Espresso Brownies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting (Grain,Sugar, Egg & Starch Free)

by Brittany on October 28, 2012

Post image for Espresso Brownies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting (Grain,Sugar, Egg & Starch Free)

Brownies without ANY sugar. You don’t say.


I have been living on these darn things. I’ve made 3 batches in the past week and a half, and finally I moved quick enough to get a photo before they were once again gone. Honestly, when chocolate, espresso, and pumpkin are combined how can one deny?? I can’t.

Espresso Brownies with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting


3 Cups Blanched Almond Flour
2/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbs Baking Powder
1 Cup xylitol (Or Coconut Palm Sugar or other Granulated Sugar of choice if its not an issue for you).
2 Tbs Vanilla Extract 
7 Tbs Strong (Liquid)  Espresso or Coffee. (or Milk (any variety) OR water) 


5 TBS Soft Fresh Goat Cheese (such as Chèvre)
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2- 1  1/2 Tsp Cinnamon (to taste)
1/4-1/2 Tsp powdered ginger (to taste)
Pinch Salt
Nunaturals Stevia to taste. 

Chopped sugar free chocolate or Allergen Free Chocolate Chips (Optional)

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 6 x 6 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer) combine all of the brownie ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together- it will be thick.  This can be done by hand or in the stand mixer. Don’t be afraid to use your hands, if mixing the old fashioned way.
  3. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 33-36 minutes minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. Meanwhile- make the frosting. Using a hand mixer beat together the ingredients. Add Stevia to taste. For those of you able to have sugar a little honey, maple syrup, or agave could also be used or try adding powdered sugar.  For an extra fluffy frosting try beating in some butter (or Earth Balance).
  6. Using a knife or a piping bag frost the brownies. Top with allergen free chocolate chips OR chopped sugar free chocolate. I purchase the brand Simply Lite Chocolate From Trader Joes.


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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris October 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

1.2 cups of pumpkin puree is supposed to be 1/2 cup, right?


Brittany October 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm

That is correct :) I just noticed that typo myself.


Kristina October 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Any suggestions for substitution for the goat cheese? I can't do any animal milk products. Thanks!


Brittany October 28, 2012 at 9:25 pm

If you can do any of the nondairy cream cheeses ( for example there are several made of soy that will work)
Or you could soak cashews and purée them with pumpkin and add a little xanthan or guar gum to thicken.


Heather October 29, 2012 at 12:27 am

A thought in regards to goat cheese sub.....what about coconut that's blended to make coconut butter? Do you think that would work? Thanks so much for sharing this fabulous recipe!


A October 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm

How many brownies does this make? It sounds delicious! Thanks!!!


Brittany October 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm

A 6 x 6 pan. Depending how big you cut them will affect how many you end up with. I tend to cut them on the large size and end up with 9.


Sarah October 29, 2012 at 12:56 am

Do you eat dairy very often? I have experimented with cutting it out, adding it back, cutting it out again... as far as I can tell I don't have that much of a problem (just a bit of lactose intolerance) but so much of what I read about people with the kind of health issues I have says "Dairy is harmful and inflammatory stay away" that it's hard not to wonder if I'm just ignoring symptoms when I do have it in my diet...


Brittany October 29, 2012 at 2:50 am

I eat goat dairy regularly and have no problems with it- however cow products make me very sick! Its instant autoimmune city. We are all different, listen to your body it will tell you what it likes and what it doesn't like :)


Heather's Creative Concoctions October 29, 2012 at 1:42 am

Oh you have hit my absolute favorite combo, coffee and chocolate! If you ask me they should never be apart ;)


Beth @ Tasty Yummies October 30, 2012 at 1:38 am

Oh wow these look incredible! Such beautiful photos, too! I love that you used goat cheese in the frosting too. I took out dairy earlier this year, but have added back in small amounts of goat dairy as it doesn't seem to bother me. I cannot wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!


Amy November 14, 2012 at 3:20 am

I just purchased NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia and have yet to try it. I'm still getting used to cooking/baking with stevia, so when you say "Stevia to taste", can you tell me about how many drops you used? Even an approximation is helpful. I look forward to trying this recipe. Thanks so much!


Brittany November 14, 2012 at 4:33 am

Once you taste the sweetness you will be able to judge how much to use. Start with a few drops and add more as you want!


Margaret December 20, 2012 at 1:28 am

Are there no wet ingredients in the brownies besides coffee? It feels as if something is missing.


Brittany December 20, 2012 at 1:35 am

Nothing is missing! :)


Holly August 26, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Hello- so glad to have discovered your website! I am on the hunt for a soft, chocolate cookie to use for Paleo Whoopie Pies. Do you believe that the brownies from this recipe could be baked as drop cookie (and retain a nice rounded form)? If not, I would appreciate any other recipe referrals. Thanks!


Brittany August 26, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Hi Holly! These brownies are pretty chewy so I'm not sure if they would be the right fit.

Instead I might try this recipe and add a little extra applesauce so they are softer !


Katharine Rees September 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Could you use a gluten free baking mix instead of the almond flour?


Chance October 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hands down, these are the best grain free brownie I have ever made. In fact, they're definitely better than many regular old brownies I've eaten in my life! My partner declared these "awesome!". I used decaf instant coffee to equal the espresso since I don't handle the caffeine in coffee well and the flavor is great. The only change I made was adding about 1/2 cup of the enjoy life mini chocolate chips. Yum! Yum! Yum! Thank you!


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