Carrot Cake Blondies with Cheesecake Swirl with Gluten Free Substitutions

Carrot Cake Blondies with Cheesecake Swirl with Gluten Free Substitutions

Ingredients

  • For the Cheesecake Swirl
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk from large egg at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Blondies
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour (GF Use Domata)
  • ½ baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or about ¼ teaspoon regular table salt
  • 1½ teaspoons fine-quality ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated whole nutmeg
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1¼ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ cups grated carrots, about 3 large to 4 medium carrots
  • ¾ broken or coarse-chopped walnuts
  • 6 tablespoons shredded sweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup coarse-chopped raisins or golden raisins, or fresh pineapple, optional
  • Butter or vegetable shortening, for the pan

Directions

  1. Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease 9-inch square baking pan with butter or vegetable shortening, then line with baking parchment creating handles to easily remove blondies from pan after cooling. Lightly greasing the pan first will prevent the parchment from sliding when spreading batter into the pan with a spatula.
  2. Prepare the Cheesecake Swirl: Beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended, creamy and there are no remaining lumps, scraping down bowl as needed. Add egg yolk, lemon juice and vanilla and blend until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Cover and set aside.
  3. Prepare the Blondies: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. In a large mixing bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Add lightly beaten egg and stir until smooth and thoroughly combined. Gradually, add dry ingredients stirring until few flour streaks remain. Do not overmix. Gently fold in grated carrots, walnuts, coconut and, if desired, raisins or pineapple until just combined. The batter will be very thick.
  4. Assemble the Blondies: Reserve 2/3 cup batter and set aside. Scrape and pour remaining batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula or offset spatula. Spoon Cheesecake Swirl batter over the top, in small dollops, to within ¼ inch of edge of pan and top with reserved batter. With a knife, create a swirled or marbled effect by running it through the batters. The batters may look messy but will bake up nicely.
  5. Bake the Blondies: Bake in preheated oven until light golden brown, Cheesecake Swirl appears to be set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it (versus uncooked batter), about 30 to 35 minutes. If desired, to prevent over-browning, cover with sheet of aluminum foil during last 5 minutes of baking.
  6. Remove foil, if used, and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours. Once cooled to room temperature, use the baking parchment overhang to lift the blondies from the pan and transfer to cutting board.
  7. Cut blondies into 9 or 16 squares, depending on size of blondies or number of servings desired. (See Notes section for Tips on how to cut neat squares.)
  8. Serve immediately, chilled or at room temperature.