tablespoon or 19 g and also states that “butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates (FODMAPs)”. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Pass” at 1 tablespoon or 19 g. Both recommended serving sizes are presented as part of healthy eating guidelines, not as maximum FODMAP serving size. Fat can affect guy motility and trigger IBS symptoms in some people. Eat to your tolerance.
  • Chocolate: Monash University has lab tested dark, milk and white chocolate all have low FODMAP amounts: 85% dark at 20 g; dark at 30 g; milk at 20 g; white at 25 g. FODMAP Friendly has also lab tested dark chocolate, milk and white chocolate. Their lab tests place low FODMAP servings for dark chocolate at 30 g, with a max low FODMAP serving size of 101 g. Milk chocolate is 30 g with a 38 g max serve; white chocolate is also 30 g with a max low FODMAP serve of 38 g.
  • Dairy: The low FODMAP diet is not a dairy-free diet. It is however, low in lactose. Many dairy ingredients are low in lactose, such as heavy cream and many cheeses.
  • Eggs: Eggs are high in protein and do not contain carbohydrates, according to Monash University.
  • Sugar: Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested white, granulated sugar. Monash states that a Green Light low FODMAP serving size of white sugar is ¼ cup (50 g). FODMAP Friendly simply states that they have tested 1 tablespoon and that it is low FODMAP. Regular granulated white sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide made up of equal parts glucose and fructose. Sucrose is broken down and absorbed efficiently in the small intestine. 

Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. Foods will be retested from time to time; in the case of raw ingredients, such as fruits and vegetables, results may vary. All lab tested results are valid and represent a snapshot in time. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.

Low FODMAP Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies stacked on a white plate
Low FODMAP Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies stacked on a white plate, dark background
5 from 1 vote

Low FODMAP Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Brownies

This Low FODMAP Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Brownies recipe is based upon our classic vanilla and chocolate version – and that was based upon a recipe from the bakery Robin and I had in the 1980s! Great recipes never die. They get reinvented! This recipe has a dark chocolate brownie base and swirls of lightly spiced lactose-free pumpkin cheesecake batter throughout. Sweet, a bit tangy, smooth, rich and creamy. 

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 25 brownies; 1 brownie per serving; 25 servings

Makes: 25 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson

Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 3 ounces (85 g) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 113 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup (96 g) low FODMAP gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder; use gluten-free if following a gluten-free diet
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (248 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl:

  • 8- ounces (225 g) lactose-free cream cheese, such as Green Valley Creamery
  • ¼ cup (61 g) pure pumpkin purée, such as Libby’s (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon low FODMAP gluten-free all-purpose flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger

Preparation:

  1. Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F(165°C). Coat an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with non-stick spray. Line with a strip of parchment paper to cover bottom and overhang on two sides. Spray the paper, too.
  2. For the Brownies: Melt chocolate and butter together in top of double boiler or in microwave safe bowl.

  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl to aerate and combine.
  4. Whisk the sugar into the melted chocolate/butter mixture until blended. Whisk in vanilla then add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Fold in dry ingredients just until combined. Scrape almost all of the batter into the prepared pan, reserving about ½ cup (120 ml) – you can do this by eye. Spread the larger amount of the batter in the prepared pan into an even layer using a small offset spatula.
  5. For the Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl: In a small mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir together the cream cheese, pumpkin purée, sugar, flour, cinnamon and ginger until smooth and evenly colored.

  6. Alternately dollop the cream cheese mixture and the reserved brownie mixture by large spoonfuls here and there all over the brownie batter already in the pan. Draw a butter knife through both dolloped batters to create pretty swirls. Don’t over swirl or you will lose the dramatic effect.
  7. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bars are slightly puffed and the edges have begun to come away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will show a few moist crumbs clinging. Cool on rack, then refrigerate briefly before cutting; they should be just slightly chilled for cleanest cutting. Cut into 25 bars (5 x 5 grid). Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 4 days.

Notes:

FODMAP Information

All recipes are based upon Monash University & FODMAP Friendly science at time of initial publication.

Butter: Both Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have lab tested butter. Monash states that a low FODMAP Green Light portion is 1 tablespoon or 19 g and also states that “butter is high in fat and does not contain carbohydrates (FODMAPs)”. FODMAP Friendly gives it a “Pass” at 1 tablespoon or 19 g. Both recommended serving sizes are presented as part of healthy eating guidelines, not as maximum FODMAP serving size. Fat can affect guy motility and trigger IBS symptoms in some people. Eat to your tolerance.
• Chocolate: Monash University has lab tested dark, milk and white chocolate all have low FODMAP amounts: 85% dark at 20 g; dark at 30 g; milk at 20 g; white at 25 g. FODMAP Friendly has also lab tested dark chocolate, milk and white chocolate. Their lab tests place low FODMAP servings for dark chocolate at 30 g, with a max low FODMAP serving size of 101 g. Milk chocolate is 30 g with a 38 g max serve; white chocolate is also 30 g with a max low FODMAP serve of 38 g.
Dairy: The low FODMAP diet is not a dairy-free diet. It is however, low in lactose. Many dairy ingredients are low in lactose, such as heavy cream and many cheeses.
Eggs: Eggs are high in protein and do not contain carbohydrates, according to Monash University.
Sugar: Monash University and FODMAP Friendly have both lab tested white, granulated sugar. Monash states that a Green Light low FODMAP serving size of white sugar is ¼ cup (50 g). FODMAP Friendly simply states that they have tested 1 tablespoon and that it is low FODMAP. Regular granulated white sugar is sucrose, which is a disaccharide made up of equal parts glucose and fructose. Sucrose is broken down and absorbed efficiently in the small intestine.

Please always refer to the Monash University & FODMAP Friendly smartphone apps for the most up-to-date lab tested information. Foods will be retested from time to time; in the case of raw ingredients, such as fruits and vegetables, results may vary. All lab tested results are valid and represent a snapshot in time. As always, your tolerance is what counts; please eat accordingly. The ultimate goal of the low FODMAP diet is to eat as broadly as possible, without triggering symptoms, for the healthiest microbiome.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 0.1IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.