I’ll scream it from the mountaintops: I LOVE using applesauce as a substitute for oil, butter and sugar to cut down on fat and calories in my brownies. Healthy in theory and practice, however I think there is a misconception that using applesauce as a substitute in baked goods changes the flavour drastically. If used in the correct amounts, trust me when I say it does not! Why, you ask? Unsweetened applesauce is relatively bland. There’s no excess sugar to make the treat overly-sweet, and its high moisture content (about 88% water) allows nicely for air to be circulated in your treats as you mix/bake them. Good aeration = soft, tender treats to bite into.
I’ve shared my Funfetti Nutella Swirl Applesauce Blonde Brownies, my White Chocolate Chip Nutella Swirl Applesauce Blonde Brownies, and my Oreo Applesauce Blonde Brownies at parties, girl’s nights and with my boyfriend, and the reaction is unanimous – the flavours are rich and full, and they would have never guessed applesauce was one of the main ingredients!!
Phew. With all that aside, I present to you a new addition to my applesauce brownie repertoire with these o-o-o-o-ey g-o-o-o-o-o-ey cream cheese chocolate brownies! CREAM CHEESE + CHOCOLATE BROWNIES. YUM.
I baked these last night and wrapped them up in aluminum foil at room temperature. When I went to go grab one for lunch today, they were STILL super gooey, moist and soft. The best part is that they aren’t greasy, oily or super dense – they’re quite tender to eat! WIN!
I made these brownies specifically to celebrate a huge milestone for my dear friend @rjtek. Cream cheese brownies are his favourite, and knowing that he has a strict fitness regime, made them as healthy as possible.
Healthy, Gooey, Cream Cheese Chocolate Applesauce Brownies from Scratch
Makes: ~24 brownies
Time to prepare: 10 minutes prep, 40 minutes baking
- 2/3 cup Turbinado sugar, or raw sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8 ounce Philadelphia Reduced-Fat cream cheese
- 1/3 cup Turbinado sugar, or raw sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
WHAT DO I DO?
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9*13 inch baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil.
- BOWL 1: Whisk sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
- BOWL 2: Whisk eggs, unsweetened applesauce and vanilla. Pour liquid mixture into BOWL 1 and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour the brownie batter into your baking pan.
- BOWL 3: Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Drop dollops of cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter.
- When you’re done, use a butter knife to swirl through the batter to create a marble effect.
- Bake for 40 minutes, and wait to cool completely before serving.