Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies – gluten-free & low FODMAP

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies - gluten-free & low FODMAPSandra Boynton Quote
I thought it was time to let you know about the transition I have made from what was basically Paleo eating to where I am now. I ate Paleo for about three months and felt certain positive changes but not nearly enough for it to be the ultimate answer as it has been for some people. The positive changes were due to the reduced intake of sugar and the elimination of wheat, rye and barley. But in general, I felt my health got worse. I felt very weary and whenever I exercised, my muscles seemed to be filled with lactic acid. I went to a health store and asked for some supplements but it never really went away. I started to get night cramps. But worse than both of those, my digestive issues deteriorated. In order to keep baking, I was using coconut flour as the starch and honey or pureed dates as sweeteners.

One day, my stomach was so bad that I decided to eat nothing but fruit all day. By the evening I was still feeling bad so, while I cooked for my family, I ate only the kale chips I had made. That evening I felt worse than ever and the next day I started Googling my symptoms yet again. But this time I first Googled kale and allergies. It mentioned it being high in fructose, which didn’t really register just then. So I kept Googling and I found myself on a paleo blog where the owner was saying that Paleo hadn’t sorted her digestive issues and that the final piece of the puzzle was put in place when she discovered she had fructose malabsorption. I had never heard of it so I started researching it and I had an eureka moment. All the symptoms matched, including why I felt worse in the afternoon than the morning – the accumulative effect over a day.

I felt elated and devastated at the same time. Elated to have perhaps found the solution and devastated that it was such a difficult food intolerance. The rest of the story you know – I went and had a breath test for fructose intolerance and had it confirmed. Why I had got worse while eating Paleo was that fructose is not only in many fruits and vegetables but also in honey. It is very high in fructose and was poisoning me. That day when I had felt so sick, I had eaten only fruit and then kale for dinner. I had so overloaded my system with fructose, it’s a wonder I was still standing.

The road I am now on is a bumpy but positive one. I have just had two days without any symptoms and that feels like a mini miracle. I know it won’t last but I now know what is possible and it gives me hope. To not feel anything after eating is a new revelation for me and I am startled at how simple life can be. So many of my decisions through my life have been dictated to by this issue and, though I am not out of the woods yet and never completely will be, I can see a different life ahead. Oh and by the way, now that I have put grains (not wheat, rye or barley) back into my diet, my limbs no longer feel like they constantly contain lactic acid and I am no longer weary.

What I have learned through all of this is just how different we all are. What is right for one person is not necessarily right for another. You have to find your own way towards health. The only absolute as far as I am concerned is to avoid processed foods and go back to a more basic way of eating food that you recognise.

This recipe was adapted to make it gluten-free from my latest cookbook purchase, Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay.

If you need to be lactose-free, leave off the topping.

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 slices

For the base
  • 185gms/6oz melted butter
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup my gluten-free flour
For the cheesecake
  • 285gms/9.5oz cream cheese
  • 4tbsp cane sugar
  • 2 eggs
To make the base
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
  3. Spoon into a 20cm/8" tin (lined with baking paper).
To make the cheesecake
  1. Place the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Spread on top of the base.
  3. Bake 40 minutes until set.
  4. Remove and cool then cut into slices.

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies - gluten-free & low FODMAPAfternoon Tea - cookbook for food intolerances

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  1. says

    Nicely controlled light on that top photo! And your recipe looks great. I really do need to make some of your gluten free recipes for our next door neighbor, who is gluten intolerant. Interesting observations about your diet. Your on a journey most of us haven’t been on (and fortunately for us, probably don’t need to be on) and I’m learning so much from you. Thanks.

  2. says

    What a journey you have been on. And great to hear you’ve had two symptom free days. I started getting night cramps (along with a bunch of other symptoms) and it turned out my thyroid had packed it in. I’m now on medication for the rest of my life. Not bad though, because at least it’s easily treated. I still take lots of CaMg everyday though to help with the cramps xx

    • says

      I take it you have an underactive thyroid? My mother has that and is on medication too. It’s hereditary so I have to keep an eye on it but so far, so good. I started taking magnesium pills but they really muck around with your digestive system and I had to stop. I googled it and in fact, it is a common side effect.

  3. says

    I can’t get past the quote at the top, I keep giggling about it.

    These are gorgeous brownies. I just can’t get over how pretty they are.

    You’re on a good path, I think you are doing great. It’s a challenge but you are coping so well with it. I hope you feel well from here on out. You deserve it. xx

    • says

      Thanks, Kim. I do love pretty brownies.
      Yes, I feel like I am at least on the right path. Now, let’s hope there are no obstacles along the way.

    • says

      Thanks, Laura. It is exciting.
      Both cheesecake and chocolate are pretty good with anything – almost. Come to think of it, there are a few things I wouldn’t want them with. LOL.

  4. Melinda says

    Ha! Your story is exactly what happened to me. I knew I was fructose intolerant but had not realized that vegetables were included in the problem. Have followed FODMAP for a month now and am finally fine tuning what works for me and what does not.
    Thanks for the brownie (and flour) recipe. They look terrific and I plan on trying them next time a treat is in order!
    Best of luck to you on your path.

    • says

      It’s great you have found the problem, Melinda. Once you know, it is so much easier to feel good every day. We still make mistakes but knowledge is king. Good luck and I hope you love the brownie recipe. Just one piece at a time though or it will be too much.


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