2020 Update: In 2012, when I first published this post, the recipe was for muffins. When I revamped both the recipe and the photos, I decided to make it even easier to make these by turning muffins into brownies. Feel free to divide the batter up into muffin cups and top with the cream cheese mixture. They go down deliciously in either form.
Christmas and mint. How did they become an item? The red-and-white-swirled candy canes dangling from stuffed stockings? The tiny pastel-colored, melt-away candies piled in bowls that appear only in December? The Santa- and snowman-shaped chocolate candies filled with a gooey mint center? Or maybe the cool of mint recalls drifts of snow and icy winds. I won’t fight it. Mint reminds me of Christmas.
This is the classic chocolate cream cheese brownies you love but with a cool hint of mint and without the dairy (and a little less guilt). I’ll take one of these over a candy cane any day.
Other baked goods you may like:
- Whole Grain Banana Muffins with Flaxseeds and Dates
- Chocolate Biscotti with Chocolate Chips & Goji Berries
- Almond Butter Chocolate Oat & Seed Squares
- Loaded Morning Muffins with Crumb Topping
- Oatmeal Stout Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Date & Orange Stuffed Cookies (Maamoul)
Chocolate Mint Cream Cheese Brownies
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 16 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Christmas, mint and chocolate are a match made in a winter wonderland! These cake-like brownies are a wholesome indulgence you can make any time of year.
Mint Cream Cheese:
- 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked for 15+ minutes in hot water
- 1/8 cup silken tofu
- 2.5 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. pure peppermint extract
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups nut milk
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened Sunbutter
- 1 tsp. pure peppermint extract
- ¼ cup cacao nibs, optional
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F and line a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan with parchment (or coat lightly with oil). Set aside.
Make the cream cheese:
- In a blender or food processor, add all of the cream cheese ingredients and process until very smooth. If you need to, add an additional tablespoon or two of nut milk. Taste and adjust for sweetness and mintiness. Set aside.
Make the batter:
- In a double boiler (or place a small glass bowl over a pot that has about 1-inch of water in it), warm the nut milk and Sunbutter. When hot, remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips and peppermint extract. Whisk until the chips are thoroughly melted.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture until there are no dry bits. Fold in the cacao nibs, if using.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and rap the pan on the counter a few times. Now pour all of the cream cheese mixture on top and using a knife, make deep slices into the brownie batter, pulling it up and over the cream cheese. Do this until you are satisfied with the distribution.
- Bake brownies for about 25-30 minutes – do not overbake – and remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the pan before slicing.
Substitute chocolate chips for the cacao nibs to go extra chocolatey.
This is a cake-like rather than chewy brownie.
Keywords: baking, chocolate, mint, cream cheese, brownies, easy, snack, peppermint
I’m not sure about the origins of mint as a holiday flavor, but I am so glad that it is one! Those muffins look a.ma.ZING!
I’d take these over a candy cane too, any day! They look great, and I love your little red and white snowflake plate, very festive.
I was never big on candy canes – give me chocolate! I love the plate, too. It came in a pack of four with each one being a bit different – and they’re plastic – so it would be difficult (but not impossible…) for me to break them.
Oh wow yum! How perfect for the holidays! I’m imagining them with my cup of coffee in my snowperson mug!!
Absolutely! That would be the best way to enjoy them :-)!
These are pretty, and I just know they taste good too. I’m not much for candy canes, but I’d love one of these!
Yep, candy canes: meh. But chocolate…
They look amazing…and whoever paired chocolate and mint at Christmas was a genius because the two go together so well. You have managed to make them go together even better and these scrumptious looking muffins are going to be made A.S.A.P. to go with a soothing cup of mint tea before the craziness of Christmas sets in :). Cheers for your “natural seditive”…I am sure that many of us will appreciate these as a viable alternative to prozac this Christmas 😉
Thank you, my dear! Chocolate as a curative – yes, indeed!
Curative and restorative 🙂
Wow love the flavours with the cream cheese- I bet these are ridiculously amazing! And congrats on the award 🙂
I love your mint cream cheese! I think I could eat it by the spoonful by itself, but I’m sure I would regret not pairing it with the chocolate in the muffins. Just delightful!
I can imagine all those flavors working the magic in these muffins.. so perfect!
Ah, you know I love you and your gorgeous blog! These muffins look especially delicious. Mint is not such a big flavour hit Down Under at Christmastime. I guess because it’s summer here and we have such a bountiful feast of fruity flavours. For us, Christmas seems to be more about fruit and alcoholic flavours (rum, brandy, coffee liqueur) and anything chocolate. I could use one of your muffins right now, for an early pre-breakfast snack. With a good cup of tea. Heaven!
Much love to you xx
xoxo back to you, Nicole!
These look ridiculously delicious! Oh my goodness!
These muffins look spectacular & are calling my name & mouth too! 🙂 Yummy Yum!
What?! How have I missed these??? Okay, vegan cream cheese – I’ll have to check that out.